Monday Apr 01, 2013

Solaris Innovations straight from engineering

We recently held this year's Solaris Innovations workshop at Oracle's (formerly Sun's) Santa Clara, California campus. A couple of engineers took a few moments to talk about the work they're doing.  In this brief 5-minute interview, Bart Smaalders, of Core Solaris Engineering, talks about the journey we've been on in enhancing Solaris upgrade paths for Solaris 10 customers

More details and How-To papers are available at the Simplified Installation section of Oracle Technology Network, here

Additionally, the following interviews should be of interest:

Markus Flierl - Solaris engineering, on innovations in Solaris for Oracle database and middleware

Liane Praza - Solaris engineering, on Manageability and Analytics throughout the "stack"

Don Kretsch - Solaris Studio team, on SPARC T5 optimizations

Larry Wake - Solaris Product Marketing, on continued business value of SysAdmin skills

Mike Palmeter - Solaris Product Management, on OS relevance

Thanks to Rick Ramsey, of OTN, for providing his Camera-as-a-Service cloud infrastructure to get these captured.

Building out Solaris 11 using existing Solaris 10 estate

Some news in the How-to-help-customers-move-to-Solaris-11 department, we have published a How-To document that provides steps on using existing Solaris 10 JumpStart servers to provision new Solaris 11 systems, without having to build a Solaris 11 Automated Install server system first (which may have been a chicken-and-the-egg scenario for some customers).  This article describes a tool called Oracle Solaris 11 Provisioning Assistant for Oracle Solaris 10 which can be downloaded from My Oracle Support and is available at no extra cost for customers whose systems are covered by Oracle support.  Grab the above-mentioned How-To, and pick one of the desired versions - one for SPARC and one for x86.   Log into My Oracle Support and search for these:

Patch 16575713:


Patch 16575721:


Pretty straight forward.   Let me know what you think and how it helps you! 

Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

Solaris SPARCs the next

Today we are announcing systems with the world's fastest processor. These are all running the unique combination of the new SPARC T5/M5 family of processors and Solaris 11 !  To those of you who've been led astray by the competition who are dis-illusioned that Solaris and SPARC "are dead", well - check this out:


Server Architecture:



Power Calculators are available here:

Product Documentation is out:

SPARC T5/M5 have a per core Oracle licensing factor of 0.5:

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

SMF first boot service

I recently went back and cleaned up the blog links to OOW2011 Install hands-on-lab materials, including an example on writing a first-boot service. The idea is to create a software package, then publish it into your IPS repository.  During the installation this package is installed from the repository, and upon the first reboot right after the installation, the corresponding SMF service (delivered in this package) is invoked. 

Wednesday Nov 07, 2012

20 years of Solaris

Oracle Solaris turning 20 years. Enjoy this 3 minute video!

Wednesday Oct 03, 2012

How to get started with Automated Installer in Oracle Solaris 11

Hey all,

I am pleased to make this year's Oracle OpenWorld Hands-on Lab exercises available for your review and use. These steps are written to demonstrate Oracle Solaris 11 Deployment technologies and are written with intentions of being usable and applicable well-beyond the 1 hour time-slot-on-a-laptop offered at OpenWorld.  

If you're at OpenWorld and would like to join the session in-person, it is at 3:30 at the Marriott Marquis,  Yerba Buena 14 conference room.

Please let me know what you think of these instructions!

Friday Jun 22, 2012

Recent Solaris Studio how-to articles

There were a few Oracle Solaris Studio articles published recently, check'em out!

-How to Develop Code from a Remote Desktop with Oracle Solaris Studio
This article describes the remote desktop feature of the Oracle Solaris Studio IDE, and how to use it to compile, run, debug, and profile your code running on remote servers.

-How to Use Remote Development in the IDE
This article describes the modes of remote development available in the Oracle Solaris Studio 12.3 IDE and how to choose the best one for your development environment.

-Performance Tips for the Oracle Solaris Studio IDE
This article describes some tips and tricks to help you improve the performance of the Oracle Solaris Studio IDE.

Monday May 07, 2012

Migrating from Jumpstart to Automated Installer

If you are looking for help in moving from Oracle Solaris JumpStart over to Oracle Solaris 11 Automated Installer, take a look at this 2-part screen cast that I just posted on Oracle Solaris youtube channel --

Goes through easy-to-follow examples of how to use js2ai to migrate Oracle Solaris JumpStart rules, profiles and sysidcfg configuration files over to Oracle Solaris 11 Automated
Installer profiles, criteria and System Configuration SMF profiles.

