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 22, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Meet us at OpenStack Summit - April 25-29

 

Oracle is sponsoring the OpenStack Summit at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, April 25-29. The OpenStack Summit is a gathering of IT leaders, telco operators, cloud administrators, app developers and OpenStack contributors building the future of cloud computing. Hear business cases and operational experience directly from users, learn about new products in the ecosystem and participate in hands-on workshops to build your skills. Attended by thousands of people from more than 50 countries, it’s the ideal venue to plan your cloud strategy and share knowledge about architecting and operating OpenStack clouds.

See What Makes Oracle the Leader in OpenStack Computing 

Oracle offers fully integrated OpenStack enterprise cloud solutions with single support for all components in the stack including applications, database, middleware, guest OS, host OS, virtualization and OpenStack. Bringing Oracle experience in stability, availability, performance, debugging and diagnostics to enable the world’s toughest enterprise workloads in the cloud. 

Visit us at OpenStack Marketplace – Oracle Booth B30

Learn how Oracle’s OpenStack-focused products and solutions enable faster deployment, easy management and richer observability for DevOps. We will have engineers and demos for :
  • Oracle OpenStack for Solaris 
  • Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance
  • Oracle Optimized Solutions 

OpenStack Marketplace Hours:

  • Monday, April 25           6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 26          10:45am – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, April 27     10:30am – 6:00pm 
  • Thursday, April 28         10:30am – 1:30pm 

Attend Oracle Session: Tuesday, April 26th, 2pm

Why Should You Attend?  

The OpenStack Summit is a gathering of IT leaders, telco operators, cloud administrators, app developers and OpenStack contributors building the future of cloud computing. Hear business cases and operational experience directly from users, learn about new products in the ecosystem and participate in hands-on workshops to build your skills. Attended by thousands of people from more than 50 countries, it’s the ideal venue to plan your cloud strategy and share knowledge about architecting and operating OpenStack clouds.

How Do I Find Out More? 
Learn more about the OpenStack Summit in Austin.

See you in Austin!

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.

Thursday Apr 14, 2016

Lenovo Publishes Oracle Validated Configuration – Beyond Just Hardware Certifications

Oracle Validated Configuration – Beyond Just Hardware Certifications

Check out the newly announced Oracle Validated Configuration with the Lenovo x3950 X6 servers and a new Lenovo Press guide titled Oracle and Lenovo X6 Validated Configuration Guide. These Oracle Validated Configurations are just some of the configurations that have been defined, tested and validated by Lenovo and Oracle.

A previous blog Powering Diverse Oracle Workloads spoke about Lenovo servers listed on the Oracle Hardware Certification Lists (HCL) that are qualified to run Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. Several Lenovo servers are Oracle HCL certified.

Some of the benefits of the validated configuration :

  • Achieve standardization and reliability with lower cost
  • Accelerate and simplify deployment of Oracle software on Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
  • Lower cost for end users by reducing deployment testing
  • Mitigate customer risk
  • Read more about this configuration and benefits here.

Configuration summary – hardware:

  • Two Lenovo System x3950 X6 systems
  • IBM Storwize V7000
  • Lenovo Rackswitch G8124E
  • Brocade 16 GB FC SAN Switch 6510
  • Emulex VFA5 ML2 Dual Port 10 GbE SFP+ adapter
  • QLogic 16 GB FC Dual-port HBA

Configuration summary – software:

  • Oracle Database 12c
  • Oracle Linux 7
  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernal Release 3

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 . 

Friday Mar 25, 2016

Friday Spotlight: Celebrating Easter and a Week of Great Announcements

Hi everyone,

Today is Good Friday, happy Easter to those celebrating around the world. It is one of my favorite holidays with family gatherings, egg hunts, Easter bunnies and chocolate! If you want to know how bunnies and eggs fit to this holiday here's a great article in The Telegraph explaining everything you need to know.  

For us it was a busy week with announcement of Oracle Cloud Machine yesterday. Oracle Cloud Machine is the newest Oracle engineered systems offering. It allows customers to deploy and consume Oracle Cloud IaaS and PaaS in data centers "behind their own firewalls". This is interesting primarily because it diverges from the traditional "private cloud" strategy. Nirav Mehta, Oracle's VP of Product Management, candidly discussed some of the issues in trying to build a true private cloud. The underlying OS is Oracle Linux, of course! Read more here.

There was also  Oracle VM 3.4 announcement yesterday which has following key enhancements and features:

  • Storage Live Migration
  • Virtual Appliance import and export
  • Oracle Ksplice support
  • Infrastructure updates to Oracle VM Server for x86 – Xen 4.4 and UEK4
  • Infrastructure update to Oracle VM Manager – WebLogic 12c and MySQL 5.6 
  • and more...

This week we have also released a new podcast - quick summary of the Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux - that we think you will find interesting. It provides an overview of the key features,  key MySQL components and availability enhancements.

Listen to the podcast

We also recommend subscribing to our podcasts (oracle linux feed) in iTunes.  

Have a great weekend and happy Easter!

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 Mar 04, 2016

Friday Spotlight: TechCast Interview with Greg Marsden about UEK

In today's Friday blog, we want to spotlight the TechCast video that our OTN community manager, Logan Rosenstein had recorded. In this interview, Greg Marsden, Software Development Senior Director for Oracle Linux Kernel Development, talks about the development of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, open source maintainers in Oracle and how kernel engineers work with the community. Don't miss this insightful interview.

Watch now. 

