Walking in the shadows of giants
By Gerry Haskins-Oracle on Oct 06, 2011
As I sit here in 22A on an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to O'Hare at the start of my 16 hour journey home to Ireland, I'm reflecting on some of the key Solaris 11 related events at Oracle OpenWorld this week.
For the first time in a couple of years, I got to spend the weekend in Northern California, having been here last week for Solaris 11 planning meetings. I went up to the Sierras to hug some Sequoias. I'm not normally the tree-hugging type, but I make as exception for these giants. I saw Mono Lake. Cool. Devil's Postpile. Way Cool. And the Sequoia National Park - it's truly amazing walking in the shadows of these giants.
As usual, Oracle OpenWorld and Jave One this week provided the opportunity to hear about bleeding edge technologies directly from their architects and to chat with them about the what and the why.
Markus Flierl (VP, Solaris Engineering) hosted a session on Monday with some of his key architects who have been developing Solaris 11 over the last 7+ years, including Liane Praza (IPS), Bart Smaalders (IPS), Darren Moffett (Security), Dan Price (Zones), and Mark Maybee (I/O). It was great to hear these experts express their passion, ingenuity, and innovation. They have a justifable parental sense of pride in Solaris 11. Technologies which were bolt-ons in Solaris 10, or indeed far too disruptive to even be considered for release in a Solaris 10 Update, are tightly integrated and honed in Solaris 11. Low latency (i.e. performance), scalability, security, availability, robustness, and diagnosability are all factors that customers have come to expect of Solaris. Solaris 11 takes it to a whole new level. Warp drive.
My colleague, Pete Dennis, and I have been working closely with Bart, Liane, David Comay, and others to ensure that IPS fully meets the needs of our customers' maintenance lifecycle. They've listening to us and subtly tweaked and adapted their implementations where necessary to fully meet customers' maintenance lifecycle needs. Working with geniuses is great. Working with geniuses who are prepared to listen and adapt is truly wonderful.
But what really blew me away this week was a presentation by Nicolas Droux last night on Network Virtualization in Solaris 11. Some of you may know about earlier incarnations of this, codenamed Project "Crossbow". But the fleshing out of the capabilities in Solaris 11 is truly amazing. The ability to have virtualized NICs (VNICs), virtualized LANs (VLANs), Zones which act as virtualized switches, Zones which act as virtualized firewalls, fully segregated data "Lanes", "Flows", etc., etc., and all with diagnosability built in with new utilities such as 'dlstat' (Data link stats), 'flowstat', etc. I hadn't met Nicolas before but wow! Not only is Nicolas a key architect, he has an amazing ability to explain it with crystal clarity in a really easy to understand manner. As I said to the Product Manager, Joost Pronk, we've got to video Nicolas giving this talk once Solaris 11 ships so that the world can see it.
At the end of Nicolas's presentation, Thierry Manfe showed how he is leveraging Network Virtualization in Oracle Solaris's cloud infrastructure provided to enable ISVs to test their apps with complete data integrity and segregation. You can sign up for this, it's available now. "Solaris 11. #1 for Clouds" isn't just some Marketing hype. It's true.
I'm walking in the shadow of giants. And it's a wonderful feeling.
Roll on Solaris 11. It won't be long now and I really can't wait. It's amazing. Big time!
Thank you to the 90+ of you who attended Pete Dennis, Isaac Rozenfeld, and my presentation on Solaris 11 Customer Maintenance Lifecycles, policies, and best practices. If you missed it, there'll be another chance to catch an updated version with more technical content at DOAG (the German Oracle Users Group) conference in Nuremberg, Germany in November (see previous posting for details).
Finally, I'd like to pay my respects to a true giant of our industry, Steve Jobs. Gone way too soon. RIP Steve. You'll be missed. Big time!
Disclaimer: Any forward looking statements in this posting are subject to the vagueries of my Crystal ball, possible hallucinations, and lack of coffee. You get the drift.