Wednesday Apr 09, 2014

Join us for the Oracle Solaris 11.2 Launch Event

Over the last year, the Oracle Solaris engineering organization has been tirelessly slaving away getting Oracle Solaris 11.2 ready for release, packed with a huge number of new features and capabilities. We've done a huge amount of work across all facets of the operating system to make it the best possible platform for cloud deployments - Oracle Solaris 11.2 is indeed, engineered for cloud.

On April 29th 11:30am-4:30pm ET, we're hosting a launch event in New York City, a live event to kick off the global launch of Oracle Solaris 11.2. For those that can be there in person, register here. John Fowler, Mark Hurd, and Markus Flierl, VP of Oracle Solaris Engineering will be our hosts. We'll also have registration for live streaming available soon.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

Oracle Solaris 12 and IBM/AIX Migrations

We've pushed out a new version of the Oracle SPARC processor roadmap lately. In case you've missed it, we've also indicated that Oracle Solaris 12 will be released in 2016 - continued investment in the #1 enterprise UNIX operating system.

While you're waiting, you should consider attending the Modernizing IBM AIX/Power to Oracle Solaris/SPARC webcast this Wednesday 2nd April at 10am PT. This will be a great opportunity to learn why you should move away from IBM to a line of enterprise products with a concrete roadmap that is delivering on its promises.

Thursday Jan 09, 2014

Next OTN Virtual Sys Admin Day

On Tuesday Jan 28th at 9am PT we'll be hosting another OTN Virtual Sys Admin Day event. We've run a few of these in the past. Once again, we'll have new content in the Oracle Solaris 11 track where we'll be focusing on some tips and tricks, and best practices for packaging, virtualization and data management.

Just before Christmas (Happy New Year btw), I worked on some content related to packaging. I'll show some tips and tricks for how to manage software and software updates on your Oracle Solaris 11 systems, including best practices around repository management and how to constrain your systems using incorporation packages. So come join us on what will be 4 hours of great content, and get your questions answered in a live Q&A forum.

Wednesday Dec 11, 2013

Oracle joins OpenStack Foundation

Oracle is now joining the OpenStack Foundation and planning on using the OpenStack technology in a wide variety of its products, including Oracle Solaris. This is pretty exciting generally and I think that OpenStack shows a huge amount of promise and ties together functionality that customers have been looking to have for quite some time. While we've had the concept of a unified compute, storage and networking layer for a while now when you provision Oracle Solaris Zones, being able to do this at scale across multiple nodes with both a management interface, and set of CLI and RESTful APIs is very appealing - and having Oracle Solaris as a rock solid OS foundation we're looking forward to adding a lot of value there. We're looking forward to contributing upstream (on Nova, Cinder and Neutron drivers initially, and then in other areas where we can help out).

I was fortunate enough to attend the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong. It was an eye opening summit in many ways, mostly from the sheer volume of different technical projects and approach to solving problems in the data center. Not only that, it was also great to be able to catch up with friends of communities past.

Update: Already some folks are asking 'where's the code?' Oracle, as many can imagine, has policies and procedures around open source community contribution - especially when they involve contributor agreements. Needless to say, it's taken a bit of time to get this approved internally. Hopefully we'll see some Oracle folks more involved in the community at some stage in the short term.


Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

Session content from Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 has wrapped up for another year. This year was very successful for Oracle Solaris, with a number of really important announcements. In case you haven't already, take a look at Markus Flierl's blog, VP of Oracle Solaris engineering, who nicely summarizes the conference. We also have a great set of videos to have a watch of that summarize some of the key announcements and a few interviews with the team.

From a personal perspective, I was pretty happy with the session I did with Bart, and you can download the slides from the content catalog (along with the other sessions up until March 2014) or below.

I also ran a couple of successful Hands on Labs - "Oracle Solaris 11 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Users" and "Oracle Solaris 11 Packaging for Administrators". We'll be making those labs available on our Oracle Solaris 11 OTN page in the next couple of weeks - stayed tuned!

Friday Aug 23, 2013

Top Oracle Solaris Picks at Oracle Open World 2013

With a few weeks to go until Oracle Open World, I thought it would be good to provide my top Oracle Solaris picks at the event once again. These are the sessions that you wouldn't want to miss! This year all the Oracle Solaris sessions are over in the Westin hotel, a few blocks away from Moscone (it's our turn!).

