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!


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 Dec 16, 2013

Partners Weigh in on Oracle Solaris 11

Here's a quick rundown on some recent news from some of our friends outside of Oracle:
In this video, Marcel Hofstetter of JomaSoft gives his views on when to use Zones and when to use Oracle VM Server for SPARC.

Another video; in this one, Henning Voss of Portrix Systems, Oracle's 2012 German Partner of the Year, shares how their customers benefit from Zones, virtualization and DTrace.


Infosys Finacle addresses banks’ specialized needs in easy-to-configure modules. In this white paper, you can read about how the Infosys software on proven Oracle infrastructure delivers strong performance, scalability, and consolidation opportunities.

We'll keep checking in with more success stories; meanwhile, there's an ever-growing list of ISVs who support Oracle Solaris 11 available for you to peruse at any time.

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.


Topic

Date
(all sessions 9 AM Pacific)

Speaker

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)

Monday Feb 14, 2011

Virtualization in Solaris 11 Express

In Oracle Solaris 10 we introduced Oracle Solaris Containers -- lightweight virtual application environments that allow you to consolidate your Oracle Solaris applications onto a single Oracle Solaris server and make the most of your system resources.
s11_virt.png

The majority of our customers are now using Oracle Solaris Containers on their enterprise systems for applications ranging from web servers to Oracle Database installations. We can also make these Containers highly available with Oracle Solaris Cluster, the industry's first virtualization-aware enterprise cluster product. Using Oracle Solaris Cluster you can failover applications in a Container to another Container on a single system or across systems for additional availability.

We've added significant features in Oracle Solaris 11 Express to improve and extend the Oracle Solaris Zone model:
  • Integration of Zones with our new Solaris 11 packaging system (aka Image Packaging System) to provide easy software updates within a zone
  • Support for Oracle Solaris 10 Zones to run your Solaris 10 applications unaltered on an Oracle Solaris 11 Express system
  • Integration with the new Oracle Solaris 11 network stack architecture (more on this in a future blog post)
  • Improved observability with the zonestat management interface and commands
  • Delegated administration rights for owners of individual non-global zones
  • Tight integration with Oracle Solaris ZFS to allow dedicated datasets per zone
  • With ZFS as the default file system we can now provide easy to manage Boot Environments for zones
This quick summary is just to whet your appetite to learn more about Oracle Solaris 11 Express Zones enhancements. Fortunately we can serve a full meal at the Oracle Solaris 11 Express Technology Spotlight on Virtualization page on the Oracle Technical Network.


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