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

Wednesday Feb 26, 2014

Oracle Solaris Blogroll

For your reading convenience, we've now got a handy list of

Oracle Solaris blogs

This includes not only insights from your favorite Oracle Solaris people, but also blogs that provide the latest information on Solaris patches and updates, third party software, and related products such as Oracle Solaris Cluster and Oracle Solaris Studio.

You'll always be able to find a link to this in the "Bookmarks" section over there on the right.

Enjoy! And if we've missed anybody, drop us a note in the Comments section.

Wednesday Mar 13, 2013

Announcing Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 3/13

Today we released Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 3/13 (that's a lot of threes!). This update is specifically for use with Oracle Solaris 10, delivering even more high availability and disaster recovery capabilities for mission-critical application deployments.

What makes Oracle Solaris Cluster better? It's integrated with Oracle Solaris at the kernel level, offering faster and more accurate failure detection and mitigation. Oracle Solaris 10 of course has groundbreaking availability features such as predictive self healing built into it; combine that with Oracle Solaris Cluster and you've created an environment that stands up to surprises such as facilities outages and significantly reduces unplanned downtime.

Highlights in this release:

  • Expanded disaster recovery solution with ZFS Storage Appliance replication
  • New agents for Oracle Web Tier for Oracle Fusion, PeopleSoft Job Scheduler, and SAP NetWeaver
  • Multi-cluster dependency management for Oracle Database 11g through Oracle External Proxy
  • Automated set up and configuration for application agents through configuration wizards 
for PeopleSoft and WebLogic Server
  • Faster deployment of virtualized HA configurations via the zone cluster configuration wizard
  • Faster failure detection and failfast for storage devices, reducing storage failure detection time and client timeout from minutes to seconds

Oracle Premier Support for Oracle Solaris Cluster for Oracle Solaris 10 will be available through 2018, after which it will enter Oracle's standard three years extended and indefinite sustaining support, per the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy.

Learn more:
    •    What's New in Oracle Solaris Cluster
    •    Oracle Solaris Cluster Data Sheet
    •    Oracle Solaris Cluster FAQ

Download Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 3/13

Friday Oct 26, 2012

Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 Released

Today we announced the release of Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 ( download ; existing customers can just update from the package repository ).

New capabilities include: 
  • Oracle Solaris 10 Zone Clusters: The easiest way to update and consolidate existing Solaris 10 application environments is with Oracle Solaris 10 Zones within Oracle Solaris 11 -- not only do you get higher system utilization, but you can immediately leverage new features such as network virtualization.
    With Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1, you can now cluster these zones, for even higher availability.
  • Expanded disaster recovery operations: Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 introduces managed switchover and disaster-recovery takeover of applications and data using ZFS Storage Appliance replication services in a multi-site, multi-cluster configuration.
  • Faster application recovery with improved storage failure detection and resource dependency management.
  • Labeled security support for providing both high availability and high security, leveraging Oracle Solaris 11 Trusted Extensions.
Learn more:
And don't forget: we'll have a webcast with live Q&A about both Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 and Oracle Solaris 11.1 on November 7th, at 8 AM PT.

Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11.1 Now Available; Learn More About It at November 7th Webcast

Oracle Solaris 11.1 is now available for download -- as detailed earlier, this update to Oracle Solaris 11.1 provides new enhancements for enterprise cloud computing. Security, network, and provisioning advances, in addition to significant new performance features, make an already great release even better.

For more information, you can't do better than the upcoming launch event webcast, featuring a live Q&A with Solaris engineering experts and three sessions covering what's new with Oracle Solaris 11.1 and Oracle Solaris Cluster. It's on Wednesday, November 7, at 8 AM PT; register today.

Tuesday May 29, 2012

Roll Your Own Solaris Blogroll

Something handy I just ran across:

There are lots of people here who blog about Solaris, either as their main topic, or as the occasional tangent. If the blogger has tagged their post appropriately, here's a quick way to find them:

Note that this is a little different from using the "word cloud" you can find in the right-hand column on this page, since that only finds articles tagged in this blog. The above links will find all tagged posts.

Some topics are a little trickier to nail down, because there may not be a standardized tag for the topic, so building a more conventional "blogroll" is on my to-do list.

UPDATE: Steph and Jeff beat me to it -- see the list on OTN.

In the meantime, you can also refer to the post Markus Weber made of interesting Solaris 11 launch-related posts.

