Wednesday Jan 25, 2012

A Tour of Btrfs - I Can't Believe This is Butter!

Oracle's Avi Miller recently presented at linux.conf.au 2012 event. He gave a beginner's tutorial on Btrfs.

Btrfs ("Butter FS") is a new copy on write filesystem for Linux aimed at implementing advanced features while focusing on fault tolerance, repair and easy administration. Initially developed by Oracle, Btrfs is licensed under the GPL and open for contribution from anyone.

Check out the video!

Are you planning on Migrating from SuSE Linux to Oracle Linux?

If you are planning to migrate your SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux, check out this great article where Dell IT talks about best practices and why they chose Oracle Linux. 

Here's an excerpt:

"Migrating 1,700 servers from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux was an aggressive IT decision, one deemed necessary by Dell to gain better stability and support, easier administration, and lower costs. Extracting the underlying operating system layer and replacing it, while leaving the application layer intact, was possible only because of standardization across the Linux platforms. The bulk of the site-specific operating system configuration could simply be backed up and restored directly on the new operating system. Similarly, Oracle Database and other applications required only minor configuration changes to transition from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux."

 Read more

For more information, please go to Oracle Linux  web page or  follow us at : 

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Thursday Jan 19, 2012

Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users

The Linux Foundation, in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group, recently conducted an invitation-only survey of 1893 enterprise Linux users. The survey pool was comprised of The Linux Foundation End User Council, as well as other companies, organizations and government agencies selected by The Linux Foundation and Yeoman.

They published a paper that reports on the findings of that survey, with a focus on the 428 respondents who work for organizations with sales of more than $500 million or 500+ employees.

Key findings include:

  • Even as IT spending forecasts remain soft, enterprise users are adding more Linux. Eight out of ten respondents say that they have both added Linux servers in the last 12 months and plan to add more in the next 12 months, with the same number planning to add more Linux in the next five years. Only 21.7% of respondents are planning an increase in Windows servers during that same period (next five years).
  • More than 75% of respondents expressed concern about “Big Data,” and nearly 72% are choosing Linux to support it. Most enterprises expressed concern with the rapid growth of data, and Linux is clearly the platform of choice to address it. Only 35.9% are planning to use Windows to meet the demands of this new environment.
  • Linux users see fewer issues impeding the operating system’s success, with technical issues cited among respondents dropping 40% over last year’s report. Technical issues cited by Linux users dropped 40%, from 20.3% in 2010 to 12.2% today. Twenty-two percent fewer respondents cite perception by management as an issue, and 10% fewer say there are no issues at all impeding the success of Linux.
  • The largest collaborative development project gains more contributions from enterprise users. This year’s survey surfaced a nearly 12-point increase in those participating in Linux Foundation activities, an 8-point increase among respondents who are working on code, and a 5-point increase in those who are testing and submitting bugs.
  • TCO, feature set and overall security top Linux benefits. More than two-thirds of respondents consider Linux to be more secure.

The full report is available from The Linux Foundation.

For more information, please go to Oracle Linux  web page or  follow us at : 

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Tuesday Jan 17, 2012

Oracle Linux with UEKR2 running on a Sun Fire X4800 M2 server sets a new TPC-C world record on x86

We issued the following press release today: Oracle Extends Performance Leadership with x86 World Record on TPC-C Benchmark

"Oracle’s Sun Fire X4800 M2, running Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Database 11g Release 2, achieved 4,803,718 transactions per minute (tpmC) with a price/performance of $.98/tpmC."

 The benchmark was performed on the following Oracle stack:

  • Sun Oracle x4800 M2 system with 4TB RAM and 160 CPU threads
  • Oracle Linux with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2
  • Oracle Database 11gR2

Update (2012-01-18): More details about the benchmark configuration can be found in this blog post over at the Oracle BestPerf blog.
2nd Update (2012-01-18): The full disclosure report is now available as a PDF from here.

Looking at the current non-clustered benchmark results on tpc.org, this submission delivers the best result performed on an x86 system, ranking  #3 overall for non-clustered TPC-C workloads. It's also worth pointing out that this system has a much better price/performance ratio ($0.98/tpmC) than the top 2 on this list ($2.81/tpmC).

