Friday Jul 15, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: New VirtualBox 5.1 and Private Cloud Appliance Refresh

This week had been a busy one for us. We had several exciting announcements that we would like to inform you about.

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1

To enable organizations and developers to more easily and flexibly create and deploy on premises and cloud applications, we are pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1, the latest release of the world’s most popular free and open source, cross-platform virtualization software. The 5.1 release supports the latest guest or host operating systems including: Mac OS X Yosemite, Windows 10, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, other Linux operating systems, and legacy operating systems. New main capabilities in Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1 are:

  • Improved Performance: Significantly improved performance for multi-CPU virtual machines and networking.
  • Bug Reporting Tool: New utility able to collect all the information and logs related to the host and guest operating system, for debug or analysis purposes.
  • Improved Logging Window: New logging functionalities to highlight and filter information related to guest Virtual Machines.
  • Improved multimedia availability: Improved support for different USB devices and multi-channel audio availability.
  • Flash storage emulation: New NVMHCI storage controller emulation available, able to emulate NVME devices - Flash storage - on guest Virtual Machine.
  • Improved Linux integration: Automatic modules deployment in case of a Linux Kernel upgrade and improved systemd integration for the latest releases of popular Linux distributions. 

Read more 

Anouncing Software and Compute Enhancements to Private Cloud Appliance

This week we have also announced key software and hardware enhancements to Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, a fully configured Engineered System optimized for running a mix of general-purpose Oracle and non-Oracle workloads. With the refresh of Private Cloud Appliance software release 2.2, IT organizations and providers can deliver enhanced security and flexibility with full tenant isolation at both the server and network levels. PCA customers now have the flexibility to customize and assign servers and networks to different tenant groups based on business need.

In addition, we’re announcing a complete disaster recovery architecture for Oracle applications through SiteGuard with support for Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA), Oracle’s proven high-availability blueprint. Non-Oracle applications can take advantage of disaster recovery with Oracle VM. 

For improved ease of operations, Private Cloud Appliance now enables IT to allocate and provision 3rd party, external storage directly from a centralized tool with Oracle VM Manager eliminating the need to go back to the external storage.

Additionally, Private Cloud Appliance unveils significant compute performance and cost benefits with support for new Oracle Server X6-2-based compute nodes within the X5-2 base rack. The new compute nodes are more cost effective and deliver 33% more cores, increasing from 900 to 1,100 cores from the previous version and leverages the latest Xeon ES-2699 v4 processor for optimal performance. All this, and we’ve reduced the price of memory by 50%!

The Private Cloud Appliance builds upon its reputation as an extremely cost-effective and future-proof solution for general-purpose computing needs. The solution supports a mix of compute node versions that are backwards-compatible, protecting customer investments. And Private Cloud Appliance serves as a bridge to Oracle Public Cloud, leveraging the same management tool - Oracle Enterprise Manager - for private cloud and IaaS delivery, and is built on the same underlying technologies; Linux, hypervisors and servers.

Join us for a webcast on July 20 at 9AM PST where Chuck Hollis, Sr. Vice President of Converged Infrastructure, will discuss how Private Cloud Appliance plays an instrumental role in Oracle’s overarching Cloud strategy. And Krishna Srinivasan, Sr. Principal Product Strategy Manager of Private Cloud Appliance, will dive into these latest announcements and address your questions live.

Friday Jul 08, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Code Faster, More Securely with the Oracle Developer Studio

We are excited this Friday to talk about the latest Oracle Developer Studio 12.5  announced last week with breakthrough features for developer efficiency!

Optimized to complement Oracle’s complete hardware and software stack, Oracle Developer Studio helps companies build higher quality code, in less time.

Oracle Developer Studio 12.5 delivers optimized compilers, advanced analysis tools and a multi-language aware IDE for easy development of fast, reliable and highly secure applications for Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux operating systems.

Some key features include: 

  • Highly optimized compilers generate up to 4.5x faster code on Oracle systems (SPARC, x86)
  • Advanced performance analysis tools provide deep insight to optimize C, C++, Java, Scala and Fortran applications
  • Software analysis tools protect applications from security vulnerabilities and include breakthrough SPARC Silicon Secured Memory support to secure applications at record speeds
  • IDE improves efficiency with unique features for C, C++, and C++/Java enterprise applications
  • Remote development capabilities enable the creation of server applications from most laptop and desktop environments 

Three reasons you should try it out?

