Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

How To Install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris (it's easy!)

I just published a short how-to video showing how you can easily install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris.


Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working with Drupal for a couple of years now; I also use Acquia Drupal to develop and maintain this web site, which also hosts my personal blog.  The Drupal community is amazingly vibrant and growing by leaps and bounds, and Acquia has done a nice job of commercializing the Drupal open source content management software package.  Acquia Drupal is still free, but it has some nice additions that any Drupal user or developer would want.

Anyway, check out the video; it's about 8 minutes long and walks you through the steps to find the catalog of third party applications, then get Acquia Drupal and configure it on your OpenSolaris system.  It's easy, and it just works.

Oh and by the way: props to our Sun Learning Exchange web site and staff for making it so darned easy to publish content.  Nice job, folks!



Powered by ScribeFire.

Sunday Nov 08, 2009

Installing and running Movable Type on OpenSolaris

Movable Type is another open source blogging platform, written in Perl, and is one of several I've been playing with over the past few weeks.  Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working on getting several of the leading open source content management systems and blogging engines into OpenSolaris via the neato installation system, to make it as easy as possible for fans of these blog engines and CMS's to get working right away, with little hassle.

Eric Reid in ISV Engineering recently made Movable Type available in the OpenSolaris "pending" repository of software, the "pending" meaning "please somebody test this package so we can vote it into the "contrib" third-party software repository.  So, I spent some time checking out the installation and configuration process for Movable Type.  Here is what I did and what I observed.

First, I set up the OpenSolaris to find packages from the Source Juicer "pending" repository, with these two steps:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
Next, I launched the Package Manager application and chose the "jucr-pending" repository from the pop-up menu on the right side of that application's user interface.  After Package Manager thought about its new catalog of apps for a moment, I saw a list of hundreds of packages available to me.  I used the search field to type "type", and found the "movabletype" package.  Selected that, saw that it lists several other packages as dependencies (i.e., those other packages had better be installed for Movable Type to work correctly), then I installed it.  Nicely, the Package Manager installed MovableType and its dependent packages for me.

One more thing: we've configured MovableType to use the PostgreSQL database by default; before quitting Package Manager, I selected the main "opensolaris.org" repository, then selected PostgreSQL 8.3 packages (the server and client packages, plus one for docs and manual pages) and installed those.

Next step: get the database running.  I don't know much about PostgreSQL (shame on me), so I cheated by looking at this nice blog entry to show me what I needed to do to configure it as a nice Solaris service, so that it will launch for me automatically.

Got the database running, created a database called "mtype", granted all privileges to that database for a user I created, and was ready for the next step: web-based configuration of MovableType.

I launched my web browser and went here: http://localhost/movabletype to bring up the easy-to-use web-based installer.  It checked the system, told me everything was fine (except that I'm missing a few optional components that won't hurt me; I tested on a minimally-installed system), then asked me some questions about the name of the database to use, which user and password, then it took a minute to churn.  No problem, it was ready to go.

After install, MovableType brought up a web page asking me to login.  I did so, created my first blog entry (which was incredibly easy to do), then saw it published.

I made a minor mistake when I set up MovableType: it asked me where I wanted to publish my blog.  I mistakenly said "http://localhost/my_first_blog".  I should have said "http://localhost/movabletype/my_first_blog", because the web server has write access to that directory.  This messed up subsequent preview and blog navigation actions, but when I entered the correct URL, everything worked just fine.  Pilot error, not the package's problem.

Next, I created a new user, gave that user access to the original blog (so now I have a blog that can have two different authors), and tested it by posting a guest blog entry.  Yep, it worked.  Next, tried posting a comment to the blog.  That worked, too.

I futzed around a little bit with the Movable Type features.  Although I didn't spend a ton of time on it, everything seemed to work as expected.

So, check it out, Movable Type users.  Does Movable Type worke okay for you on OpenSolaris?  It was pain-free for me, but let us know what you think.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday Nov 06, 2009

Installing and running Ruby-rack on OpenSolaris

Rack is a webserver interface for the Ruby open source programming environment.  Amanda Waite took the trouble of making this package available via the OpenSolaris packaging mechanism; ultimately, ruby-rack will be in the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, but not until it gets a little testing and review, and some votes from the community, this functionality is now in the OpenSolaris "pending" repository.  I admit to great naivete about Ruby, so I'll refer you to this excellent explanation of what Rack does for Ruby developers.  (my summary of what I got from the explanation: Rack is a web framework for Ruby developers; in other words, if you like writing Ruby code and you want to write code to create a web-based application, Rack is a nice extension to Ruby to make doing this easy).

