Monday Sep 23, 2013

Huawei Announces an Integrated Data Integrity Solution in Collaboration with Emulex and Oracle

The data integrity solution announced today by Huawei, in collaboration with Emulex, and Oracle enhances the current technology where hosts and storage systems protect data integrity independently. This is done by implementing E2E data integrity protection across applications, hosts, storage systems, and disks. As a result, this solution can help prevent silent data corruption in mission-critical services and eliminate potential downtime, which may cost organizations millions of dollars in revenue.

Huawei Global Certification Test Center (GCTC) has qualified this solution, including: Oracle Database, Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, Emulex Gen5 FC HBA, and HUAWEI OceanStor Enterprise Storage System, and confirmed that these components are compatible with industry specifications such as the SCSI Protection Information Model (T10 PI) and Data Integrity Extensions (DIX). HUAWEI OceanStor Enterprise Storage System supports standard T10 PI, which can detect and resolve the silent data corruption. It also provides PI interface to host, and supports assorting with the DIX.

Read the press release for more information.

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

Performance Issues with Transparent Huge Pages (THP)

One key reason customers choose Oracle Linux is the investment Oracle makes in optimizing Linux for demanding workloads.  Part of this work includes extensive testing for I/O intensive workloads, like the Oracle Database. A common test used at Oracle to measure I/O throughput and performance is the Oracle Orion Calibration Tool, which simulates the I/O workloads of an Oracle Database. Recently, the Oracle Linux team discovered a significant lag in I/O performance, which was later traced to a feature in the Linux kernel, Transparent Huge Pages (also known as THP). During these tests, our engineering teams discovered THP introduced a 30% performance degradation in I/O throughput. When Transparent Huge Pages were removed from the kernel, performance values returned to their expected levels.

Our engineers have been working with the community to identify the root cause of this performance problem, which also impacts other projects, such as Hadoop. Oracle’s kernel engineers have traced the performance issues with Transparent Huge Pages to its use of swappable hugepages. Prior to THP, hugepages were not swappable. It appears the overhead generated by this implementation is the root cause of the deterioration seen in performance when the feature is enabled (compiled) in the kernel. Our kernel engineers are working on several changes to the code which they believe will improve performance with THP, but the final resolution will take time to develop, test and release.

Due to the impact this feature has on performance with applications like the Oracle Database and the timing of a final fix, Oracle Linux will disable Transparent Huge Pages in the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, beginning with Quarterly Update 5 for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, Release 2 (version 2.6.39-400.209.1). To maintain binary compatibility with the Red Hat distribution, the Red Hat Compatible kernel will be left as is, with Transparent Huge Pages enabled. In addition, the Oracle Database team has released an alert recommending all customers disable THP in all Linux systems running RAC and even those systems running single instances, due to instability. Please note that THP is not used by the Oracle Database, the recommendation is to use huge pages. Additional information for huge pages can be found in your Oracle Database documentation or on My Oracle Support.

Our engineers will continue to work with others in the community on a final resolution to the performance issues seen with Transparent Huge Pages. Once a fix is available, we will re-enable this feature in the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 Quarterly Update 5 has been released

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 5th quarterly update update release for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (version 2.6.39-400.209.1) for Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6.  This release includes driver updates as well as a consolidation of bug fixes and security updates.

 Notable changes include:

  • Xsigo virtual host adapter and network drivers to support Oracle SDN (Software Defined Network), previously known as Xsigo Fabric Accelerator.
  • LSI Fusion-MPT SAS 3.0 driver to support up to 12 Gb/s host controllers.
  • XEN improvements, such as the indirect-descriptor feature, which increases throughput and reduces latency for block I/O.

For additional details, please refer to the release notes.

Binary RPMs can be downloaded and installed using yum from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) as well as Oracle's public-yum server.  The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is installed and booted by default on Oracle Linux.  See this article on Oracle Technology Network for details on how to install and update the kernel.

The source code, including the full revision history, is available from Oracle's git repository at https://oss.oracle.com/git/?p=linux-uek-2.6.39.git;a=summary.


        
    

Thursday Aug 29, 2013

Beta 1 of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 now available

We are happy to announce the availability of Beta 1of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 for Oracle Linux 6. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 (UEK R3) is Oracle's third major release of its heavily tested and optimized operating system kernel for Oracle Linux 6 on the x86_64 architecture. It is based on the mainline Linux version 3.8.13.

The 3.8.13-13 release also updates device drivers and includes bug and security fixes. Some notable improvements in functionality and new features include:

  • Numerous stability and scalability enhancements
  • Inclusion of DTrace 0.4 for Linux into the kernel (no longer a separate kernel image). DTrace for Linux now now supports probes for user-space statically defined tracing (USDT) in programs that have been modified to include embedded static probe points.
  • Btrfs file system improvements (subvolume-aware quota groups, cross-subvolume reflinks, btrfs send/receive to transfer file system snapshots or incremental differences, file hole punching, hot-replacing of failed disk devices)
  • Improved support for Control Groups (cgroups) and Linux containers (LXC).
  • The ext4 file system can now store the content of a small file inside the inode (inline_data).
  • TCP fast open (TFO) can speed up the opening of successive TCP connections between two endpoints.

