Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

Solaris Fast on the New Intel Xeon 5500

It's great to see Solaris and OpenSolaris moving fast to support new processors -- Sun Solaris Platform Advancements Unleash the Power of the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series. Unleashing things is good, too. There is a lot of technical content for developers and administrators out there now, but for me the best part of the announcement is that it's based in part on a long relationship between two companies doing development in the OpenSolars project. Seems things are going well when they lead to results like this. I've met a bunch of the Intel engineers over the past two years, and it has been a pleasure engaging with them at various times.

Saturday Mar 07, 2009

OpenSolaris, ZFS, and that Orange T-Shirt

Check out David Stewart talking about Intel, OpenSolaris, and ZFS. And check out that orange t-shirt he has on as well. So, cool. That`s the shirt from the Tokyo OpenSolaris User Group we started a few months ago. Shirts get around, you know, and this one made it all the way to the Pacific Northwest. It`s actually a very nice shirt, and if you wear it outside you are guaranteed to get attention. You`d probably stop traffic, too. It`s a tad on the bright side. Which is probably why Dave had to put a black shirt over the top. Makes a nice combination if you are doing serious technical demonstrations on YouTube about OpenSolaris, Intel, and ZFS.

Update: I found another Tokyo OSUG t-shirt video in the Intel Dave OpenSolaris series -- OpenSolaris & Intel: PowerTOP.  How could I have missed that one?

Friday Jan 23, 2009

2 Years of Intel Contributions to OpenSolaris

David Stewart posts an excellent review of the Intel OpenSolaris project. I can't believe it's been two years now, my goodness. That project gets a lot of attention around the world because David and other engineers are out there talking about it in multiple venues -- conferences, user groups, mailing lists, and associated communities. All of that communication not only helps build the Intel OpenSolaris engineering community, but it also helps support the entire OpenSolaris community. And even more importantly, it gives people like me (the non-technical types) the opportunity to leverage these engineering projects for even more for community-building programs. Cool.

Wednesday Dec 24, 2008

OpenSolaris on Atom

Seems there's some news about OpenSolaris support for Atom. Links:
Also, for information about OpenSolaris running on the EeePC, check out Masafumi Ohta's blog in Japan and also eeepc-discuss on opensolaris.org.

Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

OpenSolaris Test Farm: SPARC, Intel, AMD

[osol-announce] test farm server interface released. Go get a 15 gig account and test your OpenSolaris software on some SPARC CMT (Chip Multithreaded), Intel Quad Core, and AMD Dual Core machines. This is an outstanding service offered by the testing community, so jump in and take advantage of it. You know, for some of us involved with OpenSolaris for a long time, it's really cool watching some of these projects come to fruition -- especially this one because the testing guys have always been leaders in the OpenSolaris community. And it's great that the systems are based in the U.S. and China. Asia is now very much top of mind in the community. And since the Sun China team was heavily involved in implementing the systems in Beijing that helps us connect some of these communities internally and externally around the world. To me, this is a core community building activity. In this case, engineers offering some critical resources for developers to get their work done. I can only see this project growing. Good stuff. See links and instructions in Jim Walker's announcement above. Also, see Jim's blog and Simon Sun's blog for more info on OpenSolaris testing, and also Robert Sohigian's blog for engineering at Sun China. I know I'm missing some guys, too. :)

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

Dinner with Intel

Nice dinner tonight with some of the OpenSolaris engineers at Intel. I'm stuffed. :) Very cool time. Intel has guys here in Beijing and also in Shanghai as part of the Intel project on OpenSolaris.

Dinner with Intel

 Liang Kan, Wesley Huang, Jim Grisanzio, Tony Su, Jiang Liu

Dinner with Intel Dinner with Intel

Dinner with Intel Dinner with Intel

Saturday Sep 20, 2008

YouTube: OpenSolaris and Intel at IDF San Francisco

Here are some cool videos of OpenSolaris at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco recently:

Wednesday Sep 17, 2008

Intel to Open Tech Days Brazil

I just found out that Intel is doing one of the keynote presentations at Tech Days in São Paulo, Brazil September 29th to October 1st. The Brazil conference is the first of 13 events in the Tech Days schedule this year. Intel is a Gold Sponsor for the tour and a Platinum Sponsor for the São Paulo event, so it's good to see those guys not only participating from an engineering perspective but also supporting things with sponsorships as well.

