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)

Friday May 10, 2013

Oracle Solaris Security Recommended Reading

A few recent security-related items you may not have seen yet:

First off, we have a new paper on achieving compliance with security standards using Oracle Solaris 11:

Oracle Solaris 11 and PCI DSS Compliance

This paper specifically takes a look at how customers can use Oracle Solaris 11's extensive security features to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) security practices--as you can imagine, customers who need to deal with this want to make sure it's done right. However, the practices it covers are applicable to most any sort of regulatory standards, including SOX, HIPAA, and whatever else your particular auditors might throw your way. This paper was put together by Oracle Solaris engineering in conjunction with a PCI auditor. If you have any feedback on this, be sure to add a comment below; I'll make sure the right people see it.

Meanwhile, Oracle Solaris security expert Glenn Faden, aka "Trusted Blogger," has come out with several new posts. A couple in particular are based on requests for an explanation of the differences between the security models in Oracle Solaris and other environments such as AppArmor and SELinux.

Wednesday Apr 24, 2013

Podcast: Oracle Solaris 11 and the World's Fastest Microprocessor

In the latest edition of the Oracle Solaris: In a Class By Itself series, execs Charlie Boyle, Bill Nesheim, Chris Armes, and Markus Flierl emerge from last month's SPARC product launch enthused about what Oracle Solaris brings to the table.

They discuss how we're not only making huge strides with individual products such as SPARC and Oracle Solaris--we're taking the opportunity every day to make the products interoperate with each other and with Oracle's software offerings in incredibly innovative and productive ways, to produce a great customer experience and record-breaking performance. As Bill Nesheim put it, "There are no boundaries in a systems company."

 Listen to the podcast: Oracle Solaris 11 and SPARC T5 Announcement

And, as mentioned in the podcast, we know not everyone can join us in California (or wherever) every time we do a product launch, so we've put our execs and technical experts on the road, too. We've added some in-depth breakout sessions, and just may be coming to a city near you:

Live Event: Oracle Extreme Performance
(Dozens of cities worldwide - check link above for locations and dates)

Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

Oracle Solaris and SPARC Performance, Part 4½

A couple of quick pointers to wrap up this series, at least for now.

First, Steve Sistare's added a couple of three meaty posts to his blog, on "Massive Solaris Scalability for the T5-8 and M5-32":

And I'll let Rick Ramsey at OTN Garage have the final word on Solaris/SPARC screaming performance. Apparently, it's a loud word.

The Screaming Men of Finland and Oracle SPARC Chips


Monday Apr 08, 2013

Oracle Solaris and SPARC (and x86) Performance, Part 4

East or West?

I admit it. Being a bit removed from my days as a system administrator, and not necessarily steeped in the day-to-day existence of network design, I was slightly perplexed when I first saw the original of the illustration on the right.

This was shortly after we'd acquired Xsigo, a company whose name also did not immediately reveal anything about the cool stuff they made, and what problems it solved.

So here's this slide I need to present, with this illustration, and no speaker notes. Well, most of it makes sense, but "W" and "E"? Ah, possibly "Web" and "Enterprise"! It sure couldn't be anything like, I don't know... "West" and "East!" What would that have to do with networking?

And many of you are already throwing things at your screen, yelling, of course it's "West" and "East," dumkopf! (Especially if you're German.) It turns out that if you're smarter than, oh, say, me, you know that the "East/West problem" is a thing, and Oracle Virtual Networking, the products the Xsigo acquisition adds to our portfolio, are the things that solves that thing.

Home is Best

(If by "home" we mean "simplified data center deployments with a wire-once solution and simple software defined network configurations."  And it's my blog post, so that is indeed what it means.)

Simply speaking, east/west traffic is the traffic that rather than going in and out of the data center (which in the world of this metaphor is called north/south traffic), goes between servers in the same data center -- or even within the same physical server.

Clearly, the more devices you have interposed in this traffic, or the more congested your connections are, the slower, more complicated, and expensive things are. Equally clearly, east/west traffic is becoming a really big deal in the age of virtualization and networked storage.

Oracle Virtual Networking addresses this in a big way, with an open architecture data center fabric delivering 80 Gb/sec bandwidth. Not only does this make for faster services (customers have seen fourfold application performance improvement), it can also cut capital expenditures by significant amounts and simplify administration, allowing new services to be set up in minutes instead of days. We have one customer who was able to take the 98 network cables they would run into a single blade chassis down to 6, and drop 6 switches in such a configuration down to 2.

And, as the title of this post indicates, this is now available for Oracle Solaris deployments. It's supported with Oracle Solaris on both x86 and SPARC systems, including the new SPARC T5 and M5 servers.  It also supports Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, VMware, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Hyper-V, so we've pretty much got you covered.

Where things can get very interesting with Oracle Solaris, of course, is how this can be used in conjunction with a feature like Oracle Solaris Zones, and how that in turn leverages the power of ZFS. Basically, you're putting everything in your data center on frictionless bearings, so that instead of recabling your systems, or having to physically provision new storage, you can instead stand up new application environments at a moment's notice by reallocating existing resources.

Now, instead of throwing things at the screen, I imagine you're now cleaning up the coffee spray and saying, "My gosh, you guys should do a Webcast about this!" Excellent idea.

Webcast: How to Manage Your Data Center with Oracle Virtual Networking
Tuesday April 30, 2013
11:00am PT

REGISTER TODAY

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