1. Secure and simple:  Integrated with SPARC M7 Silicon Secured Memory which allows developers to find and fix common security attack vectors, such as buffer overflows and data corruption bugs in real-time. In addition, secure coding features throughout the tools enable application development teams to edit, compile and run more secure code.
2. Productivity Benefits for Enterprise Apps: Expanded GNU support and binary compatibility, and includes full support for C++ 201, fast parse times when handling large source code bases, plug-ins to the Oracle Developer Cloud Service, and a remote interface that allows developers to code from the convenience of most laptop / desktop environments and remotely connect to applications on premise or in cloud-based IT environments. 
3. Designed for Performance: Oracle Developer Studio’s highly optimized compilers support code generation for the latest:

  • Oracle SPARC M7, T7 and S7 systems
  • Oracle x86 systems
  • Fujitsu M10 systems 

and deliver up to 4.5x faster performance compared to open source alternatives.

Mr. Fu Tingsheng, Director of Engineering, China Mobile Customer Data Business Division of AsiaInfo, quotes:

"As the leading provider of telecom network and software solutions in China, it important for us to deliver the best solutions to our customers.  The Oracle Developer Studio analysis tools give us the exact functionality we need to create very fast C/C++ applications.  We extensively use the Thread Analyzer to view the running state of threads and pinpoint where threads are blocked.  The Performance Analyzer accurately displays the execution time for each function and allows us to visualize performance data, significantly reducing the time it takes our developers to identify performance bottlenecks.  The Oracle Developer Studio analysis tools are a must-have for our highly multi-threaded and time constraint AIISMG and DNS solutions.”.

Why not try it yourself. It is  available now, for free: Download Oracle Developer Studio 12.5 today!


Friday May 20, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Oracle Linux 6.8 is now available

On Monday evening, we released Oracle Linux 6.8 to the Unbreakable Linux Network.  This release is the first ISO to incorporate Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 (Quarterly Update 1) and includes several improvements and features.  You can download this update from yum.oracle.com or from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.  For more information regarding the release or for details on how to update your system, please review the release notes located here.

 This is a great time to remind users of the channel features available with Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).  Here are a few tips:

  1. If you are subscribed to the _LATEST channel, you will receive all the latest updates, including update releases like Oracle Linux 6.8.  This ensures your system is always up to date with not only the latest update release but also critical bug and security errata.
  2. For more control over patches and updates, you can also subscribe to the _BASE and _PATCH channel for your respective release.  These channel stays locked to a given minor release.  For example, if you have standardized on Oracle Linux 6.7 across your data center and only want updates released during the 6.7 maintenance window - subscribe to these channels.  Once you are ready to move to Oracle Linux 6.8, simply subscribe to the 6.8 _BASE & _PATCH channels.  Keep in mind, once a later update release is available, all errata updates will move to the latest channel.  It is always recommended users stay up to date on errata to ensure systems remain secure.  For more information about ULN please refer to the ULN User Guide.
  3. Finally, remember if you are an Oracle Linux Premier Support customer you also have access to zero-downtime patching with Ksplice.  For more information, please review the Ksplice User guide.

Please send us your comments and feedback.

Friday May 13, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Announcing Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux 2.1

Happy Friday everyone!

Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux Release 2 (Kilo) uses Docker Containers for simplified, fast and reliable deployment. Today Oracle announced the first update release (2.1). This release delivers several new features and enhancements engineered for a modern cloud infrastructure, including: 

Support for:  
  • Oracle VM Server 3.4.1 hypervisor: supporting Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 and Xen hypervisor version 4. 
  • Ceilometer Telemetry Service: to collect, normalize and transform data produced by OpenStack services for various telemetry use cases such as metering, monitoring and alarming. 
Enhancements to:

  • Cinder Block Storage Service: iSCSI ZFS driver for Cinder services and iSCSI multi-path to Cinder volumes
  • Updating Services: new kollacli upgrade command to deploy updates to ALL hosts. 
  • Backup and Restore: OpenStack data is now stored directly on the host rather than on a dedicated Docker volume container. The required directories in /var/lib/kolla are created automatically on deployment of the Release 2.1.
  • Performance and Scalability: ability to deploy Heat and Murano services to a custom standalone group (previously these could be deployed only on the controller node).
  • Configuration Set-up: automatic hypervisor detection and automatic configuration of nova compute node.
  • Configuration Flexibility: enabling group-specific and host-specific Kollacli properties. 


Friday May 06, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: What is on tap for Linux Container strategy in 2016?

Happy Friday to all our blog readers!

