Michael Palmeter and Renato Ribeiro enjoy a good duel. Michael represents Oracle Solaris. Renato represents SPARC servers. Watch and listen as they argue their case on two questions of interest to sysadmins. Taped at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.
Is the hardware or the software more important to the performance of a system? Oracle Solaris product director Michael Palmeter goes mic-to-mic with Renato Ribeiro, Oracle SPARC Director. Taped at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.
Is Oracle's approach to large vertically scaled servers at odds with today's trend of combining lots and lots of small, low-cost servers systems with networking to build a cloud, or is it a better approach? Michael Palmeter, Director of Solaris Product Management, and Renato Ribeiro, Director Product Management for SPARC Servers, discuss.
photo of 2005 Fat Boy taken at Little Big Horn National Monument by Rick Ramsey
When it comes to web browsing, I have little patience with amateurish sites and won’t hesitate to point out problems and flaws to the webmaster—if I can find a link to them, that is. Have you ever had this experience: you are on a web site trying to buy something and it is so slow and unresponsive that you decide to forget it: it isn’t worth the trouble or you just don’t have time? Chalk that up as one lost sale! This is—or at least should be—the web team’s nightmare.
Sure, the Web is the ultimate source of free information. But, ultimately something needs to pay the bills. Since the Web has become the universal marketplace, you would think every business would want to maximize their return by optimizing their web commerce infrastructure…
Do you remember Sea Monkeys? Just add water and soon you would have your own little amusing zoo. “Sea Monkeys” (actually dried brine shrimp) have been around since I was a kid. Advertisements were a staple of comic books. I see their purveyor, Transcience Corporation, is still in existence and taking orders!
Where is this leading? I would like to think of Oracle ATG Web Commerce as the sea monkeys of web commerce: just add Oracle’s SPARC SuperCluster. “Sure,” you are thinking to yourself, “he is paid to say that.” I can’t deny that, but my entire career in the computer industry has swirled around the dream of reusable components. We now have them: software and hardware. My enthusiasm is both justified and sincere.
The objective of deploying an internet storefront or what is commonly called an e-commerce Website is to produce revenue through product offerings
and subsequent purchases at the Website while at the same time “learning” about customers and their preferences. Ultimately, the goal is to make it
easy for customers to research and purchase items on the site while encouraging customers to purchase related products and services. … Delivering a positive user experience also requires fast response time.
The article discussed the architecture used for testing. To get there, they had to figure out what an optimal test workload would look like and then how to simulate it. They then ask the really important question, “can this workload scale on a bigger system?”
In this study the authors developed a number of best practices, tweaks to make things run better, which they share:
Configuring Oracle SPARC SuperCluster with Oracle VM Server for SPARC
Setting Up the Oracle WebLogic Server Zone
Setting Up the Oracle ATG Web Commerce Zone
Modifying the General Purpose Domain
Modifying the Oracle ATG Web Commerce Environment
Modifying the Oracle WebLogic Server Environment
Modifying the Database Server
For example, because the Web server will generate a lot of concurrent processes, all accessing the database, you will want increase these in the database configuration. If you think about it, this is a meager list of tweaks for such a complex system.
This article is a great read. At the very least, it gives you an approach and methodology to testing. More importantly, it demonstrates how easy it is to create a stable and scalable solution today. Just add water.
One might think that things like disk space and even computer speed had become irrelevant. After all, our cell phones have more computing power and storage than million dollar computers of fifteen years ago. (Stop me if I’ve told this story too many times: 25 years ago we sold a terabyte of disk using the big 200 MB disk platters. So, that was a total of over 4,000 disks. Since this is ancient history, the details are hazy, but I do remember that it involved a sizable facility for the storage alone and an even more sizeable commission for the sales rep. Those were the good ol’ days!)
The truth is, there is always an opportunity to take advantage of more resources. Indeed, we are in the era of big data and it would seem that our big limitation now is the speed of light. Rather than brute force, clever engineers continually come up with better ways of doing things. The RDBMS world has tended to think in terms of rows, but there is a new trend to organize it in columns instead. Wikipedia has a great summary of the pros and cons worth taking a look at, if this is new to you. In a nutshell, columnar databases can provide real performance advantages for data warehouses.
Art provides specifics on how to do this using the Pillar Axiom Storage System and Sun ZFS Storage Appliance, with detailed test results. This is an article you don’t want to miss: a real hands-on description that quickly brings you up to speed with the technology and its application in the real world.
If you're an OTN Member, you can get a Discover Pass to Oracle OpenWorld for $50.00. The Discover Pass won't let you into the technical sessions and hands-on labs, but it will let you into the keynote and executive sessions, the user group meetings, the exhibition halls and Demo Grounds and, of course, the OTN Lounge. And that's not all. Find out how it compares to full registration here:
When Oracle acquired Sun we kept it simple. In doing so we came up with Oracle Optimized Solutions. Of course they're great for business because they are assembled from a pre-configured stack of Oracle products that we test and use ourselves, but are they be great for Sysadmins? I decided to ask.
The best person to ask anything about Oracle Optimized Solutions is Marshall Choy. Not only is Marshal the director of the engineering group that selects and assembles these systems, but he began his high tech career as a sysadmin working on both Solaris and Linux systems. Marshall agreed to let us put him on the spot, so Justin interviewed him on OTN TechCast. In addition to talking about a sysadmin's job, Marshall explains the patching strategy for these types of stacks. Here are some of the questions we asked him.
What's the difference between Oracle Optimized Solutions and Oracle Engineered Systems?
What will this mean my job as a sysadmin - will my skills become obsolete?
Will I be replaced by someone less skilled?
I'm not sure I want to outsource my sysadmin skills to Oracle - how
will these optimized solutions change what I spend my time doing?
Aren't we just turning back the clock 20 years - why did you decide
to build a proprietary vertical stack?
What if I want to change something in the stack, how will it affect my support contract?
How often do you update the components in the stack, and do I get
those updates for free?
How do I install updates and patches?
It's a good show. It lasts 14 minutes. Don't miss it.
Part IV - Avoiding Linking Problems - How to identify duplicate symbols and circular dependencies in your C++ code that would lead to linking problems between your application and its libraries.
Part V - Libraries in C++ - A detailed demonstration of how your C++ compiler can bind to a symbol from the incorrect library at compile time, and how to use the -g compiler flag to detect it.
Part VI - Resolving the Initialization Order Problem - Using link *order* to resolve C/C++ library dependencies is quick, but not optimal. Better to use either -instlib to keep the compiler from generating multiple templates, or use the -Bdirect linker flag to record dependencies at run time. This article explains how.
Part VII - Using Symbol Scoping to Avoid Linking Issues - By default, a symbol defined in a library is visible to other libraries and executables. You can limit a symbol's scope in a number of ways, including symbolic binding, hidden scope, and interposing. How to and examples described here.
Part VIII - Concluding Remarks and Summary of Best Practices - Building an application as a combination of executables and library calls has many advantages but potential problems with the links between the executable and its libraries. By using the techniques described in this series of articles, you can identify problems and make the risks manageable.
At the bottom of every Oracle's web page there's a corporateRSS Feed button. It takes you to a page that has some useful high-level feeds. But, unlike high-level corporate planners, we are privy to the fact that Systems admins and developers constitute a higher life form. So we created a set of highly refined feeds just for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.