Friday Sep 26, 2014

Solaris and Systems at OpenWorld: Where Is Everything?

OK, telling you where everything is going to be is a tall order--this is OpenWorld, after all--but I can tell you where a lot of things are going to be.

OpenWorld is... big.  The numbers are phenomenal, and as you can see from the map above, each year we take over a big chunk of a big city.

So, I'll try to keep it simple: there are three big places to go.

Conference sessions: Hotel InterContinental

This is where all* the Oracle Solaris and systems-related sessions are going to be this year.  The Hotel InterContinental is on Howard Street, just to the west of Moscone West, so it's easy to get to.

Plus... we're serving breakfast here! We're inviting our customers, partners and our own Oracle Solaris and systems technical community to sit down together Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; you can start the day with food 'n' facts.

Breakfast kicks off at 9:30 AM on Monday, 10:00 AM on Tuesday, and 9:30 AM again on Wednesday.

Hands-on labs: Hotel Nikko

You'll find all lab sessions in "The Zone"--the heart of JavaOne.  The Hotel Nikko is on Mason Street between O'Farrell and Ellis; enjoy a nice stroll, or take the complimentary shuttle buses.

Solaris and Systems demos: Moscone South

The Systems DEMOgrounds is once again in Moscone South, and this is where to find our experts when they're not presenting (or eating breakfast).  See the "Focus on Solaris" and "Focus on Servers" documents for a list of some of the things we'll be showing there.

Systems general session, Monday morning: Oracle Plaza

We have one more special event in a special location.  This year John Fowler will be emceeing the Systems general session, Infrastructure Transformation Made Easy with Oracle Systems, at the Howard Street Theater (yes, that's outside, between Moscone North and South) at 11:30 AM Monday.

An outdoor venue has some interesting possibilities, and John always has interesting ideas.  At the very least, it's a chance to get out into the Big Blue Room for a bit.

Tuesday Sep 23, 2014

Oracle Solaris and Systems Customer Panels at OpenWorld 2014

When you're at Oracle OpenWorld, it's an unmatched opportunity to learn more from your peers about how to get the most out of your investments.  You get a chance to talk to people who've had their hands on the product and hear what's worked and what doesn't work--and share your own knowledge and skills with others.

The best places to do this are at the panel sessions. That's where we bring up customers and other experts who will relate their experiences, and where you can ask them the burning questions about what interests you the most. It's a great way to build contacts with experts both inside and outside of Oracle.  And as Oracle Solaris 11.2 brings you an even broader range of powerful features for getting the most out of your investments and simplifying your life, here's your chance to find out, from people who are already deploying it, why it's the best choice for enterprise cloud deployments.

Our Solaris customer panel this year has deep expertise to share on topics that should be near and dear to any IT organization's heart, including security, storage, system management, and scalable infrastructures.

And of course one of our most popular sessions returns: the Oracle Solaris engineering panel, where you can find out even more from the folks who actually put it all together.

All sessions are at the InterContinental Hotel (on Howard Street just to the west of Moscone West); click on a session's title to reserve your spot and add it to your schedule.

Tuesday, September 30

12:00 PM - Panel: Customer Insights into Deploying Oracle Solaris
(CON7788 - InterContinental, Grand Ballroom A)

Wednesday, October 1

10:15 AM - Real-World Best Practices for SPARC Servers: A Customer Panel
(CON7907 - InterContinental, Grand Ballroom C)

11:30 AM - Virtual Compute Appliance: Customer Insights and Best Practices
(CON7483 - InterContinental, Grand Ballroom B) 

2:00 PM - Panel: Insights and Directions from Oracle Solaris Engineering
(CON7790 - InterContinental, Grand Ballroom A)

Looking for more?  Don't forget about the "Focus on Oracle Solaris" doc, for the latest look at technical sessions, general sessions, demos, and hands-on labs.

Friday Sep 19, 2014

Oracle Solaris Hands-On Labs at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Once again we've got a good selection of Hands-On Labs (HOLs) running through the week at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. They're now ready for you to sign up for in Schedule Builder, so if you're coming to the conference, take a look at the list below, and click on the titles you're interested in to jump to the Schedule Builder entry and enroll.