Anyway, been doing some testing of the package that Amanda submitted.  Here's what I did and what I observed:

First, I made sure I had access to the OpenSolaris Source Juicer "pending" repository.  As I've noted before, two steps:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  You will find the package "ruby-rack" there.  Note that case matters; the package name is all lowercase.

So I did this and downloaded the package.  The package notes that it depends on the Ruby package.  The Package Manager pulled it in just fine.  How do I know?  Before installation, I could not type "ruby" and get anything back.  Afterward, it worked.

Next step:

$ cd /usr/ruby/1.8/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/rack-1.0.1/example
$ rackup lobster.ru


This starts a web server on port 9292 with a little "lobster" program.  I launch the web browser and go to "http://localhost:9292" and I saw a simple web app that shows a crude "picture" of a lobster, and two things I can do: flip the lobster from right to left and back again, and show a crash dump of the Ruby Rack program.  I tried both of those things; they worked just fine.

After this, I killed the "rackup" program then tried it again with the other ".ru" file in that same directory, "protectedlobster.ru".  That gives an added feature of authenticating into the web app (password is "secret"; as far as I can tell, use any username you wish).  That worked, too: if I didn't provide the right password, nothing happened.  If I provided the right password, it worked fine.

So that all worked just fine.  The next set of tests was more in-depth, running a partial test suite.  For this set of steps, I had to install both the "SUNWgcc" and "SUNWgmake" packages, again with the Package Manager.  I did these steps:
  1. su - (i.e., pretend you're root; without doing this, step 3 below complained that it couldn't write to /var/ruby/1.8/gem_home/bin)
  2. Add /var/ruby/1.8/gem_home/bin to your $PATH
  3. type CXX=/usr/sfw/bin/g++ gem install memcache-client ruby-openid camping mongrel thin test-spec --no-ri --no-rdoc
  4. type "gem install rake"
  5. type "rake test".
The output showed it compiling some stuff, then it said "Started" followed by a bunch of periods showing status, then "Finish in 3.960495 seconds."  Finally, a results line said "267 tests, 928 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors".

That sounds like good news to me!

So folks: the Ruby Rack web framework is available via OpenSolaris.  Check it out and see if it works for you, Ruby developers.  Let us know how it goes, will ya?


Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday Nov 02, 2009

A really well-written blog entry about a new ZFS feature

I don't have anything unique of my own to offer today, but I wanted to pass on a really nice piece of writing that I read this morning.

Jeff Bonwick writes in his blog today about a new feature in ZFS, called deduplication.  There's no way I can explain it better than he, so I'll just leave you to it.  It really lays out the problem of deduplication and ZFS's solution to it nicely.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday Oct 27, 2009

Installing and running Silverstripe on OpenSolaris

SilverStripe is an open source content management system (CMS); we in Sun's ISV Engineering department have been working on getting this and other important open source applications into the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, a place meant for third party applications that anybody can contribute.  I've been testing the SilverStripe package that Jenny Chen contributed; here are my notes.

Mostly, SilverStripe installs just fine; however, it has the same little hiccup as Joomla! did when I tested its installer.  (I documented that problem and workaround here)  No big deal, though: it's easy to apply the same quick workaround for MySQL before you get on your way.

Once done, I launched my web browser on my OpenSolaris box and went here: "http://localhost/silverstripe".  That brings me to the web-based SilverStripe installer.  It all looks good, but one thing to note at the bottom of the page (in the "Webserver Configuration" section) is that SilverStripe can't tell what web server OpenSolaris is running.  With the Web Stack, we're running the Apache web server.

One other note from the SilverStripe installer: it advises me to set the "allow_call_time_pass_reference" parameter in /etc/php/5.2/php.ini to "On", which I did just to avoid getting warnings shown to me during the installation process.

Anyway, did that, then pressed the "Install SilverStripe" button to get the installation on its way.  The installation took two minutes fifteen seconds (really; I timed it) under a fairly heavily-loaded computer.

It worked fine; I was able to add a couple of pages to my site, add a user and give that user privileges, and see it in action.

So now, if you use SilverStripe you can get to it in OpenSolaris via the Package Manager.  If you don't know how to install packages from the OpenSolaris "pending" repository (a staging area we use to test packages before they're promoted to the "contrib" repo I mentioned above)., then the main thing you need to learn is how to add repositories to your Package Manager application.  Do these two steps from a shell on your OpenSolaris installation:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-publisher -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  You will find the package "silverstripe" there.  Note that case matters; the package name is all lowercase.

