Monday Nov 30, 2009

Online gaming company gets a boost with Sun server solution


Outspark is an entertainment services company that publishes and operates online multi-player social games. These free games are used by millions of video gamers around the world every year so Outspark maintains game servers in San Jose, California, and Andover, Massachusetts in addition to Web servers in Oakland, California.
Sun Customer Outspark
(Image courtesy: Outspark)
In May 2008, Outspark began looking to address operational problems with its game servers, which needed better performance and uptime. Outspark was also experiencing problems with its Web servers which were having repetitive hardware issues. Additionally, with an upcoming launch of new games, Outspark was anticipating a traffic spike and needed new server technology that was more scalable and would help minimize operational costs.

In July 2008 Outspark decided on a complete solution from Sun under the Sun Startup Essentials program, which provides startups with a combination of hardware, software, and support at a discount. Through the Sun Startup Essentials program Outspark purchased Sun Fire X2250 servers to host its online games, as well as several Sun Fire X2200 M2 servers and Sun Fire X4150 servers while Sun provided ongoing technical support and hosted Web services through Sun partner NaviSite.

The Sun Fire X2250 server gave Outspark the power it needed to manage its game servers while using significantly less power than the previous Outspark hardware. Outspark has also successfully reduced its overall operational costs because it has a completely managed solution with infrastructure and technical support from Sun. Luc Suryo, Chief of Network and Systems Operations at Outspark, noted: “With this solution, we are able to reduce costs while also getting the capacity, speed, and availability we need to support our game and Web servers.”

Check out the complete details here.

Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, JavaFX, NetBeans, OpenOffice & OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox received exuberant praise in both trade publications and on top blogs this week. InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy said VirtualBox “delivers tremendous virtualization power” and also noted that it “installs quickly, requires very little study, and includes all the essentials.” Ken Hess from Linux Magazine stated: “Yes, VirtualBox is all that and a bag of computer chips,” while Larry Henry from Lehsys.com reported in a blog titled 'VirtualBox just keeps getting better,' that he has been using the program for eight months and that “it's been just awesome … there's no lag to it – it just works.” Finally, blogger Roger recommended VirtualBox because “the virtualization technology is top notch.”

JavaFX
JavaFX was discussed in a variety of forums this week, including in an analysis piece of the Java programming language by Peter Wayner at InfoWorld. Peter said that while JavaFX requires Java programmers to learn a new language, “the new animation classes may make it worthwhile for highly interactive desktop tools.” Meanwhile, a blogger new to JavaFX developed his first application with the programming language and said “indeed, it's a lot easier to prepare the GUI than plain old AWT,” and also pointed out that “JavaFX is a lot easier way to do the graphics.” Finally, a blogger from Soft-Tech Talks reported “I am amazed with its features,” after testing the GUI development capabilities of JavaFX.

NetBeans
An ever-increasing number of developers made the move to NetBeans this week starting with Glen Smith who reported NetBeans was his choice of IDE for Grails development because “the Mercurial support is just fantastic (and built into the basic install!).” A blogger from TechnologyTales.com made the switch to NetBeans after Eclipse stopped working with his Ubuntu 9.10 upgrade and said “things seemed to go smoothly and it looks to have replaced Eclipse for PHP development duties.” Finally, Quintin Beukes selected NetBeans for its Maven support and said while it doesn't have as large of a feature count as Eclipse, “the features it does have are far more complete and of much higher quality.”

OpenOffice
OpenOffice users had heaps of praise for the office productivity suite this week starting with Willow Sidhe who described OpenOffice as “the best free word processor out there.” She said: “I use it exclusively for word processing and I actually prefer the program to Microsoft Word.” Don Lindich said he has been using OpenOffice regularly and has “come to prefer it over the latest version of Microsoft Word,” and pointed out that the compatibility with Word is great. Finally, Kent Newsome reported that he was “pretty impressed” with OpenOffice, saying “I'm about ready to call OpenOffice a winner.”