And don't forget about the "Focus on Oracle Solaris" doc, where you can see the other sessions and demos you can sign up for:

Here are this year's labs -- note that this year, they're all at the Hotel Nikko.

Monday, September 29th

10:15 AM - Enterprise Private Cloud (Part 1): OpenStack Deployment in 20 Minutes
(HOL9821 - Hotel Nikko, Monterey Room)

In this lab you'll roll up your sleeves and quickly deploy a complete enterprise private cloud with Oracle Solaris and OpenStack, featuring Unified Archives, Kernel Zones, ZFS, and Elastic Virtual Switch.

OpenStack basic elements covered include the Horizon management interface, plus Cinder and Swift storage, and Neutron networking.

(Note that this lab is offered twice; sign up for either Monday or Tuesday morning.)

4:15 PM - Enterprise Private Cloud (Part 2): Fast and Secure App Deployment with OpenStack
(HOL9822 - Hotel Nikko, Monterey Room)

(Note that attending Part 1 before this lab is not required, but you should have some fundamental knowledge of OpenStack.  Also, this lab is offered twice; sign up for either Monday or Tuesday afternoon.)

This session covers how use the Oracle Solaris Unified Archives feature and OpenStack to create a golden image environment (in the lab, it'll be an Oracle Database installation), upload the image to a Glance repository, and deploy it to a VM with Nova.

Concepts include securing applications in a sandboxed environment, and compliance checking.

5:45 PM - Using Unified Archives to Deploy Oracle WebLogic Server Cluster on Oracle Solaris 11.2
(HOL9777 - Hotel Nikko, Mendocino I/II)

Unified Archives make it easy to create and deploy application environments across multiple nodes in the cloud. This hands-on lab shows how to quickly deploy an Oracle WebLogic Server cluster with Unified Archives, Zones, ZFS, and network virtualization.

Tuesday, September 30th

10:15 AM - Zero to Oracle Solaris Virtualization Backup and Recovery in 60 Minutes
(HOL7848 - Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I)

If you're deploying business-critical solutions you need to ensure not only that secure backups are being performed, but that the data can be restored if disaster strikes.

This hands-on lab provides an overview of backup and recovery solutions, including Oracle's backup appliance and tape storage. You will learn and practice next-generation data protection techniques for Oracle Solaris 11 virtualized environments, and what architectures are optimum for protecting, restoring, and recovering data.

10:15 AM - Enterprise Private Cloud (Part 1): OpenStack Deployment in 20 Minutes
(HOL9821 - Hotel Nikko, Monterey Room)

This is the same as Monday's 10:15 AM lab; pick one of the two days.

5:15 PM - Enterprise Private Cloud (Part 2): Fast and Secure App Deployment with OpenStack
(HOL9822 - Hotel Nikko, Monterey Room)

This is the same as Monday's 4:15 PM lab; pick one of the two days.

Wednesday, October 1st

11:45 AM - Create Quality, Secure, High-Performing Applications on Oracle Solaris
(HOL9805 - Hotel Nikko, Mendocino I/II)

Get some hands-on experience with the Oracle Solaris Studio development suite and find out what differentiates it from what you may be using today.

In this one-hour lab, you’ll learn how to use the Code Analyzer to quickly fix memory corruption issues, eliminate memory leaks, check for commonly overlooked errors, and improve your test suite's code coverage of your test suite. Then, use Oracle Performance Analyzer to profile applications and pinpoint performance bottlenecks to the exact call stack and source line, even in complex multithreaded environments.

1:15 PM - Set Up a Hadoop 2 Cluster with Oracle Solaris Zones, Oracle Solaris ZFS, and Unified Archive
(HOL2086 - Hotel Nikko, Mendocino I/II)

As you go through this lab, you'll learn about the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and the Hadoop MapReduce programming model, as well as the Hadoop installation process and the cluster building blocks: NameNode, Resource Manager, History Server, and DataNodes.

Find out how Oracle Solaris 11 technologies deliver better scalability and data security as you learn how to enable a HDFS high-availability cluster and run a MapReduce job.

