Monday Apr 14, 2014

Which Type of Virtualization Should I Use?

I routinely ask techies which type of virtualization they'd recommend for which type of job. I seldom get an answer as crystal clear as Brian Bream's.

Video Interview: Which Type of Virtualization Should I Use?

with Brian Bream, CTO Collier IT

Oracle's portfolio of virtualization technologies includes Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC (previously known as LDOMS), and Oracle Solaris Zones, among others. Brian Bream provides a crystal clear technical overview of their differences and examples of what you would use them to do to. After you listen to the recording, which is about 5 minutes long, you'll understand why Brian was selected Instructor of the Year for both Oracle University and Sun Microsystems University before that.

More Resources About Virtualization

Here's an 8-part series about Oracle virtualization products written by Detlef Drewanz and Lenz Grimmer that might also be helpful:

About the Photograph

Photograph of Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco taken by Rick Ramsey, April 2014.

- Rick

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Monday Jan 13, 2014

Lab - How to Deploy Oracle Software in Minutes Using Oracle VM Templates

In my first 12 years of school I had a natural ability in Math and Science, but had to work hard at English and History.

When I went to college, I didn't do well in Math and Science, so I transferred into Liberal Arts, where strangely enough, I did well. After all these years I just realized why. I never had to study for Math and Science. I just understood the material. If I did any homework, I did it during class. Which means I never listened to lectures. As a result, I never learned how to learn what I didn't know. So, when college presented me with more advanced topics that I couldn't just grok, I didn't know what to do. I fell behind. I assumed I wasn't any good. The opposite was true with Liberal Arts. Literature, History, Economics, it all confused me. So I listened in class. And I studied after class. SoI did well.

And that's why I'm not an engineer.

If you're a hands-on learner like me and Joel Schallhorn, the guy doing bicycle tricks in the picture, you'll appreciate our latest hands-on lab.

Lab: How to Deploy a Four-Node Oracle RAC 12c Cluster in Minutes, Using Oracle VM Templates

Hands-On Lab by Olivier Canonge with contributions from Christophe Pauliat, Simon Coter, Saar Maoz, Doan Nguyen, Ludovic Sorriaux, Cecile Naud, and Robbie De Meyer

This lab demonstrates how easy it is to deploy software environments with Oracle VM Templates. It uses a single-instance, Oracle Restart (Single-Instance High Availability [SIHA]), and Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) for Oracle Database as an example. During this lab, you are going to deploy a four-node Flex Cluster (three hubs and one leaf) with a dedicated network for Oracle Flex ASM traffic.

See more of Joel Schallhorn on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

- Rick

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Wednesday Jan 08, 2014

Hands-On Lab: How to Deploy and Manage a Private Cloud

Hands-On Lab: How to Deploy and Manage a Private Cloud

With Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c

We just updated this lab to get it ready for OTN's next Virtual SA Day on January 28. You can run the lab anytime from your laptop, or you can attend our virtual event and run it with the help of a proctor. There will be several hundred sysadmins running the same lab at the same time, so you can discuss it with others via chat, and get help from our proctors. Details here.

Cloud Building with Oracle Solaris

Blog by OTN Garage

At the risk of raising PITA's ire, there's more than one way to skin a cat. This blog provides three resources to help you build a private cloud with Oracle Solaris: one training class and two tech articles.

photograph of clouds at sunset over Colorado snapped by Rick Ramsey with lousy iPhone camera

- Rick

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Thursday Nov 07, 2013

Oracle VM Deep Dives

"With IT staff now tasked to deliver on-demand services, datacenter virtualization requirements have gone beyond simple consolidation and cost reduction. Simply provisioning and delivering an operating environment falls short. IT organizations must rapidly deliver services, such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Virtualization solutions need to be application-driven and enable:"
  • "Easier deployment and management of business critical applications"
  • "Rapid and automated provisioning of the entire application stack inside the virtual machine"
  • "Integrated management of the complete stack including the VM and the applications running inside the VM."
Application Driven Virtualization, an Oracle white paper

That was published in August of 2011. The new release of Oracle VM Server delivers significant virtual networking performance improvements, among other things. If you're not sure how virtual networks work or how to use them, these two articles by Greg King and friends might help.

