Thursday Sep 20, 2012

SPARC Cloud Architecture

Yesterday I posted an article about how to build a fully virtualized SPARC server pool.  I thought I'd share one more diagram from the paper here, so people can get an idea what we're looking at.

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

So You Want To Build a SPARC Cloud

Did you ever wish you could get the industrial strength power of UNIX/RISC with the flexibility of cloud computing?  Well, now you can!  With recent advances from Oracle it's possible to build an incredibly high-performance, flexible, available virtualized infrastructure based on Solaris and SPARC.  Here's the recipe!

Authored in collaboration across the Oracle "Systems Group" team, we now have a complete best practice guide for you.  Click below to download it:

Best Practices for Building a Virtualized SPARC Computing Environment

Inside you'll find recommendations for how and when to leverage technologies like:

  • SPARC T4
  • OVM for SPARC hypervisor (version 2.2 and newer)
  • Solaris 11
  • Ops Center 12c
  • ZFS Storage Appliance
  • Oracle network switches

Based on following these best practices, you'll be able to construct a dynamic, virtualized infrastructure that allows for:

  • Easy, GUI-based provisioning on new VMs
  • Automated HA failover in the event of physical server failures
  • Automatic load balancing across a cluster of VM hosts
  • Complete end-to-end monitoring

You should download this paper and check it out.  Even if you aren't planning on buying all new hardware, and instead want to transform some existing gear into a dynamic virtualized environment then this paper will give you concrete info on what to do and the trade-offs you'll make.

Have fun getting started on your journey to build a SPARC cloud!

Wednesday Jul 11, 2012

Solaris 11 and Enterprise Manager Ops Center

I just finished up doing a podcast with Bill Neshiem and Markus Flierl (the two VPs who lead Solaris Engineering).  They're great guys and we had a lot of fun recording it. In this 15 minute audio cast, we got to cover what's new in Ops Center 12c with a special focus on Solaris 11. This includes how we handle new Solaris 11 provisioning and patching features, as well as some details on what we're doing with Solaris virtualization -- such as OVM for SPARC.

You can check it out here:

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center and Oracle Solaris 11

Solaris 11 and Ops Center are both taking off really fast together.  It's great to see how many of the Ops Center 12c users are using it with Solaris 11 (a very large percentage!) and how many of the large Solaris 11 customers have started to adopt Ops Center 12c. 

Wednesday May 09, 2012

Next Ops Center Experts Webcast: Cloud Management

We had an awesome turn out at the last experts webcast so we're going to do it again!  This time the topic is Cloud Management with Ops Center.  Here's the info you'll need to join in the fun!

Meeting information
Topic: Ops Center Cloud Management
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Time: 9:30 am, Mountain Daylight Time (Denver, GMT-06:00)
Meeting Number: 593 222 600
Meeting Password: welcome

To join the online meeting
Go to

Teleconference information
Call-in toll-free number: 1-(866) 682-4770  (US)
Show global numbers:
Conference Code: 486 754 3

Pass Code: 1234

Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Ops Center Experts Webcast

On May 1st, please join us for a Webcast where we'll demonstrate new product capabilities in Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c:

  • Solaris 11 Management Capabilities
  • Oracle Engineered Systems Support
  • Cloud Management Features
  • Asset Discovery and Management Capabilities
  • Virtualization Management Enhancements

To join the meeting on May 1st, simply follow these instructions:

Topic: Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c: New Feature Overview

Date: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Time: 8:00am Pacific, 9am Mountain, 10am Central, 11am Eastern

To join the online meeting
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: oemoc12c
4. Click "Join".
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:

To join the teleconference only
Call-in toll-free number: 1-866-682-4770  (US)
Show global numbers:
Conference Code: 933 704 4

For assistance
1. Go to
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support".

Friday Apr 06, 2012

Launching Ops Center 12c

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c is most ambitious version of the Ops Center tooling that we've ever released. I think that make it appropriate that we launched it in grand style! When it became clear we were going to be complete with the 12c final release about this time of year, the marketing team proposed that we roll the launch of 12c into Oracle OpenWorld Tokyo.  I thought that sounded like a fine idea!  You see, I have always loved Japan.  I even studied a bit of Japanese language back in school.

OpenWorld Tokyo was an outstanding even this year.  It was held in Roppongi, one of the most stylish districts in Tokyo. And, to make things even better, the Sakura (cherry blossoms) were blooming.  If you've never been in Japan for cherry blossom season, it's a must see!  Here are a couple of pics for you.

Here is a picture from Roppongi, near the conference. 

Here's a picture near the Imperial Palace.  A couple of friends from the local sales team took me here before my flight out.

So, now back to the product launch!

We choose to launch the product in John Fowler's "Engineered Systems" keynote address.  It made perfect sense because of the close ties of Ops Center to the Systems portfolio of products.  It was a packed house for the keynote.  Here's a picture I took just before we started -- there were also hundreds more people in "overflow" rooms in other parts of the venue.

Here's a picture of me on stage during the launch.

While there are countless new features in Ops Center 12c that customers will love, I had to limit myself to discussing just three.