Part 1:

and Part 2:

Saturday May 05, 2012

Application-Ready state with Automated Installer

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's a picture. Any questions?  :-)

Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

LiveInstall Solaris 11 from Solaris 10

Oracle Solaris 11 includes a number of key improvements, many of which fundamentally address lifecycle management and patch management challenges present in older versions of the operating system.  This continues to be one of the big reasons customers are upgrading to Oracle Solaris 11.

A number of our big customers had previously expressed interest in being able to get onto Oracle Solaris 11 while leveraging their existing Oracle Solaris 10 installed base and related Live Upgrade technology, particularly in the context of now more-than-6-year-old T-series and M-series SPARC systems.  Because of how traditional LiveUpgrade technology operates, and the realities of newer modern infrastructure requirements no longer being satisfied by the (now aging) SVR4 packaging subsystem, we've had to ensure that what we offer in deployment capabilities of the system would, now, more closely be in tune with newer demands of today and tomorrow; two of the goals being to offer consistency AND provide for reduction of cost for both - deployment and maintenance.

Elements of our work involve introduction  and blended integration of some of the newer technologies like Image Packaging System, Automated Installer, Service Management Facility, newer System Configuration and ZFS root file system. Although this has posed some operational challenges in being able to leverage traditional as-is LiveUpgrade to migrate from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11, we did listen to our customers who took the time to talk to us about their interests and needs in this space.  To aid in the process, we have published a how-to article that allows customers to follow a  LiveUpgrade-like methodology in getting their existing Oracle Solaris 10 system to Oracle Solaris 11 while minimizing risk and still being able to boot back to Oracle Solaris 10 if they so chose. This is particularly of interest to those who have grown to appreciate the value that LiveUpgrade delivers.  Here is an illustration of what takes place (click to zoom in). We define an archive system and a migration system. I encourage you to fully read the article (from our growing library of how-to articles) and let me know your thoughts.

Thursday Apr 19, 2012

Solaris 11 Adoption survey

We have recently kicked off a Oracle Solaris 11 Adoption initiative, as we are seeing customers beginning to show more excitement and uptake newer Solaris technologies that we'd been working on and released in November 2011.  We would love to hear directly from you on what your early successes have been, perhaps you'd even be interested in being a public or anonymous reference? Or perhaps you've ran into inhibitors, if any, with adopting Oracle Solaris 11; we'd love to hear about those scenarios, too. This would help us get an idea of where we might have to apply a bit more focus.  

If you have ~3 or 4 minutes, please do provide your direct input & feedback by taking this brief Oracle Solaris 11 Deployment survey. Your input and candor are appreciated.

Wednesday Mar 14, 2012

How To install Solaris 11 automated install server

This a quick blog entry designed to outline the commands that can aid in the process of setting up a Solaris 11 Automated Install server. More details and an overview of what's changed, are of course available at the Simplified Installation section of the Oracle Solaris 11 Spotlight pages.

There are 2 types of interactive installation methods available:

·   Using a Text installer – for cases where a server system has a virtual console and no monitor attached and the installation questions need to be answered in an interactive manner

·   Using a LiveMedia installer (formerly LiveCD, LiveDVD, LiveUSB) – that targets systems that have a monitor and can render a graphical user interface for the purposes of providing a good look and feel of the system desktop and features, prior to deciding on installing it

Additionally, there is an installation method that allows for full automation — appropriately named  Automated Installer (which, for those of you that are familiar with older versions of Solaris, effectively picks up where JumpStart left off)

In the most basic of scenarios the roles required to complete the elements needed for the setup of an Automated Install server would be performed by the following services:

-       a DHCP server,

-       an Automated Install server, and

-       an Image Packaging System (IPS) repository server  

When creating Automated Install services, a bundled ISC DHCP server is instantiated automatically, hence there is no need to directly interact with DHCP commands.

Begin by installing a system using either of the 2 interactive installation modes.

Create an IPS repository from media:
root@aiserver:~# zfs create rpool/IPS
root@aiserver:~# zfs set mountpoint=/IPS rpool/IPS
root@aiserver:~# mkdir /IPS/Solaris11
root@aiserver:~# rsync –a /media/SOL11REPO_175b_FULL /IPS/Solaris11/

Enable an IPS repository service:
root@aiserver:~# svccfg –s application/pkg/server setprop \ pkg/inst_root=/IPS/Solaris11/SOL11REP_175b_FULL/repo
root@aiserver:~# svccfg –s application/pkg/server setprop pkg/readonly=true
root@aiserver:~# svcadm refresh application/pkg/server
root@aiserver:~# svcadm enable application/pkg/server

Point your system to the local IPS repository service:
root@aiserver:~# pkg set-publisher –O solaris

