Tuesday Aug 05, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2: More Posts

Did you see our last Oracle Solaris 11.2 blog post aggregation? Did it leave you hungry for more?  Did you think, "But there's no way there there could be any more!"

Because, now that 11.2's officially released... there's more.  44 more posts, to be exact.

One notable development: there's now a blog dedicated to Oracle Solaris and OpenStack.




Data Management





Systems Management

Virtualization / Cloud

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

Tuesday May 13, 2014

We're Growing Our OpenStack Team

If you're at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta this week, drop on by our booth (D14) and come talk with us about what opportunities we have open.

Or, visit our iRecruitment job site.  Jobs of interest include:

  • IRC2483584 (Oracle Solaris Networking)

  • IRC2049805 (Oracle Solaris Core Technologies)

  • IRC2145806 (Oracle Solaris Core Technologies)

We'd also like to talk to anyone who has experience with OpenStack Neutron and/or OpenDaylight SDN, as well as Python.

Find out more about what we're doing at openstack.java.net  .

Thursday May 08, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2: All the Posts

[UPDATE: did we say all the posts?  After you read these, there are 44 more waiting for you.]

As I hope you've heard already, we launched Oracle Solaris 11.2 last week, and things have been busy ever since. Specifically, our engineers and others have gone nuts, kicking out an incredible number of blog posts.

Glynn Foster has been sending me a continuous stream of links, promising me each time that it's going to die down any old time now ("...typical, the moment I send something out, 2 more blogs appear...").  And I found another one just as I was wrapping this up!

The tally for now stands at almost 50, so settle in, as we proudly present:

"If I have seen further, it is by aggregating the blogs of giants"
-- Sir Isaac Newton, by way of Arianna Huffington



Networking / Network Virtualization


Security and Compliance

Systems Management


Friday Apr 25, 2014

Will Oracle Solaris 11.2 Revolutionize Meat Printing?

A simple icon to reprent Meat Printing, designed by H Y P E R M O R G E N from the Noun Project

"Meat printing" may be one of the most awesome phrases of the 21st century so far, and now there's an icon to go with it.

If you haven't been following emerging trends of the near future, don't worry; a group called HYPERMORGEN has you covered. As part of their "NounProject," they've come up with a set of simple icons to visualize trends such as the aforementioned meat printing, as well as "slime mold computing", "autonomous cars", and many others. They've produced some very clever images...

...but this is a blog about Oracle Solaris news, after all, so in order to stay at least nominally on topic, I'm limiting myself to meat printing.  (Sorry, slime mold computing fans!)

Briefly put, "meat printing" is about printing... meat. Simple, no?  It's also known as "3-D bioprinting," and there's actually a lot more to it, of course, but it all really comes down to the fact that you're using computers to help generate lunch. And if you're like me, you may feel this also generates... issues.

What you need here, clearly, is the best platform to keep everything kosher, as it were.  So, I started working on a listicle:

11.2 Ways Oracle Solaris 11.2 Can Improve Meat Printing

1. Reduce Human Error. Studies have shown that this is the number-one cause of downtime; we certainly don't want it to get in the way of supper. With Oracle Solaris we've done a lot of work to simplify tasks and commands, which significantly reduces opportunities for errors.

You know what a pain file loss can be.  We also want to eliminate filet loss.

2. Data Corruption Protection. Bit rot is bad enough when it doesn't involve actual food.  "19 nines" datapath protection is critical, in the data center or on the dinner table.

3. Security. Do you really want someone hacking your meat printer? Didn't think so.

4. Scale Up, or Scale Out. Otherwise known as "Club Sandwich vs. Sub Sandwich".

5. Comprehensive Open-Source Utilities. In Oracle Solaris 11, we've made sure that the administration tools that you're familiar with are at your fingertips, such as the CUPS printing facility.

In the future, all UNIX/Linux platforms will need to step things up to support 3-D entrée bioprinting, with the pioneering new PLATES technology...

...well, you can see where this was going. 