General Session: Oracle Solaris Strategy, Engineering Insights, and Roadmap - Markus Flierl, Michael Montemorano (Verizon)This general session, hosted by Markus Flierl, head of Oracle Solaris Core Engineering, goes through the strategy and roadmap for Oracle Solaris. It covers how Oracle Solaris 11 is being deployed in cloud computing and the unique optimizations in Oracle Solaris 11 for the Oracle stack. The session also offers a sneak peak at the latest technology under development in Oracle Solaris and what customers can expect to see in the coming updates. Flierl is joined by a key customer executive who shares the benefits and value experienced with Oracle Solaris and the business challenges solved.
Oracle Solaris Panel: Insights and Directions from Oracle Solaris Engineering - Darren Moffat, Liane Praza, Nicolas Droux, Bart SmaaldersThis session, featuring a panel of core engineers responsible for a wide range of key Oracle Solaris technologies, covers the current state of Oracle Solaris 11 and gives insights into the future direction of Oracle Solaris technologies and products. Come learn how Oracle Solaris can benefit your environment today and what will continue to make Oracle Solaris the best platform for deploying enterprise applications going forward, with even more features for performance, serviceability, cloud computing, deep Oracle stack optimizations, and ease of administration. The session also provides insights from customers deploying Oracle Solaris 11 in a range of data center environments.
Why Oracle Software Runs Best on Oracle’s SPARC Hardware - Brad CarlileLearn proven best practices for running high-performance, secure, mission-critical databases and applications on Oracle’s new SPARC T5 and SPARC M5 servers running Oracle Solaris. This session displays techniques for increasing system availability, server utilization, virtualization efficiency, and security for both online and batch processing for a wide variety of applications.
Ten Key Solaris Zones Differentiators Enhancing Cloud Platforms - Duncan Hardie, Karoly Vegh, Adrian Saul (AAPT)Oracle Solaris 11 is the first cloud OS. Its Oracle Solaris Zones feature—no-cost, zero-overhead virtualization technology built in to Oracle Solaris 11—has been serving customers for nearly a decade now. Customers value its manageability, lack of performance overhead, and network separation. Oracle Solaris Zones comes with a rich set of additional features that are key differentiators for cloud platforms too. In this session, you’ll learn about availability options, advanced manageability features, performance-guaranteeing possibilities, and delegated configurations of Oracle Solaris Zones.
Why Oracle Solaris Is the Best UNIX for Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic - Isaac RozenfeldCome learn why IBM and HP customers are moving to Oracle Solaris on SPARC for running Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic. This session discusses the unique optimizations in Oracle Solaris 11 for the Oracle stack that have led to 18 world records on real-world benchmarks for Oracle’s SPARC T5 processor and Oracle Solaris. Learn about the most-efficient and most cost-effective way to virtualize Oracle Database or Oracle WebLogic. See how easy it is to update and manage multitenant environments. The session also discusses how Oracle Solaris simplifies private cloud deployments of your software.
Oracle Solaris 11 Best Practices for Software Lifecycle Management - Bart Smaalders, Glynn FosterLearn how improvements to software lifecycle management in Oracle Solaris 11 provide administrators with a significant reduction in complexity and system downtime while they are patching systems. This session provides an overview of the new packaging technology and covers best practices for updating systems by using Oracle Solaris’ new network-based package management system, Image Packaging System. It discusses how to create and manage local software repository mirrors, deploy custom applications through the packaging system, and troubleshoot system updates.
Compliance and Security: Least Complexity, Lowest Risk with Oracle Solaris - Alex Barclay, Kavitha MariappanLearn how Oracle Solaris 11 security and compliance features work together to protect data, centrally manage and restrict users, and apply fine-grained security policies to applications, users, and virtual machines. This session provides an overview of key Oracle Solaris security technologies, with a focus on how to combine them to reduce and report on risks.

We also have a great line up of Hands on Lab sessions over at the Mariott hotel, another short walk from the Moscone. This year we've opted for slightly longer 2 hour sessions to give participants a better chance at completing the labs - check them out:

Oracle Solaris for RedHat Linux usersIn this Hands-on-Lab we will introduce the basics of administration of Oracle Solaris for administrators experienced with RedHat Linux. We will walk through system configuration including users and roles, automatic and manual networking, managing storage with the ZFS file system, creating virtualized application isolation with Oracle Solaris Zones and management of services with the Service Management Framework (SMF). We will also cover the software lifecycle and how administrators can install and update software using the Image Packaging System (IPS) with failsafe update using ZFS boot environments. We will draw comparisons to how things are done in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and identify the unique differentiators of Oracle Solaris 11.
Oracle Solaris in the cloudIn this Hands-on-Lab we'll deploy a cloud infrastructure, leveraging the intrinsic features of Oracle Solaris. We'll use the Oracle Solaris ZFS file system to set up storage for our application and introduce participants to Oracle Solaris Zones as our primary virtualization environment for our cloud layers. We will also use network virtualization to create virtualized network interfaces and switches to communicate between our virtualized environments. We will show how to rapidly deploy the environment and how our application can easily be secured and protected using the built-in features of Oracle Solaris Zones.
Oracle Solaris Packaging for AdministratorsIn this Hands-on-Lab we'll learn to take advantage of the new network based package management to integrate your application and show the unique benefits to the application lifecycle management. We'll first learn how to use the Image Packaging System (IPS) to search, install and update packages and create your own local package repository. Next we'll create a package for your application and publish it to your repository. We will also show how to better integrate your application into the Oracle Solaris operating system, helping to improve application resiliency with service management and use access control technologies to restrict administrative user behavior.