Check it out and let us know what you think.  Did SilverStripe install and work fine for you in OpenSolaris?  Give us some feedback.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday Oct 26, 2009

U.S. Government re-launches whitehouse.gov on Drupal

A big win for open source software happened this weekend, with the primary U.S. government web site being re-built using the Drupal open source content management system:

Also, Tim O'Reilly talked about it as well.

General Dynamics is the prime contractor for the project, with several Drupal shops being subs.

Nice job, Drupal people!


Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday Oct 19, 2009

Nagios is available for OpenSolaris; did we get it right?

Nagios is an open source system monitoring software package; we thought it important to get the Nagios community supported on OpenSolaris so Sun's ISV Engineering department spent some time on the task.  You can check out our results by going to the OpenSolaris "pending" repository and installing these packages:
  1. nagios
  2. nagios-plugins
  3. nrpe
If you want to see what I did to test these packages after installation, look at this review page and you'll see my comments from October 17.

If you don't know how to install packages from the OpenSolaris "pending" repository, then the main thing you need to learn is how to add repositories to your Package Manager application.  Do these two steps from a shell on your OpenSolaris installation:
  1. type "pfexec pkg set-authority -O http://jucr.opensolaris.org/pending jucr-pending"
  2. type "pfexec pkg refresh"
After that, the next time you launch the Package Manager application, look on the right side of the application and you can choose "jucr-pending" from the pop-up menu.  Do that, and after a moment you'll see a list of all the packages in the "pending" repository.  Nagios, nagios-plugins, and nrpe will be there.

Check 'em out, and leave comments to let us know what you think.  If they look fine, we'll promote them to the main third-party applications repository, the "contrib" repo.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2009

Update: Drupal now available in OpenSolaris

Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working hard all spring and summer to get fistfuls of popular and important open source applications into the OpenSolaris "contrib" repository, a repo for third-party applications that can be assumed to have some level of sanity checking done on them.

Eric Reid in ISV Engineering has submitted three different releases of Drupal; today, the final release (Acquia Drupal) was approved and placed into /contrib.  These three applications are
  1. Drupal 5 (release 5.20)
  2. Drupal 6 (release 6.14)
  3. Acquia Drupal, created by the commercial enterprise backing Drupal: Acquia.com
It's nice and easy to try out any of these Drupal packages in OpenSolaris.  Want help?  Read this entry on drupal.org for complete yet succinct instructions.

(update)
I should also point out that when you install Drupal in OpenSolaris, the package management system will pull in the Sun WebStack components automatically, which is all free as you would expect.  It's the AMP stack components you know and love, but optimized by Sun for out-of-the-box performance improvement, plus a management console that lets you see what's going on with the components while you're running your Drupal web site.

(Okay, that may have sounded a bit like an advertisement, but we really did put a lot of engineering effort into optimizing the AMP components on Sun's systems and the new analytics thingy is pretty cool looking.)
(/update)

Meanwhile, this adds one of the premier open source content management systems to the stable of apps freely and easily available to you when you install OpenSolaris on your computer.  You can even choose from amongst the leaders in blog engines / content management systems / web site building tools: Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress are all available now.  Here is a list of packages published to the contrib repository.

Check 'em out!




Powered by ScribeFire.



Observations from the Oracle Open World 2009 Applications Keynote

It's been a busy conference, that's for sure.  On Monday I spent a fair amount of time both in keynotes and in the exhibition halls.  By the way, there are two exhibition halls; if you're like me and think that JavaOne is a large conference with "only" one enormous exhibition hall being enough to satisfy the vendors and attendees, well you haven't been to Oracle Open World.  Two exhibition halls in two different Moscone Center buildings is almost overwhelming.

Anyway.

The morning keynote session with Safra Catz and Charles Phillips was pretty straightforward; I wouldn't say the keynotes were inspiring, but they did move along smoothly and delivered their business messages crisply.  The demos all went perfectly which is also something I can't say about JavaOne in the past couple of years (man, it hurts to write that).

I've never seen Andy Mendelsohn speak in person but I did on Monday, watching his keynote about new features in the Oracle database 11g.  He did fine, the features seem interesting if you're a DB guy (which I am not, but I got the point of the features being discussed), and Andy seems like an uber-nerd.  I mean that as a compliment; I think Sun people would have an easy time adjusting to him.