Looking Under the Hood at Virtual Networking

by Greg King

Oracle VM Server for x86 lets you create logical networks out of physical Ethernet ports, bonded ports, VLAN segments, virtual MAC addresses (VNICs), and network channels. You can then assign channels (or "roles") to each logical network so that it handles the type of traffic you want it to.

Greg King explains how you go about doing this, and how Oracle VM Server for x86 implements the network infrastructure you configured. He also describes how the VM interacts with paravirtualized guest operating systems, hardware virtualized operating systems, and VLANs.

Finally, he provides an example that shows you how it all looks from the VM Manager view, the logical view, and the command line view of Oracle VM Server for x86.

Fundamental Concepts of VLAN Networks

by Greg King and Don Smerker

Oracle VM Server for x86 supports a wide range of options in network design, varying in complexity from a single network to configurations that include network bonds, VLANS, bridges, and multiple networks connecting the Oracle VM servers and guests. You can create separate networks to isolate traffic, or you can configure a single network for multiple roles. Network design depends on many factors, including the number and type of network interfaces, reliability and performance goals, the number of Oracle VM servers and guests, and the anticipated workload.

The Oracle VM Manager GUI presents four different ways to create an Oracle VM network:

  • Bonds and ports
  • VLANs
  • Both bond/ports and VLANS
  • A local network

This article focuses the second option, designing a complex Oracle VM network infrastructure using only VLANs, and it steps through the concepts needed to create a robust network infrastructure for your Oracle VM servers and guests.

More Resources

photo of K1200S copyright by Rick Ramsey

-Rick

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Tuesday Jul 30, 2013

Hands-On Labs for Oracle VM

photo copyright 2013 by Rick Ramsey

Our last virtual sysadmin day was held on July 15. If you missed it, you can still watch the video recordings of the lab sessions on the OTN Garage (aka "Oracle BigAdmin") channel on YouTube.

For instance, these are the videos for the Oracle VM track.

Technology Overview

This session explores the Oracle VM architecture and key features, and introduces the 3 hands-on labs that will follow.

Video - Lab Prep - Downloading and Installing VirtualBox

How to download and install VirtualBox in preparation for the labs.

Video - Lab 1 - Deploying Infrastructure as a Service

Planning and deployment of an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment with Oracle VM as the foundation. Storage capacity planning, LUN creation, network bandwidth planning, and best practices for designing and streamlining the environment so that it's easy to manage.

Video - Lab 2 - Deploying Applications Faster Using Templates

How to deploy Oracle applications in minutes with Oracle VM Templates:

  • Find out what Oracle VM Templates are and how they work
  • Deploy an actual Oracle VM Template for an Oracle Application
  • Plan your deployment to streamline on going updates and upgrades.

Video - Lab 3 - Deploying an x86 Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure

This hands-on lab will demonstrate what Oracle's enterprise cloud infrastructure for x86 can do, and how it works with Oracle VM 3.x:

  • How to create VMs
  • How to migrate VMs
  • How to deploy Oracle applications quickly and easily with Oracle VM Templates
  • How to use the Storage Connect plug-in for the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

Psst!

You can see more unique cars from the Golden Age of American Automobile at the Gateway Automobile Museum.

- Rick

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Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

The Network Is the Computer Redux

We take networking for granted, forgetting how far we have come over the last quarter century, when (for example) the Sun offices were connected via phone lines and we had to solder and pull our own 10Base5 thick net Ethernet cables. Some of you will remember what a pain that was: a bad solder connection or a kink in the cable would result in days of troubleshooting. Those of you who are too young: be grateful. It wasn’t always so simple.

Sun’s “Chief Science Officer,” John Gage, is properly credited with creating the phrase “the network is the computer,” although it has been attributed to others. I don’t have an actual date for when it was first used, but it must have been the late 1980s. Today we wonder, “so what?” In the 1980s it was a big differentiator, especially over our much larger competitors. By the mid-1990s the truth of this tagline was self-evident everywhere and we eventually stopped using it, as phrases like “network computing” were redundant.

