Monday Aug 30, 2010

The Fat Bloke Sings About VirtualBox

One of my favorite bike builders is Russell Mitchell, owner of Exile Cycles. He designed and his crew builds bikes like the Fat Bloke pictured above. You can buy the bike already built like the movie stars do, or initiate yourself into the world of old-school motorcycling by building it yourself from parts in Russell's shop.

Here's another Fat Bloke that's got something interesting to offer. Migrating from VMWare to VirtualBox with Oracle Enterprise Linux describes how to move a virtual machine from one virtualization platform to another. Kinda like moving your hard drive from one machine to another, as the Fat Bloke puts it. Or swapping out the engine on Exile's Brown Pearl and dropping it into the Hot Rod. Or, God-forbid, a Honda Gold Wing.

The writeup by Fat Bloke the blogger includes these topics:

  • Preparing to Migrate
  • Exporting the Virtual Machine
  • Importing into VirtualBox
  • Installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions
  • An Alternative Approach for Advanced Users
  • My favorite of Russell's bikes is the Silver Bullet, though the Brown Pearl is a close second.

    - Rick

    Thursday Aug 19, 2010

    Updates to the Oracle Technology Network (Systems)

    picture courtesy of a Peruvian compadre of mine.

    Here's a summary of the latest updates to the System Admin and Developer Community of OTN, plus posts to the OTN Garage on Facebook. Give me a shout if you have any other news to share.

    New Technical Articles

    Using Oracle Solaris 10 to Overcome Security Challenges

    How to use the security features of Solaris to combat intrusion and meet requirements for security, privacy, and worldwide internal auditing standards. Privileges, hardening, networking, virtualized environments, certifications, and more.

    Increasing Application Availability with Oracle VM Server for SPARC: An Oracle Database Example

    How to use the warm migration feature of the technology previously known as LDOMS to increase the availability of an Oracle Database 10g Release 2 single-instance database.

    Deploying Web 2.0 Applications on Oracle Servers

    Best way to deploy Web 2.0 applications on Oracle Sun Servers and Open Source software. How to use the Olio web 2.0 toolkit to measure the performance and scalability of different deployment configurations so you can choose the best one before you deploy.

    New Product Pages

    Jimmy Huang, Kemer Thomson, and Vicky Hardman added four new server pages to the Product area.

    New From The Community

    New Headlines

    VirtualBox 3.2.8 Available for Solaris, Linux, Windows, MacOS

    Get the latest maintenance release of VirtualBox software, version 3.2.8. VirtualBox lets your system run several OS's simultaneously. Great for testing new features before implementing. See this list of 3.2.8 enhancements.

    Download the Oracle Solaris 10 10/09 Virtualbox Appliance Image

    The Virtualbox Appliance image of Solaris 10 (10/09 release) is a great way to become familiar with the Solaris 10 OS inside the Virtualbox environment. The appliance image is free, and available in Open Virtual Format. Requires VirtualBox 3.0 and 5 GB free space.

    Get 35% Off System Administration Training CD

    For a limited time you can save 35% when you purchase the Sun System Administrator Library Self-Study CD course. Study for the certification exam on your own schedule. No travel required. To get the discount, contact your Oracle University Sales Rep and mention promotion code SSCD Promo 2.
    - Rick

    Thursday Aug 05, 2010

    Great New Article on Oracle Solaris 10 Security

    In "Using Oracle Solaris 10 to Overcome Security Challenges," Mark Thacker describes how Oracle Solaris 10 uses the principle of least privilege to reduce the vulnerabilities of applications that perform privileged operations as root.

    "Over 65 discrete, fine-grained privileges are built into the kernel and user access space. The concept of privileges as implemented in Oracle Solaris 10 is extended throughout the operating system — even the built-in tools take these rights and privileges into account. Using this approach, administrators can grant new or existing applications only the appropriate privileges necessary to perform tasks. Many system components such as NFS, the Oracle Solaris Cryptographic Framework, IP Filter, file system mount commands, and more, are already configured to run with reduced privileges by default, with no configuration required by the administrator.

    Mark goes on to provide clear explanations of how the following Solaris 10 security features work:

    • User Rights Management (role-based access control), which an administrator uses to limit access to administrative functions while providing access to specific operating functions.
    • Network Security and Encryption, which includes Secure-By-Default (one of those "Duh, why didn't I think of that" ideas), IP packet filtering firewall, an integreated cryptographic framework, and an arsenal of other tools that sysadmins can use to both keep out network intruders and comply with privacy regulations.
    • Minimized and Hardened OS, which reduces the size of the target for hackers by only installing basic features and securing them at the same time.
    • Containers and Trusted Extensions that enable sysadmins to isolate and protect applications and users in a virtualized environment.

    This article is clear, easy to understand, and does a great job of explaining exactly how an admin can use the security tools of Solaris 10 to protect and certify an operating environment.  Includes a solid list of security resources.

    I found the picture of the bull in this BBC story.

    - Rick

    Tuesday Aug 03, 2010

    Recipe for a Systems Monday

    If you're not sure which sessions to attend at Oracle OpenWorld on Monday, Sep 20, see this entry in the Oracle Develop Conference Blog.

     - Rick

    Monday Aug 02, 2010

    wtmpx and How Solaris Keeps Track of User Logins

    I stumbled on Richard L. Hamilton's explanation of how Solaris keeps track of user logins:

    (In case you were wondering, no, the guy in the picture is not Richard L. Hamilton)

     - Rick


    Logan Rosenstein
    and members of the OTN community


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