This is a very impressive result – handling this kind of workload on 4TB RAM and 160 CPU threads clearly shows the scalability possibilities of running Oracle Linux with the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

For more information, please go to Oracle Linux  web page or  follow us at : 

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Monday Nov 28, 2011

Game Changer Appliance for SMBs Powered by Oracle Linux

In the November 28th CRN article  Review: Thumbs-Up On Oracle Database Appliance  , Edward F. Moltzen mentions that "The Test Center likes this appliance (Oracle Database Appliance) , for the performance and for the strong security offered by the underlying Oracle Linux in the box. It’s more than a solid offering for the SMB space; it’s potentially a game-changer as data and security needs race to keep up with the oncoming generations of technology."

The Oracle Database Appliance is a new way to take advantage of the world's most popular database—Oracle Database 11g—in a single, easy-to-deploy and manage system. It's a complete package of software, server, storage, and network that's engineered for simplicity; saving time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of database workloads. All hardware and software components are supported by a single vendor—Oracle—and offer customers unique pay-as-you-grow software licensing to quickly scale from 2 processor cores to 24 processor cores without incurring the costs and downtime usually associated with hardware upgrades. It is:

  • Simple—Complete plug-and-go hardware and software
  • Reliable—Advanced management features and single-vendor support
  • Affordable—Pay-as-you-grow platform for small database consolidation

The Oracle Database Appliance is a 4U rack-mountable system pre-installed with Oracle Linux and Oracle appliance manager software. Redundancy is built into all components and the Oracle appliance manager software reduces the risk and complexity of deploying highly available databases. It's perfect for consolidating OLTP and data warehousing databases up to 4 terabytes in size, making it ideal for midsize companies or departmental systems.

Read more about Oracle's Database Appliance 

Read more about Oracle Linux

Tuesday Oct 25, 2011

Using Oracle Ksplice to Update Oracle Linux Systems Without Rebooting

In this new technical article, Wim Coekaerts, Sr.VP, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Engineering, talks about using Oracle Ksplice to update Oracle Linux systems without rebooting. You will get insights into how to:

  • Generate an Oracle Ksplice Uptrack access key through your Unbreakable Linux Network account.
  • Create an account in the Oracle Ksplice Uptrack system through the ksplice.com Web site.
  • Download the install script to your server.
  • Run the install script, which downloads the Uptrack packages.
  • Run uptrack-upgrade to download and apply the Oracle Ksplice patches to your running system.

 Read more

Tuesday Aug 30, 2011

Geek On: Ksplice Blog is (mostly) Alive!

A quick post to update you on the status of the Ksplice blog.  The first few posts are back online and more will soon follow.  Geek on!

Q&A with Wim Coekaerts: Linux Turns Twenty!

We interviewed Wim Coekaerts, Senior Vice President, Linux and Virtualization at Oracle. Since we are celebrating 20 years of Linux this year, and Wim has been involved with Linux for a very long time, we thought it will be interesting to get his perspective on how Linux has evolved and what is next for Linux. Here’s what he had to say.

1. When did you first start with Linux?

 

I started using Linux in the early days. I do remember reading Linus's first mail while at school. My friends and I hung out in a computer room that had about 12 IBM PS/2 systems (386/sx) running AIX (at the time AIX 1.2 still existed on the ps2 as well). We were looking for source code for an OS and had actually put together, I believe it was, about $400 to buy the BSD source code tape from BSDI.

Anyway long story short, the BSD tape didn't arrive for quite some time and Linus's mail was perfect timing so we pulled Linux in and that was version 0.95+. First we replaced AIX with Linux on one PS/2 system, then more systems followed and after a while the entire PS/2 cluster became a Linux-based PS/2 cluster. Slackware was the first actual distribution that we then pulled in, tons of floppy disks... good times.

2. What changes have you seen from the early days of Linux to today?

Well, Linux grew up; it was a hobby project which turned into an obviously hugely successful software product. It's really quite amazing. It runs on so many chips/architectures, the download used to be a few 100K and now is 70M+ in size. Fascinating really. I think Linus did an amazing job by managing the project so incredibly well but at the same time allowing others to do stuff with a great amount of freedom. It prevented forks from happening early on. Many open source projects end up forking into different trees because people disagree but Linus has always managed to keep Linux as a nice single tree moving forward.