1:15 PM - Oracle Database 12c Data Protection and Multitenancy on Oracle Solaris 11
(HOL9762 - Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom I)

Decisions, decisions: you'll have to pick between this and the Hadoop lab...

Explore different encryption and decryption approaches for securing the new multitenancy environments offered by Oracle Database 12c. Oracle Solaris 11 lets you opt for application-specific encryption and decryption, Oracle Advanced Security Transparent Data Encryption, and ZFS encryption; find out each option's appropriate use and what its performance impact is to the system.

Wednesday Sep 03, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2 Preflight Checker Makes Sure Your App is Good to Go

If you're a developer who's still building your application on Oracle Solaris 10, you should be aware that there are a lot of significant advantages to you and your customer base in supporting Oracle Solaris 11 -- especially now that Oracle Solaris 11.2 is out.  It's the easiest, most cost-effective way I can think of for your customers to modernize their data center while preserving their organization's investments in hardware, software and training.

 And you don't want to be the folks developing "that app" -- the one that keeps your customers from the good stuff, by it not being supported on the current release.  (Which has been out for almost three years now -- you knew that, right?)

The good news is that Oracle Solaris is known for preserving application compatibility between releases. Solaris was the first operating system to literally guarantee application compatibility between releases and architectures... but there are always ways to accidentally break compatibility when you're developing an app, and even get away with it for a while.

That's where the Oracle Solaris Preflight Applications Checker tool comes in.

With this tool, 3rd party developers and in-house developers have a way to test if an application that's currently working on Oracle Solaris 10 has any hidden pitfalls that will keep it from working on Oracle Solaris 11.  You can use it on your existing Solaris 10 systems; and, it's just been updated to include new features and tests.

The Preflight Checker and the Guarantee are a potent combination, yet another way we keep it easy for Oracle Solaris developers and customers to keep moving forward.

Get the Oracle Solaris Preflight Applications Checker 11.2

Thursday Aug 28, 2014

Oracle Solaris Events at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

It's been a busy year for Oracle Solaris, and as always, Oracle OpenWorld represents the best way to catch up and more.  We've got the whole boat race thing out of our system for a while, so this year you can really focus on the cool stuff we've got to share with you.

Oh, and speaking of "focus on", as usual we have our convenient one-stop-shopping documents that lay out just what we'll be talking about.


Topics you'll be able to hear more about this year include technologies such as OpenStack, Puppet, SDN, and kernel zones, and more general subjects like best practices for secure cloud deployments.

And of course we'll have our annual engineering panel, plus Markus' general session on the state of Solaris and our overall strategy.  These are always among our most popular sessions, so be sure to add them to your schedule.

Stay tuned for even more information on our Hands-On Labs and demos.

UPDATE: As promised, more about:

Learn more about Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Friday Aug 22, 2014

Come See Us Next Week at VMworld 2014

If you're at VMworld 2014 next week in San Francisco, come drop by booth 205.  We'll have folks from both the Oracle Solaris and Oracle ZFS Storage teams, so you can learn a lot more about what's new in Oracle Solaris 11.2, plus what the storage team has been up to, as they unleash their "it's perfect for virtualization" architecture, with a series of new VMware API integrations, that crushes both the other big-name storage vendors and the all-flash start-ups.

Wednesday Aug 06, 2014

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta Update

If you haven't had a chance to try out the beta release of Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 -- or if you're still working with the original download -- now's the time to get the updated bits.

What this includes: support for C++11, an updated Performance Analyzer, support for OpenMP 4.0, and lots more.  The July refresh now incorporates fixes and enhancements based on feedback from beta participants.

Learn more; get the download; send us feedback: Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta, Update 7/14

Tuesday Aug 05, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2: More Posts

Did you see our last Oracle Solaris 11.2 blog post aggregation? Did it leave you hungry for more?  Did you think, "But there's no way there there could be any more!"

Because, now that 11.2's officially released... there's more.  44 more posts, to be exact.

One notable development: there's now a blog dedicated to Oracle Solaris and OpenStack.

Enjoy.