The last keynote of the day was Steve Miranda's keynote about applications; to be clear, the focus was on the Oracle E-Business Suite ("E-Biz"), PeopleSoft, and Siebel CRM.  Here are the two main things I observed about that keynote's content:

  1. Miranda had a slide that mentioned PeopleSoft's latest release, and he made it extremely clear that this is the third release since PeopleSoft was acquired, and that thousands of features had been added.  The message: we are not killing off PeopleSoft, customers.  You like it?  We have continued to invest heavily in it.  I find it interesting that almost five years after the acquisition, Oracle is still emphasizing that PeopleSoft is still a viable entity; I wonder if this is still a customer concern?  In any case, it is a positive message for customers, and Miranda made sure his customers got the point.
  2. There is a component that I should learn more about, called "AIA" (Oracle Application Integration Architecture).  There was a slide that showed how Oracle's Analytics product (the former Siebel Analytics product) can be used to run decision-making analysis on data from the following applications: Siebel, PeopleSoft, E-Biz, SAP (yes, that's right: SAP), JD Edwards.  There was a component in the middle that took the data from these apps and did something to it to make it all look the same to Analytics, essentially.  That component in the middle is AIA.

Here is why I think this AIA thing is important to learn about.  Several years ago when I managed Sun's engineering relationship with Siebel, I remember a series of conversations with the Siebel Analytics business unit where they told us that their focus on Siebel Analytics was to "democratize" analytics; up to that point with everybody's analytics products, anybody in an enterprise used the CRM tool (think customer service rep at an AT&T Wireless store), but only a minority used the decision-making analytics packages. Siebel wanted to push decision-making power down the chain.  You can also think of analytics software as higher in the stack than the standard CRM / ERP software: you're taking the CRM and ERP data, looking at it, and making decisions about your enterprise based on it.

If AIA really can ingest data from SAP, then this is a smart strategy by Oracle to gain control over SAP in SAP accounts.  Suddenly, to the customer it doesn't matter so much what application is running under your analytics: the high-value activity is your decision-making activity (i.e., analytics), so who cares about whether it's SAP or E-Biz or JD Edwards that is feeding the ERP data into the analytics package?  SAP just became a lot less important.

So, I think it's important to learn more about AIA.  If it really can talk to all of these applications, it's a key component to the future integration of Oracle's application properties, and it's also an SAP take-out tool.


Monday Oct 12, 2009

Opening Keynote, Oracle Open World 2009


I attended the Sun keynote at Oracle Open World 2009, which has pretty much overtaken the Yerba Buena center surrounding San Francisco's Moscone Center.  (the photo above shows massive placards covering the Metreon's wall; also, Oracle has put a tent over a full city block's worth of street, on Howard street.  I'd love to see the Google Maps satellite view of that!)

Sunday at Open World was "Sun Day"; the focus was on the combined technologies of Sun and Oracle, matching Sun's system software and hardware with Oracle's database, middleware, and applications.  One thing I really liked about the keynote was the more competitive, in-your-face tone we took to show our advantage over the competition.

Scott began the keynote with a top ten list (dumb ideas in technology); after that, he followed up with a more serious top ten list of his favorite Sun innovations over the last 25+ years.  The list was impressive.

Scott brought James Gosling on stage for a little chat; I actually thought that was pretty flat, and I didn't really learn anything during that section of the keynote, sorry to say.  It would have been great to let James loose and have him talk about technology; I'd love to hear what he has to say about what he think Java could do with all these "bags of Java code" in Oracle's porfolio, as James called it.

James slipped in a funny comment as he left the stage, and Scott riffed on it.  As James was leaving the stage, he was talking about how he was excited to work in this combined Sun / Oracle company, saying "I've never worked for a software company."  (it took a moment for the crowd, and Scott, to get the jab at Sun)  Scott smiled and told the crowd "They won't be a software company when we're done with them."  Lots of laughter.

Here is an image taken from my phone of Scott talking about Sun innovations over the last 25+ years:



Scott handed off to Larry, who spent his time telling a story about how Oracle has been preparing for the conference with some provocative advertisements that go head-to-head with IBM.  Larry seemed pretty amused with himself; I gotta admit that all of us i the crowd were amused, too.

He delivered the goods: a nice set of slides that visually showed Sun / Oracle's benchmark results with the TPC-C database benchmark is a good deal better than IBM's result.  We're not just faster; we also use much less space and power, and we're cheaper as well.  Cool slides; I can't wait to see the final ad, which Larry said would be this week in the Wall Street Journal.

