Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Oracle Solaris 11.3: Securing and Simplifying the Enterprise Cloud

This morning, we’ve opened up access to the beta release of Oracle Solaris 11.3.  If you’ve been following along (and if not, why not?), you know there have been some big advances in Oracle Solaris 11, including lightning-fast intelligent provisioning and maintenance, and some key additions to our already highly-regarded “defense in depth” security.

Most notable for the latter is the work we’ve done to simplify compliance checking and mitigation, making it possible for administrators to quickly and easily check system security configurations against industry standards, and get a “report card” showing compliance, with guidance for any areas that may need addressing.

Oh, and did I mention fully-integrated OpenStack?  This is a win in two ways: it not only brings access to the fastest growing open cloud platform to Oracle Solaris users, it brings the incredible breadth of Oracle Solaris enterprise capabilities to the fingertips of OpenStack users.

…and that of course brings to mind some of the above-mentioned Oracle Solaris 11 features, such as built-in, zero-overhead virtualization, a new and super-powerful Unified Archive capability for rapid, safe, compliant deployment, and all the things we’ve done in terms of performance and administrative ease to make Oracle Solaris the best platform for deploying both Oracle’s own and 3rd party software.

So what’s left to do?  In this beta release, you'll find we're taking those capabilities and making them even better.

OpenStack: We’ve moved forward to the OpenStack Juno release, and also done some behind-the-scenes work to make it easy to continue to bring you new OpenStack goodness quickly and reliably.

Virtualization: In Oracle Solaris 11.2, we introduced “Kernel Zones”, making it possible to deliver hypervisor agility while still maintaining the low overhead and ease of administration you expect from Zones.  In 11.3, we introduce secure live migration for Kernel Zones,  live zone reconfiguration, and verified boot.

And, we’ve extended the new Zones on Shared Storage (ZOSS) capabilities.  You can now place zones on FC-SAN, iSCSI, or NFS devices.

Oracle Solaris 11.3 is all about “more”, so now you have more flexibility and more security in your virtualization.

Database: If you’re an Oracle Database fan, you know we’ve been giving you “more” for years: more observability, more performance, more flexible administration.  Now we’re also giving you “less” — less down time.  We’ve slashed database startup and shutdown times.  These are not only faster than it’s ever been on Solaris; it’s faster—a lot faster—than on any other platform.

Security: We’ve extended the compliance capabilities mentioned above, so that you can more easily tailor compliance policy configurations to suit your site’s requirements.  Oracle Solaris and Oracle Solaris Studio are also ready for Software in Silicon application data integrity (ADI).  To learn more about this and start working with it today, visit the SWiS Cloud.

Data Management: You've already come to know and love what Oracle Solaris brings to the table with the first 21st century filesystem, ZFS.  In Oracle Solaris 11.3, we extend its built-in compression capabilities to include LZ4 support, we give you the ability to compare snapshots recursively, and have introduced a wealth of scalability and performance improvements to make it faster than ever. We’ve also enhanced its monitoring features, and upgraded its built-in SMB support.

There’s more than this, but this should give you a taste of what we’ve got in store for you today.  You can download it now, and take a look at the “What’s New” document to see what we’re doing to make your data center cloud-ready, secure, fast, and simple.

Saturday Jan 31, 2015

10 at 10

Can it have been so long already?  Today is the 10th anniversary of the first release of Solaris 10. This was a breakthrough release for Solaris, Sun, and really, the industry -- it breathed new life into a class of systems software that some companies had written off long before.  How did it do that?  By including a wealth of groundbreaking new features that raised the bar for what an enterprise operating system should be.  To use one of my favorite phrases: innovation matters, and the operating system is too critical a place in the application delivery stack not to innovate.

Many of these features are still ahead of the curve even 10 years later, and form the core of yet more innovation in Oracle Solaris 11: Zones and ZFS in particular stand out as enabling technologies that give our customers the power of zero-overhead virtualization, "nineteen 9s" data integrity, and simple, fast, reliable provisioning and service management.  If you look at the underpinnings of OpenStack as deployed in Oracle Solaris 11 today, innovation that's still fresh from Solaris 10 will be staring right back at you.  And it's exciting to see that the same fundamental concepts like these that we thought were important to build into the OS in 2005 are starting to come into vogue with operating systems from other companies just ten short years later.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of Solaris 10 and beyond!

Saturday Sep 27, 2014

OpenWorld: Solaris Events on Monday

OpenWorld looms! If you're in town by now, you probably already know what you're doing on Sunday as our newly-minted CTO takes the stage at 5 PM, so let's jump ahead to Monday.

Here are some sessions to consider (and yes, there is some overlap here and there...):

...annnd: relax!  You've earned it.  See you Tuesday!

Thursday Feb 06, 2014

Oracle Solaris, Pluribus Networks and OpenStack

It's been a newsworthy week for Sun alumni -- first the word that Satya Nadella, who came to Microsoft from Sun, will be their new CEO, and now some interesting new technologies and other announcements from Pluribus Networks, a company founded by a few ex-Sun folk.

