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Managing your application and service lifecycles with Oracle Solaris IPS

Guest Author
We've been chatting with a number of customers recently through our Oracle Solaris Strategy Council and various Customer Advisory Boards. One clear area of focus for several of our enterprise datacenter customers is Lifecycle Management of their applications and services -- the ability to quickly design, test, deploy, manage and retire application and services in the datacenter.

After a couple of decades of using the SVR4 software packaging model we went back to the drawing board with Oracle Solaris 11 to create a modern 21st century software packaging system that addresses those lifecycle needs. Now you can quickly install Oracle Solaris on your favorite SPARC or x86 system, add only those packages you need for your application or service environment and quickly move through your lifecycle process.

In Oracle Solaris 11 the new Image Packaging System (IPS) has several helpful features:
  • Just enough OS -- We now install the bare minimum packages to get your system up and running. As you decide which application or services you want running on the system IPS locates those packages and add just what you need for your application. This helps harden the system from a security perspective so that you are only running the software packages you need for your application.
  • Network repositories -- Installation and updates to your system are now quick and simple using our new network repository model. No network? No problem. You can install an Oracle Solaris 11 system from our DVDs which contain our full Oracle Solaris 11 repository. You can also create a local repository to house your applications and Oracle Solaris packages and update just the local repository from the internet to further firewall your internal systems. Updates with the network repositories are quick and painless. You'll be notified as new packages become available through our Oracle Solaris support repository.
  • Robust dependency checking -- Full dependency checking is built into the IPS model so when you install a software package you automatically pull down the dependent packages the application needs to run. No more guessing at which packages are needed.
  • Oracle Solaris ZFS Boot Environments -- In addition to our new packaging system we integrated our new default file system -- Oracle Solaris ZFS -- with our packaging and installation systems so we can create a snapshot of the system software on your system and then apply new package updates to the new snapshot. (ZFS snapshots are easy and take up very little space.) This approach creates boot environments that allow you to test drive the new updates without losing your existing configuration. If you like the new updates then you can just keep using the new boot environment. If you want to roll back to your prior configuration you can quickly boot that older boot environment. Risk free updates.

Completing the Lifecycle Management picture for Oracle Solaris 11 Express is the use of Oracle Solaris Zones
to quickly create a new application or service environment, install
your software, test the service and then deploy the new
application/service zone into production. We've spent a great deal of time integrating IPS with Zones to create an agile virtual application environment.

For a much more in-depth introduction to IPS check out our Oracle Solaris 11 Express Technology Spotlight -- Oracle Solaris 11 Express Package Management with Image Packaging System (IPS). You'll find videos, podcasts, whitepapers, demos and screencasts there to help you start planning your new approach to Lifecycle Management.

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