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

Monday Apr 07, 2014

April 16 Webcast: Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance

At last year's Oracle OpenWorld, we introduced the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, or "OVCA" for short, an engineered system designed to radically simplify virtual deployments of Windows, Linux or Oracle Solaris general purpose workloads.  By engineering together unique technology such as our x86 systems, Oracle Virtual Networking, Oracle VM and Oracle VM Templates, we deliver a solution that you can take from power-on to production in about an hour -- a significant advantage compared to competing offerings.

We've got an opportunity coming up for you to learn more: a webcast, with the very direct title "Simplify your cloud deployment with Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance."  In a 60 minute session, you'll hear from Charlie Boyle and Premal Savla, who will take you through the advantages in time, simplified management, and consolidation in using OVCA in your IT infrastructure.

Register today, join us on Wednesday April 16th, and find out more about Oracle's "wire once" engineered system designed to speed your cloud deployments.


Saturday Sep 29, 2012

Down to the Wire - Yet More Solaris Things to See at OpenWorld (and JavaOne!)

San Francisco is bracing for the annual invasion. The airport's jammed, the tweets are flying, and the numbers are crazy: more than 50,000 attendees and 2,500+ sessions, taking over Moscone Convention Center, two streets, Union Square, and seemingly every hotel in town (98,000 hotel room nights).

So yeah, it's busy.

And it's not just OpenWorld--we've also got JavaOne, MySQL Connect, and four other sub-events going on as well.

Speaking of JavaOne, you can find Solaris-related activity there, too -- I've highlighted one hands-on lab below.

Here's a last pre-event roundup of activities for consideration; enjoy the show(s)!

(Remember, Schedule Builder is your friend; use it with the session numbers below to register.)

Monday, October 1st:

3:15 PM - General Session: Accelerate Your Business with the Oracle Hardware Advantage
(GEN9691, Moscone North Hall D)

John Fowler, head of Oracle's Systems organization, will talk about Oracle hardware technology and how it's co-engineered with other key technologies, including Oracle Solaris.

Tuesday, October 2nd:

10:15 AM - Building an IaaS Platform with SPARC, Oracle Solaris 11, and Oracle VM Server for SPARC
(CON4431, Moscone South 270)

Get the birds-eye lowdown (whatever that means) on how U.S. Cellular  built its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud delivery platform with Oracle’s SPARC T4 servers, Oracle Solaris 11, Oracle Solaris Cluster 4, and Oracle VM Server for SPARC. The session covers the high-level design, business case made, implementation details, and lessons learned.

11:45 AM - Oracle Solaris 11 Panel: Insights and Directions from Oracle Solaris Core Engineering
(CON8790, Moscone South 252)

This has been one of the livelier Solaris-related sessions in years past (and I'm not saying that just because I get to moderate it this year). A panel of core engineers responsible for a wide range of key Solaris technologies will talk about some of the interesting work they've been doing -- but mostly we keep time open for the panel to take questions from attendees, because that's the fun part.

Wednesday, October 3rd:

10:00 AM - Tracing Your Java Application Tuning on Oracle Solaris with DTrace
(HOL10214, Hilton San Francisco, Franciscan A/B/C/D)

This JavaOne hands-on lab will show how to use the DTrace framework to dynamically trace your Java applications on Oracle Solaris and uncover new tuning opportunities.

Thursday, October 4th:

12:45 PM - Oracle Solaris 11: Optimized for Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Java
(CON8800, Moscone South 252)

Explore how Oracle Solaris 11 has been built to be the best platform for the cloud and enterprise applications, with built-in optimizations to improve performance and deliver unique functionality with Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Java.


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