The Oracle Solaris news here is the agreement between Oracle and Pluribus, following Oracle Solaris 11's certification on Pluribus' Freedom Server-Switch platform.  Oracle and Pluribus have announced they will be working to further integrate OpenStack management capabilities, allowing Oracle Solaris 11 compute nodes to be managed via OpenStack's Nova plug-in. This will also bring in Oracle's storage systems such as the ZS3 series, allowing them to be managed via OpenStack Cinder.

For more information, see Markus Flierl's blog post, and today's press release.

Friday Nov 02, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11.1 Blog Post Roundup

Here are a few recent posts about the also-recent Oracle Solaris 11.1 release:

Title Author
What's New in Solaris 11.1?
Karoly Vegh
New ZFS Encryption features in Solaris 11.1
Darren Moffat
Solaris 11.1: Encrypted Immutable Zones on (ZFS) Shared Storage
Darren Moffat
High Resolution Timeouts Steve Sistare
Solaris 11.1: Changes to included FOSS packages Alan Coopersmith
Documentation Changes in Solaris 11.1
Alan Coopersmith
How to Update to Oracle Solaris 11.1 Using
the Image Packaging System

Peter Dennis
svcbundle for easier SMF manifest creation
Glynn Foster
Controlling server configurations with IPS
Bart Smaalders
IPS changes in Solaris 11.1, brought to you by
the letter ‘P’

Tim Foster

You can also see Markus Weber's list of interesting posts about Oracle Solaris 11 from last year, or take a look at my shortcut on how to search for Solaris posts by tag.

(Got some more? Leave a comment below.)

If that's not enough information for you, don't forget to register for next Wednesday's Oracle Solaris 11.1 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 webcast with a live Q&A. It's November 7th, at 8 AM PT.

The last time we did this, we got almost 300 questions, so for Wednesday, we're making sure we've got lots of engineers with fingers poised over their keyboards, ready for action.

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 blogs.oracle.com 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.

Friday Mar 23, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11 Developer Webinar Series

Pupils in a Canadian school train, 1950.This coming Tuesday, a new series of webcasts (not to be confused with a series of tubes) is kicking off, aimed at developers.

Register today

Next week's session covers IPS and related topics:

What: Modern Software Packaging for Enterprise Developers

When: Tuesday, March 27, 9 AM Pacific

Who: Eric Reid, Oracle Systems ISV Engineering

We've got several more queued up -- here's the full schedule, with registration links for each one. Or, see the series overview, which includes a link to a "teaser" preview of all the sessions.


(all sessions 9 AM Pacific)


Modern Software Packaging for Enterprise Developers

March 27th

Eric Reid
(Principal Software Engineer)

Simplify Your Development Environment with Zones, ZFS & More

April 10th

Eric Reid (Principal Software Engineer)
Stefan Schneider (Chief Technologist, ISV Engineering)

Managing Application Services – Using SMF Manifests in Solaris 11

April 24th

Matthew Hosanee
(Principal Software Engineer)

Optimize Your Applications on Oracle Solaris 11: The DTrace Advantage

May 8th

Angelo Rajadurai
(Principal Software Engineer)

Maximize Application Performance and Reliability on Oracle Solaris 11

May 22nd

Ikroop Dhillon
(Principal Product Manager)

Writing Oracle Solaris 11 Device Drivers

June 6th

Bill Knoche
(Principal Software Engineer)

Friday Sep 16, 2011

Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 Released

All the big news has been around Oracle Solaris 11 for awhile now, but now it's Oracle Solaris 10's turn for some attention.

Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 just came out, and it has some cool enhancements:

·      ZFS speedups and new features
·      Oracle Database optimization
·      Faster reboot on SPARC systems

This update not only makes the #1 enterprise OS even faster and easier to manage; it also helps sets the stage for the planned release of Oracle Solaris 11 later this year.

Let’s start with ZFS. First off, it’s now possible to use either the text installer or Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade to install a ZFS Flash Archive (flar). This is useful in disaster recovery scenarios, or for organizations that use flars to distribute install images.

This is something you only used to be able to do with UFS. ZFS now not only has an incredible range of advances beyond UFS, it doesn’t leave any capabilities behind.

One longstanding Solaris feature that ZFS now makes even better is Live Upgrade.  Live Upgrade is a great tool for reducing system downtime, but each time you use it, its first step is “make a copy of my current Solaris environment.” With a traditional file system such as UFS, that can take an hour or more.

With ZFS as your root file system, that copy takes around 10 seconds; ZFS cloning means we no longer have to copy the entire file system.  Plus, you don’t have to have an entire disk slice pre-allocated for that new boot environment. Suddenly Live Upgrade moves from “I’d love to do that, but it’s a lot of work and time to set up,” to “why wouldn’t I do that?”  It’s a risk-reduction safety net for a wide variety of system change scenarios, ready to get you immediately back to a “known-good” state if any problems crop up.

Oh, and it gets even better in Oracle Solaris 11, but you’ll hear more about that elsewhere. Just know that this is a great way to get familiar with one of the more significant advances in Oracle Solaris 11—ZFS root—way ahead of time.