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts continued to share tips and tricks with others this week, employing some inventive new methods in the process. Beryl Sims created a “visual installation tutorial” that walks step-by-step through the process of an OpenSolaris installation. A blogger at Linux Administration demonstrated how to setup an OpenSolaris client to work with a Linux OpenLDAP server while a blogger at Linux/UNIX succinctly described how to install a Flash player on OpenSolaris through Firefox. Finally, blogger Colin described how to overcome a bug that prevents the install of pkgs on OpenSolaris snv_127 through the Package Manager and command line.

Friday Nov 20, 2009

Japanese Online Map Provider Improves User Experience with Sun Technology


Mapion Co. Ltd. is Japan's leading provider of online map services with more than 700,000 page views every day. The company offers the free Mapion online map search service for driving and public transportation routes; the fee-based service Mapion Mobile, which delivers navigation tools and directions to mobile phones; and the Mapion BB service for broadband users, that smoothly and instantaneously refreshes as the user navigates around the map.
Sun Customer Mapion
(Image courtesy: Mapion)
To remain competitive, Mapion must constantly innovate and improve the details in its maps and the services it provides and needs a stable system with minimal downtime and scalability to handle a large increase in users, without a deterioration in response time. In 2008, Mapion had to relocate its data center because of increasing power consumption needs, and saw the relocation as an opportunity to start a full-scale upgrade of the hardware, software, and operating system supporting its map information services.

Mapion chose to deploy the Solaris 10 Operating System along with Solaris Containers to ensure effective use of available resources for map image generation. Mapion also adopted the Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server as its application server, and the MySQL Cluster database as a real-time database for mission-critical applications for Mapion Mobile. Mapion standardized its hardware environment in its new data center on a Sun platform, deploying 18 Sun Fire X4150 servers, 3 Sun Blade 6000 modular systems, 3 Sun Blade X6250 servers, 1 Sun Blade T6320 server, and the Sun Storage Tek 9985V system for storage consolidation and virtualization.

Mapion also decided to renew its customer management system for Mapion Mobile, a system that needed to be available 24/7. Mapion adopted the MySQL Cluster Database because it allows for the availability of existing applications through its 'shared-nothing' distributed architecture with no single point of failure, to meet Mapion's mission-critical application requirements of 99.999% availability, which, coupled with automatic data partitioning with load balancing, allows almost unlimited database scalability for the company. The new customer management system for Mapion Mobile went live in January 2009, “with downtime reduced to near zero,” according to Koji Kozono, who works in the Technology Development Department, Service Development Group at Mapion.

By standardizing its IT infrastructure on a Sun platform, Mapion enjoys unified support from Sun Spectrum Support that keeps the operation running smoothly while substantially reducing costs that would arise from resolving problems. The Sun GlassFish Enterprise server has provided Mapion with a cost-effective platform for developing and delivering applications. Yukio Hasehawa, Manager of the Operational Technology Group, Mapion Technology Development Department, stated that switching to GlassFish resulted in a substantial reduction in the operational management workload and said: “It offers easy-to-use functions which are indispensable in day-to-day operations, including batch deployment to multiple application servers.”

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Last Week's OpenOffice Reviews


1. Why I Dumped Microsoft Office – epmonthly.com, 11/11
The blogger has been using OpenOffice 3.2 beta for a week and said, “this program rocks...the developers of OpenOffice have really made a lot of great improvements.” He said the OpenOffice suite has “a good 90% of the functionality of Office 2003,” and pointed out that “there is a low learning curve for the transition between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.”
OpenOffice.org
2. 9 Best Free Alternatives to Paid Commercial Software – danzyworld.blogspot.com, 11/11
Blogger Dan said “OpenOffice replicates almost all of the same, functionality, menus, and even file formats,” of Microsoft Office, making it a viable alternative. He said “for most fans of the old office, or students who just need to jam out a paper now and then without paying Microsoft, it will do the trick.”

