Thursday Jun 17, 2010

Two new Whitepapers on Studio and Solaris on SPARC

New Whitepapers just published on talk about how the synergy between SPARC, Solaris and Studio tools helps deliver better value to customers.

Optimizing Applications with Oracle Solaris Studio Compilers and Tools(PDF)

This whitepaper talks about various issues and opportunities around optimizing application performance in the context of today's mix of complex multi-core, multi-socket, heterogenous hardware and operating systems. Development environments today are diverse and multi-sourced (meaning, piece parts of an application are often derived from several source locations -many of them open source), often multi-lingual. Today's tools need to deal with various source code control systems, cluster computers, diversity of clients and servers and yet be optimized not just for CPU but also for data latencies and network bandwidth. Oracle Solaris Studio provides a rich set of options, in the compilers for optimization, in the tools for analysis and debugging and in the IDE for ease of use and multi-language development. Additionally, support of industry and vendor standards (eg ISO C, C++, Fortran and OpenMP, MPI) and standard practices, along with a rich set of numerical libraries provides users with the options to tailor their application builds for optimal system utilization. All of this comes from a mature development group that has been putting out enterprise releases for 20+ years and supporting them with top-of-the-line support offerings. Read this paper to understand:
  • Overall Oracle Solaris Studio architecture for Compiling/Building, Debugging and Tuning and what is available in each category
  • How to optimize applications for Serial performance considering issues like 32 bit vs 64 bit address space, understanding target platforms, choosing appropriate compiler optimizations and how to use Performance Analyzer to identify and eliminate program hotspots.
  • Parallelism paradigms available and the various tradeoffs for using Autopar, MT programming, OpenMP and MPI programming styles and how you can use the Thread Analyzer to understand and overcome the trickiest parallel programming issues of datarace detection and deadlock elimination
The paper ends with some examples. And oh yes, a reminder that Oracle Solaris Studio, despite its name, works on Linux(es) in addition to Solaris.

Oracle Solaris and Sun SPARC Systems—Integrated and Optimized for Enterprise Computing(PDF)

This whitepaper is targetted at communicating how Solaris and SPARC were designed to work together optimally and how users can derive some unique benefits from the co-design of hardware and OS. Read this paper to understand:
  • How Solaris and SPARC fit into the overall Oracle Stack and help deliver unique TCO and ROI to users.
  • Benefits of scalability, performance, availability and security features built into Oracle Solaris
  • Unique characteristics of Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series and M-Series servers
  • Core Solaris features:
    • Reliability with Predictive Self-healing, highly reliable memory subsystems and use of Solaris ZFS, Reliable Networking, Solaris Clusters
    • Scalable Performance with MT-awareness, NUMA optimization, MPO, Large pagesizes, Flash Storage, Network performance. This is proofpointed by various World Records established on Solaris
    • Security
    • Server virtualization with LDOMS, container, Oracle VM servers, Containers (zones)
The paper ends with how you can use Oracle Solaris Studio (see above) to achieve the best balance of performance with ease of use development tools.

Monday Apr 26, 2010

NetBeans 6.9 Beta goes live!

The NetBeans team is announcing Beta trial for version NetBeans 6.9 IDE. NetBeans 6.9 newly introduces the JavaFX Composer, a visual layout tool for visually building JavaFX GUI applications and OSGi interoperability for NetBeans Platform applications so you can use OSGi bundles in a NetBeans RCP application.

On the C/C++ side, there are improvements to:
  • Hyperlink navigation
  • Unit test integration for C/C++ projects
  • Better sync up of remote/local files (Remote development)
  • Better sorting of Make targets in Navigator and improved Fortran support
  • Support for Doxygen and Solaris man pages
If you havent tried a recent version of NetBeans, you might find that improvements in gdb debugging, automatic profiling views for Microstate Accounting, Thread Map, Hot Spots and Memory Leaks and improved Remote development capabilities.

This is also the first NetBeans release since Sun's acquisition by Oracle, so my special kudos to the team for getting this out in a timely fashion; we all know how stressful these transitions can be! I'm already on it and I found it to be a seamless upgrade from 6.8. The download took only about a minute or so on my OpenSolaris desktop (download size is about 35MB) and the install was equally quick (installed image is about 140MB in size).

Download your trial version of NetBeans 6.9 Beta here.

