Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

Resolving stale links to SunSolve documentation on My Oracle Support

A couple of folks have posted comments on old blog entries complaining that they can't resolve links to old SunSolve content.

SunSolve was decommissioned as part of the integration into Oracle.  Documentation which is still relevant was migrated.  The URIs changed in the process.  So did the document IDs.

On the basis that it's better to teach a man how to fish than to just give him a fish, here's a tip on how to do find the current links to such migrated documentation.  At least, this is how I do it:

If you're looking to find the current URI for a document for which you have a stale URI such as http://sunsolve.sun.com/search/document.do?assetkey=1-79-250526.1-1 , simply search MOS using the "core" document number in the old SunSolve URI - for example "250526" in this example.  Enter this in the "Search Knowledge Base" search box. 

If the document is still relevant, MOS will usually return the corresponding new Document ID.  For example, in this case Document 1019995.1.  The top line of the document 1019995.1 states "Migrated ID: 250526".

I've updated the Doc IDs for a number of my old blog postings.  Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

I'm Presenting at Oracle OpenWorld and I Hope to See You There

I hope to see you next week at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.

Pete Dennis, Isaac Rosenfeld, and I will be giving a presentation on the Solaris 11 Customer Maintenance Lifecycle, which will provide an introduction to how we expect customers to maintain Solaris 11 systems, comparing and contrasting it to the Solaris 10 experience.

I believe the compelling advantages of ZFS Root Snapshots and Image Packaging System (IPS) have the potential to dramatically improve our customers' maintenance experience.

I'm sure you, like me, will be delighted to hear that there will be no patches and no patching in Solaris 11.  Neither is there a need to use technologies like Live Upgrade to provide a safety net - it's all baked into core Solaris 11 for you.

It's my intention to provide customers with much more up front guidance on how best to maintain Solaris 11, so customers don't need to figure out their maintenance strategy from scratch.

But we also remain committed to providing the flexibility to meet individual customer's needs and special circumstances.

So if you're at OpenWorld, please come along and hear Pete, Isaac, and I introduce you to the Solaris 11 maintenance lifecycle:

3:30pm, Tuesday, Oct 4th

Moscone South, Room 200

Pete Dennis and I will also be presenting at the Deutsche Oracle Anwendergruppe (DOAG) conference in N├╝rnberg in November 15-17, so if we don't see you at OpenWorld, we hope to see you there.

I really want to get your feedback on our current plans - what you like, what you don't like, and what we can improve.  So come along and let me know.

Best Wishes,

Gerry.

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Using My Oracle Support for Hardware Products

My colleagues in Services are running Best Practice Webinars on knowledge searching and how to find Firmware, Storage updates, and Oracle Solaris patchsets.

The next sessions for patching are this Thursday, Feb 18th, at 9AM MT (U.S. Mountain Time) and 5PM MT.  If you miss these, don't worry, there's more being hosted through to the end of April 2011.  See below.

Log into MOS and see https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article?cmd=show&type=NOT&doctype=SYSTEMDOC&id=1282218.1 for details.

Here's the blurb:

Our new seminar series titled "Using My Oracle Support for Hardware Products" covers a variety of topics focused on using My Oracle Support to service your hardware products. The seminar series includes five Advisor Webcast topics for customers using Solaris or Sun Hardware. The topics are repeated throughout the schedule. The schedule  runs from 8 February through 28 April.  To see the schedule and to register for a session, please review Advisor Webcasts: My Oracle Support - Best Practices for Hardware Customers

    \* Best practice on knowledge searching and how to find Firmware, Storage updates, and Oracle Solaris patch sets
    \* Hardware Asset and Automated Service Request (ASR) Management
    \* Automatic Service Request from end to end
    \* Proactive Hardware Service Portal
    \* My Oracle Support - Hardware Service Request

Oracle support experts will be on hand to present these topics and answer questions about best practices in using My Oracle Support for servicing your supported hardware products.

Thursday Jan 13, 2011

List of new and up'rev'd packages in each Solaris 10 Update

Here are lists in .pdf (SPARC / x86) and OpenOffice (SPARC / x86) format of new and up'rev'd packages in each Solaris 10 Update release.

As you may know from my previous blog postings, Oracle Sun recommends customers to install or upgrade to the latest Solaris 10 Update in major maintenance windows. Based on a request from customers whose change control policies prevent them from upgrading, we've been producing Solaris Update Patch Bundles which bring pre-existing packages up to the same software level as the corresponding Solaris Update.  The difference is that the Patch Bundles don't provide new or up'rev'd packages introduced in the corresponding Solaris Update.

For customers considering use of the Solaris Update Patch Bundles, that raises the obvious question as to which packages are introduced or up'rev'd in each Solaris Update release.  The lists above answer that question.

Aside: As discussed in previous blog postings, all core Solaris OS packages are updated via patches.  The up'rev'd packages above refer to some 3rd party and community based apps included in Solaris (e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.) which are updated via package updates (i.e. where one package version is removed and replaced with a later version).  This is to tie in better with the release strategy for such apps.