General

Cluster

Data Management

Developers

Installation

OpenStack

Security

Systems Management

Virtualization / Cloud

Friday Aug 01, 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Maybe that question came up when UCLA renovated Pauley Pavilion to the tune of $132 million in 2012.  Or maybe not. But even if it did, I doubt that anyone chimed in with, "Say, did anyone check to see if there are any century-old water mains nearby?"

So what's under your data center?

Introducing Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.2

Although Oracle Solaris has some very impressive high availability features built in, you may want to consider what happens if a larger threat affects your data center, your site, or even your city. Oracle Solaris Cluster adds an additional range of high availability and disaster recovery services for local to geographic service protection.

One of Oracle Solaris Cluster's key virtues has always been its deep co-engineering with the Oracle Solaris kernel, making for faster and more accurate detection and response to service outages, but there's a whole lot more to it--and 4.2 adds to the list.

This release is designed to take advantage of the new features in Oracle Solaris 11.2, including support for kernel zones, Unified Archives, and the new authentication and encryption features that are now part of the Automated Installer. This means that you're ready to go for protecting both physical and virtual service instances -- including protecting remote installations and updates, key for distributed cloud environments. The new Unified Archives capability is ideal for deploying, cloning, and recovring cluster instances.

Also new in this update, orchestrated disaster recovery extends the capabilities of Oracle Solaris Cluster to automatically restore services by managing recovery of not just the individual application, but its associated applications and resources as well--even across multiple sites. There's also a new browser-based tool that consolidates configuration, status and overall management of your cluster topology.

This release adds built-in support for even more applications.  Plus, it's easier than ever to add support for your own apps, or additional third-party software, with a new, simplified version of its Generic Data Service.

And there's a lot more. (Isn't there always a lot more? It's what we do.) You might want to start with the Oracle Solaris Cluster blog, or go over to the product page.

If you've got that nagging drip, drip, drip of "we don't have a disaster recovery solution in place" in the back of your head, you might want to do something before it becomes a flood from above.  Or below.

Download: Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.2

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.2 Now Available

Oracle Solaris 11.2 is now in full release (aka "General Availability"), and that means there are even more great things for you to take advantage of. Although there’s been a lot written about it since the launch event in April, it’s worth taking a step back and considering what it all means.

“Zero to Cloud” in minutes

A lot of the press for this release has been about OpenStack, but how does it really help our customers?  First off, OpenStack itself has some very compelling features. It’s an open, interoperable way to deploy and manage compute, network, and storage resources through a single management pane — so just that adds a lot more power to Oracle Solaris.

However, where the combination of Oracle Solaris and OpenStack (the "Havana" release, by the way) really shines is deep integration in three directions: with Oracle Solaris’ existing and new underlying features; with the Oracle stack; and, with products from literally hundreds of other companies that are also part of the OpenStack project.

Let’s use that integration to introduce some of the other new features in 11.2, and how they tie in.

Unified Archives

11.2 introduces the latest addition to an area that has seen, in my opinion, the biggest advances since Solaris 10: provisioning, installation and software maintenance.  Or, just “software life cycle”, for short.

With IPS, AI and fully-integrated boot environments, this is more than just a major leap from where Solaris was before; it put us far ahead of what other companies are offering, by simplifying and accelerating the end-to-end delivery and upkeep of service environments.

Unified Archives is a worthy addition to this list. It gives our customers the ability to create a single system archive that can be installed over the net or booted locally, and then installed in either physical or virtual environments.

All of this is deeply integrated with Glance, OpenStack’s image service, meaning that OpenStack users get instant access to many of the most sophisticated capabilities Oracle Solaris offers, using the same standardized management tools and APIs used on other platforms.

Kernel Zones

Oracle Solaris built-in virtualization capabilities just got a boost in flexibility.  Individual zones can now be further isolated from their underlying global environment without sacrificing the enormous scalability advantages they give. Zones can now have their own separate kernel instance, allowing them to be updated separately and run at different version levels than the global zone or other zones.  This sets the stage for other benefits in the future; more on that later.