This week we would like to draw your attention to an insightful article written by By Robert Shimp, Product Management Group VP, Oracle Linux and Virtualization, published in NetworkWorld on May 3, 2016.

What’s on tap for Linux container technology in 2016 

By Robert Shimp, Product Management Group VP, Oracle Linux and Virtualization 

Network World | May 3, 2016 12:12 PM PT

Some debates remain, including what operating system will run under container applications 

"White hot interest in containers has been driven by cloud computing’s demand to simplify deployment, streamline time to production, and automatically deliver the resources an application needs. Linux containers provide that in a nice package: a simple tool for developing, testing and delivering an application to the end user.

Containers are designed to make it easier and quicker for developers to create complete application operating environments. Gone is the painful validation process of traditional application deployments that require developers to identify the minimum system requirements needed to run the application. ..."

There are other important benefits. Linux containers package just about any type of server application to run everywhere – on your desktop, in a cloud, or anywhere Linux is available – regardless of kernel version or Linux distribution. Containers also can have a considerably smaller footprint than VMs, which means your systems can see higher densities and run more cost effectively with containers than with VMs on the same host. 

Read the full article.

Friday Apr 29, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 Quarterly Update 1 is now available

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 Quarterly Update 1 (UEKR4U1) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the first quarterly update release for UEK Release 4 (Version 4.1.12-37.2.1) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Highlights include:

  • LXC has been updated from 1.07 to 1.1.5
  • btrfs-progs has been updated to 4.2.2-3
  • Several DTrace improvements have been included in this release, including multiple probe firings of a Statically Defined Tracing (SDT) probe
  • Xen improvements, including updates to pciback driver
  • Device driver updates from partners, such as:
    • Broadcom
    • Intel®
    • Microsoft
    • PMC-Sierra
    • VMware

For more information about this release, please refer to the release notes

The source code is available on our public git repository

Friday Apr 15, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Latest Spacewalk Release Now Available

Spacewalk 2.4 is now available for both Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7.

Along with support of Oracle Linux 7 as a platform for both Spacewalk Server and Spacewalk Proxy, this new release includes enhancements to the web-based user interface and to several command-line utilities. 

Note that the Monitoring component of Spacewalk (that was deprecated in Spacewalk 2.2) has been removed from Spacewalk 2.4.

For more details on this release, please consult the Spacewalk 2.4 Release Notes.

For installation and upgrade instructions, please consult the Spacewalk 2.4 Installation Guide for Oracle Linux 6 or the Spacewalk 2.4 Installation Guide for Oracle Linux 7.

Monday Apr 04, 2016

Announcing New Features for Ksplice

Offline Support for userspace patching is now available in Ksplice.

For customers hosting their own yum repositories, or those with restricted access to outside update channels, you can now integrate Ksplice userspace patches into your existing offline Ksplice patching procedures.  This expands the initial support with online patching capabilities and provides the maximum flexibility and choice for customers managing critical updates.

If you have wanted to use Ksplice for userspace but were restricted by the online service, you are now able to take full advantage of all the services and features available.

 Let us know what you think. 

Friday Apr 01, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Engage in Oracle Linux Community Site

Hi everyone, 

This Friday I wanted to cover one of the interactive sites we have at oracle.com that you can participate. Oracle Linux Community  is part of the OTN communities. It gives you an opportunity to search and ask questions to experts in Oracle products. Here's an FAQ to explain what it is and how you can get engaged. We have many engineers and Oracle Linux enthusiasts monitoring the questions. We also keep our technical documents in this area so please check the documents tab regularly.


What is Oracle Community website? 

Oracle Community is a home for communities across Oracle, with more joining regularly. It is a content-rich, engaging, and interactive platform for sharing information, questions, and comments about Oracle products and related technologies. Every conceivable nuance of using Oracle products and supported standards is covered. 

 Is this the same as the OTN forums?

 What you may know as the OTN forums has now become the OTN Product Communities. These product communities--including Database, Fusion Middleware, Server & Storage Systems, Java, Cloud Computing, and more--now live alongside other communities like Oracle User Group Community and My Oracle Support Community.

 What is the Oracle Technology Network (OTN)?

Oracle Technology Network is the world's largest interactive community of Oracle developers, admins, and architects. In addition to the Product Communities you can find here on the forums, you can learn more about the Oracle Technology Network by reading About Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

Who moderates these forums?

