Friday Jul 10, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 is out!

Happy Friday!

I know a lot of folks use Oracle VM VirtualBox to run Oracle Linux VMs. I do this myself every day. The ability to run multiple machines with different operating systems on a laptop is incredibly helpful. For example, you can do Docker development in Oracle Linux on your Macbook. Or if you're running Linux as your main OS, you could have a Windows VM, maybe for some pesky corporate apps that won't run on Linux. The possibilities are just endless.

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 was released this week, with a number of key features. Things like:

  • Runtime disk encryption
  • Drag and drop between nearly all host and guest combinations (including my typical Mac host->Oracle Linux guest setup)
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Headless launch support (say you need a local server VM running in the background!)
  • Performance improvements with paravirtualization for newer Linux and Windows guests

And a lot more.

Have a look at the Oracle Virtualization blog post for more details, and go grab Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 here.

Have a great week!


Friday Jul 03, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Shiny new pages for OSS, Public Yum, and ULN!

Happy Friday and a happy holiday weekend to those of you in the US!

It might be obvious, but the Oracle Linux and virtualization teams are heavily involved in open source. For quite some time, we’ve had a site that describes the open source projects the teams are involved in. This site was just updated with a new look and feel and additional content. My favorite part is a history section going by to 2001. Check it out:

I’m also excited to highlight the new look and feel for the Oracle Linux Yum server (we also call it "Public Yum"):

And you also might not yet have noticed that the Unbreakable Linux Network ALSO has a shiny new look and feel:

Just some improvements to make working with these sites easier for folks. We hope you enjoy them!


Wednesday Jul 01, 2015

Oracle Linux 6 Administration Professional Certification Now Released

The Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Linux 6 Advanced System Administration (1Z0-105) has been released and you can now book your exam date.

Oracle certification exams are a real proof of your expertise and well recognized in the industry.

Prior to taking this certification you should have passed one of the following certifications

Here are some steps you can use as you prepare to take the Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Linux 6 Advanced System Administration:

  • Go to the web page for the Oracle Certified Professional, Oracle Linux 6 Advanced System Administration
  • Click on the Exam Topics tab to see what subjects will be covered in the exam. Do a self assessment to determine your knowledge gaps. These are the areas you need to concentrate on during your preparation.
  • Click on the Exam Preparation tab. You will see the recommended training (Oracle Linux Advanced Administration course) and any additional resources.
  • In addition to the Recommended Training course, your exam preparation plan must include significant hands-on practice or on-the job experience performing the tasks described on the Exam Topics tab. Oracle University courses may not cover all exam topics and an integrated exam preparation approach is recommended.

For more information on the Oracle Linux curriculum, go to

Friday Jun 19, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle Linux at Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015

Happy Friday!

On the Oracle Linux blog a couple of weeks ago I highlighted that Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015 was coming up soon. Well, it is nearly here.

Starting Tuesday, June 23rd, you’ll be able to hear from Oracle experts across the entire stack, from severs and storage, operating systems, middleware, apps, and more. Of interest to the folks on this blog, there will be several Linux and virtualization related sessions as well as two demo pods where you can talk directly to our team. If you’re attending the event, please make note of these sessions and consider joining us!

June 23, 15:45

June 24 11:30

June 24, 16:30

June 25, 13:30

If you’re attending Oracle OpenWorld Latin America, our folks would love to see you there!


Friday Jun 12, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Understanding NVMe Support on Oracle Linux

Non-volatile memory express, also known as NVMe or NVM Express, is an interface specification that aims to enable a solid-state drive (SSD) to make the most effective use of the high-speed Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus in a computer. 

NVMe has been supported in the mainline upstream release of Linux since kernel 3.3. Check out the commit log message for NVMe, and you can find pages of updates going back to 2011. The first distributions to support NVM Express focused on the add-in card form factor (without support for hot plug). 

Oracle was the first vendor to support NVMe hot-plug in a Linux distribution and today hot-plug is supported in all Oracle Linux releases beginning with Oracle Linux 6.4.

Oracle Linux NVMe Support *

Oracle Linux includes inbox support for NVMe SSDs beginning with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 in October 2013. UEK R3 is supported in Oracle Linux 6.4 (or later) and Oracle Linux 7 (or later), and is enhanced to provide NVMe feature support consistent with mainline kernel 3.19, including hot-plug support (although without the block_mq feature).