Then, along came “The Cloud.” Are we talking about something else, altogether? I think of it as “The Network Is the Computer Redux.” My home has more bandwidth and complexity than did most research labs of the 80s. Just one of my multiple local WiFi segments has more throughput than our entire hard-wired network had. Back then, we put everything on one 10-Mb physical segment and were happy. Growth has been the steady trend: with powerful cloud networks comes huge speed and bandwidth, great complexity, and limitless opportunities for bottlenecks and subtle failures.

Just as virtualization has changed how we segment our servers to get maximum performance and minimum waste, network virtualization is being applied to networking. There are plenty of solutions available today, many of which are Rube Goldberg fabrications that can break if you look cross-eyed at them. Building on Oracle's thirty-plus years of experience, Oracle Virtual Networking provides the infrastructure to connect and dynamically create secure networks and connections in software.

Brian K. Matheson has written an article that provides a complete bird’s eye how-to, from planning, to deployment, to configuration best practices: Oracle Virtual Networking: Guidelines for Deployment in a Virtualized Environment. It is nothing short of amazing how much information he packs into this article. Brian assumes the reader is familiar with the basic concepts of Oracle Virtual Networking. Although that would be ideal, most of us still work “bottom-up”: once you digest his article, I think you will be on the fast track to mastering the concepts and details in the references provided at the end.

—Kemer

Monday Apr 15, 2013

Eight Cylinders of Virtualization

source made freely available by desktop machine

I've been on the lookout for a quick techie overview of Oracle's virtualization offerings. Detlef Drewanz, Matthias Pfützner, and Elke Freymann had strung together a series of articles doing just that. Lenz Grimmer jumped in with some context on Linux, and the result was this 8-part series for OTN.

1 - The Role of Oracle VM Server for SPARC in a Virtualization Strategy

by Matthias Pfützner

Overview of hardware and software virtualization basics, including a breakdown of different types and styles of virtualization, and where Oracle VM Server for SPARC fits into a virtualization strategy.

2- The Role of Oracle VM Server for x86 in a Virtualization Strategy

by Matthias Pfützner

Oracle VM Server for x86 is an Oracle technology that existed before Oracle acquired Sun. It is a virtualization product based on the Xen hypervisor and like its SPARC counterpart, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, it is a thin Type 1 hypervisor that performs hardware virtualization and uses paravirtualization.

3 - The Role of Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers in a Virtualization Strategy

by Detlef Drewanz and Lenz Grimmer

Oracle Solaris zones are referred to as lightweight virtualization because they impose no overhead on the virtualization layer and the applications running in the non-global zones. As a result, they are a perfect choice for high performance applications. Instead of retrofitting efficiency onto full isolation, Linux Containers started out with an efficient mechanism and added isolation, resulting in a system virtualization mechanism as scalable and portable as chroot.

4 - Resource Management As an Enabling Technology for Virtualization

by Detlef Drewanz

When you have one person in one phone booth, life is simple. But when you fit 25 college students into one phone booth, you have resource management challenges. Not to mention security risks. Same goes for virtualization. Detlef explains how resource management can help.

5 - Network Virtualization and Network Resource Management

by Detlef Drewanz

Using hypervisor-based virtualization and Oracle Solaris Zones with network virtualization plus network resource management enables a whole range of network-based architectures. This article describes what's involved in using network resource management in conjunction with hypervisors, containers, and zones in an internal virtual network.

6 - Oracle VM VirtualBox: Personal Desktop Virtualization

by Detlef Drewanz

Oracle VM VirtualBox consists of a base software package that is available for each supported host OS; guest additions that add support for shared folders, seamless window integration, and 3D; and extension packs.

7 - The Role of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in a Virtualization Strategy

by Matthias Pfützner

This technology is no longer available.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a hosted, centralized or remote server. Matthias Pfützner explains.

8 - Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center as a Management Tool for Virtualization

by Elke Freymann

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center offers complete infrastructure management with a focus on Oracle hardware (servers, switches, storage appliances) and Oracle operating systems, plus non-Oracle Linux variants that are supported on Oracle servers. Although Oracle VM VirtualBox and Oracle VDI include management capabilities, Ops Center has the best overall toolset for central virtualization management.

