Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Release of Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta

Today is a very exciting day for the Solaris team: This morning we've released a beta for Solaris 11.3, less than a year after we released Solaris 11.2.

With Solaris 11.2 we turned Solaris into a comprehensive cloud platform which includes virtualization, SDN and OpenStack. Since the release of Solaris 11.2 we've seen a rapid uptake of these new capabilities: A lot of customers a using Unified Archives for deploying their images, are taking advantage of the immutable root-file system, have started to deploy Kernel Zones and OpenStack and take advantage of the automated compliance reporting. The latter has become a lot easier since we are tracking the CVE meta data with IPS. We are getting a lot of good feedback on OpenStack: We recently even received a big compliment from one of the senior architects of one of our OpenStack competitors: He said that Solaris provides the best integration for OpenStack since the OpenStack services are mapped to the Solaris service management facility (smf) which provide automated restarting capabilities for all of the OpenStack services and since we've also tightly integrated it with our role-based access control capabilities in order to limit the privileges required for administering OpenStack.

Solaris 11.3 is taking things to the next level by making Solaris the most advanced enterprise cloud platform. We are introducing a number of critical enhancements in the following areas:

1. Security and Compliance:
x Verified boot for Kernel Zones
x BSD Packet Filter
x Tailoring of compliance policies

2. Virtualization:
x Secure (encrypted) live migration of Kernel Zones
x Zones on Shared Storage via NFS
x Live reconfiguration of I/O resources

3. OpenStack: There are a number of major enhancements:
x Automated upgrades to the newer versions of OpenStack
x Support for orchestration of services (Heat)
x Support for bare metal provisioning (Ironic): This is already in S11.3 but not yet in the beta

We are also working on integrating DBaaS with Trove and Murano. On the latter I had provided an overview at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit back in May.

4. Networking:
x Private VLANs
x Flows support for DSCP Marking

5. Deep integration with the Oracle stack, for instance:
x Up to 6x faster DB restart and shut-down by leveraging the latest Virtual Memory Management(VM2) capabilities

In addition to that we are providing early access to the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) components that we are shipping with Solaris.

Of course these are just some of the highlights, there are a ton of other enhancements.

Have fun exploring Solaris 11.3!
Markus

Friday Oct 03, 2014

Oracle Solaris and OpenStack at Oracle Open World 2014

Another busy Oracle Open World week is over: For me this one was the busiest and most successful one ever. We had a record number of Solaris and OpenStack sessions. I've personally set a new record for the number of customer, analyst and partner meetings. In a lot of the sessions we had customers and partners co-present on the benefits they are seeing with the latest Solaris 11.2 features.

It all started on Sunday with Larry Ellison's Keynote where he highlighted Oracle's focus on Cloud and the large portfolio of cloud offerings that Oracle now provides. Larry also provided a preview of the new features that the M7 processor is going to introduce next year. Aside from doubling the cores and increasing the clock speed it will also introduce a bunch of cutting edge Software in Silicon features which not only provide significant performance and efficiency gains for the Oracle DB, but also introduces the Application Data Integrity (ADI) feature which allows developers to write more stable code C and C++ code and also protects the Oracle DB as well as other applications from attacks like Heartbleed. This new capability in particular raised a lot of interest among customers and I got a lot of questions throughout the week.

In my General Session I started out by highlighting how Solaris has evolved from a Server OS to a comprehensive cloud platform which includes the OS, the virtualization, the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as well as a full distribution of OpenStack. The increased investment that Oracle is putting into Solaris has allowed us to drastically increase the pace of our development. With Solaris 11.2 we are seeing customers deploying Solaris at a large scale achieving productivity gains up to 16x compared to equivalent Redhat environments. Solaris 11.2 also helps customers keep their environment in compliance and allows them to automate their compliance reporting. See our Solaris site for more details. I also talked about the rapid market share gain that we are now seeing vs. IBM: In Q2 of fiscal 2014 SPARC/ Solaris gained 6.1% market share measured in WW revenue in the RISC/ UNIX market while AIX/Power lost 4.6%. This was the 4th quarter in a row where we gained market share. Not only is SPARC/Solaris winning over AIX/Power, we are increasingly seeing customers moving their workloads over from RHEL/ x86 environments.

One of those customers is Morgan Stanley: I was very excited that Robert Milkowski from Morgan Stanley could join me and talked about their increased use of Solaris. He described how moving their OpenAFS environment over from Redhat to Solaris has allowed them to compress their data from 7 PB down to 2PB with huge savings for the firm. By taking advantage of the compression in ZFS they are able to reach compression rates between 3 and 20 while achieving better reliability and availability. He also described how the simplified life cycle management in Solaris 11 has allowed them to automate most of their patching. They have moved some of their in-house software into IPS resulting in additional simplification of their application life cycle management. They are also expanding the use of Solaris into their Sybase and KDB environment.