Sean Maloney, Intel EVP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, will be doing a keynote -- Acelera Brasil -- on the 30th about how the market in Brazil has grown over the last decade, some of the opportunities for developers around mobility and the enterprise, and also how the Sun and Intel collaboration is providing new tools to accelerate the growth of technology that will become the infrastructure of Brazil. Acelera Brasil means Accelerate Brazil, obviously. I understand that Sean is a technical guy and a very good speaker. And he's the first Intel exec to keynote at Tech Days.

Intel is also doing a technical session -- Optimizing OpenSolaris for Xeon -- in the Solaris track on the 29th with Max Alt, Intel’s Strategic Relationship Manager for Sun. Max is a good guy. We spoke in Prague. I'm jealous he's going to Brazil and I'm not. I first met Max at JavaOne a couple of years ago in San Francisco. I guess that's when Sun and Intel first got together on all this. He asked a million questions, as I recall. They just kept on coming and coming. :) Very nice dinner, too.

Intel seems all over the place these days supporting Solaris and OpenSolaris, Java, MySQL, xVM and other Sun software products and developer programs. That's cool. OpenSolaris needs more corporate involvement like this. Well, we need more individual involvement, too, but having some big vendors in the mix is important because they tend to bring resources to help the community grow. Also, Intel has a lot of experience with Linux, so that helps us with our community-building efforts as well. The core engineering project for Intel and OpenSolaris can be found on opensolaris.org, and if any of this is of interest technically, you may also want to check out Dave Stewart, the Intel engineering manager for OpenSolaris. He's made some outstanding videos of OpenSolaris on Intel. Dave is also known as "Intel Dave" and I'm proud to say I coined the term right on advocacy-discuss.

And I'll be checking in with the Intel guys in Beijing when I go to China next week. Should be fun.

I keep track of all my Intel stuff tagged here.

Sunday Aug 24, 2008

Intel: Making OpenSolaris Really Sing on this Baby

Intel Dave (otherwise known as Dave Stewart) posted a new video talking about making OpenSolaris "really sing" on the new Xeon processor coming out. Cool.

Tuesday Aug 19, 2008

Max Alt on OpenSolaris and Intel

Here's a little chat I did with Max Alt of Intel (about 11 minutes of audio) while we met at the OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Prague a bit back. You can also find a conversation with Intel Dave and Jeff Cheeney on the Intel project page. Lots of Intel going on here lately. Thanks to Deirdre Straughan for taping these interviews.

Wednesday Jul 09, 2008

The Marriage of Solaris with Xeons

Sun, Intel Push Optimized Solaris: "It has been tremendous to see the results of the collaborative effort of marrying Solaris with Xeons. We're now working with the Sun xVM team to deliver some virtualization optimizations." -- Dave Stewart, Intel engineering manager on OpenSolairs, commenting to Internet News. Also, Dave has some excellent OpenSolaris & Xeon technical videos on YouTube here, here, here, here, here.

Saturday May 10, 2008

Intel Dave 2

David Stewart is back on YouTube -- OpenSolaris on Xeon video, Episode 2 - Saving Power -- talking about how to improve power management, which is certainly a good thing for a world using way too much juice. If you want to contribute to this effort, go to the Tesla Enhanced Power Management Project and also the OpenSolaris Intel project.

Thursday May 01, 2008

Intel Dave

Catch Intel's David Stewart on YouTube -- OpenSolaris & Intel Xeon Processors: Episode 1. More videos coming. More engineering info at the OpenSolaris Intel project.

Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

Intel Hiring for OpenSolaris

Not only are big companies getting involved in OpenSolaris, but they are now hiring OpenSolaris engineers as well -- [opensolaris-jobs] OpenSolaris kernel jobs at Intel. Subscribe to the OpenSolaris jobs list here.