Wednesday Apr 14, 2010

C re-emerges as top programming language

A colleague recently pointed out an interesting tidbit: Tiobe now lists C as the top programming language used .
In their own words: "the scores for C have been pretty constant through the years, varying between the 15% and 20% market share for almost 10 years. So the main reason for C's number 1 position is not C's uprise, but the decline of its competitor Java".
Its interesting that the dynamically typed languages(JavaScript, Python, Ruby) have taken a bit of retreat (down 4.2%) at the expense of static languages resurging by the same amount, though to be fair, PHP has held its ground. Is this a trend? You decide! The index itself is questionable and is subject to gaming, and is largely intended to be used an indicator to self-evaluate if your programming skills are current.
Nevertheless, it makes for interesting reading.

Monday Nov 30, 2009

Check out NetBeans 6.8

NetBeans 6.8 is now available as a Release Candidate for developers.
For C/C++ developers it now boasts a number of new features, among them:
  • Integration of Project Kenai, a collaborative environment for hosting open-source projects.
  • Profiling: New Microstate Accounting indicator, Thread Map view, Hot Spots view, Memory Leaks view, Sync Problems view
  • Faster synchronization during remote development
  • Support for gdbserver attach and easier attaching to already running processes
Other attractions are Java EE 6 support, JSF 2.0 new features and PHP 5.3 support. From my own trial of this, I find the new NetBeans release to be more robust than the old ones in C/C++ features, particularly those introduced in the last 2 releases, like remote development. I've been using it as successfully as any previous IDE releases (although, I must also admit that I'm not a heavy-weight IDE user... particularly because I can certainly work within its workflow but its not my own preferred style).

Check it out. You can download it here.

Monday Jan 05, 2009

A new gig in the new year

20 years after developing and managing within the Sun Developer Platforms group, particularly, Compilers and Tools, I am now moving to the Cloud Computing Group. This move is part of a business streamlining plan Sun outlined in mid November (the main idea being to re-align Sun's business with changing global picture and to invest in high-growth areas).
Cloud Computing has the potential for realizing significant revenues for Sun which is now increasing focus its on it.
Personally, this is an exciting new area for me and my team. This will mean moving away from an area where I helped my teams establish World Record application performance over the past few years and navigate C and C++ compilers through interesting transitions, especially through new language standards and a new business model, and I'm sad about leaving that behind me. However, all that experience will be invaluable in the new world of Cloud Computing where Sun has plenty of unique things to offer.
So, with a bit of trepidation and a lot of optimism, its time to look forward to the challenges and excitement of 2009.

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

Sun ClusterTools 8.1 released

Sun ClusterTools 8.1 is Sun's high-performance MPI library and parallel job launcher based on Open MPI 1.3 . It is fully supported by Sun and includes all features introduced in CT 8.0 earlier this year (the first release to support Linux as well as Solaris), plus with 8.1 we have introduced additional MPI application profiling and Dtrace provider support, as well as key bugfixes.
Some of the significant features are:
  • Support for Linux (RHEL 4&5, SLES 9&10), Solaris 10, OpenSolaris
  • Support for Sun Studio compilers on Solaris and Linux, plus the GNU/gcc toolchain on Linux
  • MPI profiling support with Sun Studio Analyzer (see SSX 11.2008), plus support for VampirTrace and MPI PERUSE
  • Infiniband multi-rail support
  • Mellanox ConnectX Infiniband support
  • DTrace provider support on Solaris
  • Enhanced performance and scalability, including processor affinity support
  • Support for InfiniBand, GbE, 10GbE, and Myrinet interconnects
  • Plug-ins for Sun Grid Engine (SGE) and Portable Batch System (PBS)
  • Full MPI-2 standard compliance, including MPI I/O and one sided communication

Wednesday May 07, 2008

OpenSolaris launched and Sun Studio is in the network package repository

OpenSolaris is here! Its formal launch at CommunityOne (the day prior to JavaOne in San Francisco) has attracted a lot of attention. It was picked up by The Register (here), Application Developer Trends (here), etc. Comments have ranged from "Cool, this is new and exciting" to "Looks just like Linux" (including the site
An interesting bit of praise comes from this article in ZDnet, titled What Ubuntu wants to be, when it grows up
OpenSolaris comes with full support, ranging from per incident support to a full 24x7 plan, geared fully towards supporting (as they call it) "from dorm room to the corporate board room".
OpenSolaris used to be called Project Indiana, for those in the community more familiar with that name.
The new distribution includes a small core operating system on a LiveCD, a network package repository, application packages, and the Sun-developed Image Packaging System (IPS) to hold it all together. With a small LiveCD, you can quickly (with just 6 clicks) install a desktop with a core set of utilities to assemble a simple desktop including Firefox and Thunderbird. IPS lets users easily download and install only the OpenSolaris components they want, rather than a monolithic bundle. And  IPS also supports current Solaris packages, for backward compatibility. All the old stuff still works the same way. You can add/customize your desktop or server with components you need, as you need them through the network package repository. The classic "packages" are all there in the repository:

Give it a try! I think you'll like it. I know I did and I have it installed now on a Toshiba Tecra laptop and a Sun Ultra 20 Desktop.

Thursday Mar 27, 2008

ClusterTools 8 Early Access available

The ClusterTools 8 (CT8) Early Access 1 (EA1) release is now available at
The CT8 EA1 software is a set of MPI libraries and tools for launching parallel MPI jobs on Solaris (SPARC and x86/x64). New in CT8 EA1 is MPI profiling support via VampirTrace and MPI PERUSE, Infiniband multi-rail communication, support for C++ applications built with STLport4 (in addition to the standard library libCstd, as well as other fixes and features contributed to Open MPI by the community.
CT8 EA1 is based on the upcoming Open MPI 1.3 release.
And yes, it works with Sun Studio 12, of course!

Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

Russian Developer Web Portal launched

Sun's Russian team has launched Russian developer web portal
This is designed specifically to make Sun technologies closer to Russian developers, teachers and students.

The portal is not just a translated replica of Instead, it makes an introduction to the technologies in Russian to make them understandable for beginning developers, teachers and students. Articles and other materials at the portal sometimes refer to English materials at or websites to give source for deeper knowledges.

The portal contains translated articles and news as well as originally written ones - all of them in Russian. There are 7 sections in the Portal (Solaris, HPC, Java ME, JavaFX, NetBeans, Java EE, For_Students).

Thursday Jan 03, 2008

New Solaris Application Programming Book!

Senior Compiler engineer from Sun, Darryl Gove, has a new tome called Solaris Application Programming.
The book is a comprehensive guide to optimizing the performance of applications running on the Solaris operating system. Darryl covers the fundamentals of system performance, using analysis and optimization tools to their fullest, and shows you how to get the most from Solaris systems and applications.
It's available on Safari Online and for pre-order from

Tuesday Jan 16, 2007

Good news! Sun is leader of OpenSource contributions!

The European Commission on FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) has released a new report on the Economic Impact of FLOSS on innovation and competitiveness on the Information and Communication Technologies sector. One of their findings is interesting that  Sun contributes to and participates in more open source projects than any other commercial company, including IBM, Red Hat, Novell and HP. See this report for all details:
This doesnt even include the OpenSourcing of Java!
Other interesting tidbits gleaned from this:
  • 62% of code is developed by individuals; about 19% by "industry" and another 12% by education institutions
  • India is the leading provider of FLOSS developers; China is second
  • The monetary value of voluntary contributions is about 800Million Euros per year; half of which comes from Europe
  • FLOSS potentially saves the industry about 36% of R&D costs, which can be invested elsewhere
  • US still leads in terms of large FLOSS-related businesses
  • Only 3-4% of firms in Japan have adopted Linux; in Europe that number is around 35-40%
  • The top FLOSS usage is in: Linux, OpenOffice, PostgreSQL/MySQL and Mozilla/FireFox
  • UC (Berkeley), MIT and CMU are the leading educational institutions that contribute to FLOSS development
  • Sun outranks #2 IBM,  #3 RedHat, #4 SGI. Sun outpaces IBM by over 3x in contribution; 5x over RedHat
  • The most important reason developers participate in open source communities is to learn new skills for free
Theres a lot more to the report than this. Its definitely worth a read, or at least a browse( its a 287 page doc).

