Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

Oracle Solaris 11.2 Launch in NY

2 quick updates:

1) We have been working on a set of significant cloud-centric enhancements in Oracle Solaris, to be launched at an in-person Oracle Solaris 11.2 event in New York on April 29th.  Please use this link to register for attendance.  There will also be a web event; stay tuned for more on that here

2) I have been doing some experimenting with a set of new blog themes and frameworks, see if you like them

That's about it for now... 

Friday Sep 20, 2013

#solaris at OOW2013

If you're attending Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco next week, be sure to stop by and say hello. I'll be around the DEMOgrounds area as well as speaking at these 2 sessions:

Why Oracle Solaris Is the Best UNIX for Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic [CON7513]

Come learn why IBM and HP customers are moving to Oracle Solaris on SPARC for running Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic. This session discusses the unique optimizations in Oracle Solaris 11 for the Oracle stack that have led to 18 world records on real-world benchmarks for Oracle’s SPARC T5 processor and Oracle Solaris. Learn about the most-efficient and most cost-effective way to virtualize Oracle Database or Oracle WebLogic. See how easy it is to update and manage multitenant environments. The session also discusses how Oracle Solaris simplifies private cloud deployments of your software.

Monday, Sep 23, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM at the Westin San Francisco Hotel

Why Oracle Fusion Middleware Runs Best on Oracle Solaris [CON7278]

Oracle Solaris brings enterprise-class reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features to the entire Oracle Fusion Middleware suite. From development to deployment, the performance and scalability of Oracle Solaris deliver compelling business advantages. This session focuses on how Oracle Solaris, with integrated Java and virtualization features, can safely and efficiently consolidate multiple application tiers, reducing space and power requirements in the data center. The session also reviews how Oracle Solaris, the first cloud OS, is at the core of Oracle’s engineered systems, delivering platform and software services into public and private clouds.

Tuesday, Sep 24, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM at the Westin San Francisco Hotel

Please see the rest of the Oracle Solaris sessions planned

Hope to see you there!

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:

Benchmarks:


Server Architecture:

FAQs:

Datasheets:

Power Calculators are available here: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/sun-power-calculators/index.html

Product Documentation is out: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/documentation/oracle-sparc-ent-servers-189996.html

SPARC T5/M5 have a per core Oracle licensing factor of 0.5:  http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/contracts/processor-core-factor-table-070634.pdf


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. 

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 Sep 15, 2011

Installation


The Oracle Solaris 11 Express ecosystem has received quite a bit of innovation, arguably more so then some of what we've been able to bake into some latest Solaris 10 update releases.   For example, today we've posted Solaris 10 8/11 release. Read more on that here.  You'll see how Oracle Solaris is: 



  • #1 Enterprise OS

  • #1 platform for Oracle Database deployment

  • #1 application portfolio: over 11, 000 third-party applications

  • The only enterprise UNIX supported on both x86 and SPARC, the two most popular enterprise architectures

  • #1 UNIX volume leader for more than a decade


Fundamentally, the activities reflect on work we've been doing over the past 6+ years, spanning a multitude of Solaris engineering groups and vendor relationships - ranging from i/o subsystem optimizations, enhancements to network performance, scalability, virtualization, x86/SPARC work, growing work with traditional Oracle software portfolio teams, etc.  One of the areas seeing fueled investment has been the area of an improved lifecycle management experience, comprised of simplified installation and upgrading.   Today we've launched a new section in the "Spotlight on Oracle Solaris" pages over on Oracle Technology Network, specifically focusing on the modernized Installation experience, where you can get more information such as how-to documentation, a number of podcasts, engineering interviews, videos, techcasts -- to get a better understanding what you, as a customer, will benefit from when deploying Oracle Solaris in a datacenter near you.  Just this week I'd been in 2 separate meetings with 2 banks who have openly confirmed their appreciation for what Solaris has meant (and continues to mean) to them, and how they value unique tracing, performance and above all - stability.  And you know banks -- they have pretty rigid requirements and use-cases. Anyone who suggests Oracle Solaris has "no value and is dead" couldn't be more further from the truth.



Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Solaris cloud

Interesting what the folks up at JoyentCloud are up to with the Solaris-based cloud offering. From the first looks of it (and knowing who is involved in engineering of it all), it appears as precisely what you'd expect a cloud infrastructure to be: (a) performant (b) 100% reliable (c) robust (d) affordable (e) compliant :-)

Thursday Jan 27, 2011

Toward hyperclouds

Oracle is hosting a Enterprise Cloud Summit event in various cities across North America this month.  I had the honor of being on stage on Broadway, again, in giving the talk on Infrastructure as a Service for Enterprises - a discussion on Oracle's role in Cloud Computing, backed by reference implementations and case studies of how we, at Oracle, "drink our own champagne" (c/o Jeff Epstein) and are successfully using cloud infrastructures, methodologies and tools for in-house software development, testing, and quality assurance.  A key, succinct definition of what cloud computing means to me is its evolving dynamics inherent to the intersection of the laws of physics and laws of economics.  Quite a bit of the infrastructure and platform service-enabling technologies came with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems earlier last year. Have a look at the subject of my talk and let me know what you think!


