Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

OOW13: Solaris Custom(er) Panelling

One of the better reasons to attend Oracle OpenWorld is the chance to discuss with your peers what they're doing with the same technologies -- and the same business challenges that you have.

That's why, to my mind, customer panels are one of the more worthwhile types of sessions to attend. I know last year we had a great interactive session with several Oracle Solaris customers on the panel. At that time, one of the hot topics was the still-kinda-new Oracle Solaris 11 release; now that everyone's got a lot more experience with it under their collective belt, I suspect there will be even more to share.

Speaking of panels, another hot ticket every year is the Solaris engineering panel.  This year, the participants are Darren Moffat, Bart Smaalders, Liane Praza, and Nicolas Droux, and they're prepared to cover a lot of ground.

And finally, this year we'll also have a panel featuring 3rd party Oracle Solaris developers -- the "ISV Insights" session. This is where to find out where our partners are finding solutions to business issues for both their customers and themselves.

The key to all of these is the interactivity with the audience, and we always get some great questions.  Bring yours along, and we'll do our best to provide great answers.  Follow the links below to sign up now!

Monday, September 23

1:45 PM - Customer Panel: Oracle Solaris in Action
(CON6997,  Westin San Francisco - City)

Tuesday, September 24

3:45 PM - Panel: Insights and Directions from Oracle Solaris Engineering
(CON9065, Westin San Francisco - City)

Wednesday, September 25

11:45 AM - Panel: Oracle Solaris and ISV Insights
(CON9209, Westin San Francisco - City)


Thursday Sep 12, 2013

Oracle Virtual Networking and Compute Appliance at OpenWorld 2013

This time last year, we were just getting a chance to talk about some new technology that had been recently added to the Oracle portfolio: Oracle Virtual Networking.  Pretty powerful stuff on its own, as long as you're a fan of high performance networking, simplifying your data center, and saving a lot of money in the process.

This year, we've got another new product line to talk about as well, and the Oracle Virtual Networking technology is at the heart of it: the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance.  It's an engineered system designed from the start for virtualization, and intended for general purpose workloads running on Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, other Linux distros, or Windows.

Here's a short video walk-through, showing OVCA power-up to production in less than an hour:

And if you want to learn more about either OVCA or Oracle Virtual Networking, there are several sessions of interest coming up next week at OpenWorld:

Monday, September 23rd

1:45 PM - Oracle SDN: Software-Defined Networking in a Hybrid, Open Data Center
(CON4465, Westin San Francisco - Concordia)

Software-defined networking is gaining momentum within the broader enterprise and data center networking industry. Oracle SDN, a component of Oracle Virtual Networking, provides the fastest and most agile software-defined networking currently available in the marketplace. Learn its benefits, and how it differs from other SDNs.  This session also provides use cases for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), a private cloud model, and virtual network services.

4:45 PM - Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance: From Power On to Production in About an Hour
(CON11650, Westin San Francisco - Metropolitan III)

See how the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance goes from power on to running production applications faster than any comparable system; configure any resources without ever needing to make a physical change on the system. OVCA is an ideal data center building block for customers looking to simplify their operations and spend more time on innovation and less time on fighting fires.

Tuesday, September 24th

12:00 N - Rapid Application Deployment with Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance
(CON11651, Westin San Francisco - Metropolitan II)

This session will demonstrate how you can use Oracle templates and assemblies to deploy a range of Oracle software in a simple, repeatable, and scalable manner. Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder to create and modify templates and then deploy them on Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, which can go from power on to running production applications in less than an hour. Come to this exciting session to see how you can take advantage of its unique features to accelerate the way you deploy and manage applications in your environment.

Wednesday, September 25th

11:45 AM - Deploying Fabric-Based Data Centers with Oracle Virtual Networking
(CON4432, Westin San Francisco - Olympic)

Learn how leading companies have managed explosive growth by moving to a dynamic fabric-based data center infrastructure, integrating Oracle Virtual Networking into the core of their infrastructure. This session will cover best practices in automation, monitoring, and maintenance of Oracle Virtual Networking, to drive efficiency and effectiveness in a high-transaction environment, with case studies from customers.

Thursday, September 26th

2:00 PM - Dynamic Provisioning of Virtual Network Resources with Oracle Virtual Networking
(HOL10105, Marriott Marquis - Salon 5/6)

This is a 90-minute Hands-On Lab, where you will learn how to use Oracle Fabric Manager to dynamically deploy virtual resources to servers. It will step through how to control connectivity on thousands of servers from a single interface, and create rapidly repeatable configurations with I/O templates. This lab will also explore using Oracle Fabric Manager features to visualize a network's physical and logical network topology, group servers and their management as a single entity, create network and storage clouds, and set up cloud quality of service parameters.