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 12, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Attend Virtual Technology Summit in March and April

Oracle Technology Network welcomes you to join the Virtual Technology Summit from where you are- you don't need to travel. Attend this online event to watch technical demos and participate in hands-on-labs delivered by Oracle product experts, Oracle ACE’s, and Java Champions. Choose your technology track below for the full agenda, abstracts, and HOL participation instructions. 

Database: The database track provides latest updates and in-depth topics covering Oracle Database 12c Advanced Options, new generation application development with JSON, Node.js and Oracle Database Cloud, as well as sessions dedicated to the most recent capabilities of Oracle MySQL for Oracle DBAs and Developers. 

Java: In this track, we will show you improvements to the Java platform and APIs. You’ll also learn how the Java language enables you to develop innovative applications using Microservices, parallel programming, integrate with other languages and tools, as well as insight for the APIs that will substantially boost your productivity. 

Middleware: The middleware track offers developers focused on gaining new skills and expertise in emerging technology areas such as Internet of Thing (IoT), Mobile and PaaS. This track also provides latest updates on Oracle WebLogic 12.2.1.and Java EE. 

Systems: Designed for System Administrators this track covers best practices for implementing, optimizing, and securing your operating system, management tools, and hardware. In addition, we will also discuss best practices for Storage, SPARC, and Software Development.

  • Attend VTS around the world, register here 
    • Americas  -  March 8, 2016 | 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. PT / 12:30 p.m.– 4:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. BRT
    • EMEA -  April 5, 2016 |9:30–13:30 GMT (UK) / 11:30–14:30 CEST
    • APAC - March 15, 2016 | 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. IST / 12:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. SGT / 3:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. AEDT

Friday Feb 05, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Strategies for Building Open Cloud Enabled Infrastructure Webinar

Hi everyone,

Happy Super Bowl Friday! I live in Santa Clara, California so this week had been a busy one for us and we are looking forward to a great Super Bowl 50 experience. Another great event I want to tell you is the live webinar we are organizing in early March. Don't miss it:

Webinar: Strategies for Building Open Cloud Enabled Infrastructure

Date: Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Time: 9-10 AM Pacific Standard Time

Register today

Enterprises are rapidly embracing cloud services to speed innovation and drive cost savings.  Innovative IT organizations are leaping to software-defined ‘virtual data centers’ that enable corporate IT to connect, aggregate, and configure computing resources public and private in unprecedented ways.  For many companies, private cloud infrastructure that can run existing applications as well as cloud-native applications are an attractive alternative to re-writing their existing applications to run in a public cloud.

Join this webinar to hear:
- How to create and agile private cloud infrastructure that can grow with your company
- Strategies and benefits to implement an open source cloud environment
- Benefits of using converged infrastructure in cloud

Robert G. Shimp
Group Vice President, Product Management
Oracle Linux and Virtualization

Bob Shimp has more than 30 years of experience in enterprise software and hardware, marketing and sales operations, and business planning. He has guided the launch of hundreds of products for Oracle over the years. He holds a BS in electrical engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds MBA and JD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Charlie Boyle
Sr. Director
Converged Infrastructure

Charlie is responsible product marketing for Oracle Converged Infrastructure products including Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. He had launched Oracle’s first converged infrastructure product, delivering new growth to engineered systems product line. He had been working in IT industry for many years in companies like Sun Microsystems, Voxeo and Digex.

 Register today 

Friday Jan 29, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Running OpenSCAP Compliance Checks on Oracle Linux

This Friday we would like to highlight a great new OTN article: Running OpenSCAP compliance checks on Oracle Linux.

Many of you may have heard OpenSCAP, if not here are some details. SCAP is U.S. standard maintained by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). SCAP is a multi-purpose framework of specifications that supports automated configuration, vulnerability and patch checking, technical control compliance activities, and security measurement. 

As a part of IT security management, organizations usually define a security policy that standardizes optimal internal practices, processes, and configurations. When a company stores or processes sensitive data (including personal identity, financial data, or healthcare records), the security policy must also reflect relevant government and regulatory standards such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Standards often specify hardening guidelines and IT system requirements as well as required security practices. Many standards also mandate formal security reviews that must be performed by certified auditors on a regular schedule. In addition to these formal compliance assessments, IT departments typically conduct informal security reviews to detect and remedy vulnerabilities that might otherwise result in system or data compromise.

The diversity of data center systems adds to the challenge of developing effective and efficient strategies for IT security management. To help organizations automate compliance checks and implement security policy more universally across heterogeneous data centers, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) standard. NIST created SCAP to provide a standardized approach for implementing enterprise system security and baseline profiles for compliance audits. Based on the SCAP standard, the OpenSCAP project supplies open source tools and policies to automate compliance checking and consistently apply security policy across different system types.

To automate compliance checking on Oracle Linux servers, the operating system includes packages containing an OpenSCAP framework and an implementation of the OpenSCAP interpreter, oscap. In addition, Oracle makes SCAP content files available to evaluate Oracle Linux system configurations against a defined security policy, industry-accepted hardening guidelines, and known vulnerabilities. This article can help administrators get started using the OpenSCAP functionality in Oracle Linux. It describes the various SCAP content files available to automate compliance checks, as well as how to obtain and use security advisory content that Oracle regularly publishes. It also discusses how to use Spacewalk, a tool for Linux systems management, to run OpenSCAP audits on Spacewalk-managed Oracle Linux client systems.

Read more in this full article: Running OpenSCAP Compliance Checks on Oracle Linux

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