- Rick

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Monday Mar 04, 2013

What It Takes to Deploy and Manage a Private Cloud

source

That's what your private cloud will look like if you do it wrong. And there are so many things that can go wrong.

Oracle offers several ways to set up your own private cloud. Richard Friedman describes what's involved in not only deploying it with Oracle VM, but managing it.

Article: What It Takes to Deploy and Manage a Private Cloud

Here are three excerpts:

"A few days ago I had dinner with my friend Dave. He’s a systems administrator for his company’s private cloud. Until recently, his company had relied on a mashup of customized applications, scripts, and handwritten procedures for doing everything from allocating storage to users to provisioning virtualized servers, updating and patching operating systems, and deploying applications over the network. He had been complaining for months about the difficulties of trying to satisfy requests from users and clients quickly and how these custom environments were becoming more and more unreliable and difficult to maintain...

"Organizations typically follow a layered approach to implementing a cloud. The proper layering is important not only from an architecture perspective, but also from an organizational perspective. As Dave mentioned, he has specialized storage administrators for managing storage; sysadmins for managing servers and the operating system infrastructure; and database, middleware, and application administrators for higher layers of the stack. "The cloud is like an orchestra," he said; all these performers play in unison, while being still accountable for their respective components...

"Dave also pointed out that to make his new private cloud fully operational, he needed self-service, elasticity, and chargeback capabilities, and the ability to integrate with third-party components, such as a help desk implementation. Moreover, to offer platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities, the infrastructure management has to be done within the context of platform components, such as the database and middleware. This is where Oracle Enterprise Manager fits in. It can work seamlessly with Oracle VM Manager to provide a fully automated, self-service, capacity-on-demand environment."

Don't do it wrong. Read Richard's article.

- Rick

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Monday Feb 18, 2013

Three Oracle VM Hands-On Labs On OTN

source

We put the hands-on labs from the virtualization track of the OTN Virtual Sysadmin Days on OTN.

Lab 1 - Deploying an IaaS Environment with Oracle VM

Planning and deployment of an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment with Oracle VM as the foundation. Storage capacity planning, LUN creation, network bandwidth planning, and best practices for designing and streamlining the environment so that it's easy to manage.

Lab 2 - How to Virtualize and Deploy Oracle Applications in Minutes with Oracle VM

How to deploy Oracle applications in minutes with Oracle VM Templates. Find out what Oracle VM Templates are and how they work. Deploy an actual Oracle VM Template for an Oracle application. Plan your deployment to streamline ongoing updates and upgrades.

Lab 3 - Deploying a Cloud Infrastructure with Oracle VM 3.x and the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

This hands-on lab will demonstrate what Oracle’s enterprise cloud infrastructure for x86 can do, and how it works with Oracle VM 3.x. How to create VMs. How to migrate VMs. How to deploy Oracle applications quickly and easily with Oracle VM Templates. How to use the Storage Connect plug-in for the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance.

By the way, the picture of that ranch in Colorado was taken by my good friend
Mike Schmitz. See more of his photography here. Follow it on Facebook here.

- Rick

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Friday Feb 15, 2013

Sysadmins Rejoice! OVM 3.2.1 Includes a Full-Featured CLI

Remember this famous scene from English History? The French accent of the castle guard was so thick I couldn't understand him, but I think that at one point he said "I spit on your graphical user interface." Proof that sysadmins were alive and well in the time of King Arthur.

CLI Documentation

Sysadmins will have cause to taunt English royalty a second time because the command line interface (CLI) of the recently released Oracle VM 3.2.1 has been expanded to include all the capabilities of the (ptui!) graphical user interface (GUI). That means scripts. Boo-yah! It supports public-key authentication, too. Find docs here.

Other Cool Stuff

Oracle VM Manager used to manage only your x86 virtual machines. Now it manages your SPARC systems, too. Create server pools, create virtual machines, and manage networking and storage in the same way, using the same tool. Details here.

You can use MySQL as your backend repository. Just use the Simple installation, which will locally install the default MySQL database that is packaged with the Oracle VM Manager installer. Details here.

You can install the osv-support-tools meta-package for easier integration with Oracle support tools. (sudo is now part of osv-support-tools.) Details here.