In a previous post, I mentioned that for those of you who won't be able to join us in New York City, and are registering for the webcast instead, we unfortunately can't serve you web-based lunch. But our time will come; our time will come.

But my point, as far as I can remember, is that we've done some very cool things in Oracle Solaris already, and we think Tuesday's lunch, er, launch will show how we're continuing to accelerate the pace of innovation.  Cloud-based meat computing: dare we dream?

Webcast: Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.2
Tuesday April 29, 2014
1 PM (ET) / 10:00am (PT)

Thursday Apr 24, 2014

Infosys Demonstrates SPARC/Solaris Scalability with Massive Finacle Banking Benchmark

One of our partners, Infosys, has released the results of a new banking transaction benchmark with their Finacle software platform, and the numbers are impressive: they've shown that on a Oracle SuperCluster system, they can support six times the daily transaction volume of the entire US banking system.

 Finacle now has "SuperCluster Optimized" status as part of the Oracle Exastack Optimized program. It's a very impressive demonstration of the near-linear scalability that the SPARC/Solaris combo offers.  It was a huge exercise, simulating 1.9 billion bank accounts—greater than the entire population of China.

For more information, check out their press release.

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

Question of the Day: "Big Solaris Launch... for a Dot Release??"

"This is only a dot release, right?" the question goes. Well, yes and no.

For those who tuned in late: on April 29th, we'll be launching Oracle Solaris 11.2 in New York City and on the web. But don't let the dot fool you—there is some very significant stuff that we're putting in.  Significant enough that yes, the idea of calling this "Oracle Solaris 12" did come up.  But, c'mon, gratuitously revving the number just because we felt like it?  Who'd do that*?

In fact, what the dot really means is that we've incorporated some noteworthy changes in such a way that we're not leaving anything, or anyone, behind. This is Oracle Solaris 11, only moreso. The reason that it's a dot is that there are no concerns for existing "11" end users and developers about how to integrate this into their environments.  IPS is your friend. And for those of you who haven't upgraded yet, the Solaris Application Guarantee Program assures you that we stand behind you as you do.

And, as it turns out, this whole compatibility and interoperability thing is part of our news on the 29th.  So, please join us then, on the web or in person.  It's "only a dot", but it's more than a dot.


*As someone in the Twittersphere helpfully pointed out, Sun once did something in this vein: we lopped the whole dang major release number off the marketing name, going from Solaris 2.6 to Solaris (not-two-dot) 7 in one shot.  But underneath the hood, it was SunOS 5.6 to SunOS 5.7.  Join us for the SunOS 5.11.2 launch, won't you?

Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

You're WEBvited: April 29, Oracle Solaris 11.2 Launch

For those of you who can't join us in person in New York City for the launch of Oracle Solaris 11.2: registration for the live webcast is now open! Here's an invitation from Markus Flierl, head of Oracle Solaris core engineering:

The event will kick off at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT (sorry, no web-based lunch service), led off by Mark Hurd. He'll then turn it over to John Fowler and Markus, who will take us through a tour of what makes this release key for those looking for the best platform for enterprise cloud services.

Join us on Twitter during the event, hashtag #solaris .

Webcast: Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.2
Tuesday April 29, 2014
1 PM (ET) / 10:00am (PT)

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

You're Invited: April 29, Oracle Solaris 11.2 Launch, New York City

New York in the spring -- or, anywhere on the web. Either way, you're invited to join us on April 29th, as we introduce Oracle Solaris 11.2.

These events are always a lot of fun, and this one promises to be no exception. Our hosts will be Mark Hurd, John Fowler, and Markus Flierl, and they'll take us all through some significant new capabilities we're introducing, reinforcing that Oracle Solaris is Engineered for Cloud.

Register now for the in-person event -- space will be limited!  (We'll have more room on the web, of course.)

Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.2
Tuesday April 29, 2014
12:00n (ET) / 9:00am (PT)



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.