Wednesday Jan 23, 2008

1 Year

David Steward posts an excellent one year blog highlighting some of the engineering taking place on the OpenSolaris Intel project -- Intel + Sun + 1 Year = OpenSolaris++.

Saturday Nov 24, 2007

A Fundamentally Flawed Strategy

Here are some interesting comments (and my reactions) from a piece in Network Computing Magazine -- Will Sun Shine Again? -- where Sun's John Fowler, EVP of Systems, was interviewed on a variety of issues. I just picked out the OpenSolaris bits here:

IBM has embraced Linux and Microsoft OSes as well as it's own OS stable all of which has paid off for the company.

Sun's response to this desire for openness wasn't to embrace Linux, but instead to create OpenSolaris. Fowler says the goal wasn't necessarily to get others contributing code to the Solaris kernel but instead to create a conversation about the source code.


Sure, we didn't necessarily need code contributions to the kernel because the code base was already mature and stable and being developed by 1,000 engineers around the world. However, we always wanted code contributions, and we always wanted those contributions to represent new ways to use and extend the system. In other words, we wanted to grow in new ways that didn't necessarily represent Sun's core markets. And we started that process by opening the code and engaging in conversations about the code. So, Fowler is absolutely correct. And I agree, too.

He also says that it'll take a decade for strategy to prove itself, so we shouldn't judge it yet. Be that as it may, the notion seems fundamentally flawed.


Fundamentally flawed? Actually, the strategy has been quite successful even in these early years. In just two years we've built a nascent development community, we are clearly growing globally, we are taking code contributions (and other contributions), we have an early governance model, we are opening our infrastructure, there are a few distributions based on the kernel, and now we are expanding the program even further with a new binary to engage not only new levels of developers but also users as well. And that's characterized as flawed?

If what you're looking for is a huge developer community that values the ability to see the source code for the operating system, Linux will obviously win over Solaris.


Why must one system live and the other die? Instead, why can't both thrive? Also, the "huge developer community" probably has as much to do with the binary as it has to do with with the source code. Some would argue more, actually. That's what Indiana and the other distributions are designed to address -- to engage users and application developers building on top of the system. The number of developers actually interacting at the kernel source level and helping to build the system itself is much smaller, and it will always remain much smaller. Regardless, our strategy always included a long term, phased approach of opening code, infrastructure, and people and building a multi-layered community around the core. This can't be done all at once. It takes time. What you see now is a snapshot in time. We were different a year ago, and we'll be different a year from now. So, again, I fail to see how this strategy is "fundamentally flawed." Also, I fail to see how any comparison to Linux (or IBM or HP, for that matter) makes any sense whatsoever. I think over time, people will come to realize that community building is not necessarily a zero sum game. There is room for diversity. The world is a big place.

And by opening the source code, Sun has both created a product in OpenSolaris that won't have a revenue stream and given its Solaris faithful a reason to look at AIX and HP-UX based systems.


Actually, the exact opposite is true. By opening the code, the Solaris faithful are sticking with Solaris, and some who left are coming back. Also, it was the "Solaris faithful" who wanted us to open the code in the first place. They told us this quite directly, in fact. But we didn't open the code exclusively for the faithful. We opened it to reach new people, too. And we are. By the tens of thousands, actually, and we've been able to do that because the code is open. And regarding revenue streams -- remember that OpenSolaris is a development project. Sun's product is Solaris. There's a difference. Sure, as the OpenSolaris binary distros evolve, I'm sure business models will emerge and Sun will participate as well. But for right now there's no reason to confuse the obvious -- OpenSolaris is a development project run by a community, and Solaris is a product supported by a company.

For some applications, that closed development process used by the likes of HP, IBM and formerly Sun, that results rock solid software married to rock solid hardware is desirable, if expensive. While there's no doubt that Solaris is still a solid OS, there is some doubt about where Sun sees its fortunes and its future for Solaris.