We’ve also backported the ‘zfs diff’ capability from Oracle Solaris 11, to make it easy to see the changes between two ZFS snapshots—or two Live Upgrade boot environments. See the Oracle Solaris 8/11 “What’s New” document for examples, and info on other new ZFS features.

Meanwhile, check out what we’ve done for ZFS performance:


(We used the dd command to simulate lots of sequential I/O by copying 8 GB at different block sizes.)

We’ve also been working with our Oracle Database colleagues more closely than ever before to streamline performance. In this update, we took an existing Solaris/Oracle DB optimization and made it even better.

Intimate Shared Memory (ISM) was an early Oracle Database performance project on Solaris to optimize memory use, especially with the SGA, in a number of ways.  In this update, we’ve changed ISM to get Oracle Database to start up almost 4 times faster than before on a SPARC T3-2, and 2.5 times faster on a Sun Fire x4800.

We’ve sped up OS restart time, too.  In 8/11, it’s now possible to bypass the Power On Self Test (POST) on SPARC systems on non-power-on reboots.

Finally, we’re making it even easier to get and deploy the OS. You can download a regular or VirtualBox-ready image, or order physical media, from the usual places.

And now you’ll find something new:  encapsulated virtual environments: “Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Solaris Containers.” It’s Oracle Database pre-installed in an Oracle Solaris Container; download a single file and execute it, and it unpacks itself into a container on your Oracle Solaris 10 10/09 or later system.

We’re not trying to steal Oracle Solaris 11’s thunder; we'll have a lot to say about it at Oracle OpenWorld in just a couple of weeks. But it was time to give Oracle Solaris 10 another turn in the spotlight. Enjoy!

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.

Wednesday Sep 08, 2010

A Complete Oracle Solaris Platform Update to open the new Oracle Solaris Blog

Today we announced our latest updates to the Oracle Solaris platform - Oracle Solaris 10 9/10, Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 and Oracle Solaris Studio12.2.

In addition to several key updates for these products we are also now developing, testing and
supporting these products with Oracle's "applications-to-disk" technology stack. The testing leverages the Oracle Certification Environment which has over 50,000 test use cases for every Oracle Solaris patch and platform released. For more information check out our latest whitepapers.

Getting applications and services up and running--and keeping them that way--can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Today it is more vital than ever that systems are designed and deployed to be virtually bulletproof to ongoing changes and updates. Just ask the top 10 telecommunications companies, utilities and banks that host their enterprise applications and businesses on Oracle Solaris.

But let's get down to some specifics on our new product releases.

Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 highlights include:
    • P2V (physical to virtual) tools that take an image of a physical Oracle Solaris 10 systems and installs it in an Oracle Solaris Container to help you consolidate your application workloads
    • Several ZFS enhancements to simplify the management of ZFS pools (split mirrored pools, pool recovery) , increase performance of applications that use ZFS to store data (tuning facility for synchronous writes) and triple-parity RAID Z redundancy to prevent data loss even in the face of three device failures. RAID-Z is the world's first software solution to the RAID-5 write hole
    • Improved Java application performance with JDK 6
For more details on Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 check out Oracle Solaris on the Oracle Technology Network.
    • And of course native support for all the latest SPARC and x86 Systems from Oracle including the Oracle SPARC T3 processor, Intel Nehalem EX and Intel Westmere systems.
For more details on Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 check out Oracle Solaris on the Oracle Technology Network.

Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 builds on Oracle Solaris to offer the most extensive, enterprise high availability and disaster recovery solutions. Key features in this release include:
    • Virtual application clusters via Oracle Solaris Containers in Oracle Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition
    • Application agents and integration with Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle's Siebel CRM, MySQL Cluster and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g for consolidation in virtualized environments
    • Support for the highest level of security with Oracle Solaris Trusted Extensions for mission-critical applications and services
    • InfiniBand support on public networks and as storage connectivity
For more details on Oracle Solaris Cluster check out Oracle Solaris Cluster on the Oracle Technology Network.

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.2 provides an advanced suite of tools designed to work together for the development of single, multithreaded, and distributed applications. New features include:
    • C, C++ and Fortran compiler optimizations for the newest Oracle Sun T-series, M-series, and x86-based Enterprise Servers which deliver up to 4.8x faster code
    • New and updated tools to accelerate the development of mission-critical apps
    • Improved application profiling with experiment comparison (Performance Analyzer)
    • New thread error detection in binaries (Thread Analyzer)
    • Updated DTrace-based visualization tool (DLight)‏
    • New memory debugger with increased performance (Discover)
    • New code coverage tool (Uncover)
    • Updated OpenMP 3.0 support throughout tool chain
    • Updated IDE, based on NetBeans 6.9.1
    • Optimized performance libraries for the newest SPARC and x86 platforms
For more details on Oracle Solaris Studio check out Oracle Solaris Studio on the Oracle Technology Network.

And, welcome to the new Solaris blog!

Dan Roberts
Director of Solaris Product Management

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


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