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 can be installed on Oracle Linux 6 Update 4 or newer, running either the Red Hat compatible kernel or a previous version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. The UEKR3 beta kernel packages and supporting userland utilities can be installed using the yum package management tool from the public-yum server.

For installation instructions and more details on the new features, changes and any known issues, please consult the Release Notes found on our public beta site.

We've created a dedicated public beta test discussion forum — please join us and share your observations and impressions there!

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

Oracle Continues Linux Leadership with 80% Year over Year Growth for Oracle Linux

Oracle today announced that customers and partners continue to rapidly adopt Oracle Linux to increase the scalability, reliability and performance of their critical applications and systems.

“Epsilon offers a broad array of data-driven, multichannel marketing solutions for many of the biggest brands in the world. Our information systems have been experiencing substantial growth year-over-year, with increased demand for real-time reporting, and high performance transaction processing. To enable customers to interact with a brand in a more dynamic real-time manner, we knew our infrastructure had to be comprehensive, well integrated and scalable. With our Oracle Exadata Database Machines running Oracle Linux, we are achieving transactional processing speeds that were previously not attainable. Oracle’s technologies and world-class support have been instrumental in enabling us to deliver new value-add services and greater efficiency for clients,” said Jeff White, vice president, technology, strategic database services at Epsilon.

Read the full press release for details.


Monday Jul 15, 2013

Simplify Your Install of Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the availability of the latest oracle-rdbms preinstall package to support your Oracle 12c installations.  For those of you who are not familiar with our preinstall solution, it provides a streamlined process for ensuring an Oracle Linux system meets the pre-requisites required for your Oracle Database installation.  With the introduction of Oracle 12c, we have updated the package to provide a smooth installation path for administrators.  

 For more information on how to get started, here are a few easy resources:

Blog: "Easily install Oracle RDBMS 12cR1 on Oracle Linux" by Wim Coekaerts

Article: "How I Simplified Oracle Database 12c and 11g Installations on Oracle Linux 6" by Ginny Henningsen

 Give it a try and send us your feedback!

Friday Jun 14, 2013

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 Quarterly Update 4 has been released

We're pleased to announce that the fourth quarterly update release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (Version 2.6.39-400.109) for Oracle Linux 5 and 6 has been published. This release includes driver updates as well as fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • OpenFabrics Alliance (OFED) 1.5.5 Infiniband stack
  • Btrfs bug fixes and improvements
  • Xen improvements
  • Numerous device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards)

For more details, please consult the release notes.

Binary RPMs can be downloaded and installed using yum from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) as well as our public-yum server. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is installed and booted by default on Oracle Linux. See this article on the Oracle Technology Network for details on how to install and update it.

The source code including the full revision history is available from our git repository at https://oss.oracle.com/git/?p=linux-uek-2.6.39.git;a=summary

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

Oracle Linux and Oracle VM pre-validated, pre-tested with FlexPod

As the Oracle community is gathering at IOUG this week sharing news, checking out the latest innovations, the Oracle VM and Oracle Linux team are also busy working to expand our platform validation support. In a collaborative effort with both Cisco and NetApp, we’d like to give you an early glimpse of the upcoming reference architectures for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM with FlexPod:

  • A FlexPod with Oracle VM is scheduled for the second half of 2013  – this Oracle VM architecture offers virtualization coverage for Oracle as well as non-Oracle workloads
  • A FlexPod featuring NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP with Oracle Linux,  coming Jun 30, 2013 – this is the second Oracle Linux bare-metal design
  • A FlexPod with Oracle Linux, coming June 14, 2013 – this is one of two bare metal designs for running Oracle DB on Oracle Linux
The combined products give customers access to infrastructure designs that are pre-tested and pre-validated building blocks for application consolidation, private cloud migration or data center modernization.
In addition to the benefits of the integrated design and validation, there are specific unique benefits that Oracle VM and Oracle Linux add to FlexPod:
  • Oracle VM – Application-Driven Virtualization difference: Speed Dev/Test/Production application deployment – Using Oracle VM Templates, customers can deploy applications 7-10x faster than traditional virtualization approaches. Entire application stacks including guest OS with Oracle Linux can quickly be deployed or provisioned in hours or minutes. This empowers IT to have a direct impact on the business Quality of Service by enabling more test systems and or respond to end customer requirements more quickly.
  • Enhanced high availability with Oracle Linux: With Ksplice, Oracle Linux kernel updates are installed in seconds, without interrupting running applications or the people using those applications. You can quickly check on the current status of your systems before rolling out updates to your network. Installing updates requires no downtime, so your systems are more available than ever.
  • Certified by Oracle: All Oracle applications are certified on Oracle VM. This gives customers peace of mind that FlexPod with Oracle VM running Oracle applications are both fully tested and  certified by Oracle
  • Reduce Licensing Cost: with zero licensing cost for both Oracle VM and Oracle Linux and low enterprise support cost, customers can dramatically reduce both capex and opex IT spending. 
We’ll keep you updated as these reference architectures get published. Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter to stay informed.

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Announcing Ksplice Inspector!