Oracle Linux with UEK R3

Release date

Kernel (as of April 2015)

Oracle Linux 6.4

October 2013

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.5

November 2013

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 7 GA

July 2014

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.6

October 2014

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 7 Update 1

March 2015

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.7



Oracle Linux 7 Update 2



Read this document Linux NVMeByRelease_May2015.pdf  from Intel to understand NVMe better.

*This blog is a partial abstract from Frank Ober’s article about “NVM Express: Linux driver support decoded”

Friday Jun 05, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015

Happy Friday! Our Spotlight this week is on one of our favorite topics, Oracle OpenWorld!

Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015 is quickly approaching and there is a lot of information on Oracle Linux, Oracle virtualization, OpenStack, Docker, and much more for you to enjoy and learn about.

Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015
June 23-25, 2015
Transamerica Expo Center
São Paulo, Brazil

The content catalog is open and there you will find four sessions dedicated to Oracle Linux and virtualization, and a huge number of other topics. In addition, there will be demos of our technologies in the DEMOgrounds areas.

If you're attending Oracle OpenWorld Latin America this year, we hope to see you there!


Monday Jun 01, 2015

Oracle Sponsors LinuxCon Japan - June 3-5

Oracle is a bronze sponsor at LinuxCon Japan that is happening in Tokyo, June 3-5, 2015. We have two great sessions and a booth to showcase Oracle Linux and related products. Oracle Linux team will have experts available to answer your questions and give you more information about our products. 

Here are the Oracle sessions: 

1) Exciting Developments in Linux Tracing - Elena Zannoni, Oracle

Thursday, June 4 • 16:20 - 17:10

Tracing in Linux today has become quite main stream. Linux has come a long way from when the first attempt to insert tracing infrastructure and tools in the kernel tree was made several years ago. But where are we now? While existing tools are being refined and more sophisticated features are added to them, there are still fundamental areas where improvement is happening and exciting new approaches are surfacing, such as using the BPF (Berkeley Packet Filtering) infrastructure for tracing purposes, for instance. This talk is a new and revised version of my previous tracing talk with specific emphasis on new developments as opposed to providing an overview of the field. 

2) Open Source Tools for Enterprise Class Documentation Writing - Elena Zannoni, Oracle

Friday, June 5 • 11:30 - 12:20

This talk will give an overview, with some examples, of how it is possible to produce first class documentation using Open Source Tools. The use of DocBook XML and a variety of other programs, together with an automated build system written in house has produced very good results in our enterprise documentation team. We build all our Linux, Virtualization and MySQL docs using this system. 

Don't forget to visit our booth and attend our sessions. 

Friday May 29, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Implementing Facebook’s Flashcache Utilizing PCIe-based Flash with Thin Provisioning

This Friday we would like to share with you a great article by Rick Stehno from Seagate who frequently writes articles about Oracle Linux, MySQL and Oracle Database. 

PCIe-based flash can help increase the performance of a database application, such as MySQL on the Oracle Linux platform that delivers the storage performance to contend with the massive data deluge brought on by the mobile Internet, cloud-based services, and enterprise applications. By enabling a thin provisioning feature, low latency and improved performance is achieved, usable flash capacity is expanded and overall TCO is lowered. 

Oracle Linux running the default Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) was chosen for this study because of its upstream support for the latest hardware relevant to modern data center operations. In addition, MySQL database workloads benefit from the platform’s deep integration with the solution stack, optimizations resulting from industry collaborations and enhancements in the UEK. Oracle Linux with UEK was tuned to perform better and faster on leading-edge x86 configurations that feature many CPU cores and large amounts of main memory, and optimized libraries and system calls help to improve performance for MySQL queries. Because of these optimizations and pervasive testing that occurs within Oracle, Oracle Linux is able to address large transaction capacities and scale well as the number of database users or the number of databases increases.

Thin provisioning, such as with the Nytro Dynamic Logical Capacity (DLC) technology, adds significant value to caching environments where the user is deploying flash for their frequently accessed data. Thin provisioning allows users to effectively double the flash capacity available for this “hot” data to be placed, further improving performance, without any additional effort on the database administrator’s (DBA’s) behalf.

Often, PCIe-based flash cards include built in compression engines.  By default, the compression engines are performing lossless compression on the data sent from the host to reduce the physical writes to the NAND.  As a result, there is actually free space available on the NAND even after the drive appears full to the host.  With thin provisioning enabled, the flash technology can expose this free space to the host as additional usable capacity.  As a result, the thin provisioning can expose up to 2x its rated capacity as logical capacity.  As the compressibility ratio of the data changes over time, the exposed space will dynamically adjust, hence the Dynamic Logical Capacity technology name.

