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.

TitleAbstract
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!

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!

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Top 10 Oracle Solaris How To Articles

While generating new technical content for Oracle Solaris 11 is one of our higher priorities here at Oracle, it's always fun to have a look at some web stats to see what existing published content is popular among our audience. So here's the top ten as voted by your browsers. Interestingly it's a great mix of technologies. What's your favourite? Let us know!

RankHow To Articles
1.Taking your first steps with Oracle Solaris 11
2.How to get started creating Zones on Oracle Solaris 11
3.How to script Oracle Solaris 11 Zone creation for a network in a box configuration
4.How to configure Oracle Solaris 11 using the sysconfig command
5.How to update Oracle Solaris 11 systems using Support Repository Updates
6.How to perform system archival and recovery with Oracle Solaris 11
7.Introducing the basics of IPS on Oracle Solaris 11
8.How to update to Oracle Solaris 11.1 using IPS
9.How to set up Automated Installer services on Oracle Solaris 11
10.How to live install from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11 11/11

Friday Nov 23, 2012

A simple deployment example using Oracle Solaris 11

Last week I was over in Melbourne and Sydney to present at an Oracle Technology Network System Administration Day. During a set of morning sessions, I presented on some of the new things that we've done in Oracle Solaris 11 and our focus for the future. One of the sessions I presented was giving a quick technical overview of what a typical application deployment scenario would look like using technologies like the Image Packaging System (IPS), Service Management Facility (SMF), Oracle Solaris Zones, and network virtualization. While it's just a simple example, it provides the basic building blocks for a more advanced configuration that a data center would typically deploy. Given these would likely be of general interest, I thought I'd upload the slides for others to view - enjoy!

You can download the original source PPTX without some of the formatting errors in the above.

Friday Nov 09, 2012

Harry Foxwell talks about "Oracle Solaris 11 System Administration: The Complete Reference"

In a previous blog entry, New Oracle Solaris 11 Administration book, I blogged about the fact that a new book has been written to provide an excellent resource for administrators starting to learn some of the new features in Oracle Solaris 11. Despite an extensive set of online resources from the Oracle Technology Network, it's also useful to have something in the bookshelf that you can quickly refer to - and Harry Foxwell and his team of co-authors have done just that. Check out the video below where Harry goes into detail about why the book was written, details about the target audience, and what he's excited about in Oracle Solaris 11. Best of all though, is the fact that this is a brilliant book for any inspiring Linux administrator who wants to start getting to know the Oracle Solaris operating system a little better.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2012

Celebrating 20 years of Solaris Innovation

It's incredible to think that Oracle Solaris has been around for 20 years - fueled with unmatched innovation for powering the data center. We've come a long way from pretty humble beginnings. Take a look at the video below, and the timeline for our 20 year anniversary.

Of course, not to be missed is the excellent 25th Anniversary SPARC page, including its very own timeline.

Friday Oct 26, 2012

svcbundle for easier SMF manifest creation

One of the new features we've introduced in Oracle Solaris 11.1 is a new utility called svcbundle. This utility allows for the easy creation of Service Management Facility (SMF) manifests and profiles, allowing you to take advantage of the benefits of automatic application restart without requiring you to have full knowledge of the XML file format that is used when integrating with the SMF.

Integrating into SMF is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to take advantage of some of the mission critical aspects of the operating system, but many customers were often finding the initial learning curve of creating an XML manifest to be too hard. With the release of Oracle Solaris 11 11/11, SMF had a more integral part to play as more and more system configuration was starting to use the SMF configuration repository for the backend storage. This provides a number of aspects, including the ability to carefully manage customized administrative configuration, site specific configuration, and vendor provided configuration at different layers, helping to preserve them during system update.

I've written a new article, Using svcbundle to Create SMF Manifests and Profiles in Oracle Solaris 11, to give you a feel for the help we can provide in converting your applications over to SMF, or doing some site wide configuration using profiles. This is the first pass at creating such a tool, so we'd love to hear feedback of your experiences using it.

Oracle Solaris 11.1 Available Now!

As you may have already noticed, Oracle Solaris 11.1 is now available from the download page. This release marks nearly a year of development with some really exciting new features, hundreds of bug fixes, and another step towards a product that enterprise customers should feel utterly confident in deploying. We've made some great strides in fixing the frustrations that our customers care about - it is now even easier to deploy, update and manage, and our feature set is more integrated than ever to give you a superior experience.

Go download now! If you've got an existing Oracle Solaris 11 11/11 installation you won't need to re-install again. Simply use the packaging tools and follow this useful How to Update to Oracle Solaris 11.1 using IPS guide.

We're also hosting an online event on the 7th November where we'll talk about Oracle Solaris 11.1, some of the new features included in this release, and where we're going generally with the operating system. Come join us!

Friday Oct 19, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11.1 Announced at Oracle OpenWorld

One of the highlights for me at Oracle OpenWorld was our announcement of the next update version to Oracle Solaris 11, named Oracle Solaris 11.1. Since November 2011, we've done a lot of work not only to polish existing features and fix literally hundreds of bugs, but also add many new features that give yet more reasons for using Oracle Solaris as the deployment platform for Oracle workloads - particularly the Oracle database. Over the last few years since the Sun Microsystems acquisition, we've had our developers sitting in Redwood Shores with the Oracle database team figuring out how to best optimize that combination and provide a level of integration that no other vendor (or solution) can match.

Oracle Solaris 11.1 is often the first release many customers will adopt due to perceived instability of '.0' releases. In reality, however, we've seen incredible adoption already and all our existing customers are loving the new technologies like Image Packaging System (IPS), Automated Installer and ZFS Boot Environments, consolidated network management and network virtualization, and of course the existing features that are so critical to creating private, hybrid or public cloud environments like the Oracle Solaris ZFS file system and Oracle Solaris Zones server virtualization.

If you haven't already gotten on board, there's plenty chance to catch up. More importantly, Oracle Solaris 11.1 really provides a platform that is significantly easier to manage than any previous Solaris releases - to the extent that it should be relatively straightforward for any experienced Linux administrator to get up to speed (if they're struggling, we have ways to help). So take a look at what's new in Oracle Solaris 11.1 and start planning your deployment now!

If you missed the announcement, you can see the full video of John Fowler's keynote at Oracle OpenWorld here:

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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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