Wednesday May 21, 2008

xVM Secrets Exposed

Just published: the definitive overview of the Sun xVM hypervisor, with detailed discussions on installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.

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Thursday May 08, 2008

Hot off the Press

 I am behind on this blog, just catching up. Although it is not the announcement vehicle for new content—I hope you are visiting the web page to see what is new—I do want to provide a little perspective. After a dry spell, we suddenly have a whole slew of new and interesting documents. In fact, in the last week we have posted 142 pages of very diverse content:

Using Logical Domains and CoolThreads Technology: Improving Scalability and System Utilization, by Ning Sun and Lee Anne Simmons documents a fascinating internal project that examined the application of LDoms to our CMT products to improve scalability and system utilization. It was found that configurations with 6 logical domains exhibited scalable performance improvements, yet still did not fully utilize system resources of the SPARC Enterprise T5220 server. A configuration with 12 logical domains increased the overall throughput by over 50 percent compared to the  6-domain configuration, while almost fully utilizing the available CPU resources assigned to the logical domains.
Using Solaris Cluster and Sun Cluster Geographic Edition is another contribution by longtime Sun BluePrints author Tim Read. There has been lots written about Sun's many virtualization technologies. Tim provides a comprehensive survey of the application of these to the Solaris Cluster software (and its Open High Availability Cluster open source equivalent) with an eye on best practices.
Sun's Reference Architecture for Video Surveillance with ipConfigure ESM provides a brief overview of the opportunity to address the Video Surveillance market. The document presents an architecture built on the foundation of our Sun Fire X4500 Server as the archive server, used in conjunction with ipConfigure's ESM software and a pair of Sun Fire X4100 M2 servers to provide both management and drive a simulation. The system was tested under both server-based and camera-based motion-detection scenarios and demonstrated considerable scalability. This document provides both background and hard data, representing a important integration of our server and storage products.
The Managed Desktop Factory: Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software as a Service focuses on the application of ITIL methodologies to optimally deploy desktop environments throughout the enterprise via "Managed Desktop Factories" using thin clients, PCs, and even mobile devices.

We have more exciting and interesting content on the way, including a "definitive" blueprint on our Solaris  xVM Hyperisor and a detailed view on Sun's own energy efficient datacenters.

Taking the Plunge

Yesterday a momentous switchover took place: the page was redirected to the new Wiki. That may seem like a minor event, but it eliminates a redundant feed and gets everyone reading out of the same book. And, the new book is well worth reading. Although still a work in progress, it now gives us the ability to get content up almost instantly. We have dropped the monthly edition designation and are publishing as quickly as possible.


Another enhancement, which I hope is appreciated, is that the summary page for each article has a more complete description of the contents, including the table of contents for longer articles. It is our hope that this will help the busy reader better assess the potential value of the blueprint. Also included on the summary page are two important additional pieces of information: the author biographies and the acknowledgments. Anyone who has tried to write (or practices it regularly) knows that it is a time-consuming avocation. Busy engineers who take time (often personal) to inscribe their best practices so formally demonstrate a special level of commitment: we should honor them. Likewise, those who assist with advice, review and corrections deserve everyone's thanks.


What about the future? More content, of course. We have a summer intern starting the end of the month and have great plans for her time:


  • We will get the rest of the books posted.
  • In response to a reasonable request, we will make sure articles are clearly designated with their publication date. This is always a potentially important gauge of relevance; the older a publication, the more likely it is dated.
  • We are thinking of adding summary pages for older articles. Right now, we go back through 2004. It is my belief that earlier content is suspect, but it is always difficult to "throw away" technical content that might be of value.

We are also considering new media, such as podcast interviews, to enhance at least some of the blueprints. We are very much interested in your ideas.


Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

Pretty Good Practices

Just what is "best"? Should we use the term "best practices?"
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