Tuesday Dec 06, 2011

Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 for Oracle Solaris 11 Now Available

This morning, we announced the availability (no pun intended) of Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0, bringing additional High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities to Oracle Solaris 11.

The combination of Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 goes right to the heart of enterprise cloud computing.  Oracle Solaris Cluster allows you to create not only clusters of physical computers, but also virtual clusters, making it ideal for secure, reliable deployment of mission critical services in public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 takes advantage of the new Oracle Solaris Image Packaging System, making installation, updates, and fixes even easier and error-free.

And of course, it has all the virtues Oracle Solaris Cluster has always been known for: 

  • Fast, accurate failover, via kernel-level integration
  • "Out-of-the-box” support for a wide range of Oracle and third-party software products
  • Easy integration of additional commercial and in-house applications
  • Built-in disaster recovery across unlimited distances

To learn more:

Oracle Solaris 11 Summit Day is Streaming Now!

The Oracle Solaris 11 Summit Day at USENIX LISA Conference has begun! Join the Stream if you couldn't make it today.  See below for the agenda:

 Time  Topic  Presenter
 9:00 -9:30 am
 Oracle Solaris 11 Strategy  Markus Flierl
 9:30 - 11:00 am
 Next Generation OS Lifecycle Management with Oracle Solaris 11  Dave Miner/Bart Smaalders
 11:00 am  - 12:00 pm
 Data Management with ZFS
 Mark Maybee
 12:00 - 1:00 pm
 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Oracle Solaris Virtualization and Oracle Solaris Networking
 Mike Gerdts/Sebastian Roy
2:30 - 3:15 pm
Security in your Oracle Solaris Cloud Environment

 Glenn Faden
 3:15 - 3:30 pm
 3:30 - 4:15 pm
Oracle Solaris - The Best Platform to run your Oracle Applications David Brean
 4:15 - 5:00 pm
Oracle Solaris Cluster - HA in the Cloud Gia-Khahn Nguyen
 5:00 - 5:30 pm
 Oracle Solaris 11 Kernel
 Bart Smaalders

Reception to follow - 5:30 - 6:30 pm Sponsored by Oracle Solaris Cluster

Friday Dec 02, 2011

Register Today for the Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 Launch Webcast!

Register today for the Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 Launch Webcast and learn about Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0, the first release providing high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities for Oracle Solaris 11, the first cloud OS.  Bill Nesheim, VP, Oracle Solaris Platform Engineering will present how Oracle Solaris Cluster extends Oracle Solaris to provide the HA and DR infrastructure required for deploying mission critical workloads, in private, public and hybrid clouds deployments as well as enterprise data centers.

Register Now!

Wednesday Jul 13, 2011

Announcing Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3, 5/11

This week we're announcing the latest update (5/11) to
Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 -- our unrivaled high availability solution
for Oracle Solaris.

In addition to providing cluster support for the largest portfolio of enterprise applications and databases, Oracle Solaris Cluster also delivers a unique HA solution for virtual environments. Key differentiators for Oracle Solaris Cluster include:

  • Sub-second failure detection and shorter service recovery time through Oracle Solaris kernel-level integration
  • Increased service levels for Oracle Solaris Containers and Oracle VM for SPARC
  • Secure cluster wide virtual environment with fault and resource isolation and separate administrative domain
  • Out-of-the-box support of extensive set of leading applications and databases eliminates lengthy scripting to deploy application in a clustered environment
  • High Availability for key enterprise application in pre-tested, pre-engineered optimized solutions with Oracle Sun SPARC and x86 servers and Sun storage
  • Significantly reduced recovery time in disaster situation through automated take over by surviving site

New features in Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3, 5/11 include:

  • Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliance as a NAS box
  • Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System (Oracle ACFS)
  • Extended cluster validation tool
  • New Oracle Solaris Containers-cluster options for file systems and dependencies
  • Out-of-the-box support in Oracle Solaris Containers clusters for all currently available application agents
Application Integration
  • New supported application and database versions including Oracle Database and SAP
Disaster Recovery
  • Oracle Data Guard replication with Oracle Database single instance in geographic clusters
  • Storage-based replication options for Oracle Solaris ZFS with Hitachi Universal Replicator with campus and geographic clusters
  • New topology: Three-data-center (3DC) configuration
 Ease of Use
  • Configuration wizards for Oracle 11g Release 2 HA for Oracle/Oracle RAC
  • Full support of Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions

Download Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3, 5/11 today and bring mission critical availability to your virtual environments.


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