Wednesday Sep 11, 2013

What's the Can't-Miss Oracle Solaris Session at OpenWorld 2013?

If you're looking to find out more about where Oracle Solaris is headed in the near future, you won't want to miss this year's general session, "Oracle Solaris Strategy, Engineering Insights, and Roadmap." What's the "next big thing" for Oracle Solaris?

No, not new colors.

I talked with Markus Flierl, VP of Oracle Solaris core engineering, who will be hosting this session, and "C" is still for "cloud" in our alphabet. He says that among other things, the session will focus on how Oracle Solaris has evolved from a cloud OS to a cloud infrastructure, with examples of customers who are building SaaS, PaaS and IaaS clouds with Oracle Solaris today.

You'll also find out why the Oracle Solaris and Oracle SPARC and x86 systems are the best platform for Oracle deployments, as integration drives database and Java functionality more deeply into the OS and silicon layers.

And of course, the session will give an outlook on what's being worked on for future Oracle Solaris updates, such as next-generation OS virtualization, built-in SDN solutions, and integration with current and emerging standards for cloud technologies.

All in all, a good place to be on Monday; follow the link below to add it to your schedule. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 23rd, 12:15 PM - Oracle Solaris Strategy, Engineering Insights, and Roadmap
(GEN9021 Westin San Francisco - Metropolitan II
)


Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Oracle Solaris Hands-On Labs at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

We're going to have some very interesting Oracle Solaris-themed Hands-On Labs (HOLs) at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.


[Read More]

Friday Aug 23, 2013

Oracle Solaris Events at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Time certainly flies... here we are, coming up on the fourth Oracle OpenWorld since we became part of Oracle.  And the show just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

This year, plan to spend some time at the Westin San Francisco Market Street -- that's where you're going to find Oracle hardware, operating systems (both Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux), and Oracle virtualization technologies setting up camp for most of their breakout sessions. Think of the Westin as "Systems Central."

But there will be other outposts of Oracle Solaris and systems goodness as well -- the DEMOgrounds in Moscone South will be home to lots of interesting demos (and interesting people demoing them), and our popular Hands-On Labs series will return in force, with half a dozen opportunities to dig into Oracle Solaris-related topics.

As usual, we'll give you more details on sessions and labs in upcoming blog posts, but for now, here are a couple of key documents to give you a rundown of what's in store for you:

These documents will most likely be updated a time or two before the show, so check back before you head out to San Francisco.

Monday Aug 12, 2013

More About Tomorrow's New Engineered System Webcast

Don't forget -- we've got another webcast coming up at 10 AM PT tomorrow morning, as Oracle introduces new technology for enterprise virtualization.

Webcast: Virtualization and Cloud Made Simple and Easy with Oracle's Latest Engineered System
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET
REGISTER NOW

Friday Aug 09, 2013

Oracle Solaris Web Forum -- Did You Miss It?

Image credit: WikimediaEarlier this week, we had the latest Oracle Solaris web forum.  Is it possible that you weren't there?  Was something more pressing on your agenda, such as, I don't know: work?  Or, if you're in a different time zone: sleep?

Did you, in fact, miss out on the whole thing?

No. No, you did not.

Thanks to the power of computers, the Internet, and our great behind-the-scenes teams, we now have the on-demand replay of the web forum available, for you to replayOn demand!

You can see all three sessions:

  • Oracle’s Investment in Oracle Solaris - Best Enterprise UNIX for Oracle Systems and Software
  • Oracle Solaris: Optimized for Oracle Software
  • Oracle Solaris: Optimized for Oracle’s Enterprise Systems

Plus, you'll have access to the transcripts from the live Q & A. If you're ready, we are, too:


Oracle Solaris Web Forum Replay: View Now

Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Now You've Got Two Webcasts to Watch

That's right, I can see the shocked expression on your face: not one, but two webcasts, less than a week apart! If you need a note for your boss, let me know.

To recap: first, on August 7th at 9 AM PT, we're hosting the latest Oracle Solaris web forum, a great chance to learn what's new, especially since we'll be running a live Q&A throughout, where participants can ask questions directly to Oracle's Solaris experts.

Now, we've added a webcast on Tuesday, August 13.  Just to mix things up a little, that one starts an hour later, at 10 AM Pacific time.  Hosted by Oracle Senior Vice President Wim Coekarts, this one goes something like this:


The payoff here is the convergence of Oracle Virtual Networking and Oracle VM Server. Sign up today and tune in on the 13th to learn more.

And try not to look so surprised.

