Monday Jun 01, 2009


The two main topics of the key note were Cloud Computing and the new release of Open Solaris 2009.6 (the binary distribution)

The cloud computing session include little over and above what was presented at Community One East back in March. The general availability of the storage cloud is imminent and the general availability of the compute cloud is expected soon. No precise dates were given.

One interesting fact that was slipped into the Open Solaris announcement was that the 2009.6 release will double up as the preview release for the next major release of Enterprise Solaris (ie. the replacement for Solaris 10). To understand why this is interesting you need to understand the release processor for Enterprise Solaris. At the point where a major release of Enterprise Solaris is made a snap shot of the development source tree is made and maintained separately from the development source tree. New features and bug fixes are added to the development source tree and (where possible) back ported to Enterprise Solaris as update releases or patches. The key wprds in this sentence are "where possible". The longer the time elapsed from the source code fork the greater the divergence of the two source trees and the harder it becomes to back port new features. Eventually you reach the point where back porting certain new features becomes commercially non viable or technically impossible. This all happened with Solaris 10. The development code base (Nevada), which became the Open Solaris code base and the two have been diverging to the point were an increasing number of new Solaris features are only available in Open Solaris and not in Solaris 10 (such as CrossBow, xVM and some features of ZFS). A new major release of Enterprise Solaris would bring them back in line. It would also be a milestone as the first release of Enterprise Solaris based on Open Source. So todays announcement means that a new major release is in the pipeline. No announcements were made on when it would happen but my guess is in a window 6-12 months from now.

Looking at the features of the new Open Solaris release they went back over some of the pre-existing features that have been enhanced like dTrace, ZFS and Time Slider. In looking at ZFS they covered hybrid storage pools and how they have been leveraged in the Open Storage 7000 family of products. The major new feature is Project Crossbow providing a major step forward in network virtualisatiion and network QoS management. The final thing that was of personal interest was the launch of Source Juicer for Open Solaris. This is a system for community members to contribute packages to the new IPS package repository. Back in 1998 I tried to push this idea at Sun and received a major battering from the Solaris marketing team. It is good to see that common sense has now prevailed.

Sunday May 31, 2009

Javaone and Communityone 2009

Well somehow I managed to convince my boss for the second year running to approve the funds for attending Javaone and Communityone so I am writing this from the VS019 to SFO. I will try to post daily from the show my thought s and insights. I am not entirely sure what to expect this year and how the event will be impacted by the Oracle announcement. Certainly Oracle are conspicuous by their absence from any of the key notes and the list of sponsors. For the past number of years Oracle have been a sponsor of the event and had one of the keynotes. I suspect that this has more to do with the not wanting to anything to derail the SEC filing and other regulatory filings than any real conspiracy. For the same reason I think anyone arriving at the event expecting to get any new or amazing announcements other than what has been said already will leave the event disappointed but rest assured if there is anything I pick up I will relay it.

Looking at the agenda for Communityone I think that one of the major themes will be cloud computing both from Sun and others. There also seems to be plenty of buzz again this year at Communityone and Javaone for scripting of various flavours.

One final thought is that despite years of experience of Javaone I still managed to board the plane without having installed brand new padded insoles in my shoes. Last year I went through two sets in a week. I guess I will be straight to the drug store tomorrow morning.

Tuesday May 06, 2008

Community One

This week I am in San Francisco attending the JavaOne developers conference. The day before JavaOne I attended Sun's Open Source software conference - CommunityOne. The big announcement was the availability of the binary distribution of Open Solaris. The is the first main release of what was known in development as project Indiana. It includes a new package management system (IPS) similar to the Debian system with online package repositories. I have been using the developer previews of Indiana and have been extremely impressed and I can't wait to try the new Open Solaris release. Another new interesting feature for developers is D-Light using Sun Studio 12. Open Solaris is the first OS release to use ZFS as it's default filesystem. The demo of ZFS at the keynote makes watching the webcast worth while involving disk drives, an anvil, a sledgehammer and a power drill. The rest I leave to your imagination or watch the recording. Great for releasing aggression.

Another announcement was the new release of Virtual Box (version 1.6). This  brings support for MAC OS and Open Solaris out of beta and into the full product. Another cool feature that was demoed was the ability to have virtual applications on your native desktop. What does this mean? Well typically when using a type II V12N technology you have a Native window in which the VM is running and you see the complete virtual desktop with all the virtualised applications running as sub windows within the virtualised desktop. Now you can have individual virtualised applications running as separate windows on your native desktop without the need to have a separate virtual desktop window. Each virtualised application then appears much more like a native application. Another interesting feature is the ability to read and boot from VMDK files. At the moment it can't create VMDK files but it can run and edit them.

 Another interesting session that I attended was project Social Site. I need to look into this further.

A final note was it was interesting to note that at this developer event the large number of MAC users there were. A quick count at the sessions that I attended they made up 50% of the laptops visible.




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