More Resources

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Thursday Feb 07, 2013

Five Perspectives on Virtual Networks

source

At about the time I finally understood server virtualization, they hit me with network virtualization. Or was it virtualized networks? Virtual networking? So, did that mean that you networked your virtual environments together? Or did it mean that you created a virtual network? A virtual network of virtual servers? Or physical servers?

I did what any techie would do when confronted with a conundrum: I played video games until 2:00 am. Then it came to me: a virtual network is simply a physical network sliced into multiple virtual networks. That wasn't so hard. In fact, we currently provide two ways to create a virtual network: within the OS and at the hypervisor. Shoot, you can even pretend to create a virtual network by firing up VirtualBox. To help you decide which type of network virtualization to use, we put together a few perspectives:

How Networking Works in VirtualBox

by the Fat Bloke

Start here, just in case you want to become familiar with virtual networks to avoid bringing down your entire data center. The Fat Bloke describes how to set up your virtual networks inside VirtualBox and configure them so the physical networks understand what you're trying to do. He covers Network Address Translation (NAT), bridged networking, internal networking, host-only networking, and NAT with Port-forwarding.

Evaluating Oracle Solaris 11 from Inside Oracle VM VirtualBox

by Yuli Vasiliev

Now you can horse around a little bit with the Oracle Solaris virtual network goodies. Yuli Vasiliev explains how to import an Oracle Solaris 11 image into VirtualBox, how to configure the virtual machine settings, and how to explore virtual networking at the OS layer, among other things.

Looking Under the Hood at Networking in Oracle VM Server for x86

by Greg King and Suzanne Zorn

Now you're ready to take a closer look at virtual networking in the hypervisor; specifically, Oracle VM Server for x86. Greg King and Suzanne Zorn describe how you can create logical networks out of physical Ethernet ports, bonded ports, VLAN segments, virtual MAC addresses (VNICs), and network channels. And how to assign channels (or "roles") to each logical network so that it handles the type of traffic you want it to. Very cool read + additional resources.

Which Tool Should I Use to Manage Which Virtualization Technology?

by Ginny Henningsen

Now that you have a better understanding of each method, it's only natural to wonder which tools to use, right? Ginny Henningsen provides an overview of the interfaces and tools that you can use to set up and manage virtual network resources, among other things..

Network Virtualization and Network Resource Management

by Detlef Drewanz

And, if you want to take it a step further, consider adding resource management to your virtual network picture. This article describes what's involved in managing network resources in conjunction with hypervisors, containers, and zones in an internal virtual network.

Let me know if you'd like any more info about virtual networks. We've got a bunch.

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Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

Would You Swim Laps in Lake Baikal?

source

This is the lake where Yuli Vasiliev's countrymen swim laps.

Yuli is one of my favorite OTN writers not just because he really knows his stuff. Not just because his writing is clear and accurate. And not just because his English is better than the English of most native speakers. Yo, those are all good reasons. But it's the Lake Baikal thing.

Yuli recently wrote two wicked good how-to's about Oracle VM Templates. You should read them. You might gain a gram of Yuli's respect. Two grams, if you can head butt icebergs while you swim.

How to Use Oracle VM Templates

How to prepare an Oracle VM environment to use Oracle VM Templates, how to obtain a template, and how to deploy the template to your Oracle VM environment. Also how to create a virtual machine based on that template and how you can clone the template and change the clone's configuration.

How to Use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates

How to use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates in Oracle VM VirtualBox. Similar to the article above, but it describes how to download, install, and configure the templates within Oracle VM VirtualBox, instead of on bare metal.

Other OTN Technical Articles by Yuli Vasiliev

- Rick

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Thursday Nov 15, 2012

Looking Under the Hood of ...

copyright 2012 Rob Lang

Fair is fair. Our last post featured a conversation with the beautiful and talented Eva Mendez, so today we're featuring something for those of you who prefer the other gender of our fair species.

This dude has quite the hardware challenge ahead of him. He hasn't begun to find out what's really under that hood. Life is much easier for you and me, thanks to Greg King and Suzanne Zorn. They wrote a wicked cool article about Oracle VM Server for x86. Here's a little bit about it...