Webcast: Virtualization and Cloud Made Simple and Easy with Oracle's Latest Engineered System
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET
REGISTER NOW

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Web Forum, August 7: Oracle Solaris Update

We're back with the next installment of our very popular Oracle Solaris web forum series. It's our way to check in with everyone and let you know what we've been doing lately, and it's also the a way for you to interact with Oracle Solaris engineers and get your most interesting questions answered in our live Q&A session that takes place throughout the forum.

This one takes place on Wednesday August 7th, at 9 AM PT, and features Markus Flierl, VP of Oracle Solaris Core Engineering. Michael Palmeter, Senior Director of Oracle Solaris Product Management, Duncan Hardie, Principal Product Manager in Oracle Solaris, and Rob Ludeman, Principal Product Manager in Oracle Systems.

Markus will bring us all up to date on the latest news about Oracle Solaris 11, followed by Michael, Duncan and Rob, who will discuss the payoffs of the last few years of co-engineering among our OS, software and hardware teams.

Register today -- it looks like it should be another great session.

Web Forum: Oracle Solaris and Oracle Systems: The Best Platform for Oracle Software
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
9-11 a.m. PT / 12-2 p.m. ET
REGISTER NOW

Thursday Jun 27, 2013

Oracle Database 12c and Oracle Solaris 11 DTrace

As you may have heard, Oracle Database 12c is now available for Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux. Among other things, that means we now have the opportunity to share some of the cool things the Oracle Database and Oracle Solaris engineering teams have been doing together.

And here's a good one: In this screencast, Jon Haslam describes how on Oracle Solaris 11, DTrace is now integrated into Oracle Database V$ views to provide a top-to-bottom picture of a database transaction I/O -- from storage devices, through the Oracle Solaris kernel, up to Oracle Database 12c itself:


With this end-to-end view, you can easily identify I/O outliers -- transactions that are taking an unusually long time to complete -- and use this comprehensive data to identify and mitigate storage system problems that were previously extremely hard to debug.

This is a great demonstration of the power of DTrace, which is just about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the wild. The screencast has some additional examples of DTrace's power on its own, as well as diving into the DTrace/Oracle Database 12c synergy.

There's more, of course.  Over on the OTN Garage blog, Rick Ramsey has put together a nice compendium of ways the OS makes the database scream, and Ginny Henningsen's written an article on the same topic.  And, we've also got an OTN page that digs further into Oracle Database / Oracle Solaris optimizations.

Friday Jun 21, 2013

June 27 Webcast: Announcing Oracle's Fastest Engineered System

What happens when you take the world's fastest microprocessor and build an engineered system around it? We'll find out next week, but I'm guessing the word "fast" will be involved.

Maybe even "fastest" -- yep, there it is:


Live Webcast: Announcing Oracle SuperCluster T5-8
Thursday June 27, 2013
10:00am PT / 1pm ET

REGISTER TODAY!

Thursday Jun 13, 2013

Don't Forget: July 15 is Virtual Sysadmin Day!

There are those who cynically claim that Virtual Sysadmin Day is just something made up to sell greeting cards and flowers, but I think it's a lovely holiday, and a chance to show the virtual sysadmins in your life that you care. Be sure to give your virtual sysadmin a call, and...

No, wait, that's not right at all. I'll come in again.

In the past, the folks at Oracle Technology Network have gone on the road, holding "Sysadmin Days" -- several hours of hands-on, proctored labs for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM administrators -- in various cities around the world. They've been very well-attended and well-received, but the problem is that there are always more cities one could hold these in than there are days in the year. And what about those of you on farms? Or in Antarctica, or in undersea habitats?

Thus: Virtual Sysadmin Days, harnessing the power of the Internet. OTN held their first Virtual Sysadmin Day earlier this year, and it was a hit. So, on July 15th, they're doing it again.

Now, what's exciting to me is that Pavel Anni and Glynn Foster spent some time thinking about how to make the Oracle Solaris track even better than before, and this time around, instead of approaching the day from a "feature" point of view, they designed the agenda as a task-oriented flow: what if you need to set up a secure, multi-level application?

That's what this day (OK, half day) is going to be all about. Your mission will be to deploy a web-based application and its supporting database, leveraging the intrinsic features of Oracle Solaris, in three steps:  storage and web; database and application; and, finally, resource monitoring and packaging. Just like the non-virtual days, the labs are proctored, so you'll have a chance to ask questions and get help as you go along.

Even if you participated in the earlier Virtual Sysadmin Day, you may find this to be worth attending, to approach existing or new skills from a different direction.

Like the previous virtual (and non-virtual) Sysadmin Days, this is free, but you do need to register. And just like last time, there's some prework for you to do ahead of the actual day, so register now and get ready.