  • Mission Critical Clouds
  • Solaris 11
  • Engineered Systems

So, what does Mission Critical Cloud mean?  It means we've expanded EM's cloud capabilities in a couple of key areas. First, we've expanded the "self service provisioning" capabilities we have to include SPARC -- not just x86.  Now you can build clouds of Solaris Zones with ease!  Second, we've much more deeply integrated high-end storage and network management into the cloud layers.  These may our IaaS story is now much more powerful!

For Solaris 11, we didn't simply port our monitoring agent to S11.  That would have been easy, but also boring! We support S11 deeply.  Full access to the power of the IPS packaging system, the new virtualized networking stack, new Zones features, the Auto Install framework.  If you're ready to try Solaris 11 then Ops Center is ready for you.

Last is on the area of Engineered Systems.  These combinations of hardware and software are fast and powerful. However, we're also on a mission to make them ever easier to manage.  We've made major strides with Ops Center 12c. Manage these systems as racks, not individual components.  The new capabilities for the new engineered systems like Exalogic and SPARC SuperCluster and striking.

You can read more here: Oracle Unveils Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c

So, I'll wrap this up with one final bit of fun. One of my friends from the Oracle marketing department found a super cool place to get dinner.  It's a restaurant called Gonpachi. It turns out this is the place that inspired the scene in the Quentin Taratino movie Kill Bill where Uma Thurman fights 88 Ninjas.  Here is a picture I snapped while we were there. It was surely a good time. Check it out next time you're in Tokyo.

Tuesday Oct 04, 2011

The New Enterprise Manager Ops Center "Harvester" utility

Did you know that you can run Enterprise Manager Ops Center is a totally "disconnected" mode for networks that are detached from the internet?  There is a cool utility we call the "Harvester" that helps you do this and we've just put out a major upgrade to it.  

If you haven't used the Harvester before, here is a quick overview. It uses your credentials to log into My Oracle Support and download all of the patch meta data and other content you require and bundles it up into a nice, crisp tar ball ready to be moved onto your dark network and loaded into the Ops Center Enterprise Controller.  Once you've done this, Ops Center's patching and configuration management functions will work just as if it is attached to the internet.

Now, here's what's new in Harvester 2.0:

  • Major performance improvements - at least 8 times faster. This will allow customers to initiate and continually refresh their offline environments without having to wait for hours and days for the content to download.

  • Ability to download patches from a certain date - this will allow dramatic reductions in the size of the offline bundle customers have to carry with them to a dark environment.

  • Ability to download a customized, predefined list of patches - this will allow customers to download only certain patches that they deem important in their environment.

  • Support for incremental downloads - automatically flag which patches were downloaded in each run, allowing customers to copy only the new files to the disconnected EC.

  • Disk space optimization - a major complaint of customers is that the old Harvester created a huge TAR ballwhich made it frustrating to 1) create 2) transfer and 3) upload to the disconnected EC. The new Harvester resolves this issue on all levels.

  • Ability to run the Harvester on Linux - the old version only runs on Solaris.

  • Self auto update mechanism - allows customers to enjoy additional features and bug fixes immediately, without having to upgrade their EC.

  • Simplified user interface - special attention was given to simplifying the Harvester and disconnected process for new customers.

This new Harvester will be bundled with the next Ops Center update release, but will also work with all versions of 2.5 and 11g ECs.

To download and use right now you can grab it from this URL:

Monday Oct 03, 2011

The New Enterprise Manager Ops Center Quickstart Guide

Are you thinking about getting started with Enterprise Manager Ops Center for the first time?  It may be easier than you think!  The best place to go and get started is with the new Quickstart guide.  It tells you everything you need to know to get your first Ops Center controller up and running (and monitoring servers) in less than an hour!  Click here to check it out!

Also, there's an excellent guide put together by Gokhan Atil who is currently a DBA at  You can check out his guide here

Happy installing! 

Sunday Oct 02, 2011

Ops Center at OpenWorld 2011

Are you going to Oracle Open World?  Want to find out the latest on what's going on with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center?  Well, here are some great things to check out where you'll see Ops Center featured:

General/Executive Sessions:

  • Oracle OpenWorld Keynote with Thomas Kurian (32181) Monday, 08:00 AM, Moscone North - Hall D
  • General Session: Server and Storage Systems Strategy  (25601) Tuesday, 01:15 PM, Moscone North - Hall D

Enterprise Manager Launch:

  • Launch Event  Monday, 5:00 PM, Novellus Theater

Speaking Sessions:

  • Main Ops Center Presentation (15286)  Thursday, 09:00 AM, Moscone South - 236
  • Ops Center on SPARC (15332)   Monday, 11:00 AM, Moscone South - 200
  • Ops Center on x86 (14304)  Monday, 02:00 PM, Moscone South - 252

Demo Booths:

  • Ops Center (S-113) Moscone South Level 1
  • Server ROI (S-143) Moscone South Level 1

Wednesday Sep 07, 2011

Integrated Cloud Management

I have a couple of new videos produced by the Oracle Enterprise Manager team that I wanted to share with you.  First, here's a short video where I talk about things I'm hearing from data center operators on their challenges.

Next, here's a video that includes some details on what we're doing about it with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center.

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.


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