3. 10 Helpful & Useful Apps for Small Business – infusionblog.com, 11/9
Joe Manna, in discussing the top 10 apps for a small business, said OpenOffice has “a great core set of apps that allow you to author documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with ease.” He said the office suite is often “underrated,” but that it is “very suitable for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

4. 4 FREE Online Tools that you SHOULD be using in ANY business – blog.momekh.com, 11/7
The blogger, who has been using OpenOffice for the past 9 months said, “Not once have I 'missed' any of the features available in MS Office.” He continued to say, “all said and done, OpenOffice has served me just fine. I would go ahead and say that it is perfect because apart from being a direct replacement of the most popular office software, OpenOffice is free.”

5. OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 for Mac: first impression – aryadn.posterous.com, 11/7
The blogger was pleased to see the “command + shift + right arrow or left arrow” was again available in Calc of the 3.1.1 release of OpenOffice. He said of the entire suite “it's much more stable,” and said because of that “I'm putting the schedule to shift my staff from Microsoft Office users into OpenOffice users.”

6. Lesser Known, But Very Helpful Features in OpenOffice.org Writer – linux.com, 11/5
Jack Wallen highlighted several lesser-known features available in OpenOffice Writer to include notes, mail merge, and styles and formatting, all of which he said can be used “to make OpenOffice Writer work as a much more powerful tool in your office.”

Reviews and How-to Articles from NetBeans Developers


1. Using Graphs to Build Your Own Ruby Pattern Matcher – justinbozonier.posterous.com, 11/9
Justin Bozonier wrote about using dynamic programming to implement a string matching algorithm. He said for the IDE he tried using RadRails, RubyMine, and NetBeans, and said “ultimately I chose NetBeans...for some reason it turned out to be the easiest for me.”
NetBeans
2. NetBeans finally imports my Eclipse projects – joconner.com, 11/9
John O'Conner excitedly reported that NetBeans 6.7.1 was able to import Eclipse projects he does at his day job, and works with “no errors, no problems.” John was excited because this compatibility means “I'm going to use NetBeans again after 2 years away!” He pointed out the bonus is that “the Java support of the IDE is amazing,” stating “NetBeans does JavaScript FAR BETTER than Eclipse does.”

3. NetBeans Unit Test Creation better than Eclipse? And where should unit test live? – beilers.com, 11/9
The blogger, who said he is “kind of tied to Eclipse as my IDE,” also “plays” with NetBeans and said he would switch if the IDE had Emacs key bindings. Among the highlights the blogger said he “especially like the way it (NetBeans) manages plug-ins,” as well as the way it handles unit testing by automatically creating a secondary source tree, and the way libraries are separated.

4. Migrating to NetBeans Platform 6.8 – launchpad.net/gephi, 11/8
Mathieu Bastian reported on his trunk code update from NetBeans 6.5 to 6.8 and said “no bug has been found after migrating,” and also pointed out that “the retro-compatibility is really satisfying.”

5. Develop High Transaction Web Applications with Java MySQL & NetBeans – armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/12
Armel Nene published an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to develop a high transactional Web application, using NetBeans to generate the code.

6. Create a GWT Application from Scratch – blog.jdevelop.eu, 11/11
The blogger demonstrated how to create a GWT application for NetBeans in this in-depth tutorial, as well as how to do so with Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA, allowing people to choose which IDE to work in.

7. PHP Remote Debugging with NetBeans 6.8 – roysimkes.net, 11/10
The blogger said NetBeans 6.8 is “getting better and better,” pointing out that you can now debug php code with the it, which he demonstrated how to do in this tutorial.

8. Configuring JavaMail on GlassFish – energybuns.blogspot.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a tutorial that shows how to use the NetBeans platform (6.5.1) to configure JavaMail on GlassFish.

9. Changing default Look'n'Feel for NetBeans (and the GUI builder) – raftaman.net, 11/6
The blogger said “NetBeans' GUI builder is great,” pointing out that “it's one of the essential features that made me drop Eclipse.” However, he noted that designing certain GUIs are difficult because the preview look and feel on NetBeans may differ from the look and feel of the application platform. Therefore, he described how to change the NetBeans look and feel (as well as the GUI builder's look and feel) in this tutorial.