Create the install service from a downloaded .iso file:
root@aiserver:~# installadm create-service –n s11x86service –i –c 1 –s /var/tmp/sol-11-dec-175b-ai-x86.iso

List and verify the instantiated install services:
root@aiserver:~# installadm list

List and verify the instantiated manifests associated with services:
root@aiserver:~# installadm list -m

Export (or dump out) the default install service's manifest into a file:
root@aiserver:~# installadm export –n s11x86service –m orig_default > /var/tmp/orig_default.xml

After making desired modifications in a file, re-import the install service's manifest from a file:
root@aiserver:~# installadm update-manifest –n s11x86service –m orig_default -f  /var/tmp/orig_default2.xml

If doing the above for the first time, specify 'default-i386' (or 'default-sparc') for the install service name:
root@aiserver:~# installadm update-manifest –n default-i386 –m orig_default -f  /var/tmp/orig_default2.xml

Create a system configuration profile interactively, and save the contents into a file:
root@aiserver:~# sysconfig create-profile –o sc.xml

Validate the resulting system configuration profile against an install service:
root@aiserver:~# installadm validate –n default-i386 –P sc.xml

Instantiate an system configuration profile with an install service:
root@aiserver:~# installadm create-profile –n default-i386 -f /var/tmp/sc_client.xml –p  sc_client 

Verify that the install service has the desired system configuration profile:
root@aiserver:~# installadm list –p

Now go and netboot your client. Let us know what specific scenarios you may have that might require additional coverage, if not covered already

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Solaris 11 Update program

We have begun accepting nominations for the next wave of the Oracle Solaris Platinum (and Gold) Customer Program.  Prior to the release of Oracle Solaris 11 last November, we had a good number of cross-industry customers participating with us. Some of the benefits include the ability to experience certain features prior to release, ability to begin to realize operational benefits based on ongoing work, and ability to directly drive feedback into the product teams.  If you're not familiar with the program, essentially it means that you,  if accepted into and participating in this program, would get to work very closely with us as we shape up the next set of features and enhancements planned for the next update (or set of updates) to Oracle Solaris 11.  We have limited slots however if you are a customer reading this, and would be interested in learning more about this program, please drop me a quick note!

Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

Kickoff March with Solaris Engineers in NY

A group of Solaris Product Managers and Solaris engineers is coming to New York city the week of March 5th thru March 9th.

To incorporate customer feedback into our on-going work on Oracle Solaris, we are conducting a series of in-person customer interviews to solicit requirements in the area of Oracle Solaris Zones and Single System Management of Oracle Solaris. We would like to include  key New York/New Jersey-based customer contacts in this discussion. (Single System Management is a reference to enabling Solaris to be manageable with published interfaces, as a single system, which of course multiplies in relevance as the quantity of deployed systems grows)

We are looking to understand how you, our customers, use virtualization and specifically Oracle Solaris Zones in your environment, understand what areas work well and what areas you would like to see improved or added. In addition we're looking at how to better enable enterprise management software to interact with Oracle Solaris as well as to enable system administrators to make the best use of your deployed systems.

We expect that our customers will benefit with the ability to influence future Oracle Solaris management software, as well as the Oracle Solaris Zones virtualization technologies, which we hope will provide value in the future. The feedback will also be shared with other relevant engineering teams within Oracle.

We are seeking to talk with system managers and administrators. We would like to propose an in person interview of approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.  If interested, please contact your Oracle Hardware account representative with a few time slots that work for you and copy me [ isaac dot rozenfeld at oracle dot com ], so that I can try and book on the schedule.

The suggested agenda is as follows:

  1.         Introductions

  2.         Oracle Solaris and your environment

  3.         Oracle Solaris System Management direction

  4.         Oracle Solaris Zones direction

The following out-of-town personnel are planning to be available to meet in-person:

Eric Saxe - Engineering Manager, Single Systems Management
Stephen Talley - Engineer, Single Systems Management
Duncan Hardie - Solaris Product Manager, Zones
Anup Sekhar - Engineering Manager, Zones
Steve Lawrence - Engineer, Zones 

Since I am based locally in New York, I may join too.

Update - there will be an evening session where everyone's invited to attend, on Tuesday March 6th at 6pm

DB Live Migration

There's a slick document that just got published today, on the topic of SPARC Live Migration, with an Oracle Database as an example.  Paper is written by individuals from various development organizations at Oracle, spanning ISV Engineering, SPARC development and documentation teams. Check it out!


Isaac Rozenfeld is a Product Manager for Oracle Solaris; current responsibilities include the portfolio of networking and installation technologies in Solaris, with a focus on easing the overall application deployment experience

You can follow Isaac on Twitter @izfromsun


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