Tuesday Aug 18, 2015

It's true - Docker coming to Oracle Solaris

Just a quick post, we announced a while ago that we will be bringing Docker to Oracle Solaris - you can read some background and find a link to the press release here.We'll hopefully be talking about developments at this year's Oracle Openworld so maybe I'll see you there.

Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Introducing Secure Live Migration

Secure Live Migration with Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones

Hopefully you have heard about the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta release but if not you can learn more here.

One of the key features of the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta release is the introduction of Secure Live Migration for Kernel Zones. This feature brings with it a couple of things of note.

First the obvious part - with live migration system administrators can limit the number and types of outages to applications and end users. This is particularly useful when there is a requirement to do system maintenance to the underlying OS or hardware. The Kernel Zones environments can be migrated off the source system before this maintenance. This is especially useful in today's datacenter where workloads (and owners of those workloads) running on systems can be many and varied. It is not always simple to organise a common outage window and can actually be quite frustrating.

Secondly the secure part. With secure live migration, not only is your data protected but man in the middle attacks are prevented. As with other security features in Oracle Solaris this is the default setting and automatically takes advantage of the available hardware crypto accelerators - meaning you get this protection at no additional performance cost. You may have to set up some security keys but our documentation walks you through this.

So, you are about to try live migrating a Kernel Zones, here are 10 things you might not know:

  1. We recommend that you use a 10GB link between the source and target systems
  2. Live migration with Kernel Zones is available on both SPARC and x86 systems
  3. On SPARC you will need to update your firmware to the appropriate system firmware level (see the docs for actual details)
  4. We recommend you perform live migration with a non-root user
  5. You will need running instances of these 3 services: live migration daemon, Remote Administration Daemon, and NTP server
  6. You can perform a dry run of a live migration with the -n option to zoneadm migrate
  7. Right now you cannot live migrate an LDom guest that has a running Kernel Zone inside it
  8. You might want to consider having a dedicated link for live migration or putting some bandwidth controls on
  9. Live migration tasks are performed by the zone itself so if you have CPU resource limits in place, make sure there is sufficient for the live migration task
  10. You don't have to have a config for a zone setup on the target system, you can configure a privileged to get this done automatically
That's it for now, good luck with the Oracle Solaris 11.3 beta and do let us know in the comments how you get on.

New features in Oracle Solaris Zones

 New Oracle Solaris Zones features

In case you missed it, and how could you, the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta was made available today. You can find the details here.

As always the Oracle Solaris Virtualization team has been very busy and there is a great list of things that they have delivered. Here are a few highlights:

  • Secure Live Migration: Kernel Zones can now be moved around the datacenter without causing an outage. End users can be unaffected and moved onto other systems whilst administrators perform key system maintenance. The secure part of the migration means that data is protected while man in the middle attacks are prevented.
  • Zones on Shared Storage (NFS): Now in addition to SAN and iSCSI you can put your zoneroot on NFS shared storage. Administrators can continue to benefit from snapshots, cloning and zone boot environments while choosing the appropriate storage for their environment (right now this is for Kernel Zones only)
  • Live Zone Reconfiguration: Originally introduced in Oracle Solaris 11.2, with the latest beta release the benefits of Live Zone Reconfiguration come to Kernel Zones with the ability to reconfigure the network and attached devices without the need for a reboot.
  • Virtualized Clocks for Oracle Solaris Zones: We've just had a leap second, with virtualized clocks support in Oracle Solaris Native Zones you can now test how a system will behave in advance. Of course you could always do this with Kernel Zones but now this functionality is extended across the entire zones family.
Here's hoping you enjoy running the new features in Oracle Solaris Zones - do let us know via the comments how you get on.

Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

The best practice for Kernel Zones

Just a quick update today. The Oracle Solaris Zones engineering team have pulled together a best practice guide for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones. Keep in mind that this is just general information for a generic setup, it's impossible to allow for every possible configuration or use case, but it's invaluable to help you get things going. Enjoy.

Wednesday Dec 17, 2014

Kernel Zones in 5 minutes

I was lucky enough to get some time to tell Rick Ramsay about Kernel Zones, unfortunately it was only 5 minutes ;-) You can see the result here (go on you know you want to):

You can also get started with Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones with the help of this howto guide.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2014

Which Oracle Solaris Virtualization

From time to time as the product manager for Oracle Solaris Virtualization I get asked by customers which virtualization technology they should choose. This is probably because of two main reasons.