10. Simple example on NetBeans using Java with Swing – Sum – en.actualidadinformatica.com, 11/6
The blogger posted a simple tutorial that demonstrated how to use NetBeans to combine Java and Swing elements in an application that executes a simple sum of two numbers.

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

At a Glance: Recent VirtualBox, JavaFX and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
This week there was a prolific amount of VirtualBox buzz to be found on the Web. Blogger Hardik Shah said VirtualBox “reigns supreme” over all virtualization options on the market stating that “everything is just CLASS EXTRAORDINARY.” A blogger from Fun with IT reported on the migration of a Windows XP virtual machine from VMware to VirtualBox and said it “worked even better than I expected,” noting that in VirtualBox “the VM just booted and ran like a champ!” Finally, a blogger from Bill's Security Blog discussed why he used VirtualBox in the setup of a safe environment to perform penetration testing, and also described how to set up and configure VirtualBox for internal networking only.

JavaFX
JavaFX continued to gain momentum this week as developers published new applications and explored new tools. Sten Anderson released a new version of his JavaFX-based music discovery application, Music Explorer FX, updating it to take advantage of “performance and stability improvements” in JavaFX 1.2. Sten reported that the new release “boasts notable performance improvements and some crazy caching techniques.” Blogger Drew from the JavaFX Journey tested blend modes in JavaFX and concluded that “blending can be powerful.” He also published an application that displays the effects of the various modes. Finally, Max Katz posted two tutorials this week, one in which he demonstrated how Exadel Flamingo allows a user to utilize Hibernate Validator-based validation in the JavaFX UI, while in the other he showed how to connect a Seam component from JavaFX to an enterprise back-end using Exadel Flamingo.

OpenSolaris
It was another hefty week of OpenSolaris tutorials, as more and more users blogged about their experiences with the OS. A blogger from toic.org reported that he has been using OpenSolaris for a while and said “I'm quite pleased with it to say the least,” posting an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to set up an OpenSolaris server, using ZFS and COMSTAR to create “a scalable, high-performance, low-budget storage server.” Meanwhile, a blogger from dfusion.com.au posted a step-by-step guide to mounting Solaris NVSv4 using Kerberos onto a Mac, which he reported he has been wanting to do because of Solaris ZFS which “is way superior to any other current filing system. Period.” Finally, OpenSolaris enthusiast Ewald Ertl demonstrated how to copy files to a remote Solaris server using Nautilus in OpenSolaris, which he likes because it “supports the navigation on remote systems with a lot of protocols.”

Sunday Nov 15, 2009

Sun News -- The Week in Review


In the weekly Sun News podcast, Maijaliisa and I talk about the availability of Sun Ray Software 5 and the European Commission's Statement of Objections to Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

Enjoy!


Thursday Nov 12, 2009

Sun Solutions Help Support 25% Monthly Growth at SoundCloud


Web 2.0 startup SoundCloud provides a Web-based platform that is giving artists and other music-industry professionals an easy way to share music from a central location. More than 250,000 customers already rely on SoundCloud's service to send, receive, and distribute music. Initially, SoundCloud built its offering with a custom Web application that made use of hardware running Linux and a database built with MySQL Community Edition, storing all files remotely using S3 and EC2 services from Amazon.
Sun Customer SoundCloud
(Image courtesy: SoundCloud)
However, by the end of 2008, the hardware supporting the Web application and database neared capacity and could no longer meet performance requirements, making availability an issue. SoundCloud evaluated its options and found an ideal solution with Sun Startup Essentials, which allowed the company to take advantage of discounted Sun technologies as well as hosting services through EveryCity, a managed services provider in London.

EveryCity hosts customer environments on virtual servers built with Solaris Containers, housed on Sun Fire X4150 servers. To alleviate I/O bottlenecks, and to help meet cost constraints, each virtual server stores data in a ZFS hybrid storage pool located on a Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System with Solid State Disk technology, which is accessed via the iSCSI protocol. Additionally, built-in analytics leveraging Solaris DTrace and the Sun Fault Management Architecture quickly identify issues, help speed resolution, and provide specific information to fine tune architectures and applications.

