Monday Oct 15, 2007

Sun's Customer Engineering Conference, and xVM Ops Center

As I said in my previous blog article, I've been on the road visiting the 'states again, with a packed agenda.

After a few days at the Innovation at Sun conference and a couple of days working with the team in the bay area, I then flew out to Las Vegas to go to Sun's Customer Engineering Conference, a 3-day event for Sun's customer-facing engineering work-force and some of Sun's partners... a big event, with a total of four thousand people.

The conference was pretty impressive, with some excellent general sessions and several different tracks of breakout sessions, with a total of about 80 presentations going on plus plenty of discussion time. I gave a presentation on Sun's xVM Ops Center, which was well received in a packed session.

ops center presentation

There were plenty of other things going on at CEC, from a huge party to the launch of a whole new range of servers and blades based on the state-of-the-art, 8-core, 8 threads per core UltraSPARC T2 processor. Yes, that does mean 64 threaded hardware concurrency, not to mention the multiple on-chip crypto-units and 10 Gb Ethernet... This whole system is designed about serving the web, securely, fast.

Sun's xVM strategy - the cross between virtualization and management

Sun has just publicly previewed its plans around virtualization and management, a systemic approach putting together the individual technologies in such a way as to make a compelling solution.

xvm = virtualization platform plus management solution 

As you might be able to tell from some of my other blog entries, my side of things focuses around system management. I'm part of the xVM Ops Center development engineering team, involved in the systems management technology used at the heart of Ops Center - where the "system" we're talking about managing isn't a desktop, it's one or more data centers. The core of our technology is also across a wide range of other Sun products for their management and monitoring solutions, including in Solaris and across Sun's entire middleware in the Java Enterprise System stack.

It's an exciting place to be!

Innovation at Sun

I've just been on the road visiting the 'states again, with a packed agenda.

First off, I spent 3 days at Monterrey Bay at an internal Sun conference around Innovation. Some of the stuff we've been working on in the management space has been pretty innovative, and I'd had a paper accepted to this conference which is organized by Sun's CTO organization to get Sun's innovators together with our Distinguished Engineers and Fellows to share what we've all been up to and to be able to build synergy standing on each others shoulders to build even greater things.

Here's a snap of Gilles and myself down on the beach at 6am, before the conference started...

on the beach at IAS

Friday Jul 06, 2007

Rock climbing - the Mont Aiguille

mont aiguille The Mont Aiguille (literally "Needle Mountain") is a giant rock structure, with vertical walls, the shortest being 600 feet high.

I had fun this weekend with a group of friends climbing up its sheer face.

[Read More]

Friday Jun 29, 2007

Open-Sourcing of Solaris Cluster

Great to see Solaris Cluster starting down the open-source road.[Read More]

Friday Jun 22, 2007

Java and too many jars

One of the projects I'm helping architect is a pretty huge undertaking. It's got lots of separate functional blocks being deployed into classloaders in each Java SE JVM, and since they're being developed by lots of different teams, we're seeing the same kind of common infrastructure jars (hibernate, apache commons logging, jwsdp, etc.etc.) being loaded multiple times into some of the VMs.[Read More]

Blogging and brown-bags

One of the activities I get up to at Sun's Grenoble Engineering Center is to organize weekly "brown-bag" discussions to talk about something with a subject-expert. This week's brown-bag was on blogging.[Read More]

Monday Jun 04, 2007

Fun fun fun

On a slightly off-topic note, I had fun this weekend jumping off a bridge...

Getting ready to jump

This was my 39th birthday present from my wife and 3 kids. Just goes to show you shouldn't make throw-away comments about this kind of thing as you drive past the bridge! I've been told you're meant to have a list of things you want to do by the time you're 40, well, I don't but this might have been on it if I had one! Quite a different sensation from parachuting or paragliding, and the weightlessness at the top of the bounce back up is very different from the weightlessness of scuba diving - it's really quite exhilarating!

Tuesday May 29, 2007

JMX MXBean Notifications, User Data, and Open Types

The MXBean runtime support classes in Java 6 provide all the help you need in order to be able to declare complex types for attributes and operations, but don't provide any help for converting complex types for other uses, such as for the payload of a Notification. This blog article shows how to add helper methods to convert an existing struct-like class into Open Data.[Read More]

Tuesday May 22, 2007

JMX AttributeChangeNotifications, MXBeans, and a clever little helper class

This blog article introduces AttributeChangeNotifications and shows how to write a clever little helper class for generating attribute change notifications with the correct contents for the old and new attribute values, even for MXBeans with complex attribute types.[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 06, 2007

Solaris - measuring the memory overhead of my process

What's the memory overhead of my Solaris process?

I'd like to know the amount of additional system memory required when my process is running. It sounds like a simple request, but standard tools like ps, prstat, top and ps don't give me the information... here's how I currently go about measuring the memory overhead of my processes.
[Read More]

Thursday Jan 25, 2007

Sun Connection - updating my lab

Sun's got a pretty neat service - Sun Connection - that lets you monitor a lab full of machines, and helps you decide to apply security  and other patches to the boxes, from a centralized portal. This is much cooler than having to do operations on a machine-by-machine basis when you've a group of machines to administer. This isn't my typical day job, but I wanted to have a try.[Read More]

Thursday Jan 18, 2007

Java: Redirecting System.out and System.err to a rolling log file

This blog article shows how to redirect System.out and System.err to your Java Logging subsystem, so that such output gets integrated into your debug log stream in a rolling log file.
[Read More]

Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

JMX : extending the MBeanServer to support Virtual MBeans

Java Management eXtensions (JMX) provides a means for management interfaces to be exposed as MBeans allowing remote monitoring and management of your application.

This blog article shows how to extend the MBeanServer implementation with your own logic. In particular, it shows how to implement VirtualMBeans - MBeans that don't really exist - but the same technique can be used to do other interesting things, including MBeanServer cascading, fine-grained MBean access controls, auditing, or logging, to mention a few of them.
[Read More]

Monday Jan 15, 2007

DTrace - (ab)using aggregations to expose other data

One restriction when using the Java DTrace API is that the only data type that can be collected on demand by a DTrace client is the aggregation.[Read More]



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