Not only are we seeing a lot of momentum with customers, we are also seeing the Solaris ecosystem expanding: At the end of my session I was joined by Robert Jenkins, CEO of CloudSigma who announced the launch of their Solaris IaaS offering on both SPARC as well as x86. CloudSigma is seeing a lot of interest from customers in Solaris-based IaaS given the unique security as well as compliance capabilities that Solaris now offers. Leveraging the new kernel zones virtualization in Solaris 11.2 allows them to provide the highest levels of performance, security, compliance and availability.

A lot of the other Solaris and OpenStack sessions also had customers and partners presenting. For instance, Chris Riggin from Verizon talked about their private cloud offering and their plans for OpenStack. Chris also described how their use of Solaris zones allows them to provide highly available Solaris IaaS at a significantly lower cost than RHEL/ VMware/ x86.

We no longer look at it as just a mere OS, we now look at it as a comprehensive cloud platform: OS + OS Virtualization + SDN + Storage Virtualization plus Cloud Management tools, configuration, compliance reporting etc. all in one! It doesn't make sense to compare Solaris against RHEL, that's like comparing a spare part vs. a full solution. Solaris is the ideal platform for any kind of SaaS, PaaS (Oracle DB, Oracle Middleware, Oracle Java) as well as IaaS.

I also shared some examples of what we are currently focusing on:
1. Kernel Zones: There are a number of enhancements that are currently in the works, e.g. live migration.
2. Zero Downtime Patching: This is very critical for customers who want to minimize their planned downtime. I frequently hear from customers that they are struggling to find the time to apply critical security fixes while meeting their uptime targets. We are working on enabling them to satisfy both of these requirements at the same time.
3. OpenStack: Solaris 11.2 provides all of the infrastructure required for IaaS. Our current focus is on going upstack and providing DBaaS as well as PaaS capabilities. In addition to that we are also working on additional automation of the undercloud deployment incl. configuration and authentication.
4. Cloud Analytics: As customers are moving from a first generation cloud environment which still required a lot of manual intervention to a next generation cloud which includes Software Defined Networking and Storage, it becomes absolutely critical to have rich analytics capabilities that provide both high-level views of their environment, but also allow them to dig deep into each of their sub components if necessary. This is something that we are heavily investing in currently.

Not to mention the 100s of other projects that I haven't listed here.

Solaris is on a mission to kick butt! More to come...

Markus

Saturday Apr 05, 2014

Don't miss the announcement of Solaris 11.2

It's very hard for me to find time for writing a blog these days: I've been quite busy working with my team on getting the final features into Solaris 11.2, making sure that we address any remaining critical defects while getting ready for the announcement of Solaris 11.2 in NYC on April 29. I find the latter particularly hard: Trying to squeeze all of the new capabilities of Solaris 11.2 into a 45 min preso feels like trying to squeeze four elephants into a VW Beetle.

The current plan for April 29 is to start by ringing the bell and open up the stock market in the morning followed by the announcement event after lunch at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 W. 18th Street in New York.

Solaris 11.2 is a huge step function: We are introducing a number number of key differentiators into Solaris. I'm very proud of what my team has delivered over the last couple of years!

Don't miss it! Here is the registration page.
Markus

Thursday Feb 06, 2014

Solaris on Pluribus Networks' Server Switches

While there has been a lot of talk about Software Defined Networking (SDN) the reality is that enterprise customers are still struggling to figure out how to make use of the existing solutions. Scalability in particular is a huge problem, both in terms of throughput performance as well as scalability across a large number of physical nodes.

As I had mentioned in my Oracle Open World blog a couple of months ago, Solaris will be introducing a number of interesting Software Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities in this space later this year. Back in 2011 Solaris 11 introduced a number of cutting edge network virtualization capabilities in Solaris itself: The re-architecture of our L2 networking provides 1. Isolation of networking traffic using vNICS, 2. Resource Control for the networking traffic using flows 3. Virtual Networking services like load balancing, routing and fire walling as well as fine-grain stats (dlstat and flowstat) for everything that's going on in this virtual environment. All of this at near zero performance overhead and fully integrated with the Solaris zones and OVM virtualization (aka ldoms). With S11.2 we will be introducing a distributed virtual switch which means we are breaking down the limitation of a single Solaris instance and we will allow customers to create these virtual network across physical nodes.

In this context we have been working with Pluribus Networks for a while and they have just certified Solaris 11 on their Freedom series Server-Switch platform. Instead of treating network devices as a black box they now become accessible to a Solaris administrator. Virtual Network Services can now be dynamically re-provisioned onto the network switch. Pluribus Networks' Netvisor which runs on Solaris 11 allows customers to get a detailed view of all of the flows in the network. With the release of Solaris 11.2 we'll have OpenStack available as a first-class citizen of Solaris to manage the compute, the network and the storage resources of a Solaris-based cloud.