For example, a database application sends 800GB of data to a 800GB PCIe-based flash card and the card appears full. However, the data was 2:1 compressible, meaning that only 400GB of NAND was physically consumed to write the 800GB of data.  The card still has 400GB of available space.  With thin provisioning enabled, the application can communicate with the PCIe-based flash card to store more data in the same available capacity.  With 2:1 compressible data, this would result in the application being able to write 1.6TB of data to the 800GB card.  Utilizing such technology requires close coordination between the PCIe-based flash card and the application. 

Deploying PCIe Flash Based Technology with DLC enabled utilizing Flashcache

When implementing PCIe flash into a MySQL and Oracle Linux environment, decisions have to be made on how to utilize the flash storage. Do you:

1. Convert all of the database objects to flash,
2. Convert parts of the database objects to flash, or
3. Implement caching.

The first two options require DBA involvement with corresponding database downtime during the conversion. Option two requires the DBA to constantly look at database objects that are frequently accessed hot data, to update where the database objects reside: traditional hard disk drives (HDD) or on the flash technology.

If the datacenter wants little or no DBA involvement, automatic data tiering with no database changes, then implementing Facebook’s Flashcache caching module for the Oracle Linux is a good fit. What is Flashcache? Here is a quote from Facebook describing Flashcache:

“Flashcache is a simple write back persistent block cache designed to accelerate reads and writes from slower rotational media by caching data in SSD's. We built Flashcache to help us scale InnoDB/MySQL, but it was designed as a generic caching module that can be used with any application built on top of any block device. For InnoDB, when the working set does not fit in the InnoDB buffer pool, read latency is significantly improved due to caching more of the working set in faster media, such as SSD's. We also improve write performance by first caching writes in SSD's and lazily flushing the data back to disk.”*

Benefits of Implementing both Nytro DLC on Oracle Linux and Flashcache:

By implementing Seagate’s version of Flaschcache with imbedded Nytro DLC on Oracle Linux, the Flashcache caching technology can now take full advantage of the expanded benefits of Seagate PCIe flash storage:
  • Expose up to 2x of the PCIe-based cards rated capacity as logical capacity
  • Higher cache hit rates and fewer latency spikes associated without requiring physical reads from HDD to retrieve the data
  • Lower effective cost per GB
  • Improved GB / Watt
  • Flashcache is a proven caching technology for the InnoDB storage engine in MySQL; and it supports Write-through, Write-around and Write-Back caching options.

For more information about this technology please visit Seagate's Nytro and Oracle Linux websites. 


Friday May 22, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Getting Started with Docker on Oracle Linux

Happy Friday everyone! 

We have a great technical article for you this Friday.  In this article, you learn how to customize a Docker container image and use it to instantiate application instances across different Linux servers. This article describes how to create a Dockerfile, how to allocate runtime resources to containers, and how to establish a communication channel between two containers (for example, between web server and database containers). 

Ginny Henningsen quotes "Docker is exciting because it can easily capture a full application environment into a virtual container that can be deployed across different Linux servers. System administrators and software developers are learning that Docker can help them deploy application images on Linux quickly, reliably, and consistently—without dependency and portability problems that can inject delays into planned deployment schedules. Docker containers can define an application and its dependencies using a small text file (a Dockerfile) that can be moved to different Linux releases and quickly rebuilt, simplifying application portability. In this way, "Dockerized" applications are easily migrated to different Linux servers where they can execute on bare metal, in a virtual machine, or on Linux instances in the cloud. "

As shown in Figure 1, Docker containers consume fewer resources than "heavyweight" hypervisor-based solutions. Hypervisor-based solutions host a full-blown operating system instance in each virtual machine guest, but this also allows them to support different operating systems. (Oracle VM, for example, can host Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, and Microsoft Windows in virtual machines.) 

Read more 

Friday May 15, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Oracle and Intel Engineers Share their Stories in this Podcast

Intel and Oracle have worked together for over 20 years to ensure that hardware and software are optimized to work together for maximum performance and reliability. In this podcast, listen as two engineering experts from Oracle Linux team and Intel discuss how they work closely together to solve problems and create opportunities for their customers with co-developed technologies.