The migration took place in January 2009, and was completed in only 10 hours. With the new solution, customer requests are now processed by multiple instances of the Web application running with a cluster of Solaris Containers. Customer information, images, and artwork is tracked in a database that runs on a Sun Fire X4150 server, and the database is stored on eight 15k RPM SAS disks, striped and mirrored using the ZFS file system.

With the new solution in place, the Web application driving SoundCloud maintains 99.99% availability and supports rapid growth, which is critical because the number of users has grown from 20,000 to 250,000, and the site now processes about three million dynamic page requests per day. Sean Treadway, Chief Architect at SoundCloud said: “With our Sun solution we have a good strategy for scaling different application bottlenecks and are no longer limited by a fixed storage-pool size. We can grow our storage pool as required without having to worry about where the space is or how it will work.”

Check out the complete details here.

Tips & Tricks from NetBeans Developers


1. My Development Environment -– whoneedsactions.com, 11/4
Blogger James Riley said since starting with NetBeans he has “never looked back.” He noted that what makes NetBeans his IDE of choice “is its Ruby on Rails support – being able to carry out all your command line activities from within the IDE saves me a lot of time.”
NetBeans
2. 15+ Creative Java applications based on NetBeans Platform -– veerasundar.com, 11/3
The blogger said NetBeans is more than “just an IDE that helps you to build Java/PHP/C++ applications,” and stated “there are numerous GUI applications built upon the NetBeans platform,” 15 of which he highlighted in this post.

3. Glassfish, NetBeans and JSF 2.0 Test Drive –- andygibson.net, 11/2
Andy Gibson has been testing the new NetBeans 6.8 beta release and said “feature-wise it is a great product with better tooling for JSF,” along with other programs but said “while the features are impressive, NetBeans still seems hindered by performance issues and some minor bugs,” but said compared with other IDEs, “NetBeans is a superior product in terms of features.”

4. ZK 3.6.3 with NetBeans 6.8 Beta on GlassFish V3 –- javadude.wordpress.com, 11/6
The blogger, who is using NetBeans 6.8 Beta, was curious to see whether he could get the latest ZK release to work with NetBeans 6.8 running on GlassFish, and demonstrated step-by-step just how to add ZK 3.6.3 to NetBeans to create a directory for GlassFish in this tutorial.

5. HSQLDB NetBeans –- anipossible3.blogspot.com, 11/5
The blogger gave a step-by-step instructions describing how to configure HSQLDB in NetBeans in this tutorial.

6. NetBeans Platform: Implement Perforce client – part IV –- javasign.blogspot.com, 11/2
The blogger finished up his series on the Perforce client with the NetBeans platform, to illustrate how it can be implemented as a versioning client in NetBeans. Specifically, in this tutorial he discussed how to integrate into Perforce the NetBeans IDE file manipulation operations to include add, delete, rename, move, or edit using the NetBeans VCSInterceptor class.

7. ReST Web Services on Google App Engine using NetBeans 6.7 –- armelnene.blogspot.com, 11/1
Armel Nene demonstrated how to develop a ReST based web service that works with the Google App Engine using NetBeans and Jersey API in this tutorial.

8. Install iReport Plugins in NetBeans –- ireport-tutorial.blogspot.com, 11/1
The blogger posted a screencast tutorial that demonstrates how to install the iReport plugin in NetBeans, which the blogger said “is the most popular and top-rated NetBeans plugin.” He said the plugin allows the user to easily design reports in NetBeans.

9. NetBeans Platform: JNLP & static codebase –- puces-blog.blogspot.com, 10/31
Blogger Florian Brunner discussed how to deploy a JNLP NetBeans Platform application to a web server that doesn't support WAR-files in this tutorial.