The OpenStack compute scheduler (Nova) leverages the virtualization capabilities built into Oracle Solaris, allowing provisioning and updating on bare metal or any of the variety of virtualization options available.

SDN - Elastic Virtual Switch

Software-defined networking (SDN) has been enhanced throughout the life of Oracle Solaris 11, and in 11.2 we introduce the Elastic Virtual Switch, extending SDN capabilities throughout a collection of physical or virtual systems. Again, it’s manageable through the Neutron component of OpenStack, and is also fully integrated into Oracle Solaris Zones.

And even better, it’s tied into higher-level application layers—Oracle Database and Java applications can  define how they use the network, making it possible to define service levels throughout a cloud environment.  This not only simplifies network configuration, it simplifies both management and hardware requirements, driving down both acquisition and support costs throughout your service deployment life cycle

Security and Compliance

Oracle Solaris’ reputation for security is well-established (and well-deserved), but a key “lifestyle” choice we made a few years ago—adding a compliance framework as a fundamental part of the OS—is getting even more feature-rich.  In Oracle Solaris 11.2, we introduce the compliance command, based on the SCAP standards and protocol suite.  This allows you to run preconfigured assessments, based on security and compliance benchmarks.  We also include ready-made benchmarks against PCI-DSS and our own internally-developed recommended standards. These can all be customized for your environment.

Also of note is a new extension to the concept of “Immutable Zones”, the ability to give a zone a read-only root environment, making it essentially “tamper-proof”.  In 11.2, we extend this concept to the global zone.

And of course, this is all designed and integrated so that it can be leveraged through OpenStack.

Is that all?

There’s more, of course — OpenStack integration with ZFS technologies makes cloud data management simpler, more reliable, and incredibly scalable; we’re adding even more standard management capabilities such as Puppet and Chef ...and we haven’t even talked about Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.2 yet!

If you aren’t one of the thousands who have already tried Oracle Solaris 11.2 during its beta release, now’s the time to dig in and learn more.

Download: Oracle Solaris 11.2

Tuesday May 13, 2014

We're Growing Our OpenStack Team

If you're at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta this week, drop on by our booth (D14) and come talk with us about what opportunities we have open.

Or, visit our iRecruitment job site.  Jobs of interest include:

  • IRC2483584 (Oracle Solaris Networking)

  • IRC2049805 (Oracle Solaris Core Technologies)

  • IRC2145806 (Oracle Solaris Core Technologies)

We'd also like to talk to anyone who has experience with OpenStack Neutron and/or OpenDaylight SDN, as well as Python.

Find out more about what we're doing at openstack.java.net  .

Thursday May 08, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2: All the Posts

[UPDATE: did we say all the posts?  After you read these, there are 44 more waiting for you.]

As I hope you've heard already, we launched Oracle Solaris 11.2 last week, and things have been busy ever since. Specifically, our engineers and others have gone nuts, kicking out an incredible number of blog posts.

Glynn Foster has been sending me a continuous stream of links, promising me each time that it's going to die down any old time now ("...typical, the moment I send something out, 2 more blogs appear...").  And I found another one just as I was wrapping this up!

The tally for now stands at almost 50, so settle in, as we proudly present:



"If I have seen further, it is by aggregating the blogs of giants"
-- Sir Isaac Newton, by way of Arianna Huffington

General

Installation

Networking / Network Virtualization

OpenStack

Security and Compliance

Systems Management

Virtualization


Friday Apr 25, 2014

Will Oracle Solaris 11.2 Revolutionize Meat Printing?

A simple icon to reprent Meat Printing, designed by H Y P E R M O R G E N from the Noun Project

"Meat printing" may be one of the most awesome phrases of the 21st century so far, and now there's an icon to go with it.

If you haven't been following emerging trends of the near future, don't worry; a group called HYPERMORGEN has you covered. As part of their "NounProject," they've come up with a set of simple icons to visualize trends such as the aforementioned meat printing, as well as "slime mold computing", "autonomous cars", and many others. They've produced some very clever images...

...but this is a blog about Oracle Solaris news, after all, so in order to stay at least nominally on topic, I'm limiting myself to meat printing.  (Sorry, slime mold computing fans!)

