Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

Raiders of the Lost BluePrints

Lost archives

The Sun BluePrints Program produced technical best practice documents for over a decade. Sun's culture included a strong aversion to throwing anything away, and so we had endless archives of documents that we were afraid of throwing away – just in case someone wanted a specific obscure reference. As we have moved into the Oracle culture, things changed. Published documents have an expiration date, after which they need to be updated or discarded. This is a good thing, but one sure to annoy the pack rats of the World.

Some of these old white papers were classics and are frequently referenced. We have decided to rescue the best of these, on a limited basis, so that we can continue to refer to them. The original PDF has been sandwiched between an Oracle cover and back page and has been assigned a new title that is consistent with new product names: inside, it is the same original paper, including original title.

This issue bubbled up when we received Stefan Hinker's excellent Securing Oracle VM Server for SPARC, which referenced a handful of these papers, the most important of which was Tony Shoumack's Beginners Guide to Oracle VM Server for SPARC, originally titled Beginners Guide to LDoms. Oracle VM Server for SPARC, an important and unique virtualization technology, has steadily evolved since Tony's original paper; Tony promises that an update is imminent. There were several other papers referenced that are classics in the security arena: Glenn Brunette's Integrating BART and the Oracle Solaris Fingerprint Database in the Oracle Solaris 10 Operating System and Enforcing the Two-Person Rule Via Role-Based Access Control in the Oracle Solaris 10 Operating System,and finally a group effort, The Oracle Solaris Fingerprint Database - A Security Validation Tool for Oracle Solaris Environment System File. All of these deserve a look.

Sorry, we can't rescue every single old blueprint, nor should we: most of them belong (at best) in crates in that endless archive. We will, from time-to-time, be rescuing those we find of continuing value. We would like your ideas on which ones deserve this special attention.

- Kemer

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Contributors:
Rick Ramsey
Kemer Thomson
and members of the OTN community

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