Find out more at the registration site:

Oracle Virtual Sysadmin Day
Monday July 15, 2013
9:00am (Pacific) / 12noon (Eastern) / 1:00pm (BRT)
REGISTER NOW

Oh, and if you do happen to attend this from Antarctica or an undersea habitat: send us a card.

Friday Jun 07, 2013

Instant Automated Installer Zone for Oracle Solaris 11.1

One of the biggest differences between Oracle Solaris 11 and previous releases is how provisioning tasks are handled.  It's safe to say that just about any installation or update function you can think of has gotten at least an order of magnitude faster, easier, safer, smarter and more powerful -- but still, there's that word "different" ... .

The key new provisioning technology, as you may already know, is the Image Packaging System (IPS). It's the framework for installation, maintenance and removal of software on an Oracle Solaris 11 system. Another significant new technology introduced in Oracle Solaris 11 is the Automated Installer (AI), which replaces JumpStart for hands-free installation of large numbers of systems.

We've just introduced something new to make it easier to start working with AI, so you can get past that "different" part and start reaping the (major) benefits. The name's kinda long:

Oracle Solaris Zone with Automated Installer and Repository

...but that's because there's a lot it's doing for you in one shot. As the name implies, it sets up a new zone on your system, with a local Oracle Solaris 11.1 package repository for both SPARC and x86 deployments, and a DHCP server which you can optionally turn on, configured to act as an AI server.  It's pretty much "install and go" and you can immediately start to explore the extensive feature set of AI.

(A vocabulary note: this is what we call an "Oracle VM Template" -- specifically, it's an Oracle VM Template for Zones, meaning it installs in an existing Oracle Solaris 11 instance rather than in a hypervisor. If you haven't heard the term "template" in this context before, you might think that means it's just a setup checklist of some kind -- nope, this download includes all the necessary software.  In this case, almost 6 GB worth! There are other Oracle VM Templates for Zones you might want to check out as well.)

See the Installation Notes section in the Readme to make sure you're running at the proper Oracle Solaris 11.1 SRU levels; there are also notes about installing this in a Logical Domain.

Tuesday Jun 04, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: More Great Oracle Solaris Content Coming

Doesn't it seem like Oracle OpenWorld comes earlier and earlier every year?  This year, there's a reason for that -- it's kicking off September 22nd, 2013. And that in turn means that if you want to get the best value, the time to register is now.

Here inside the factory, folks have already been hard at work on the agenda. That work isn't done yet, but the one thing I can tell you already is that we're going to have Oracle Solaris sessions, demos and hands-on labs on all four of the main conference days. (Sunday is keynote day, and you shouldn't miss that either.)

Mark your calendars, and register now!

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Early Bird Registration


(Pictured: Typical Oracle Solaris breakout session)


Wednesday May 15, 2013

New White Paper Compares SPARC/Solaris to Power/AIX Costs. Guess Who Wins?

One thing that's been clear since the launch of Oracle's new Sun SPARC T5 and M5 systems: it got IBM's attention. Judging from their response, they seem to be... I'm going to go with concerned.

And as I've said before, I don't blame them. A company with a long history behind them, they've made undeniable contributions to the industry, and things were looking good for their enterprise server business, buoyed by the performance of their Power7 processor. But their progress in that area seems to have slowed a bit.  So: concerned.

This report isn't going to help that feeling.

The Edison Group has just released a white paper: Enterprise Server Infrastructure Cost of Ownership: Oracle SPARC T5-2 with Oracle Solaris 11 versus IBM Power 750 Express with AIX 7.1. Spoiler alert: the Oracle systems do better. Key findings:

  • Over a five year period, the Power system solution has a total cost of ownership 59 percent higher than the SPARC T5 solution.
  • There's even more of a disparity in cost of acquisition, where the IBM solution is twice as expensive right out of the chute.

One of the things I found notable was their discovery that Oracle SPARC systems in the field are much more efficiently virtualized than IBM Power systems, with an average of 20 virtualized instances per system as opposed to IBM's 12. This goes against perceptions I've encountered with some people, but is not surprising to me, since Oracle Solaris virtualization is well integrated with the OS, and is extremely efficient in terms of application performance. Of course, it doesn't help IBM's virtualization case that for a system of the class being compared, PowerVM Enterprise Edition will run you an extra $13,440 per server. That's the kind of thing that drives down technology adoption.

Even more interesting: that IBM server with 12 virtualized instances incurs operational and technical services costs that are 28 percent higher over five years than an Oracle server with 20.

There are lots of other worthwhile nuggets in the paper. If you've got services to deploy, you absolutely should give this a read.

Download the white paper (PDF)

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