The other thing that changed is the number of people, the early days was a smaller group. However, even today, from what I can tell there still is a very similar core team that contributes to Linux often times still the same names.

3. How important is Linux in today's datacenter?

 

It's become a core technology, every datacenter probably has some amount of Linux running everywhere in the world. Whether it's a regular server or an appliance or embedded device. So it's everywhere. I don't think there's any particular place that Linux doesn't play a role in devices that need an operating system. Obviously the server market is visible a good use case but in terms of units the mobile space is way larger. People don't see that because it's hidden inside. I am sure everyone has some Linux running at home, even people that do not have a desktop computer but they have a Tivo or so.

This also implies that software is ported or built on Linux by most software vendors and that causes it to be a great ecosystem. It really is very pervasive today and that includes all areas, test and development systems, product systems, mission critical, clusters, etc...

 

4. How does Oracle invest in Linux and open source?

I want to highlight a few different areas here:

We port and develop most Oracle products on Linux and Solaris as a base-development platform. So by building products on Linux we obviously ensure that our customers can happily deploy on the OS. There is a big benefit to Linux here that often gets ignored or isn't really appreciated and that is testing. We have 1000's of servers running Oracle Linux that are used to test our various products. This helps test the OS as well, during our Oracle regression tests we run into OS related bugs, we triage and fix them. There are very, very few companies out there which such a large development environment and QA farm. QA is an important part for any product to improve and it's a great, underappreciated contribution.

Oracle started somewhere in late 1990s to port products to Linux, Oracle database 8.0.5 was first released on Linux in 1998.

 

We have the Oracle Linux development team which does a lot of contributions to Linux. Btrfs, all the Linux NFS work, a ton of SCSI work, etc. there's a long list of stuff that goes back into the mainline tree. There are two objectives for the Linux development team 1) Help make Linux a better OS in general. Features needed to continue to be competitive with other operating systems, Btrfs is a great example. These features might not always be related to what Oracle products need. 2) Find places where we can improve Linux to help run Oracle products better and faster.

This work started around 2001 and has been increasing ever since. The people in the team are part of the Linux kernel development community like any other kernel developers, same process, same way of working. It's very smooth and now that we have the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux, we have a great vehicle to actually show this off more and we have the ability to get the work we do in the hands of customers directly. I believe this will help make people realize even more the amount of effort we put into Linux.

Use of Linux as a deployment platform. We have 1000's of servers in house running Linux, test, development and production just like we do Solaris. It shows that we are not just telling others to do this but also do it ourselves; eat your own dog food kind of thing! We also have, and continue to, offer Oracle Linux in our engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic.

 

5. Where do you think Linux is going to be in the next 20 years?

 

It's easy to predict the past, hard to predict the future! Clearly the mobile and tablet space uses a lot of Linux, so the embedded market is full of Linux devices, the server market is full of Linux servers and that will continue to grow. There are always new features to work on of course and as chips get more cores and threads and servers get more CPU sockets and memory scaling up will continue to be something to work on and improve.  I am not sure how well Linux on the desktop is going to evolve. People have been trying to predict that "this" is the year of the Linux desktop for quite some time now, tablets seem to be making inroads into that space to a certain extend, so maybe Linux's year of the desktop ends up being Linux tablets and mobile devices that are slowly replacing desktop use.

6. Now that Linux is twenty years old, I suppose Tux is twenty too!

Heh! Tux is timeless. As far as I can remember it has looked the same, hasn’t aged a bit!

 

Thanks for your time and insights, Wim. I’m sure our readers will enjoy reading this as much we enjoyed talking to you.

Friday Aug 26, 2011

GREAT NEWS: Oracle is Hiring Linux Kernel Developers!

Are you a Linux kernel developer. Do you want to work on cool Linux projects?

Contact Wim Coekaerts: wim [at] linux [dot] com

Thursday Aug 25, 2011

The Story of Linux: Commemorating 20 years of the Linux Operating System

It was 20 years ago that Linus Torvalds posted the following in the comp.os.minix newsgroup:

Hello everybody out there using minix -

I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).

I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)

Linus (torva...@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.

