Tuesday Mar 30, 2010

How to Optimize Oracle Solaris Applications for Intel Platforms

Back in the day Sun was all about SunOS on SPARC.


The OS was optimized for the hardware and the hardware was designed to take advantage of the OS. If you wanted something else, you went somewhere else.

After a stuttering start, things changed, and the partnership between Intel and Solaris has been riding the updrafts for several years, now.

Here's the latest...

How to Optimize Oracle Solaris Applications for Intel Platforms

by Mike Mulkey

A technical guide for developers and sysadmins that explains how to use the capabilities of Solaris to optimize the scalability, performance, reliability, security, power efficiency, and virtualization of applications running on Intel's Xeon processor family (5600 and 7500 series).

A lot of work went into this paper, and it shows. It takes each major Solaris capability and describes how it has been optimized. For example ...

  • How Solaris enhances Intel multicore processor capabilities—up to 8 processor sockets, each with up to 8 cores and 2 threads per core—as well as Intel Hyper-Threading, QuickPath, and Turbo Boost technologies.
  • How Solaris Fault Management Architecture (FMA) integrates with the Intel Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery features, enabling systems to automatically monitor, report, and recover from hardware errors to maintain data integrity and keep missioncritical applications and services online.
  • How Solaris takes advantage of the dynamic power management capabilities of the Intel processors.
  • How Solaris takes advantage of the latest Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) features and enables the highest consolidation ratios.


  1. Introduction
    • The Oracle Solaris Ecosystem
    • Intel Xeon Processor 5600 and 7500 series
    • Oracle Integration
  2. Intelligent Performance
    • Memory Placement Optimization (MPO)
    • Intel Turbo Boost
  3. Automated Energy Efficiency
    • Power Aware Dispatcher
    • PowerTOP
    • Power Budgets and Power Capping
    • Always Running APIC Timer
  4. Reliability
    • Oracle Solaris FMA for Intel Xeon Processors
  5. Security
  6. Oracle Virtualization
    • Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT)
    • Oracle Solaris Virtualization Capabilities
    • Oracle VM VirtualBox
  7. Developer Tools Optimizations
  8. Oracle Solaris Studio
  9. Conclusion
  10. Resources
  11. Appendices

It's a great read.

- Rick

Monday Jun 15, 2009

The Lamborghini Murcielago vs The BigAdmin Newsletter

I've had a platonic love affair with the Bugatti Veyron since my younger daughter first showed it to me on the cover of Automobile Magazine a few years ago. But I mentioned it in a recent BigAdmin blog, so I had to use a different car this time. Don't want to bore you by talking about the same old $1.6 million dollar super car over and over.

Photo courtesy of http://americacars.blogspot.com/2008/09/lamborghini-murcielago-lp640-stock.html

The Lamborghini Murcielago is a great antidote for an overload of drag and drop graphical sysadmin tools. Particularly the Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce or, "SV" for the sysadmin cognocenti. According to the recent review by Automobile Magazine...

"Despite its space-age looks, this is actually an old-fashioned car with an old-fashioned engine."

And at only $450,000.00 US, it is well within reach of a well-staffed IT department willing to pool its resources for 1/40th share of this magnificent machine.

At the top-secret BigAdmin track facility we recently had the opportunity to pit the SV against the BigAdmin Newsletter. In spite of our appreciation of the Lambo's mostly manual interface, we are long-time hard-core fans of the BigAdmin Newsletter. So we donned our BigAdmin caps, painted ourselves in Blue and Black (with White shadows), tatooed awk scripts up and down our arms, korn-shell around or necks, and carried these placards in hex:


It was no contest. The Lambo blew the doors off the BigAdmin Newsletter by going from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, and to 200 mph shortly thereafter, while the BigAdmin newsletter won't even get off the line until later this month.

But when it does, it'll accelerate from zero to something shy of 186,000 miles per second with a few nano-pauses at switches and servers along the way. And it accomplishes this incredible feat with zero fluff. That's right. Our newsletter simply gives you a quick summary (with links) of all the new resources we published over the last 30 days, plus some events and outside resources we think you'd find useful.

And it arrives in ASCII text! Here's an example:

Three New Articles on Patching:
o Analyzing a patchadd or patchrm Failure in the Solaris OS
o How to Split a Root Mirrored With Solaris Volume Manager
o How to Remove a Solaris Patch While Booted From a Network
We only publish it about once a month, and as much as we'd like to deliver it by hand in the Lambo, we can't afford the gas. But you can subscribe for free:

It's Free. Subscribe Here!

Clearly the face-off was was just bad timing for the BigAdmin Newsletter. Unfortunately, we were unable to schedule the Lambo again due to the inability of our newsletter editor, Constance, to curb her enthusiasm for Lambo-donuts in parking lot. We are doing our best to convince Lamborghini to let us keep the SV, shredded tires and all, so we can use it as part of our BigAdmin Bucks program. We even offered to change the name to the BigAdmin Lambo Program, but we haven't received a definitive answer yet.

We'll keep you posted. Or you can ...

Subscribe to the BigAdmin Newsletter!

... and find out for yourself.



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