Of course there are a lot of other Oracle Solaris related sessions. Check them out on the content builder and start planning your trip to Oracle Open World today!

Wednesday Jun 12, 2013

OTN Virtual Sys Admin Day Respin

Over the last couple of weeks, a few of us have been working on some new hands on lab content for Oracle Solaris 11, and we've delighted to announce the return of the OTN Virtual Sys Admin day, on July 15th at 9am PT.

This time we're taking the approach of a 3 part lab in which we build up a nice example of a typical deployment using Wordpress, MySQL, Oracle Solaris Zones and ZFS for a multi-tiered application. We'll also look at how we can monitor this application at a very basic level. We will also look briefly at packaging for Oracle Solaris 11 using IPS. Links to the recorded content are below.

Oracle Solaris 11 Feature Map and Lab AgendaIn the opening Oracle Solaris hands-on-lab session we will discuss the most important Oracle Solaris 11 features and how they work together to enable modern virtualization and cloud computing capabilities. This lab will be divided into 3 parts where we will build a secure, multi-level application deployed using virtualization capabilities included in the operating system. We will also demonstrate how to monitor this application and manage system resources appropriately. This lab will look at deploying Wordpress using Apache as the web server and MySQL as the database, and the Oracle Solaris ZFS file system as the underlying storage layer. We recommend that participants attend all parts to this lab in order.
Part I: Storage and Web LayersIn the first Oracle Solaris hands-on-lab-session, we will use the ZFS file system to set up storage for our application and introduce participants to Oracle Solaris Zones as our primary virtualization environment for our web, database and application layers. We will also cover network virtualization to create virtualized network interfaces and switches to communicate between our virtualized environments.
Part II: Database and Application LayersIn the second Oracle Solaris hands-on-lab session, we will take advantage of Oracle Solaris Zone cloning to rapidly provision new virtualized environments for our database and application layers, and demonstrate how our application can easily be secured and protected using the Immutable Zones feature of Oracle Solaris Zones providing a read-only environment.
Part III: Resource Monitoring and PackagingIn the final Oracle Solaris hands-on-lab session, we will demonstrate how to monitor and manage virtualized resources using various integrated system commands available on the system. We will also create and publish a new software package for a simple monitoring script using the Image Packaging System (IPS).

If you've attended any of the previous virtual hands on lab events and been bored by the same content, there's a simple bit of pre-work involved (but that's really just about installing Oracle Solaris 11 on your system using Oracle VM VirtualBox, or any other means). So go register now!

Thursday Apr 11, 2013

3 New Oracle Solaris 11 Technology Spotlights

We've been trying to flesh out our technology pages for Oracle Solaris 11 over on the Oracle Technology Network. Recently we've added 3 new technology spotlights:

Best Platform for Database
Oracle Database on Oracle Solaris helps customers lower IT costs and delivers a high quality of service by enabling consolidation onto database clouds and engineered systems.
Optimized for SPARC
Oracle Solaris 11 and the new T5 and M5 SPARC family combine to deliver the world's fastest servers. Use these SPARC Solaris systems to get the best performance and scalability for your most demanding enterprise environments including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware and business applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, along with hundreds of business applications from partners such as SAP, SAS and Temenos.
DTrace Dynamic Tracing
Oracle Solaris DTrace is a comprehensive, advanced tracing tool for troubleshooting systematic problems in real time. Administrators, integrators and developers can use DTrace to dynamically and safely observe live production systems for performance issues, including both applications and the operating system itself.

I've personally worked on the DTrace spotlight, as a place to aggregate some great content that's already out there, including a new simple DTrace Cheatsheet. We'll be adding more to the page over time - enjoy!

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Chatting with Oracle

Over the past year, one of my many hats has been to manage some of the content over on our Oracle Solaris YouTube Channel. We're starting to build up a nice library of videos - everything from presentations, interviews and technical how tos.

A couple of weeks ago all the Oracle Solaris engineering talent got together for a workshop in Santa Clara to discuss some of the exciting developments that we're working on. Rick Ramsey took that opportunity to start chatting to some of the many folks involved and you can see the direct result on our Chatting with Oracle playlist. As a sneak preview, take a look at a quick chat with my new boss, Michael Palmeter, senior director of Oracle Solaris product management who talks about why the operating system is still relevant.

In case you missed it - our new SPARC servers

In case you missed last week's announcement, Larry Ellison and John Fowler got up on stage to announce the new range of SPARC T5 based mid-range servers and the new SPARC M5 based high-range servers, with an impressive 17 world record enterprise benchmarks. You can see the full replay of the live event below.