10. NetBeans IDE unboxing and review -– violarocks.wordpress.com, 10/31
The blogger posted a video tutorial that shows the unboxing and installation of NetBeans 6.7.1 along with the creation of a simple Java project application in NetBeans.

11. NetBeans Refactoring – Part 1 –- significantinsignificance.wordpress.com, 10/30
The blogger published a tutorial on on refactoring in NetBeans, which he said is “a very powerful and a personal favorite NetBeans feature.” He described how the refactoring capabilities available in NetBeans can allow the user to change source code easily, illustrating and explaining half of the options available in the refactor menu in this post.

12. Writing your First Boxee App -– greatboxee.com, 10/30
The blogger posted an in-depth step-by-step guide to writing a Boxee app using NetBeans as an IDE. At the end, he said his experience with NetBeans was “just OK” noting that “it had the bare minimum of refactorings, intellisense, and a test runner.”

Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews


1. Countdown to OpenOffice 3.2 – Writer -– togsolutions.com, 11/4
The blogger is writing a multi-part series looking at the new and upgraded features coming in the 3.2 release of OpenOffice. He focused on changes to Writer in this post, saying they “should prove to be very useful” highlighting upgrades to the word correct-auto complete, alternative text for writer objects, and apply style shortcut functions.
OpenOffice.org
2. A Guide to Locating Free Database Software –- articleszoom.org, 11/4
David Ryan described OpenOffice as “a professional level set of programs available free,” noting that as a group it is “well-matched with Microsoft Office.” He recommended the software suite for Base, noting that it is SQL compliant and runs on a variety of systems.

3. Freight Broker Training Resources –- atex.typepad.com, 11/3
Blogger John Thomas described OpenOffice as a “slick resource that will give you everything you need to view spreadsheets, documents, and PDF files.” He also pointed out that a word document can be easily converted into a PDF file with the click of a button in OpenOffice.

4. OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office –- inetengineers.com, 11/1
Jaimie Dobson tested OpenOffice this past week and said he would highly recommend the office productivity suite to a budget conscious business owner not only because it is free, but it has “loads of free add-ons and templates, looks and works like MS Office including the same keyboard shortcuts, [and] will open MS Office documents.”

5. Microsoft Office: Free Alternatives Are Available –- secalgarynews.com, 10/31
In discussing options to MS Office the blogger said “many people like the features and appearance of OpenOffice,” which closely resembles MS Office 2003, and may “actually seem an improvement in appearance and organization” versus Office 2007. However, he noted that OpenOffice cannot save in the new proprietary MS Office 2007 formats, which can lead to compatibility issues.

6. 6 must have add-ons to enhance your OpenOffice.org experience -– ghabuntu.com, 10/29
The blogger said one of the greatest aspects of OpenOffice “is the extent to which you can customize it with the thousands of freely available add-ons.” He then listed his six favorite add-ons that he said will “take your OpenOffice.org to the max.”

7. Install OpenOffice on Ubuntu 9.04 (command line method) -– iggyvibal.wordpress.com, 11/5
The blogger posted a tutorial that demonstrated how to install OpenOffice in Ubuntu 9.04 using the command line.

8. Base and Impress Tutorial Videos for ShowMeDo -– blog.procasts.co.uk, 11/3
Ian Ozsvald posted two free introductory tutorial videos for using OpenOffice Impress and OpenOffice Base. The remainder of the series, 8 total for Base, and 3 total for Impress, are available inside ShowMeDo for paying members or existing authors.

At a Glance: Last Week's VirtualBox, JavaFX and OpenSolaris Reviews


VirtualBox
VirtualBox users posted dozens of tutorials full of praise this week to encourage and help others to try the free program. The blogger from Gophn.com said VirtualBox is “definitely the epitome of the phrase 'bang for the buck' … especially since it is free,” while also stating: “There is no beating this software's features, performance, compatibility, and probably support.” He posted two in-depth video tutorials to walk a new user through the installation and setup of this “must have program.” Blogger Alex Amiryan reported on his new install of Fedora 11 on VirtualBox saying everything “works just perfectly,” and shared a system startup service he wrote to power on some of the virtual machines in the background at startup. Finally, Jonathan Moeller demonstrated how to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu 9.10 from a terminal window saying, “as ease of installation goes, you can't beat that.”

