Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Oracle at the DISA Partnership conference, May 7-10

Join the Oracle hardware and software team in booth 1323 at the DISA Partnership Conference, May 7-10 in Tampa, FL.  A wide variety of Oracle technology and staff will be available to answer your questions and offer solutions to your information processing problems.

Oracle's President Mark Hurd will deliver a keynote address. 

On display will be:

Come see us across from the DISA pavilion.

Monday Nov 15, 2010

Video Tutorial: Installing Solaris 11 Express in VirtualBox

Today, Solaris 11 Express is available for download allowing customer to get a preview of the technologies that will be delivered in Solaris 11 next year.  In this video tutorial, I take you through the steps to install and configure Solaris 11 Express using Oracle's free Type 2 hypervisor, VirtualBox.  VirtualBox can be downloaded for free and is available for MacOS, Solaris, Linux and Windows Platforms.

Solaris 11 Express is binary compatible with Solaris 8, 9 and 10 and is supported on SPARC as well as X86 chip sets. It is a fully virtualized operating system to include virtual networks, zones and file systems (ZFS).  Learn more about What's New in Solaris 11 Express.  You can also learn more about Solaris 11 by reviewing these slides from the recent Oracle Solaris Summit.

The video is 13 minutes long and through the magic of digital video editing covers "just the good parts" without all the waiting around.  I created it using the built-in screen recording features of Quicktime X on MacOS 10.6 and used iMovie 09 for the editing and voiceover.  It's available on YouTube and viewing it in full screen mode makes it easier to see the terminal commands.

Listen to the Podcast and Download Solaris 11 Express today. (Use the "LiveCD" ISO download version which includes the GUI installer)


  • How do I get out of the virtual machine and back to my host OS?
    • VirtualBox defines a "HOST" key.  The default in MacOS is the Left Command key.  Pressing this key releases the cursor and keyboard from the VM control.  You can change this key in VirtualBox Preferences.
  • How do I make the virtual machine run in full screen mode?
    • On MacOS, use Command-F or the VirtualBox menus to switch between window mode and full screen mode.
  • My Virtual machine is locked in a low resolution display mode?  How do I get it to adjust properly to the window size?
    • You MUST have the VirtualBox guest extensions installed.  The VM must be rebooted after installing.
  • What's the difference between the "Solaris" choice in VirtualBox VM settings and Solaris 64-bit?
    • If you choose, Solaris the system will boot the 32-bit kernel.  If you choose Solaris 64-bit, it will choose the 64-bit kernel.  Only a single install is required because both the 32 and 64-bit kernel are installed.  In fact, you can change this parameter after installing Solaris 11 Express and it will automatically boot the correct kernel.
  • How did you find out all these tips?
    • See the VirtualBox Help menu.  It's actually quite helpful.
  • How do you make the folder sharing work without having to manually mount the file system each time as root?
    • See by original blog entry on sharing folders which I recently updated describing how to give the user the Primary Administrator role.  It describes how to add a mount command to the Gnome startup options.
  • Where can I learn more about the installation procedure?

Friday Mar 05, 2010

Sun/Oracle Welcome event in Reston VA, March 11

Come join us to learn about Sun and Oracle's strategy for combining the technologies of the two companies in Reston VA on March 11th.

If you can't make this event learn more about our product strategies with these video webinars.   Topics such as Solaris, SPARC, Identity Management, MySQL, Glassfish and OpenOffice are covered.

 Register for the Reston event or other locations.

Wednesday Apr 22, 2009

7 things Oracle will love about Sun

Important note

This blog is my opinion only (actually just random musings) and does not represent official Sun policy.  I have no inside knowledge of Oracle or Sun's intentions or plans for the upcoming acquisition of Sun by Oracle

There are a whole host of reasons that Oracle bought Sun, some of which have already been clearly stated by Oracle management. They include Java, MySQL, Sparc, Servers, Storage and Solaris. Listen to the webcast to hear it from Larry Ellison, Safra Catz as well as other Oracle and Sun leaders.  Also, please review the FAQ regarding the acquistion.

I think that there are some specific things that Oracle will love to gain in this acquisition.


As the second largest software company in the world, there is at least one thing that Oracle has NOT had yet that their primary competitor has and that is an office automation suite used by students, grandmas,  and enterprises worldwide.  The ability to have your name in front of millions of users is a powerful tool particularly when they can download it for free and run it on Windows, MacOS, Linux distros and Solaris.  I think we know that Larry is not a great friend of Microsoft and this will give him one more thing to poke in their eye.

xVM VirtualBox

This free and powerful virtualization tool provides an ideal platform to allow customers to test, develop and deploy Oracle software solutions on a variety of platforms in the comfort of a user's own laptop.  Its upcoming ability to upload a virtual machine to the "cloud" will provide a low cost way for Oracle to accelerate adoption of their hosted application services.


The upcoming land grab for rich internet applications (RIAs) will be a fierce competition between Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle with Sun's JavaFX.  JavaFX provides an advanced tool with proven security and programming model to deploy RIAs on billions of devices over the network.  Its open source status will ensure a broad developer acceptance and diverse contributions from industry, academia and government.  In the fight for "eyeballs" JavaFX will provide Oracle with a significant competitive advantage in function as well as wide device support.

Sun Federal

Sun Federal has a broad reach and it an important strategic part of Sun Microsystems.  Our staff works closely with DoD, Intelligence and Civilian agencies to deploy mission critical applications using a complete systems approach of servers, storage, software and services.  With the anticipated new requirements for government IT efficiencies, Sun Federal will be a real asset to Oracle.


This free, open source application server is fast and easy to download and get started.  I can provide a low (no) cost way for new businesses to get started in enterprise datacenters, college dorm rooms or Amazon EC2 appliances.  Owning Glassfish will give Oracle access to a whole class of customer that normally might not consider their enterprise software.

The Sun Modular Datacenter

What better way to deliver a soup to nuts enterprise application service in a can?  Enough said!

Sun Ray thin clients

As far back as 1996, Larry Ellison has been talking about a low cost, network computer that draws services from a virtualized desktop environment. Sun introduced the Sun Ray ultra-thin client in 1999, and I can personally vouch for the fact that some of those early revision network appliances are still working on desks in our Sun Federal headquarters in McLean, VA.  The savings in energy, noise, real estate and refresh costs certainly must have helped Sun's bottom line along the way.  We have deployed many tens of thounsands Sun Rays in commercial industry and government over the years.  I feel certain that Oracle will expand the usefulness and applicability of the Sun Ray.

I have only touched the surface of advanced research, development, services and products from which Oracle will benefit.  Both Sun and Oracle have always believed that the customer wants true innovation from their IT vendors.  This is what Sun strives for at all times.

I leave you with a quote from a developer I met at the DISA customer conference this week.

"I love Java.  I wrote my thesis on Java.  I think this merger of Oracle and Sun is a match made in heaven."

What do you think?  Please offer your comments!


Jim Laurent is an Oracle Sales consultant based in Reston, Virginia. He supports US DoD customers as part of the North American Public Sector hardware organization. With over 17 years experience at Sun and Oracle, he specializes in Solaris and server technologies. Prior to Oracle, Jim worked 11 years for Gould Computer Systems (later known as Encore).


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