Briefly put, "meat printing" is about printing... meat. Simple, no?  It's also known as "3-D bioprinting," and there's actually a lot more to it, of course, but it all really comes down to the fact that you're using computers to help generate lunch. And if you're like me, you may feel this also generates... issues.

What you need here, clearly, is the best platform to keep everything kosher, as it were.  So, I started working on a listicle:

11.2 Ways Oracle Solaris 11.2 Can Improve Meat Printing

1. Reduce Human Error. Studies have shown that this is the number-one cause of downtime; we certainly don't want it to get in the way of supper. With Oracle Solaris we've done a lot of work to simplify tasks and commands, which significantly reduces opportunities for errors.

You know what a pain file loss can be.  We also want to eliminate filet loss.

2. Data Corruption Protection. Bit rot is bad enough when it doesn't involve actual food.  "19 nines" datapath protection is critical, in the data center or on the dinner table.

3. Security. Do you really want someone hacking your meat printer? Didn't think so.

4. Scale Up, or Scale Out. Otherwise known as "Club Sandwich vs. Sub Sandwich".

5. Comprehensive Open-Source Utilities. In Oracle Solaris 11, we've made sure that the administration tools that you're familiar with are at your fingertips, such as the CUPS printing facility.

In the future, all UNIX/Linux platforms will need to step things up to support 3-D entrée bioprinting, with the pioneering new PLATES technology...


...well, you can see where this was going. 

In a previous post, I mentioned that for those of you who won't be able to join us in New York City, and are registering for the webcast instead, we unfortunately can't serve you web-based lunch. But our time will come; our time will come.

But my point, as far as I can remember, is that we've done some very cool things in Oracle Solaris already, and we think Tuesday's lunch, er, launch will show how we're continuing to accelerate the pace of innovation.  Cloud-based meat computing: dare we dream?

Webcast: Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.2
Tuesday April 29, 2014
1 PM (ET) / 10:00am (PT)
REGISTER TODAY

Thursday Apr 24, 2014

Infosys Demonstrates SPARC/Solaris Scalability with Massive Finacle Banking Benchmark

One of our partners, Infosys, has released the results of a new banking transaction benchmark with their Finacle software platform, and the numbers are impressive: they've shown that on a Oracle SuperCluster system, they can support six times the daily transaction volume of the entire US banking system.

 Finacle now has "SuperCluster Optimized" status as part of the Oracle Exastack Optimized program. It's a very impressive demonstration of the near-linear scalability that the SPARC/Solaris combo offers.  It was a huge exercise, simulating 1.9 billion bank accounts—greater than the entire population of China.

For more information, check out their press release.


Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

Question of the Day: "Big Solaris Launch... for a Dot Release??"

"This is only a dot release, right?" the question goes. Well, yes and no.

For those who tuned in late: on April 29th, we'll be launching Oracle Solaris 11.2 in New York City and on the web. But don't let the dot fool you—there is some very significant stuff that we're putting in.  Significant enough that yes, the idea of calling this "Oracle Solaris 12" did come up.  But, c'mon, gratuitously revving the number just because we felt like it?  Who'd do that*?

In fact, what the dot really means is that we've incorporated some noteworthy changes in such a way that we're not leaving anything, or anyone, behind. This is Oracle Solaris 11, only moreso. The reason that it's a dot is that there are no concerns for existing "11" end users and developers about how to integrate this into their environments.  IPS is your friend. And for those of you who haven't upgraded yet, the Solaris Application Guarantee Program assures you that we stand behind you as you do.

And, as it turns out, this whole compatibility and interoperability thing is part of our news on the 29th.  So, please join us then, on the web or in person.  It's "only a dot", but it's more than a dot.

=============

*As someone in the Twittersphere helpfully pointed out, Sun once did something in this vein: we lopped the whole dang major release number off the marketing name, going from Solaris 2.6 to Solaris (not-two-dot) 7 in one shot.  But underneath the hood, it was SunOS 5.6 to SunOS 5.7.  Join us for the SunOS 5.11.2 launch, won't you?

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