JavaFX
Several JavaFX developers discussed and demonstrated features of the program in their blogs this week. Blogger Murat Yener described JavaFX as being similar to Flash and Flex but noted that with JavaFX “you have the control of the Flash counterpart of Stage and Timeline directly in the code.” He then demonstrated the functionality of Stage and Timeline in the process of developing an application. Elsewhere, blogger Muhammad Hakim shared his entry in the October JFXStudio challenge, detailing how he wrote the JavaFX app that calculates prayer time for Muslims based on location, and sharing the source code with others to experiment with.

OpenSolaris
OpenSolaris enthusiasts shared their tips and tricks this week through a plethora of tutorials. Aaron Gilbert from devtrends.com published a tutorial that demonstrated the step-by-step process of installing and enabling virtualization of xVM on OpenSolaris, which Aaron described as “robust.” Blogger Hiroshi Chonan described how to create an OpenSolaris Live USB stick on Windows with 'dd' utility in his blog, while a blogger from Creation of the Andz posted an in-depth guide to installing the OpenSolaris 2009.06 operating system. Elsewhere, new OpenSolaris adopters expressed their pleasure with the operating system. A blogger from Aello Puppet reported “everything is running without any error,” while a student new to OpenSolaris said he is “having fun playing” with the OS.

Monday Nov 09, 2009

Canadian Province Speeds Up Application Deployment and Cuts IT Costs with Sun Server and Storage Solution


The Government of Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada offers services ranging from education and environmental protection, to public health, social services, and transportation to the province's 140,000 residents. In a move to improve these services while reducing IT costs, PEI consolidated all 12 individual department IT divisions into a single Information Technology Shared Services group in 2007. PEI then looked to simplify and standardize the heterogeneous IT department after finding there were 300 separate systems and more than 500 servers in 38 locations running on a variety of applications with no central or unified architecture.

Sun Customer Prince Edward Island Government
(Image courtesy: Govt. of PEI)
PEI, working with IT partners VisionQuest and Bulletproof Solutions, ultimately chose Sun hardware as the foundation of a new virtualized environment solution. The new solution includes a Sun Blade 6000 chassis with five Sun Blade X6250 Server Modules, each with two quad-core Intel Xeon Processors, running VMware Infrastructure 3 virtualization storage. The two-tier storage is based on the Sun StorageTek 6140 array, with Fibre Channel drives for high-performance storage and SATA-II drives for high capacity, and a Sun StorageTek SL48 Tape Library with two LTO 3 tape drives. The Sun servers and storage array are connected by Brocade Silkworm 200E SAN switches.

Sun Enterprise Installation and Implementation assisted with the deployment in July 2008, with VisionQuest hosting the virtual environment in a leased data center, and Bulletproof Solutions providing continuous technical support. The entire solution is backed by a SunSpectrum Support plan. The five Sun blades replaced 40 of PEI's existing physical servers, which is saving PEI approximately 58% a year on labor, support, power, cooling, and data center costs. Additionally, with a virtualized solution PEI will not have to purchase new physical servers, saving an additional $224,000 per year on acquisition costs, setup, and ongoing maintenance and support. PEI plans to increase the savings by adding more blades and eventually replacing as many physical servers as possible with virtual ones.

In addition to the cost savings, PEI has found that many IT tasks require less time and effort to include data backup and disaster recovery. PEI can also deploy new applications on its virtual servers in five to seven days, versus several weeks for physical servers – or even in minutes if the applications use a predefined server configuration. PEI has also achieved high system reliability with a 99.999% uptime. Chris Payne, director of infrastructure and IT Shared Services for PEI said: “With Sun's expertise and high-quality hardware, we reached our goal of building a platform that would run whatever applications we put on it and would be available for our clients 24/7.”

Check out the complete details here.
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