Just because we are opening our development processes doesn't mean we are throwing out our development processes. Over time, non-Sun community members will earn their way just as Sun community members. This is already occurring, actually. As far as the "doubt" bit, well, you can't convince everyone, I suppose. When I look at the massive engineering and business investment Sun is making in Solaris and OpenSolaris and new support from AMD, Intel, IBM, and Dell on top of HP claiming they sell more Solaris systems than anyone else, well, "doubt" is not the first word that pops into my mind. I can think of a few other words that come to mind, though. Can you?

Tuesday Oct 30, 2007

Intel OpenSolaris Engineering in Beijing

I went along with Jim Hughes, Kathy Jenks, and John Jiang to meet Intel's OpenSolaris engineering team in Beijing yesterday. These guys are part of Intel's team in Shanghai working on the OpenSolaris project. I met Gerry Liu, Kan Liang, Tony Su, and Zhong Hui. Great to associate names with faces as we explore OpenSolaris on Intel.

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Thursday Oct 25, 2007

Intel OpenSolaris Engineering in Shanghai

The Intel OpenSolaris engineering team treated me to a nice dinner tonight in Shanghai. It was such a pleasure hanging out with these guys. We had some great conversations about OpenSolaris and how to work more effectively in the open around the world. Some of the engineers have a lot of experience in the Linux community, so I expect they'll be able to help us in some areas as they simultaneously all become experts in OpenSolais kernel development. Oh, and if you forget your root password on your laptop (like I did), there's no better place to have dinner, that's for sure.

So, anyway, meet the Intel OpenSolaris engineering team in Shanghai: Allen Lu, Aubrey Li, Chen Zhihui, Li Ting, Borun Fu, Eric Guo, Frank Zhang, Ma Ling, Frank Wang.

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel Shanghai Intel Shanghai

Intel OpenSolaris team on Flickr. 

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

OpenSolaris at Intel

I went along with Ian Murdock, Jim Walker, and John Jiang to meet the Intel engineering team outside Shanghai today. Special thanks to our Intel host Frank Wang for showing us around.

Intel has an impressive Linux engineering operation here in China, so it's great to have them involved in OpenSolaris as well. Ian presented OpenSolaris to the group, which was very helpful to hear as we get closer to the upcoming developer preview release of the binary distribution. Frank will be presenting about Intel and OpenSolaris tomorrow at Tech Days, so I'll have to stop by and catch up on my Chinese.

Very cool day. Even the near death driving experiences dodging the cars and bicycles and pedestrians all mixing on the highways of Shanghai. Driving is interesting here. The traffic is one thing, but this concept of effortlessly poking in on the other side of the road into oncoming traffic is another thing altogether. It seems the lines painted on the roads are mere suggestions. Wild.

OpenSolaris at Intel OpenSolaris at Intel

OpenSolaris at Intel OpenSolaris at Intel

OpenSolaris at Intel OpenSolaris at Intel

See the Intel OpenSolaris project here.

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

China's Global Growth

China Begins to Fulfill Its Potential for Big Profits: "This year, China for the first time will contribute more to global economic growth than any other country, including the U.S., according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. With its economy expanding at a rate of more than 11% this year, China is on track to surpass Germany as the world's third-largest national economy by dollar value, although its annual output is still less than one-quarter of the U.S.'s at market exchange rates." -- Andrew Batson and Jason Dean, Wall Street Journal

The article mentions Caterpillar, Sun, Intel, and others as they all rapidly invest to expand in China.

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Cubes

I guess Intel has a lot of cubes in Santa Clara -- Intel Rethinks Cubicle Culture. And check out the Conan O'Brien clip cited in the article. I was on the floor laughing from my cube here in Tokyo! My goodness. Such fun. Can you image what Conan could do at Sun?