In this podcast, Guru Anbalagane, Director of Linux Kernel Development at Oracle, and Dave Hansen, Kernel Engineer at Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, trade stories about how the two companies draw on deep co-engineering relationships to deliver mission-critical-ready engineered solutions.  

The years of close cooperation between Intel and Oracle deliver more than just enhanced performance and reliability. All the changes and updates from this collaboration gets loaded into mainline Linux kernel and which is available to all the open source community. 

Listen to this podcast to hear more about the stories.

Read Intel's blog about this podcast. 

Friday May 08, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT:Oracle Linux and Intel: The Power and Freedom to Innovate

Enterprise infrastructure based on Oracle Linux and the Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8800/4800 v3 product families delivers state-of-the-art performance and mission critical reliability, on a cost-effective and truly open platform. Building on over 20 years of collaboration between Oracle and Intel, the technology stack brings out the best of hardware and software that are engineered to work together.

IT organizations searching for ways to do more with less are implementing open-standards infrastructure based on Oracle Linux and Intel® Xeon® processors. As a single consolidation target to replace multiple technologies and Linux* variants, these systems offer a flexible, powerful platform for innovation that is based on highly optimized combinations of hardware and software building blocks.

Friday May 01, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Optimizing Oracle Database Performance on Oracle Linux with Flash

Happy Friday!

This week, I'm dipping into the archives for a really interesting white paper, "Optimizing Oracle Database Performance on Oracle Linux with Flash." It talks about one of my favorite benefits of running Oracle Linux or Oracle Solaris with Oracle database called Database Smart Flash Cache. From the summary of the paper:

"This document explains how to increase Oracle database performance and improve user response time by deploying Oracle’s Flash Accelerator hardware with Oracle’s Database Smart Flash Cache feature. Oracle’s Database Smart Flash Cache feature is supported only on Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris operating systems beginning with Oracle 11gR2.

The benefits outlined here apply to all Oracle Flash products on Oracle Linux or Oracle Solaris. For this particular study Oracle’s PCIe based in-server Sun Flash Accelerator F40 PCIe Card and Oracle Linux with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel were used. The findings apply to both the Sun Flash Accelerator F40 and F80 PCIe Cards."

You can read the full paper here.

I also wanted to give a reminder for our webcast next week on Docker. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn not only how to get your feet wet with Docker and Oracle Linux, but you'll also learn the sorts of use cases where Docker really shines from one of our top experts, Avi Miller.

Getting Started with Oracle Linux and Docker webcast
May 7, 2015
2PM-3PM Pacific Time

Register Now

We'll see you next week!


Thursday Apr 30, 2015

Oracle Linux and Oracle VM at EMCWorld 2015

This year Oracle is Bronze sponsor at EMC World 2015, Las Vegas, May 4-7.

EMC and Oracle have a long-standing relationship committed to providing our joint customers with innovative solutions to meet their evolving real-world requirements. This relationship is highlighted by continuous certification of  PowerPath on Oracle VM releases and numerous EMC storage certifications.

We will have Oracle Linux and Oracle VM experts that can answer your questions at our Booth #1223. Come and visit us to see how we work with EMC. Exhibition hours are:

Monday May 4, 2015 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday May 5, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday May 6, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Hope to see you at EMC World 2015.

Wednesday Apr 29, 2015

Learn about Docker and Oracle Linux!

Docker has been an extremely interesting technology for Linux users, but how do you get started with it? We have a very cool webcast coming up that you won't want to miss titled "Getting Started with Oracle Linux and Docker."

Featuring Oracle Director of Product Management Avi Miller, the webcast will describe how Docker can be used with Oracle Linux to simplify your application deployment. Avi has a wealth of experience with Linux, Docker, and many other technologies and will take you through the nuts and bolts of using Docker with Oracle Linux.

Getting Started with Oracle Linux and Docker webcast
May 7, 2015
2PM-3PM Pacific Time

Register Now

If you have any interest in Docker, you won't want to miss this!


Tuesday Apr 28, 2015

The April 2015 Oracle Linux Newsletter is Now Available

The April 2015 edition of the Oracle Linux Newsletter is now available! In this issue, read about:

  • Oracle Linux 7.1 
  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel R3 Quarterly Update 5
  • How Epsilon uses Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
  • A new economic impact report on Oracle VM and Oracle Linux
  • Upcoming in-person events like Oracle OpenWorld and OpenStack Summit, and upcoming webcasts
  • And much more!

You can read the latest edition online right now, or subscribe to get it automatically sent to your inbox. Enjoy!



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