Solaris News, Views, and Real-World Experiences from the Field

CEC Final Morning

Scott Dickson
Enterprise Systems Architect
Monday morning was the final half-day of the Sun Customer Engineering Conference. We rounded out this morning with two breakout sessions and some time chatting with Scott McNealy.
The breakouts I made this morning were particularly good. I started with Liane Praza giving a talk about SMF for Administrators. SMF is one of the particularly powerful new sets of features in Solaris 10 and Liane gave a great presentation on how all the pieces fit together. I can see a lot of promise for ISVs integrating their application software with SMF for higher levels of availability. One question that came to mind is "what sort of applications would be well served by having their own custom delegated restarter?" One possible area I thought of would be telco network applications. These sorts of apps often require special processing and go to great lengths to provide very high levels of reliability. Maybe having a delegated restarter based on the particular types of transactions, these core network apps could provide even higher levels of reliability.
My second breakout was another view of server consolidation, this one being a session on lessons learned through an internal project to move internal applications to consoldiated environments using zones. One thing that comes out over and over is that no matter the server consolidation approach being used, planning and operational maturity are the key components to a successful deployment. One interesting comment from this session is that the group doing the deployment felt like they could make better progress and show positive ROI more quickly by approaching things in small, achievable chunks - 20-30 apps at a time, rather than a huge enterprise-wide analysis and deployment.
We finished out the morning with a presentation by Scott McNealy, with a pretty good question and answer session. Like Jonathan's, Scott's talk is always a highlight of this event. I believe that the senior executives at Sun really value the contribution, and understand the significance of the contribution, of the technology organizations in the field.
All in all, this was a great event. I'm definately heading home with a big list of things to try to work on in my _copious spare time._ There are so many gems hidden down in Solaris that deserve attention so that I can share them with my customers. It's sort of like the guy who works at the hardware store. He has to know from his own experience the basics of what he sells, but he also has to know from study and listening to other customers what all of the other mysterious and arcane items he might have in stock do and how to use them.
Now, time to move to meeting two - OS Ambassadors for most of the rest of the week. That's always an exciting meeting. But for both of these, you end up tired! As invigorated as I always am after the meetings, I am also glad to get home!

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