Larry talked a lot about the huge difference in power consumption between the IBM and Sun / Oracle results; Sun / Oracle have a huge advantage in power per transaction.  I liked the joke he made; he said "Sun's processors are called SPARC for a reason; it's an acronym.  IBM's processors are called POWER...now we know why."  (laughter ensued)

At one point, Scott called John Fowler on stage to talk about our systems, and to hear John announce that we have 7 world record benchmarks to announce at the show for nearly every major enterprise benchmark that matters.  It was a little weird seeing Fowler be as serious as he is; actually, he tried joking some, but the venue is just too big for anybody to do comedy other than a professional.

The main thing I took away from the keynote?  Game on, people!  This is going to be a kick-the-competition-in-the-teeth kind of world.  We are going to go straight in the face of IBM; Larry clearly signaled that, if you didn't already know.  And I think the competition is going to be a lot of fun.  High pressure for sure, but a lot of fun.

Here's a photo of us cattle leaving the opening keynote.  The place was packed.





Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

The case for Oracle being the next big virtualization player

I found this piece an interesting take on Oracle's potential to be the next big player in the virtualization space.  The piece both points out Oracle's huge potential (after the Sun acquisition completes) and some current obstacles Oracle would have to overcome.

I agree with the article, that if Oracle wishes, it can become the dominant player in the space, even more so than VMware.  I suppose it depends on whether this is an important market for Oracle to win or not.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday Sep 11, 2009

Installing and running Joomla! in OpenSolaris

The OpenSolaris "/contrib" repository is a place where anybody can contribute open source software packages, which are then available for you to install on OpenSolaris.  Before a packages gets promoted to the contrib repo, you submit your package / application to a repository called "pending".  The idea is that people can test packages and get others to try them out before they get promoted so that the packages in "contrib" have been at least smoke-tested.

Recently I've noticed the number of packages and apps available growing pretty nicely, and I've been testing some of the apps that our own group (Sun's ISV Engineering organization) has been contributing.  Most of the packages I've tested have gone smoothly.  One gave me a little hiccup so I thought I'd describe what I did to get it working.

That package is the Joomla! content management system.

Installation was actually a snap; once you install the package with the OpenSolaris Package Manager, just fire up the web browser and go to http://localhost/joomla and you get the Joomla! installer.

Well, it's a little more complicated than that; you need to make sure you create a database for Joomla! to use, like this:

mysqladmin -u joomla -p create joomla

mysql -u joomla -p
mysql> grant all privileges on joomla.\* to 'joomla'@'localhost' identified by [password in single quotes here];

(assuming I created a MySQL database user called "joomla", I'm also creating a database called "joomla")

After a few web screens, I can login as the Joomla! admin just fine, but trying to go to the Joomla! front page as a regular non-admin person causes a long series of errors to spit out at me (and rather rudely, I might add); see the end of this post for the details.

Turns out it's a MySQL problem; you can see the discussion here.  The current workaround is to run MySQL in 64-bit mode, but in order to do that, you need to make sure you're running OpenSolaris in 64-bit mode.  If you type "isainfo -k" and it returns "x86", that's not good enough.

I am doing my testing in VirtualBox; to make sure I'm running OpenSolaris in 64-bit mode, I go to the VirtualBox main application panel where I can see the settings for my virtual machine.  Near the top, the section called "General", The "OS Type" field sais "OpenSolaris".  I change that to "OpenSolaris (64-bit)" and the next time I boot OpenSolaris, it's in 64-bit mode.

One more step; making sure to launch the 64-bit version of the MySQL service.  Do this:

svccfg -s mysql:version_51 setprop mysql/enable_64bit=true
svcadm refresh mysql:version_51
svcadm restart mysql:version_51

I did just this, and went back to http://localhost/joomla and everything worked perfectly well.  Joomla! works just fine in OpenSolaris, as you would expect.  Nice looking app, too.

P.S.:  (Joomla / MySQL error message below)



\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
\* Error loading Modules:MySQL server has gone away SQL=SELECT
id, title, module, position, content, showtitle, control, params FROM
jos_modules AS m LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm ON mm.moduleid =
m.id WHERE m.published = 1 AND m.access <= 0 AND m.client_id = 0 AND (
mm.menuid = 1 OR mm.menuid = 0 ) ORDER BY position, ordering
Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday Aug 14, 2009

Terracotta on Sun's CMT and x64 Solaris servers

In our ISV Engineering organization, we do some pretty cool work with a variety of software companies built around open source business models; here are just a few of our more strategic open source partners.  This week, we published some work we've been doing with Terracotta for the last few months to help them optimize their technology on Sun's products.  The 4-page document provides an overview of the business benefits of Terracotta for Java developers, plus some results of testing we did with Terracotta on both x64 and CMT servers.  We also ran their same tests on RedHat Enterprise Linux to see how we did.  We did great.