Friday Mar 28, 2014

Webcast: Modernizing IBM AIX/Power to Oracle Solaris/SPARC

As I've mentioned before at least one or two times, this is a great time to take a look at moving from IBM POWER servers to Oracle Solaris and SPARC systems.  We'll be discussing this very topic in an upcoming webcast:

Modernizing IBM AIX/Power to Oracle Solaris/SPARC
Wednesday April 2, 2014
10:00am (PT) / 1:00pm (ET)

Oracle's Ken Kutzer and Randal Sagrillo will give an overview of not only what the benefits are of moving to Oracle's systems, but what the simple transition process is to get there.

Meanwhile, while you're waiting for Wednesday, here's a video to check out.  Learn how one company used Oracle's SPARC servers with Oracle Solaris to architect a more robust cloud solution, at a lower cost, compared to x86 servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Thursday Mar 27, 2014

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta Now Available

If you're developing in C, C++, or Fortran for either Oracle Solaris or Linux, Oracle Solaris Studio is your "go to" development environment -- at least if you're looking to build high-performance, robust applications, with an incredible set of analysis tools as well.

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta is now ready for you to try out.  This release introduces support for the most current C++ version, C++11.  "Come for the rvalue references and move constructors; stay for the generalized constant expressions," I always say, proving I can read a Wikipedia article as well as the next person.

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 also sports a new user interface for the Performance Analyzer, which includes remote data analysis and cross-architecture support, making life ever-easier for multi-platform developers.

It also includes a raft of new performance optimizations for the latest generation SPARC and x86 processors, as well as support for OpenMP 4.0 -- add that to an already impressive list of mulithreaded programming support features.

Learn more, get the download, send us feedback: Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Enterprise Computing... "for Dummies" ?

"Dummies shouldn't be using Solaris"

That's a comment we got when we posted about this e-book recently on Facebook, and yes, I was expecting that. Much the same thought popped into my head when I was asked to help out on the project. But that's not quite the right response.

The folks at Wiley, not too surprisingly, have heard this sort of thing before.  I thought the best explanation was from the person who pointed out that "everyone's a dummy... at something."  For example, I know a bit about eating huevos rancheros, but I'm always glad to learn more about cooking them... .

So, is enterprise computing--or Oracle Solaris--your huevos rancheros?  If you're reading this blog, perhaps not. But you might know somebody whose day-to-day existence isn't wrapped around the ins and outs of provisioning, virtualization, consolidation and compliance.  If you can imagine that.  They may even think that "an OS is an OS," as you give a quiet sigh in response.

But they're not dummies. They just don't know. And now: you can help them!

Enterprise Computing with Oracle Solaris For Dummies is an e-book almost as pithy as its title isn't.  It's a whirlwind tour through what to look for and how to choose an enterprise-grade deployment platform (hint: Oracle Solaris would be an excellent choice).  And it's free, so that's pretty cool, too.

Read it online, pass the link along, or print it out and put it on someone's chair.  Heck, leave it in airport terminals and earn extra karma.  Just don't be overly judgmental.  And let me know if you enjoy the huevos rancheros.

Get your copy at: http://www.oracle.com/goto/solarisdummies

Monday Mar 24, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Call for Proposals: Share Your Solaris Insights

It seems like every year, we manage to fit even more stuff into Oracle OpenWorld:

 ...but we're always looking for more. And we're especially interested in what you've got to say.

The Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Call for Proposals is now open, through April 15th. This is a chance for you to share your experience with your peers, and to interact with some of the top Oracle Solaris experts in the world.  Are you an administrator with insights on IPS and AI?  A developer who saw some key performance gains?  Time to put together a proposal and submit it.  But you've only got a few weeks to do it.  (For those of you in the US, it's another great way to put off doing your taxes.)

Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco is always a unique experience in a unique city, and if your proposal is accepted, you'll get a complimentary pass to the show. OOW is September 28th to October 2nd this year.

Learn more about Oracle OpenWorld 2014


Security. Speed. Simplicity.
An efficient, open, affordable cloud platform for SPARC and x86 systems.


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