Many OTN Product Community discussions are moderated by product managers, My Oracle Support Community discussions are moderated by technical support engineers and Oracle User Group Community is moderated by the Oracle User Group team. All of these spaces are frequently visited by knowledgeable users from the community

More information about Oracle Communities here 

Engage in Oracle Linux Community . 

Thursday Mar 24, 2016

Announcing Oracle Cloud Machine: Can you have your cake and eat it too?

The appeal of public cloud services is undeniable and unstoppable. But, a vast majority of applications are constrained from moving to the public cloud due to data residency and privacy laws, intellectual property concerns, and sensitivity to latency of the traffic to and from the public Internet.

If the phrase ‘Private Cloud’ sounds like an oxymoron to you, you are not alone. 

IT vendors have tried but largely failed to deliver on the tall promise of “private cloud” – the notion of a cloud behind your firewall with all the benefits of public cloud services without the need to send your data over the Internet to a public cloud service. Too many corners were cut in offering such solutions. According to Nirav Mehta, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle, who spoke to hundreds of CIOs and IT directors, the biggest reasons why the promise of Private Clouds has not been realized is it is either ‘private’ or a ‘cloud’ but not really both at the same time.

Today, we are very proud to announce the availability of the first offering in this category – the Oracle Cloud Machine

Attend: Thursday, March 24 (8am-4pm ET) Listen to Live Webcast, participate in chats and be part of this exciting event 

We have taken the Oracle Cloud for IaaS and PaaS and extended it to your premises. The service, called Oracle Cloud at Customer, allows companies to place an Oracle cloud server within their own data center, essentially turning one of the basic concepts of cloud computing inside-out, according to Thomas Kurian, president of Oracle product development.

The setup is a hybrid cloud structure that allows a company to run whatever workloads it chooses on premises or in the Oracle cloud, with a common set of tools, APIs, and experiences. The workloads can shift between the environments. And Oracle will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the server, just as it would be for customers of more standard, public cloud services.

  We believe it is the industry’s most complete solutions for deploying public cloud services “behind your firewall”. Here's why:

  • There is a single point of accountability for the cloud services delivered behind the customer’s firewall – Oracle. Hardware, software, and all ongoing management of the entire stack is provided by Oracle.
  • The same software that underpins the Oracle (public) Cloud is delivered with the Oracle Cloud Machine as well. Oracle also ensures that this congruence between the private cloud and public cloud is maintained by frequently updating the Oracle Cloud Machine with the same updates that we deploy in the Oracle Cloud.
  • Oracle Cloud Machine is managed remotely by Oracle Cloud Operations using a secure, remote connection that honors least privilege principles to ensure that you, the customer, can truly have a hassle-free experience of consuming cloud services and NOT managing the underlying infrastructure. Every customer is assigned a Technical Account Manager (included in the cost of the service) who helps with capacity planning, performance optimization, and addressing any services issues.
  • Oracle Cloud Machine is sold as a set of subscription services. You buy IaaS and PaaS services and not hardware and software. The pricing mirrors the Oracle (public) Cloud pricing for a very simple buying experience for the customer. Pick the service you want and you choose whether you want to consume it over the Internet or entirely behind your firewall.  Oracle takes care of everything else. 

 Lastly, while we are unbeatable when it comes to running Oracle workloads. Oracle Cloud Machine runs on Oracle Linux which is  provides high performing, secure platform for both Oracle and non-Oracle workloads.  Providing advanced scalability and reliability for enterprise applications and systems, Oracle Linux delivers truly open cloud with great performance and is used in all x86-based Oracle Engineered Systems.

 Delivering true simplicity takes a lot of thought and effort. We are proud to have delivered a solution that has simplicity at its core. The  kind of simplicity that could only have come from hidden sophistication and innovation. We look forward to working closely with you to  realize your vision of a true cloud behind your firewall enabled by Oracle Cloud Machine. 

Yes. You may eat that cake and have it too!

 Read more in this blog article by Nirav Mehta, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle  

 Attend: Thursday, March 24 Listen to Live Webcast, participate in chats and be part of this exciting event  

Friday Feb 26, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Hot off the Press - Oracle Linux Newsletter February 2016

Hi everyone, 

Happy Friday to you all! We want to highlight the Friday issue of our Oracle Linux Newsletter in this Friday blog.

It is full of great news, videos and training information.

Read more. 

 Read and subscribe to newsletter.