Looking Under the Hood of Networking in Oracle VM Server for x86

Oracle VM Server for x86 lets you create logical networks out of physical Ethernet ports, bonded ports, VLAN segments, virtual MAC addresses (VNICs), and network channels. You can then assign channels (or "roles") to each logical network so that it handles the type of traffic you want it to.

Greg King explains how you go about doing this, and how Oracle VM Server for x86 implements the network infrastructure you configured. He also describes how the VM interacts with paravirtualized guest operating systems, hardware virtualized operating systems, and VLANs.

Finally, he provides an example that shows you how it all looks from the VM Manager view, the logical view, and the command line view of Oracle VM Server for x86.

More Resources for Oracle VM Server for x86

If you liked Greg and Suzanne's paper, you can ...

Now, if we could just come up with a name for this awesome product that doesn't feel like I'm talking with a mouthful of marbles ... :-)

- Rick

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Friday Sep 14, 2012

New Hands-On Labs For Oracle VM

I just spent some time walking through the labs that Christophe Pauliat and Olivier Canonge prepared to help you become familiar with Oracle VM. They are terrific. We will offer them for the first time at Oracle Open World. Because they require some pre-work and 16Gigs of memory, we are supplying the laptops for the participants.

Lab 1: Deploying Infrastructure as a Service with Oracle VM

Session ID: HOL9558
Tuesday October 2nd, 2012
10:15am – 11:15am
Marriott Marquis - Salon 14/15

Planning and deployment of an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment with Oracle VM as the foundation. Storage capacity planning, LUN creation, network bandwidth planning, and best practices for designing and streamlining the environment so that it's easy to manage.

Lab 2: Virtualize and Deploy Oracle Applications Using Oracle VM Templates

Session ID: HOL9559
Tuesday October 2nd, 2012
11:45am – 12:45pm
Marriott Marquis - Salon 14/15

How to deploy Oracle applications in minutes with Oracle VM Templates. Step-by-step lab proctored by field-experienced engineers and product experts. Covers:

  • Find out what Oracle VM Templates are and how they work
  • Deploy an actual Oracle VM Template for an Oracle Application
  • Plan your deployment to streamline on going updates and upgrades

Lab 3: x86 Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure with Oracle VM 3.x and Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

Session ID: HOL 9870
Wednesday, 3 Oct, 2012
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Marriott Marquis - Salon 14/15

This hands-on lab will demonstrate what Oracle’s enterprise cloud infrastructure for x86 can do, and how it works with Oracle VM 3.x. It covers:

  • How to create VMs
  • How to migrate VMs
  • How to deploy Oracle applications quickly and easily with Oracle VM Templates
  • How to use the Storage Connect plug-in for the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

Additional Virtualization Resources for Sysadmins

- Rick

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Tuesday Jun 12, 2012

Whole Lotta Virtualization Goin' On

Lately we've published a lot of content about virtualization. Here's a sampling.

Podcat: Technology Preview of Transcendent Memory

Turns out that in a virtual environment, RAM is the bottleneck. Not because it's slow, it's not, but because each CPU still had to use its own RAM. Which gets expensive. In this podcast, Dan Magenheimer describes how Oracle and the open source community taught the guest kernel in Oracle Linux to share its memory with other CPU's. Transcendent memory will wind up saving large data centers a lot of money. Find out how.

Tech Article: How to Use Oracle VM Templates

This article describes how to prepare an Oracle VM environment to use Oracle VM Templates, how to obtain a template, and how to deploy the template to your Oracle VM environment. It also describes how to create a virtual machine based on that template and how you can clone the template and change the clone's configuration.

Tech Article: How to Set Up a Load Balanced Application Across Two Oracle Solaris Zones

Install Apache Tomcat on two Oracle Solaris zones. Connect them across a VPN. And let the Integrated Load Balancer in Oracle Solaris 11 manage traffic. Presto: high(er) availability in a single server.

Tech Article: How to Install Oracle RAC on Oracle Solaris Zone Clusters

Learn how to implement a multi-tiered database environment that isolates database tiers and administrative domains, while taking advantage of centralized (and simpler) cluster admin.

For fans of Jerry Lee Lewis

If you're a fan of Jerry Lee Lewis, you might enjoy this video.