Many thanks to my colleague, Roisin Doran, for all her work in putting this together.

I'll ask Roisin to work with the Technical Writers to include updated versions of these lists in future Solaris 10 Update release documentation.

Thursday Jan 06, 2011

Solaris 10 Recommended Patching Strategy

Here's a document and a corresponding presentation I've written describing the Oracle Solaris 10 Recommended Patching Strategy. They contain a number of links to resources which I hope you will find useful.

As always, I look forward to your feedback.

BTW: If you have any queries about patching, why not post them on the Oracle Solaris Install, Booting, and Patching Community Forum.

Best Wishes,

Gerry.

Monday Sep 27, 2010

Patching Strategy, Oracle Open World Presentation

Hi Folks,

Here's the presentation on Oracle Solaris Patching Strategy and Best Practices which Bob Netherton and I gave last week at Oracle Open World.

It was really great to meet so many customers.  If you have any patch related questions, please feel free to follow up with me.

Best Wishes,

Gerry Haskins
Director, Software Patch Services, Solaris Systems.

Tuesday Sep 14, 2010

I hope to see you at Oracle Open World

I'll be presenting on the Oracle Solaris Recommended Patch Strategy at Oracle Open World next week:

SESSION SCHEDULE INFORMATION

ID#: S316255
Title: Patching Best Practices for the Oracle Solaris Operating System
Track: Oracle Solaris
Date: 23-SEP-10
Time: 13:30 - 14:30
Venue: Moscone South
Room: Rm 301

I'll be at Oracle Open World Monday, September 20th, Wednesday, September 22nd, and Thursday, September 23rd.

I'd be delighted to meet you there.  If you'd like to meet me to discuss anything to do with patching, please email me at Gerry.Haskins@oracle.com

For those who can't make it to Oracle Open World, I'll post the presentation here after the event.  I'm also happy to talk to you by phone if you'd like to discuss anything about patching.

Best Wishes,

Gerry Haskins 
Director, Software Patch Services, Solaris Systems

Thursday Aug 05, 2010

Updated Customer Patching Presentation (and other stuff)

I've updated my Patching Presentation for customers, see http://blogs.sun.com/patch/entry/patch_presentation_for_customers

I hope you find it useful.

Also, I forgot to blog about an enhancement we made in March 2010 to the Solaris Update Patch Bundles.  The Solaris Update Patch Bundles now add a line to /etc/release when they are installed to make it easier to determine that they've been applied - i.e. that all pre-existing packages on the system have been patched up to the same software level as the corresponding Solaris Update.

On a related note, Oracle 11gR2 requires customers to have Solaris 10 10/08 (Update 6) installed.  From Version 11.2.0.3 it will accept the corresponding Solaris Update Patch Bundle as being sufficient to meet this requirement.  The modification of /etc/release by the Solaris Update Patch Bundle is partially to help support this.

Tuesday Jul 13, 2010

Solaris Critical Patch Updates (CPUs)

It's Oracle standard practice to release quarterly Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) containing security fixes.  These scheduled releases enable customers to plan maintenance windows.

Solaris now conforms to this practice and Solaris OS CPUs are now available.

The Solaris OS CPU is an archived snapshot of the Solaris OS Recommended Patch Cluster.

Please note that the Solaris OS bug fixing processes have not changed.  Security and other bugs continue to be fixed as soon as possible, patches containing such fixes for the Solaris OS will continue to be released as quickly as possible, and they will continue to be included in the Recommended Solaris OS Patch Clusters as soon as they become available. 

The Solaris OS CPU simply provides another, archived, patch collation option for customers.

See http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/alerts-086861.html and in particular Document 1446032.1 on My Oracle Support (MOS), http://support.oracle.com, which includes CVE mappings for Oracle Sun products. 

Notes:

  1. The CPUs were created on July 6th and released on July 13th.
  2. Solaris 8 is in Vintage support so no patch clusters are updated for Solaris 8.  Instead, the above document lists Solaris 8 patches released in the last quarter which address Security issues.  A Solaris 8 Vintage support contract is needed to access some of them.
Update: CVE to patch mappings are now available for the Solaris CPU from July.  Please see http://blogs.sun.com/security/entry/cpu_july_2010

Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

New FREE online Patch Training Courses

I'm delighted to announce the availability of 10 new free online patch training modules.

This is the result of a lot of work from those nice people in Sun Learning Services, the Install Revenue Product Engineering (RPE, a.k.a. Sustaining) team, and my own folk.

The modules concentrate on using Live Upgrade for patching, as well as providing background on Deferred Activation Patching, Kernel patches, and other useful information.

You can access the modules as follows:

I think even experienced Sys Admins will find the modules useful in clarifying patching best practices and providing context and background information on the evolution of patching technology and best practices in Solaris 10.

If you don't like the online course format, or if you want a reference document to refer back to after taking the course, please see the attached .pdf.

Enjoy!