Friday Feb 19, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: CVE-2015-7547 - Ksplice solves glibc flaw with zero-downtime and no disruptions

This week we have seen a new vulnerability making the rounds involving glibc. The issue at hand involves a couple of libraries (libresolv and libnss_dns), which are used commonly with tasks like DNS lookups. Using the function getaddrinfo() could generate a stack buffer overflow with larger replies, which in turn could be used maliciously to trigger an exploit through attacker-controlled domain names, attacker-controlled DNS servers or man-in-the-middle attacks.

The glibc upstream project released a patch for this issue and most distributions (including Oracle Linux) have released updated glibc packages containing this fix.  Since glibc is a core system library that is used by almost every application on a system, updates to the package typically require restarting applications and best practices would suggest a system reboot.  

Oracle Linux customers with premier support have the advantage of our Ksplice services, which makes it possible to install both kernel and user space updates without the need to restart applications or reboot the system.  If you would like more information about Ksplice and Oracle Linux, please visit our website.

Friday Jan 08, 2016

Announcing the general availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7.  This release, based on the 4.1 mainline kernel, delivers many important new features and enhancements engineered for modern cloud infrastructure.  

  • Significant performance improvements through enhancements to features like automatic NUMA balancing and CPU schedulers, and the introduction of new features like zswap, zram, the LZ4 compression algorithm, network batch transmissions and low-latency network polling.
  • More options for boosting the security of systems and the applications they host. UEK Release 4 now includes kernel address space randomization, a new random number system call and updates in key areas like SELinux, nftables, SHA256 and SHA512.
  • Real-time kernel and userspace patching with Ksplice for Oracle Linux to simplify managing cloud infrastructure and improve security.
  • Support for key cloud technologies. Xen host and guest domain feature and performance enhancements, Open vSwitch and VXLAN improvements for networking, cgroups and namespace enhancements for linux containers and Docker.
  • Enhancements to Oracle Linux DTrace for dynamic, real-time system tracing on production systems
  • The production release and support of Ceph Storage for Oracle Linux Release 1.0, based on the upstream Firefly release
  • New real-time kernel features including timerless (tickless) multitasking and the addition of the deadline scheduling class
  • Enhanced infiniband features including improved protocols, drivers and firmware.
  • A number of updates to key areas such as XFS, Btrfs, Ext4, NFS, FUSE and the Overlay file systems.
  • A number of driver updates supporting the latest hardware.

This has been a major engineering effort that can benefit every Oracle Linux customer. For more information on this release, please review the release notes here.

Oracle Linux is available to download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and the Oracle Yum repos.

Wednesday Nov 25, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 7.2

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 2, the second update release for Oracle Linux 7. You can find the individual RPM packages on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux Yum Server and ISO installation images are available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

Oracle Linux 7 Update 2 ships with the following kernel packages:

  • Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-3.10.0-327.el7) for x86-64
  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 (kernel-uek-3.8.13-98.7.1.el7uek) for x86-64 
By default, both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel are installed and the system boots the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Notable features in this release include:

  • The, makedumpfile can now use sadump format for kernel dumps of more than 16 TB of physical memory
  • During non-graphical installations, kdump can now be configured at the time of install
  • MySQL 5.6 Community Edition can now be installed directly with the Anaconda installer or kickstart
  • OpenSCAP has been upgraded to version 1.2.5
  • Administrators may now configure kdump during non-graphical installations

For more details on these and other new features and changes in Oracle Linux 7 Update 2, please consult the release notes in the Oracle Linux Product Documentation Library.

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge and all updates and errata are freely available. For support, you decide which of your systems require a support subscription.  This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for your development, testing and production systems.  You decide which support coverage is the best for each of your systems individually, while keeping all of your systems up-to-date and secure.  For customers with Oracle Linux Premier Support, you also receive access to zero-downtime kernel updates using Oracle Ksplice and support for Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux.

 For more information about Oracle Linux, please visit www.oracle.com/linux

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 7

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 7 (UEKR3U7) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the seventh quarterly update release for UEK Release 3 (Version 3.8.13-118) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • For Oracle Linux 7 installations, support has been included for network teaming, which includes active-backup, broadcast, load-balancing and round-robin modes
  • Continued enhancements for Linux containers including the introduction of the new LXC flag --privileged=rt which allows the administrator the ability to run real-time processes
  • Support for Intel® Broadwell processors
  • Xen improvements, including updates to netfront and netback drivers
  • Device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards) from key partners, such as:
    • Broadcom
    • Chelsio
    • Emulex
    • Intel®
    • Mellanox
    • QLogic
    • VMware

For more information about this release, please refer to the release notes

The source code is available on our public git repository

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