- Rick

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Friday Feb 17, 2012

Hack With Your Closest Friends

Next Xen Hackathon

The next Xen Hackathon will be held at the Oracle campus in Santa Clara, California, March 6, 7, and 8. Provided the world does not end before then.

When: March 6th – March 8th, 2012
Where:4030 George Sellon Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 (map)
Sign Up List: Attendees (To add yourself, log in or create a wiki account)

Who Should Attend?

Anybody who is interested in working on, writing about, or learning more about:

  • Xen Hypervisor
  • Xen components in the Linux kernel (PVOPS developers)
  • Project Kronos and the Xen cloud platform using XCP
  • Xen on ARM and MIPS

Doc writers and developers working on and other aspects of Xen, XCP, XenARM and related projects are also welcome.

Why Should I Attend?

To meet face to face with other Xen developers, coordinate projects, write code, and collaborate. The Xen Hackathon is a self-organizing event, where you can work on concrete problems around the Xen codebase in small, self-organizing groups.

Xen Hackathons is also a great opportunity for companies and open source projects built on Xen, XCP, or commercially based Xen products to test their code against the latest open source baselines. And fix problems.

What Is Xen?

Xen in a hypervisor that runs on several hardware platforms and hosts multiple operating systems. For more info:

Why Is Oracle Sponsoring The Xen Hackathon?

Oracle supported the Xen community for a long time. The Xen hypervisor is an integral component of Oracle VM, part of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure. See more virtualization-related content here:

- Rick Ramsey with Doan Nguyen

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Thursday Feb 02, 2012

You've Come a Long Way, Desktop

I wouldn't last more than ten minutes teaching in an American high school. Not because the little monsters would frighten me, but because it would take about five minutes for me to grab one of them by the throat and slam them up against the chalkboard. And another five minutes for the principal to walk me out the front gate.

I went to a Catholic High School in Peru. Our Freshman class had 120 students, 40 to a classroom. Only 96 graduated. I don't know what happened to those who flunked out, but those of us who graduated got a phenomenal education. I didn't have a challenging class again until my junior year at Berkeley. Unfortunately, America doesn't value education much and, according to I, Cringely, that disdain has now spread our universities.

Oddly enough, we are really good with desktops. Or rather, with virtual desktops. Walk away from your desktop without even entering a decimal point into the cell you were adding to a spreadsheet, hop on a jet plane to Prague, walk into a friend's office, log in to his desktop, and there's your spreadsheet with the cell that's missing the decimal point.

Desktop virtualization rocks. It not only improves the user experience, it makes life much easier for the sysadmin. You get to manage huge groups of desktops as if they were one. And to totally cool things, as you'll see below. Some of you probably remember the days of walking around with a floppy disk from office to office, updating an application one user at a time. Desktop virtualization is about as diametrically opposed from that as you can get.

If you want to know how far it has come, and what it takes to implement, check out some of these resources:

How to Design a Desktop Infrastructure for Windows Systems

Show this one to your boss. All the factors you need to consider when designing a virtual desktop infrastructure that can deliver a Windows 7 desktop standard operating environment to either 500, 1,000, or 1,500 users. Covers architecture, capacity planning, network configuration, and availability.

Video Interview: Big Energy and Money Savings With SunRay 3 Clients

Michael Dan describes the incredible energy and cost savings you can get with Oracle's SunRay Servers, and demonstrates the product features and production chain innovations that qualify the SunRay 3 thin client for its EnergyStar rating and the 2011 Good Design Award.

Video Interview: How Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is Better for Users and Easier for Sysadmins

You can set up Oracle's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure so that users can switch between OS's on their desktops as easily as selecting a different tab. Or access their desktop environment not only from their laptop, but also from the PC at Ray's Custom Bike Shop (provided Ray had the VDI client installed). Craig Bender and Brad Lackey, who were Microsoft Professionals before they worked on Oracle's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, describe the components of the VDI 3.2 system, and the features that make it easier, cheaper, and safer for sysadmins to manage. Plus how it works with a global cloud.

Recent Awards

In fact, we do desktop virtualization so well, that we've won several awards. Most recently:

For More Info

- Rick
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Kemer Thomson
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