Wednesday Sep 20, 2006

Highly Optimized OpenSource SPARC Software Stack (Cool Stack)

Cool Stack is a collection of some of the most commonly used open source applications optimized for the Sun Solaris OS / UltraSPARC platform.
Cool Stack is built with the latest version of compilers, SunStudio 11 and built with -xO4 level of optimization. These packages thus compiled show anywhere between 30-200% performance improvement (depending on workload/application) over standard compilations performed using GCC.
The following are included in the Optimized CoolStack collection:
  • CSQamp. This package includes Apache HTTP Server 2.0.58, MySQL 5.0.22 and PHP 5.1.4 built to work together.
  • CSQmysql. This package includes a 64bit version of MySQL 5.0.22 and is built with innodb. 
  • CSQperl. This package includes an optimized version of  Perl 5.8.8 (the version shipped with Solaris 10 is not optimized) Note that Solaris 10 ships with the same version of Perl.
  • CSQphp. This package provides a stand-alone installation of PHP 5.1.4  and can also be used via FastCGI from any other web server. 
  • CSQsquid. This package includes Squid 2.5.STABLE14 Web Proxy Cache.

Cool Stack is available for download from the Sun Download Center.
These are supported via the Cool Tools Stack Community Forum here.
Nice to see that its getting some recognition like this report here

Friday Sep 08, 2006

SDN (Sun Developer Network) Channel is now a blog

If you haven't seen it already, the NEW SDN Channel Blog is now live! This takes SDN Channel to a new level. With over 45,000 video downloads last month, the video asset is now an integral part of the site, evolving the Channel into a blog format for increased audience interaction.
New features include:
  • New show notes section, highlighting the latest links, demos, blogs, and downloads
  • New sections on Events and Community
  • Link referrals to, digg, slashdot

This month's edition is all about Identity. Check it out!

Tuesday Aug 29, 2006

The Search for a new HPC language

Getting new languages adopted into the market is pretty rare; only a few have succeeded over time: Fortran, COBOL, C, C++ and Java are perhaps the best known of this lot. Adoption and popularity have often led to such fierce loyalty that getting new programming languages adopted has become a very high-barrier endeavor.
DARPA, through its HPCS program, is attempting to deliver a paradigm shift. The theory goes that creating a new general-purpose language for high performance computing will offer a different way to think about the problem.
The latest issue of HPCwire examines the three new emerging languages proposed as part of the DARPA effort: Chapel (Cray), X10 (IBM) and Fortress (Sun) .
I think the following links are a must-read for anyone who is interested in whats emerging in the HPC market and how leading vendors are going to offer a way out of the current limitations.
The first one discusses the motivation to Search for a new HPC language .
The second is an interview with Rusky Lusk, Acting Division Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory, about how this part of the HPCS program will proceed as Phase II comes to a close.
I cant do enough justice in this blog to the topic; the above links say much more than I can and in more detail.
Personal note: I am sometimes asked at customer meetings about the direction that Sun is going to propose for development in the emerging CMT era (because Sun, more than anyone else, is seen as a technical leader in this market). My answers often wander around MPI, OpenMP, Parallel language extensions such as UPC, HPF, etc. I also mention the DARPA efforts in this regard. Clearly all of these are long-term efforts, not quick fixes in the short term to exploit the dual-core, quad-core and multi-core chips.
PPS. Sun has had other bloggers also talk about this aspect of the DARPA/HPCS program. One of the most profilic blogs is the HPCS languages moving forward and about the search for a new HPCL language . I'd urge y'all to go to this site from time to time; it has many interesting nuggets that I have learned from.

Friday Aug 11, 2006

SunTech Days scheduled; you're invited!

SunTech Days are a Sun-sponsored Worldwide Developer Conference.
Its a terrific opportunity for developers to learn about all of the latest technologies.
Attend expert-led technical sessions on: There are several locations where the conference will be held; this year, the plan is to hold it in
  • Seattle (US)
  • Shanghai and Beijing (China)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Seoul (S. Korea)
  • Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Hyderabad (India)
  • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
  • London (UK)
  • Atlanta (US)
  • St. Petersburg (Russia)
  • Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Mexico City (Mexico)
No registration fee, but space is limited. Register today.
For more information about other upcoming events in the Sun Tech Days 2006 - 2007 World Tour, join the Sun Developer Network.
You will find presentations, Instructor-led training sessions,(here) featured keynotes, and a ton of other info at this site.
Come join us, be part of the growing Sun Developer Community.


I have worked with Sun and Oracle for 25 years now; in compilers and tools organization for most of these years followed by a couple of years in Cloud Computing. I am now in ISV Engineering, where our primary task is to improve synergy between Oracle Sun Systems and our rich ISV ecosystem


« August 2016
Interesting Links