Best Wishes,

Gerry Haskins,
Director, Software Patch Services

Monday Sep 07, 2009

IBM's X-Force Report Praises Sun for Fast Fixes

Internetnews.com has an interesting article on IBM's X-Force Report which praises Sun for fast fixes and being best for patching the highest percentage of reported security vulnerabilities:  http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3836436/IBMs+XForce+Report+Praises+Sun+for+Fast+Fixes.htm

Thursday Sep 03, 2009

Patch Forums now available for contract customers

Ever wanted to run something past a patching expert ? 

Want to pick the brains of your peers in other companies ?

Lobby to get a patching enhancement implemented ?

Debate what is an appropriate patching strategy and associated best practices ?

Ask other customers if they are seeing the same issues you are ?

Your wait is over.  There are new Patch Forums available to customers with support contracts on http://forums.sun.com.

If you haven't accessed the private contract customer forums on forums.sun.com before, I'm told there's a bit of a "secret-handshake" procedure you must follow for your initial login:

  • Go to https://identity.sun.com/amserver/UI/Login?org=self_registered_users&goto=http://sunsolve.sun.com/cwpGoto.do?target=home
  • Log in with your Sun Online Account (SOA) username/password as normal.
  • Click on "Edit Personal Information" in the menu on the top right of the screen and ensure that you have a "Screen Name" set.  If not, set one here.  This will be the name displayed when you post on forums.sun.com.
  • If you are not an Member Support Center (MSC) registered user, click on "Change Contract" in the menu on the top right of the screen and ensure you have one or more support contracts associated with your Sun Online Account (SOA).  If not, associate your support contract number(s) to your SOA.  For MSC registered users, contracts are automatically associated to your SOA.
  • Go back to http://sunsolve.sun.com/show.do?target=home and click on the "[ Access ]" link under the "Sun Community Forums" section.  This link is only visible if you have a support contract associated to your Sun Online Account.  Your initial access to the Patch Forum must be via this link.
  • Scroll down the page you are redirected to, you will now see a Forum called "Patches" in the "Private" section.
  • Click on "Patches" will bring you to the Patch Forum, http://forums.sun.com/category.jspa?categoryID=162
  • If you do not see the "Patches" link, please try and logout of forums.sun.com and then log back in, as sometimes there are issues with single sign on preventing you from seeing the correct links in the "Private" section.  (Alternatively, clear your cookies and follow the above steps.)

Please note that the above process need only be followed once, in order to register your "Screen Name" for access to the private contract customer forums on forums.sun.com

For all future access, you may go directly to the Patch Forums and login via the "Login" link on the top right of the screen to see the Patch Forum content.

Patches Forum

http://forums.sun.com/category.jspa?categoryID=162

You can use the "Let's talk patching!" Community Forum to discuss Patching Strategy and Best Practices with peers and Sun folk, including potential enhancements to improve your patching experience.  It is important to note that this is not an official Support channel.  To ensure optimal support, you must continue to raise Service Requests for specific patching issues through the normal support channels, although you may use the Patch Issues sub-forum to see if others have experienced similar issues and know of workarounds or available fixes.  As with other forums of this nature, Sun does not guarantee to answer all questions posted. We'd like your feedback on how you would like to see this forum evolve and keep the questions coming so we can better serve your patching needs!

There are two sub-forums available:

Patching Strategy, Best Practices, and Enhancements

http://forums.sun.com/forum.jspa?forumID=1029

Discussions on patching strategies, best practices, news, and potential enhancements to improve your patching experience.

Patch Issues

http://forums.sun.com/forum.jspa?forumID=1028

Please note that this is not an official Support channel. To ensure optimal support, you must continue to raise Service Requests for specific patching issues through the normal support channels, although you may use the Patch Issues sub-forum to see if others have experienced similar issues and know of workarounds or available fixes.

I hope you find these forums useful!

They are designed to facilitate dialogue between you and other customers and with Sun subject matter experts to help improve your patching experience.

Best Wishes,

Gerry Haskins
Director, Software Patch Services

Tuesday Apr 29, 2008

Patch Management Best Practices

Please see the Patch Management Best Practices guide which my colleague, Enda O'Connor, has published on the BigAdmin Patching Hub.  I hope you'll find it useful.

Enda is a senior engineer in Patch System Test and he is far more technical than I am.

Enda has more practical experience of patching Solaris 10 Zones environments than anyone else in Sun.

Enjoy!

About

This blog is to inform customers about patching best practice, feature enhancements, and key issues. The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle. The Documents contained within this site may include statements about Oracle's product development plans. Many factors can materially affect these plans and the nature and timing of future product releases. Accordingly, this Information is provided to you solely for information only, is not a commitment to deliver any material code, or functionality, and SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON IN MAKING PURCHASING DECISIONS. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described remains at the sole discretion of Oracle. THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT BE INCORPORATED INTO ANY CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT WITH ORACLE OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES OR AFFILIATES. ORACLE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THIS INFORMATION. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gerry Haskins, Director, Software Lifecycle Engineer

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