  1. Choice: Oracle Solaris provides a choice of virtualization technologies so you can tailor your virtual infrastructure to best fit your application, not to have force (and hence compromise) your application to fit a single option 
  2. No way back: There is the perception, once you make your choice if you get it wrong there is no way back (or a very difficult way back), so it is really important to make the right choice

Understandably there is occasionally a lot of angst around this decision but, as always, with Oracle Solaris there is good news. First the choice isn't as complex as it first seems and below is a diagram that can help you get a feel for that choice. We now have many many customers that are discovering that the combination of Oracle Solaris Zones inside OVM Server for SPARC instances (Logical Domains) gives them the best of both worlds.

Second with Unified Archives in Oracle Solaris 11.2 you always have a way back. With a Unified Archive you can move from a Native Zone to a Kernel Zone to a Logical Domain to Bare Metal and any and all combinations in-between. You can test which is the best type of virtualization for your applications and infrastructure and if you don't like it change to another type in a few minutes. 

Monday Nov 25, 2013

OOW 2013 Cloud HOL

Didn't manage to make it to the OOW 2013 Oracle Solaris 11 in the Cloud Hands on Lab? Well now you can follow the instructions online. Enjoy.

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

OOW13 - it's a wrap

After all the build up we find ourselves at the other side of Oracle OpenWorld 2013. For me, doing booth duty, a Hands on Lab and helping with a session meant for a busy but fun week. Meeting lots of customers was certainly the best bit and interest from DBAs was particularly high this year. The event was made more interesting by having a Kiwi on our team and watching hope turn to fear turn to despair as the America's Cup battle was resolved.

That said I do recommend that you check out Markus Flierl's blog to get a great summary of what we are up to in Oracle Solaris land.

My personal highlight of the week? In the Cloud Hands on Lab one of the attendees hit a problem, luckily I had support from two of the Oracle Solaris Zones lead architects. Cue debugging, crash dumps, core analysis and code searching. If you look very closely you can see them below, still at it after everyone else had left and even resisting the temptation of beers! Now that was a master class worth seeing.

Thursday Nov 08, 2012

Solaris Cloud Datasheet

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS graphic

Well you all get that Oracle Solaris 11 is the first cloud OS, but not only do we supply the ideal infrastructure for an enterprise class cloud, we give you a great management solution and can actually show you how to build a pre-tested, optimized solution. Read all about it here.

Friday Oct 12, 2012

Solaris: Built for the cloud

Not able to get to all the pods at Oracle Open World? Well at least you can now see what we had to say at the Oracle Solaris Cloud pod. This uncut version will be also entered into the "Who ate all the pies?" category at the Oscars.

Monday Jun 11, 2012

Network Balancing Act

Next up in our popular Oracle Solaris How To series is the Integrated Load Balancer, part of the suite of network facilities that are built in to Oracle Solaris 11. Providing Layer 3 and Layer 4 load balancing capabilities you can use this device to simulate or even replace your hardware based network infrastructure.

Read more about the capabilities and how to get a basic configuration working in How to Set Up a Load-Balanced Application Across Two Oracle Solaris Zones

Thursday May 24, 2012

Get networking fast ...

network graphic

In case you haven't noticed (and if you haven't just what have you been doing) there were some great innovations and improvements to networking in Oracle Solaris 11. One part was improving the networking commands to align better with their actions at the same time making them much easier to use.

Of course sometimes you just want to get going with some simple examples of the commands and how you use them. How to Get Started Configuring Your Network in Solaris 11 takes you through the more basic initial commands that you will need to use. Check it out today.

Wednesday May 02, 2012

Oracle Solaris Zones Preflight System Checker

Not using Oracle Solaris Zones? I have to ask, why not? With massive adoption on Oracle Solaris and the additions to Oracle Solaris Zones in Oracle Solaris 11 the reasons to place your applications inside a zone just become more and more compelling.

Now, there is one less reason not to move. It's there already as part of the product in Oracle Solaris 11, but for those of you with Oracle Solaris 10 systems you can now get access to the Oracle Solaris Zones Preflight System Checker on OTN (scroll down a bit from the link).

You can now evaluate an Oracle Solaris 10 host for migration into an Oracle Solaris Zone.  The following migration scenarios are supported:

  • Migration to an Oracle Solaris Zone on an Oracle Solaris 10 Host.
  • Migration to an Oracle Solaris Zone on an Oracle Solaris 11 Host.

And gives you the following capabilities:

  • Analysis of the Oracle Solaris configuration, including networking, storage, and Oracle Solaris Operating system features in use.
  • Analysis of application binaries.
  • Analysis of running applications.
  • Generation of a template Oracle Solaris Zone configuration to use on the target host. 

Wednesday Jul 13, 2011

Zone a dee doo dah

What a wonderful day, see how you can use Oracle Solaris Zones to rapidly deploy your applications into your infrastructure.

Rapid Deployment Image

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