More details under:
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/2132552 or
http://www.4-traders.com/news/Pluribus-Networks-Integrates-Netvisor-Software-and-Freedom-Server-Switch-Platforms-With-Oracle-Solar--17908385/

Very cool!
Markus

Thursday Nov 29, 2007

Solaris at Oracle Open World 2014

Another busy Oracle Open World week is over: For me this one was the busiest and most successful one ever. We had a record number of Solaris and OpenStack sessions. I've personally set a new record for the number of customer, analyst and partner meetings. In a lot of the sessions we had customers and partners co-present on the benefits they are seeing with the latest Solaris 11.2 features.

It all started on Sunday with Larry Ellison's Keynote where he highlighted Oracle's focus on Cloud and the large portfolio of cloud offerings that Oracle now provides. Larry also provided a preview of the new features that the M7 processor is going to introduce next year. Aside from doubling the cores and increasing the clock speed it will also introduce a bunch of cutting edge Software in Silicon features which not only provide significant performance and efficiency gains for the Oracle DB, but also introduces the Application Data Integrity (ADI) feature which allows developers to write more stable code C and C++ code and also protects the Oracle DB as well as other applications from attacks like Heartbleed. This new capability in particular raised a lot of interest among customers and I got a lot of questions throughout the week.

In my General Session I started out by highlighting how Solaris has evolved from a Server OS to a comprehensive cloud platform which includes the OS, the virtualization, the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as well as a full distribution of OpenStack. The increased investment that Oracle is putting into Solaris has allowed us to drastically increase the pace of our development. With Solaris 11.2 we are seeing customers deploying Solaris at a large scale achieving productivity gains up to 16x compared to equivalent Redhat environments. Solaris 11.2 also helps customers keep their environment in compliance and allows them to automate their compliance reporting. See our Solaris site for more details. I also talked about the rapid market share gain that we are now seeing vs. IBM: In Q2 of fiscal 2014 SPARC/ Solaris gained 6.1% market share measured in WW revenue in the RISC/ UNIX market while AIX/Power lost 4.6%. This was the 4th quarter in a row where we gained market share. Not only is SPARC/Solaris winning over AIX/Power, we are increasingly seeing customers moving their workloads over from RHEL/ x86 environments.

One of those customers is Morgan Stanley: I was very excited that Robert Milkowski from Morgan Stanley could join me and talked about their increased use of Solaris. He described how moving their OpenAFS environment over from Redhat to Solaris has allowed them to compress their data from 7 PB down to 2PB with huge savings for the firm. By taking advantage of the compression in ZFS they are able to reach compression rates between 3 and 20 while achieving better reliability and availability. He also described how the simplified life cycle management in Solaris 11 has allowed them to automate most of their patching. They have moved some of their in-house software into IPS resulting in additional simplification of their application life cycle management. They are also expanding the use of Solaris into their Sybase and KDB environment.

Not only are we seeing a lot of momentum with customers, we are also seeing the Solaris ecosystem expanding: At the end of my session I was joined by Robert Jenkins, CEO of CloudSigma who announced the launch of their Solaris IaaS offering on both SPARC as well as x86. CloudSigma is seeing a lot of interest from customers in Solaris-based IaaS given the unique security as well as compliance capabilities that Solaris now offers. Leveraging the new kernel zones virtualization in Solaris 11.2 allows them to provide the highest levels of performance, security, compliance and availability.

A lot of the other Solaris and OpenStack sessions also had customers and partners presenting. For instance, Chris Riggin from Verizon talked about their private cloud offering and their plans for OpenStack. Chris also described how their use of Solaris zones allows them to provide highly available Solaris IaaS at a significantly lower cost than RHEL/ VMware/ x86.

We no longer look at it as just a mere OS, we now look at it as a comprehensive cloud platform: OS + OS Virtualization + SDN + Storage Virtualization plus Cloud Management tools, configuration, compliance reporting etc. all in one! It doesn't make sense to compare Solaris against RHEL, that's like comparing a spare part vs. a full solution. Solaris is the ideal platform for any kind of SaaS, PaaS (Oracle DB, Oracle Middleware, Oracle Java) as well as IaaS.

I also shared some examples of what we are currently focusing on:
1. Kernel Zones: There are a number of enhancements that are currently in the works, e.g. live migration.
2. Zero Downtime Patching: This is very critical for customers who want to minimize their planned downtime. I frequently hear from customers that they are struggling to find the time to apply critical security fixes while meeting their uptime targets. We are working on enabling them to satisfy both of these requirements at the same time.
3. OpenStack: Solaris 11.2 provides all of the infrastructure required for IaaS. Our current focus is on going upstack and providing DBaaS as well as PaaS capabilities. In addition to that we are also working on additional automation of the undercloud deployment incl. configuration and authentication.
4. Cloud Analytics: As customers are moving from a first generation cloud environment which still required a lot of manual intervention to a next generation cloud which includes Software Defined Networking and Storage, it becomes absolutely critical to have rich analytics capabilities that provide both high-level views of their environment, but also allow them to dig deep into each of their sub components if necessary. This is something that we are heavily investing in currently.

Not to mention the 100s of other projects that I haven't listed here.

Solaris is on a mission to kick butt! More to come...

Markus
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