Tuesday Oct 23, 2012

You Don't Want to Meet Orgad Kimchi in a Dark Alley


Do you remember what those bad guys in the old Charles Bronson films looked like? They looked like Orgad Kimchi, that's what they looked like. When I met him at Oracle OpenWorld 2012, I realized I didn't want to meet him in the wrong alleyway of Budapest after dark.

Neither do old versions of Oracle Solaris, which Orgad bends to his will with as much ease as he probably bends stray tourists to his will in Budapest, Kandahar, or Dagestan.

How Orgad Made Oracle Database Migrate from Oracle Solaris 8 to Oracle Solaris 11

In this article, which we liked so much we reprinted it from his blog (please don't tell him!), Orgad explains how he head-butted an Oracle Database into submission. The database thought it was safe running in Oracle Solaris 8, but Orgad dragged its whimpering carcas into Oracle Solaris 11. How'd he do that? Well, if you had met Orgad in person, you wouldn't ask that question. Because you'd know he could have simply stared at it, and the database would have migrated on its own.

But Orgad didn't do that. Instead, he stuffed an Oracle Solaris 8 Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) Archiver Tool into his leather trench coat, the one with the special pockets sown in by the East German Secret Police for several Uzis and their ammo, and walked into his data center in a way that reminded the survivors of this clip from Matrix Reloaded.

The end result? The Oracle Database 10.2 that was running on Oracle Solaris 8 is now running inside a Solaris 10 branded zone in Oracle Solaris 11. With no complaints.

Don't make Orgad angry. Read his article.

- Rick

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Monday Jun 14, 2010

Loving This Book!

You know you're a closet geek when you get a secret thrill reading the stories of how technologies were developed.  OK, I may not not know all the arguments to the dumpadm(1M) command by heart, but I would get a kick out of learning why the engineers chose those particular arguments.

(By the way, in case you're not reading this on a Solaris system, here's the entire Oracle Solaris 10 manpage collection.)

Which is why I'm enjoying Solaris 10 Security Essentials so much.   It's written by the Sun (now Oracle) engineers who "conceptualized the services, wrote the specifications, and coded the security software" for Solaris 10. 

You couldn't get closer to the source even if you convinced Dick Cheney to write a book about the Bush presidency. 

Here's a peek...Chapter 1 includes two tables that list each of the security features in Solaris 10, what their default configurations are or why you might want to re-configure them, and the chapter in which they are described in detail.  They cover:

  • Passwords
  • User authentication
  • Roles and superuser
  • Authorizations
  • Cryptographic services
  • Privileges
  • Remote login
  • Key Management Framework (KMF)
  • File protection
  • File permissions and Access Control Lists (ACL's)
  • Service Management Facility (SMF)
  • NFS
  • Network security
  • Containers
  • Monitoring
  • Execution protection
  • Trusted extensions

It's a great birds-eye view, and makes you want to plunge into the rest of the book.

I'll find other cool things about the book to post in future blogs.

Be sure to also check out the excellent Solaris 10 System Administration Essentials, part of the same series of Solaris 10 Essentials books being published by InformIT.   

- Rick

Monday Jun 07, 2010

Beginners Aren't Dummies

If you'd rather spend less of your time doing this ...

... and more of it in the comfort of your own understanding, then check out the Solaris 10 Admin Essentials book from InformIT:

This is not a book for numbskulls. Although it covers the essentials of system administration, it deals with them thoroughly.  For instance, in the chapter on filesystems, it doesn't just talk about how great ZFS is.  (Though we all know it's great.)  It talks about all the filesystems in Solaris, including PCFS, HSFS, distributed filesystems, and pseudo filesystems.  Trivial Pursuit?  Bring it.

Of course it also describes how to mount and unmount a filesystem, how to determine the type of a filesystem, and how to monitor your filesystems.  

Because it was written by Sun (now Oracle) systems engineers, it goes beyond theory to provide real-world tips and techniques for getting the job done better and faster.

A peek at the contents:

  1. Installing the Solaris OS
  2. Boot, Service Management, and Shutdown
  3. Software Management: Packages
  4. Software Management: Patches
  5. Solaris Filesystems
  6. Managing System Processes
  7. Fault Management
  8. Managing Disks
  9. Managing Devices
  10. Solaris Networking
  11. Solaris User Management
  12. Solaris Zones
  13. Using Naming Services
  14. Solaris Print Administration

You can find lots of books about Unix or Solaris system administration out there, but this one is the real deal.

 - Rick


Logan Rosenstein
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