I really like what Terracotta's done; my overly-simplistic explanation of what they do is to hook into a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and link it with other JVMs working together, so that a cluster of JVMs look like a single, big JVM to the Java developer.  The significance is this: if you're a Java developer and you want to easily scale up your application so it can take on more load, Terracotta makes it really easy for you to do that.



In the document that we published, we showed the results of tests we did with sample workloads that Terracotta created to demonstrate what it can do for some common Java application scenarios.  (one scenario models an online test-taking application where many people login concurrently to take their tests, maybe leave the test midway through, come back where they left off, etc.)  If you look at the results table, you'll see a couple of results that I find interesting:
  1. Performance of Terracotta on Solaris vs. RedHat.  Everything else was the same: same JVM, same physical hardware.  But Terracotta on Solaris performed much better, making more efficient use of the compute resources.  You leave less of your computing budget on the table with Terracotta on Solaris, is what this says to me.
  2. Terracotta performance on CMT.  On the T5240 CoolThreads server, we didn't get the top result, but we had plenty of headroom to go (using 9% of the CPU resource available), which means we could launch more copies of Terracotta, or the Java application itself.  Our tests with Terracotta show us we can use CMT to get massive scaling; the results table clearly reflects that.
Once we started scaling up with Terracotta on CMT, we started to notice that their persistence mechanism was becoming a bottleneck (if you read more about Terracotta, you find that they make your cluster of JVMs reliable because Terracotta keeps track of Java objects that change, and persists those changes to its local disk).  So we introduced Terracotta to our solid state disk (SSD) products and configured the Terracotta server to persist its data to the SSDs instead of spinning disk.  That essentially gave us reliability at in-memory speeds which means that you don't have to make the tradeoff of performance vs. reliability.  It's very cool.

We've had a blast working with Terracotta; they're sharp people, and they create a product that I think is hugely valuable to Java developers, especially those trying to write apps that work at large scales on the web.  If you're such a developer, you should check them out.  Their software is available as open source and it works.





Powered by ScribeFire.



Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Some interesting reading about VMWare's acquisition of SpringSource

This week's announcement that VMWare is acquiring SpringSource sure caught me by surprise.  I'm not surprised that VMWare is making an acquisition; it clearly needs to get away from the "one trick pony" problem of being known only as a hypervisor vendor, because there are many entrants in that field now, and it will become commoditized soon.

What surprised me was that VMWare picked a company known for its support of software development frameworks, namely, the Spring framework.  Also what surprised me was that VMWare pretty much explicitly commits to Java as the programming language of choice for their cloud offering.

Don't get me wrong: I love Java as a choice of programming language.  But I have two basic questions about this choice:
  1. Really?  Java is the language you're choosing for rapid-beyond-belief development and deployment of applications on the web?
  2. Why is VMWare locking themselves into a single language?  That's essentially what I get out of the announcement and press.
Maybe there weren't any other credible candidate frameworks in PHP, for example.

Here is a nicely-written opinion piece by an IBM guy about what the deal means to VMWare and the industry.  I like his take that this purchase is less help to VMWare's cloud vision than what you might think, but it does help VMWare get into the addressable market for application servers

But what do you think is going on?  Why did VMWare choose to buy SpringSource?  Does this really make VMWare more credible as a cloud vendor, or do you think VMWare is off track with this decision?

Powered by ScribeFire.

Sunday Aug 09, 2009

Using ZFS Rollback and VirtualBox for Development

I came across this nice blog entry that shows how you can use ZFS's snapshot and rollback features along with VirtualBox to make it really easy (and safe) to try things out during development and not have to worry about losing track of exactly which changes you made when you want to go back to a clean state.

For me, this helps in creation of web sites.  I am using Drupal to create a web site, but there's a lot of exploratory development I'm doing and if I mess up something, I want to go back to a known-to-work state.  So, I create a VirtualBox image (OpenSolaris as my guest OS), then work with Drupal on that image.  The thing is, sometimes I make changes that affect the state of the operating system so I want to cleanly go back to a working state.  This blog entry shows me how to do exactly that.


Powered by ScribeFire.

About

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle. What more do you need to know, really?

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today