Everyone knows a good inspector is crucial when buying a home or looking for clues in a "whodunit". And now you also have an "inspector" for your Linux kernel!

Today Oracle released a new tool called the Ksplice Inspector enabling Linux users to analyze kernel updates available for their Linux kernel. With so many kernel updates released, it can be difficult to keep track. At Oracle, we monitor kernels on a daily basis and provide bug and security updates administrators can apply without a system reboot. To help out, the Ksplice team at Oracle has produced the Ksplice Inspector, a web tool to show you the updates Ksplice can apply to your kernel with zero downtime.

Read the Ksplice blog article for more details on this new tool and who can use it. 

Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Announcing Oracle Linux 6.4

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 6.4, the fourth update release for Oracle Linux 6. The individual RPM packages have already been published from our public yum repository and ISO images will soon be available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Oracle Linux 6.4 includes new features and improvements, most notably a new version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 6.4 Release Notes.

Oracle Linux customers also have access to a number of recently announced unique features/benefits, including:

Support for XFS file system: Today we also announced support for XFS file system in Oracle Linux. It is now available for customers with Premier Support subscriptions using Oracle Linux 6. Read the XFS support blog article for more details.

Ksplice offline client: We recently announced a new feature in our Ksplice service, known as the Ksplice offline client. Ksplice provides zero downtime updates for your kernel and now this new option eliminates the requirement to have a direct connection to the internet to apply Ksplice patches. Read more details in Wim Coekaerts’ blog and watch this video describing updating and patching in Oracle Linux.

DTrace for Oracle Linux: Another new addition is the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework available to Oracle Linux customers. It is available to download from ULN for supported customers. 

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge, including updates and errata which are also freely available.

Announcing XFS Support for Oracle Linux

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce a new offer for our customers with Premier Support subscription using Oracle Linux 6.  We have had many requests to provide a supported option for the XFS file system on Oracle Linux and effective today customers with Premier Support subscriptions using Oracle Linux 6 will receive XFS support, at no additional charge!  The XFS filesystem is a journaling file system known for high-performance and scalability.   With fast transactions, extreme scalability and near native I/O performance, it is easy to understand the popularity of this versatile filesystem.  XFS support is offered on the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 and also with the Red Hat compatible kernel.  We are excited about this new offer and the great news is, most of the features are already available on your system today.  Install the RPM package  'xfsprogs' from ULN using the command  'yum install xfsprogs', which provides utilities for managing XFS and you will be ready to create and deploy. 

Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

Oracle Linux 5.9 has been released

We're happy to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 5.9, the ninth update release for Oracle Linux 5. ISO images will soon be available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud, the individual RPM packages have already been published from our public yum repository. This distribution now includes the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39-300), Oracle's recommended kernel version for Oracle Linux. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 5.9 Release Notes.

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge, updates and errata are freely available. For support, you are free to decide for which of your systems you want to obtain a support subscription, and at which level each of  them should be supported. This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for both your development and production systems - you decide which support coverage is the best for each of your systems individually, while keeping all of them up-to-date and secure.

Monday Jan 07, 2013

Introducing the Ksplice Offline client

We are excited to announce the availability of a new feature in our Ksplice service, known as the Ksplice offline client.  This new option eliminates the requirement on a direct connection to the internet to apply zero-downtime Ksplice patches.  The Ksplice offline client allows the user to create a local YUM repository which will mirror the Ksplice channel from ULN (Unbreakable Linux Network).  Once you have mirrored the channel on your local network, you simply apply the patch using the same Ksplice tools and commands you are already familiar with.  Ksplice is available to all customers with Oracle Linux Premier or Oracle Linux Premier Limited support.  Take a look at Wim's blog, where he provides an excellent example for how to setup and use this new service and if you are using Red Hat and want to try Ksplice, you can sign up for a 30 Day Free trial

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Announcement: DTrace for Oracle Linux General Availability

Today we are announcing the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux. It is available to download from ULN for Oracle Linux Support customers. 

DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework that was initially developed for the Oracle Solaris operating system, and is now available to Oracle Linux customers. DTrace is designed to give operational insights that allow users to tune and troubleshoot the operating system.

DTrace provides Oracle Linux developers with a tool to analyze performance, and increase observability into the systems they own to see how they work. DTrace enables higher quality applications development, reduced downtime, lower cost, and greater utilization of existing resources.

Key benefits and features of DTrace on Oracle Linux include:

• Designed to work on finding performance bottlenecks

• Dynamically enables the kernel with a number of probe points, improving ability to service software

• Enables maximum resource utilization and application performance

• Fast and easy to use, even on complex systems with multiple layers of software

If you already have Oracle Linux support, you can download DTrace from ULN channel.

We have a dedicated Forum for DTrace on Oracle Linux, to discuss your experience and questions.

Friday Nov 09, 2012

Did You Hear About RedPatch?

With today’s RedPatch announcement, the Oracle Linux team provides the Linux community a repository containing the source for all the changes Red Hat makes to their kernel, free of charge, available from our public git site. This repository simplifies life for administrators by providing them a straightforward method for determining the type of fixes a patch contains.

Read more.

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