Anyway, more seriously, it seems that there is a new project at Intel to reduce distractions as well as increase face to face interactions within engineering groups -- "Quiet Time” on track – "No Email Day" is next! That's all good stuff. Everyone needs face to face time to collaborate, and everyone also needs time to work without having to always dodge meetings and other distractions. However, many groups are global now, so we always need to factor in the people on the other end of thin pipes and across big language, cultural, and distance barriers. This is absolutely an issue at Sun (as it is in all companies, I'm sure), and it's also an issue in the OpenSolaris community. A balance of all forms of communication is needed.

Thursday Sep 27, 2007

Muscles

Quote: It's time to pay attention to Sun's x86 server biz: "The fresh Xeon-based servers from Sun mark the company's most muscular play to date in the x86 realm." -- Ashlee Vance, The Register

I guess we've been working out and bulking up, eh? People are noticing. Very cool.

Friday Sep 21, 2007

OpenSolaris at IDF

OpenSolaris at Fall IDF 2007: David Stewart summarizes OpenSolaris at IDF in San Francisco.

Monday Sep 10, 2007

Intel Code Contributions Page

I finally put up a page tracking the OpenSolaris Intel project code contributions, which is linked to the request-sponsor code contributions for all of ON. Any time I blog about the Intel project I'll tag the post with "intel" under http://blogs.sun.com/jimgris/tags/intel.

Thursday Sep 06, 2007

"The best choice for running Solaris"

Making Xeon the best platform for Solaris: "Well, we're getting there. Ever since the January 22, 2007 announcement of Intel’s work to improve Solaris for Intel silicon, we have been busy building our development expertise in-house and basically trying to make sure Intel processors are the best choice for running Solaris. This includes a strong commitment to open source and the OpenSolaris community." -- David Stewart

Dave also talks about the recent putbacks in the project. I have to get a contributor page up on the project to keep track of these.

Saturday Sep 01, 2007

OpenSolaris at Intel Developer Forum

There are multiple sessions involving Solaris and OpenSolaris scheduled for the Intel Developer Forum next month. Just search for Solaris at the session catalog page to see a listing of speakers and abstracts for the following presentations:
  • Project Indiana: The Road to Solaris Next
  • OpenSolaris Virtualization
  • Writing Device Drivers For Solaris
  • Predictive Self Healing of Solaris Operating System
  • Sun Blade Modular Architecture
  • How to Get the Most Performance from Sun JVM on Intel Multi-Core Servers

When papers are published, they will be linked to and/or hosted in the OpenSolaris Intel project.

Monday Aug 20, 2007

Intel Project

[intel-platform-discuss] Thanks a bunch to our Intel colleagues: "They helped us in every stage of the projects, including design, coding, reviewing, pre- and post- integration testing. Without their dedication none of the progress would have been possible." -- Sherry Moore

Very cool to see the Intel project progressing on OpenSolaris between two very large vendors. I'm especially interested in this next phase of OpenSolaris and in how big corporate engineering organizations collaborate under new rules -- in the open. To me, projects like this offer the greatest opportunity for change and for innovation.

Friday Jul 20, 2007

Intel on Solaris

Intel, Sun in agreement: "We already have Microsoft validated and certified on our servers. We have Linux certified on our servers. Sun, with their Solaris, is a new offering; it’s a specific customer request," said Keate Despain, director of marketing for the Intel Modular Communications Platform division. The customer base for Sun-based software is much bigger than Microsoft’s, so the move is logical for Intel as it pushes its servers into the telecommunications space and seeks to attract customers who "want the benefits of Solaris included with that," said Despain. "You won’t see Microsoft this much in that market."

That's quite a vote of confidence from Intel and also a clear demonstration that Solaris is making huge progress in the market.

Sunday Feb 18, 2007

Intel on OpenSolaris

Some nice quotes from Intel here -- Intel: Open source drew us to Solaris: "Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's server products, said the 'open-sourcing of Solaris' changed Intel's mind about the OS ... [h]e noted that Intel has always been a strong proponent of open source, and applauded recent moves by Sun to make Solaris and Java open source. 'This is a new environment where there [is] a very large Solaris installed base that's moving toward open source.'"

Wow. It's pretty wild to work on a project that has had that kind of impact.
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