What lessons can be drawn from this? For one, Mr. Torvalds turned out to be an awful forecaster. "Won't be big and professional"? "It probaby never will support anything other than AT-harddisks"? Please.

Joking aside, in 20 years Linux has become serious business, running on anything from mobile phones to 91% of the world's top 500 super computers and providing coverage on about two dozen architectures.    It's no longer just Linus' hobby.  In fact, Linux sees contributions from thousands of developers, many of whom work for one of several hundred corporations.

 I asked my boss, Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president, Linux and Virtualization Engineering what his first experience with Linux was.  Here's what he told me:

"I remember seeing the email on the newsgroup back in the day, my friends and I at school ended up downloading the early code and somewhere around the 0.95 version timeframe we started installing it on a few PC's in the datacenter to replace another OS. Linux sure has evolved into a big project.  It has been a huge success and I know it will continue to be.  Today is a very exciting day."

What's your Linux story?  Let us know in the comments. 

Monday Jul 25, 2011

New episode of the Oracle Linux Podcast: Chris Mason on Btrfs

In this second episode of the Oracle Linux Podcast, we talk with Chris Mason, Director of Software Development at Oracle. Chris is the principal author and coordinator of the Btrfs file system and we're discussing the file system's general features, the latest developments and how the development process of Btrfs is performed in collaboration with other contributors from the Linux kernel community. Don't miss this episode if you'd want to learn more about this exciting new Linux file system!

You can listen to the interview directly from here, or subscribe to our podcast feed via this link. Enjoy!

Tuesday Jul 12, 2011

First episode of the Oracle Linux Podcast: Sunil Mushran on OCFS2

We've just published the first episode of the new Oracle Linux Podcast, in which we are going to cover topics around Linux in general and Oracle Linux in particular.

In this recording, I've interviewed Sunil Mushran from our Engineering team to give us an update and overview about OCFS2, Oracle's shared-disk clustering file system for Linux. We're talking about its features and use cases as well as the development process, the collaboration with the Linux Kernel community and upcoming developments. You can subscribe to our podcast RSS feed here.

A dedicated web page about the podcast is under development, too, and we've a few more interesting interviews in the pipeline.  Enjoy!

Thursday May 26, 2011

Linux's 20th Anniversary T-Shirt Design Contest!

Linux is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011...and The Linux Foundation is planning a bunch of festivities! One of the things that caught my fancy is the T-shirt design contest to commemorate this occasion.

"Developing and submitting code are not the only ways to contribute to Linux. Contribution to the Linux community comes in all forms, which includes submitting your creative design for the annual Linux.com Store T-shirt design contest. The Top Five designs will be announced and hosted on Linux.com beginning the week of June 5, 2011 for two weeks of community voting. The winner will be revealed late June/early July and will be awarded travel to Vancouver, B.C. to attend LinuxCon and the 20th Anniversary Gala in August."

C'mon you creative people, think of some cool designs! The deadline to submit is Monday, May 30th at 11:55pm PT.

All the best...

Wednesday May 25, 2011

Follow us on YouTube and Facebook, too!

Oracle Linux goes social media: In addition to this blog and our official @ORCL_Linux Twitter feed, we've now created an Oracle Linux Facebook page. If you're on Facebook and use Oracle Linux, please visit and "like" our page! Feedback and comments are welcome. We've also added our own YouTube channel – please subscribe and check out the videos about Oracle Linux and its features!

Wednesday May 18, 2011

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS : Oracle Technologists of the Year

Is your organization using Oracle products to deliver unique business value? Are key individuals in key roles doing more with your organization’s technology than anyone in the business thought possible? If so, submit a nomination today for Oracle Technologist of the Year awards. FormerlyOracle Magazine Editors’ Choice Awards and now part of Oracle’s prestigious Oracle Excellence Awards program, these awards honor Oracle technologists for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle products and services. Winners are selected based a compelling story of technology leadership and innovation that differentiates them from others in their roles.

The 10 winners will be selected across 10 award categories. A customer, their partner, or an Oracle representative can submit the nomination form on behalf of the nominee. To share your use of Oracle solutions and how they help your organization drive business innovation download entry form from this site . Customers may submit nominations for multiple categories.

The awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2011 (October 2–6) in San Francisco.

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