The new SPARC servers represent a huge amount of research and development on Oracle's behalf, essentially the first set of SPARC based products that can truly be considered 'Oracle'. With 100% performance increase in each generation of the chip (compared to 30-50% for IBM Power or Intel x86), we're no longer playing catch up. What's more exciting is that this is just a start of things to come as we start to move application features directly into silicon which should result in many future performance optimizations - Oracle runs best on SPARC Solaris. For more details of what was announced, see here: Announcing new SPARC servers with the world's fastest microprocessor.

Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

The Building Blocks of an Oracle Solaris 11 Application Deployment

A while back I blogged about a simple deployment example using some of the new and old technologies included in Oracle Solaris 11. Together they provide some of the basic building blocks that you can use for a more complex deployment in your data center. I've been meaning to put some audio to the presentation and got some time today to do just that. So if you haven't seen the original set of slides, watch the 30 min presentation below with voice over from yours truly. Enjoy!

Friday Mar 22, 2013

Oracle Live Webcast - SPARC, March 26th

If you've ever wondered where Oracle has been putting its R&D lately, here's an event that you'll not want to miss. On Tuesday 26th March at 1pm PT, we'll be announcing a set of new Oracle SPARC based servers with the world's fastest microprocessor. Both Larry Ellison and John Fowler will be on stage with this live webcast.

While I can't obviously divulge what we'll be talking about in any detail, I've been very fortunate enough to see the engineering going into SPARC and Oracle Solaris day by day, month by month as we optimize right across the Oracle stack, from applications through to disk. Few other IT vendors have the opportunity to do anything close to this level of integration, and the results are going to be a game changer. I'll be live tweeting the event over on our ORCL_Solaris account, and Larry will be doing the same over on Facebook. If you've ever been in doubt with Oracle's intent around SPARC and Oracle Solaris, I think this will change your mind.

Register now!.

Saturday Feb 09, 2013

Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 Available Now!

Today we released Oracle Solaris 10 1/13, the latest Oracle Solaris 10 update for the #1 UNIX enterprise operating system. It's now been nearly 8 years since the first announcement was made and Oracle Solaris 10 has gone from strength to strength. While there's a new kid on the block with significantly modernized technologies to make life easier in the data center, we have a huge number of customers betting their businesses on Oracle Solaris 10 and we provide best in class investment protection for this release. Customer's application environment investment is protected through the highest level of support from Oracle and by allowing easy consolidation of legacy application environments onto the latest SPARC and x86 based systems with the help of physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-virtual migration tools. Check out What's new in Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 and download now!.

Oracle Premier support for Oracle Solaris 10 will be available through 2018, after which the product will enter Oracle's standard 3 years extended and indefinite sustaining support as per the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy.

From a personal point of view, I've been working to revamp the Oracle Solaris 10 pages out on the Oracle Technology Network to be more consistent with what we're doing with Oracle Solaris 11. We've cleaned things up a little to make it easier to navigate and easier to find the things you want - let us know what you think!

Thursday Jan 24, 2013

OTN Virtual Sys Admin Day (Part 2)

After a very successful event last week with the Oracle Technology Network Sys Admin Day, we're doing it again next week on January 29th at 9am GMT. This virtual event will take the same format with the same content, but at a better timezone for the folks in Europe. As per usual we'll have a set of great Oracle Solaris 11 Hands on Labs for which administrators can step through in their own virtual environments and ask questions live to a panel of experts on anything related to Oracle Solaris.

Register now!

Wednesday Jan 09, 2013

Oracle Solaris Virtual System Administration Day

Over the last year we've been running a number of successful hands on labs around the world for Oracle Solaris 11, including a number of sessions at last year's Oracle Open World conference. These have been a great opportunity for administrators to come along and learn about some of our new technologies with pre-installed, pre-configured virtual machines. While these have been extremely useful for those who were fortunate enough to attend, it doesn't scale too well for the rest of the world.

And that's where the Oracle Virtual System Administration Day comes in....

On Tuesday Jan 15th 9:00am PT and Tuesday Jan 29th 9:00am GMT we're hosting an opportunity for everyone to get involved through a set of virtual hands on labs. They are FREE to register and attend, and contain parallel tracks for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. On the Oracle Solaris side we'll step through ZFS, Image Packaging System, Boot Environments, Zones and Networking. We'll have a number of people available, including me, to help answer any questions that come up while you step through your lab. For those interested in attending, register here, and make sure to carry out the pre-event checklist to install your virtual machines.

All brought to you thanks to the Oracle Technology Network. Look forward to seeing you there!


To learn more about Oracle Solaris 11, check out an extensive list of resources including technical articles, cheat sheets and screencasts on Oracle Technology Network


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