Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Morgan Stanley chooses Solaris 11 to run cloud file services

At the EAKC2012 Conference last week in Edinburg, Robert Milkowski, Unix engineer at Morgan Stanley, presented on deploying OpenAFS on Solaris 11. It makes a great proofpoint on how ZFS and DTrace gives a definite advantage to Solaris over Linux to run AFS distributed file system services, the "cloud file system" as Robert calls it in his blog. Robert used ZFS to achieve a 2-3x compression ratio on data and greatly lower the TCA and TCO of the storage subsystem, and DTrace to root-cause scalability bottlenecks and improve performance. As future ideas, Robert is looking at leveraging more Solaris features like Zones, ZFS Dedup, SSD for ZFS, etc.

Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

System performance issues? Check the I/O

Did you ever have a performance problem and not know where to start looking? Well, who didn't? In such a situation, it is important to perform a proper monitoring of the system and resist the immediate urge to blame the processing power --the storage subsystem is often overlooked. Now that I spoiled the suspense giving away the answer, give me 5 minutes to illustrate this with a typical example. Why typical? Because this is a case I meet quite often with startup companies who rightly concentrate on their core business and not on their IT infrastructure --that's what we are here for.

One of our partners, Squid Solutions, recently reported a performance problem with an Oracle database; they had engaged our team as part of the Sun Startup Essentials support program. Squid Solutions makes a software called Nautilus that performs intensive analytics on database systems, whatever their kind or size. They call Nautilus an SQL Knowledge Engine because it models data and business knowledge, and then automatically generates SQL code to execute the data processing tasks. Nautilus is sold as a service performed by Squid's engineers as Customer Intelligence projects.

So, Squid Solutions had purchased a brand-new Sun Fire X2250 server --quad-core Intel Xeon with 4 GB of RAM, running Solaris 10--, and was experiencing poor performance --much lower than their old system of previous generation-- when executing a read-n-write intensive workload on the database. When I first got on the server, something jumped right to my eyes…

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Thursday Sep 10, 2009

Sun powers Symeos online identity management platform

"Thanks to Sun technology, we are continuing to bring innovative identity management solutions to market and driving growth."
Hervé Prot, CEO, Symeos

Specialized in Web services security, Symeos provides online identity management, federated authentication services and single sign-on technologies for customers across multiple industries, including banking and finance. With the support of Sun, Symeos has developed a new scalable identity management product called EGO to support the more than 10 million expected users.

Read the whole story at  to learn how the combinaison of Sun systems, storage and software reduced the Symeos development cost by 60%, delivered a 99.999% infrastructure availability and improved Web application server performance by 92%. Symeos is a member of the Sun Startup Essentials program.

Wednesday Jan 14, 2009

Perforce runs best on ZFS

Perforce is a commercial source code management software available on many platforms including Solaris Sparc and Solaris x86. As one of our ISV partner experienced last year, the storage subsystem is likely the performance bottleneck of a Perforce Server installation. With entry-level systems featuring a minimum of 4 CPU cores, 4GB memory and dual GigE network nowadays --I am looking e.g. at the base configuration of the Sun Fire X2250 server--, CPU, memory and network are no longer bottlenecks. Unless you run Windows and are subject to the 2GB limit of addressable memory in Windows --Solaris will, by the way, happily let 32-bit applications allocate most of the theoretical 4GB of addressable memory, and you can go beyond that with the 64-bit Perforce Solaris binaries.

So our partner was experiencing poor performance and blocking situations under high load (280 users, 16M files, 15 server instances) with Perforce Server 2006.2 when running off a Sparc V440 server, Solaris 10 and UFS filesystem --with logging enabled. Benchmark results at the 2003 Perforce User Conference had already pointed out the low performance of UFS with Perforce, where synchronous directory updates are a key factor of performance. Linux performs better because it executes directory updates asynchronously --at the risk of data loss, of course. Our partner rather wanted to run off a more reliable Solaris Sparc server --the source code repository and management system is the number one mission-critical application in a software house--, tuned the kernel parameter segmap_percent to 80 but that yields very limited gains in Solaris 10. At that point, we offered to test ZFS, the novel filesystem introduced in Solaris 10.

We benchmarked Perforce Server (P4D) 2007.2 on a Sun Fire X4200 server and …

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How open innovation and technology adoption translates to business value, with stories from our developer support work at Oracle's ISV Engineering.



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