Sunday Jan 24, 2010

The Last SUNday?


Is today the last Sunday for Sun?

Between this week's Jonathan's comforting note to Sun employees suggesting we all light a candle and the grim feelings on the Sun tombstone expressed in Jim's blog - one key realization that I personally am feeling rests in quite the opposite way with which I choose to view Sun's position today. Hopefully it isn't just me.

Without enumerating Sun's contributions to the industry and undeniable product positioning  - one fact remains undisputable - and that is that the winds of change were blowing. And now those winds are here, the change is being fulfilled.
What is changing, however, is not as much what gave Sun its reputation and respect over the last 2+ decades, but the organizational approach to putting together bits of the strategy for (and executing) the process of running Sun profitably.

Oracle has made public statements that indicate intentions to continue (and in some cases, increase) investing in key product areas that had earned Sun its reputation over time - Java, Solaris, SPARC, MySQL, etc.
How can something that's got legs be dead?

Somehow I have trouble reconciling those thoughts with the thought of a tombstone...

And while lighting a candle or looking at a tombstone might be a worth a moments notice, I am certainly of the opinion that any extended grievance (or capturing and carrying the image thereof on a shirt or a mug) is
not how I (and probably many of you) would like to think of celebrating the confluence, the effective condensation of operating system, middle-ware software and hardware for delivering better business systems.

Sun is not dead - it is going through an evolution of being acquired because it is a living, breathing organization.  We are still having our monthly New York City OpenSolaris user community group meeting this Thursday! So is the NYJavaSIG (next week) ;-)

Oracle is going for, and stands to gain Sun's innovations and intellectual capital, products, customers and employees. Maybe time will prove differently - but today, with 11 amazing years at Sun at my back,  looking at it through the bright candle light lit by a grave is ...not something that I concur with. Its not denial - naturally, organizational directions will dictate the future. One thing is almost always certain, change is inevitable. I am just not sure I agree with the idea of a R.I.P. being applied to such an industry-shaping move.


So in concert with many others, I am moving forward, looking toward the red horizon where the oracles are planning Sun.Next

Wednesday Jun 10, 2009

Nova Era on your desktop

 


This week I am attending an annual insurance industry event, IASA 2009, in Orlando, Florida. On behalf of Sun Microsystems, I had teamed up with Paul Dolbec, along with our colleagues from CSC, to represent the joint partnership between Sun and CSC at this important business conference. The event ran from Sunday through Wednesday, and like many other events of this type had a few components: educational sessions, CIO/CFO  roundtable and an exhibit hall.  While the exhibit hall was bustling with vendors, various interesting sessions added to the true flavor of the event. Keynotes included great speakers such as Michael Eisner, Joe Theismann and Steve Gilliland. The conference was interesting in that, for me, it offered an opportunity to further understand the insurance industry, the challenges of regulations that touch various aspects of accounting and taxation, as well as the ever-growing impact of IT.  At the CSC booth that we put together, we were showcasing Sun's ultra-thin client technologies, demonstrating mobility with security through the use of smart-card technologies across the Sun Ray devices that we had installed at the booth. The setup, for the event's purposes, involved utilising a laptop pre-loaded with VMware ESX, running 2 virtual machines - one running Microsoft Windows XP and the other VM running Solaris 10. We had a number of simple demos setup that demonstrated the ability to rotate through individual desktop experiences serving either a Windows or a Solaris desktop.  (I am obliged to acknowledge Keith Cantrel for his assistance (during, what I imagine would've been  a quiet Sunday afternoon for him otherwise)  remotely hacking through a directory corruption issue that helped get us back up online). Thank you, Keith!! :)


The impact of having to reduce costs on the desktop as desktop refresh cycles come about can be tremendous, particularly when paying attention to the fact that these devices draw only about ~7 watts of power, do not have an OS that has to be managed on them and in the process appeal to use-cases such as being used in call-centers, for disaster recovery purposes, pandemic planning and remote/on-boarding process.  


As an example, CSC had been deploying Sun Ray's through their Desktop Anywhere program for quite some time now. For details, take a look here


So how does this relate to the concept of new era in computing? (Ah, the plot begins to emerge!) Just as technology continues on its path of evolution, the ultra-thin computing continues to be identified as a viable and mature opportunity for cost savings on the desktop.  If this is music to your ears, as it is to many of our existing customers, then I'd like to invite you to take a listen to Nova Era - a group of professional musicians I had met last evening after the conference, while strolling along at Downtown Disney.  Turns out they've been performing with Disney since the late 90's.  I was amazed at the sound quality and their live performance - had an opportunity to meet and talk with them in-person during a break in their performance, and was just pleased to realize that classical music lives on!  Very, very cool!


 

Monday Apr 20, 2009

Oracle sees Sun's vision

Today's date is 4/20/2009  ...and if you're into numerology you'll quickly recognize that the sum of all integers is 17;  follow the yellow brick road here


The exciting news is out!  See Sun's announcement and Oracle's announcement  


While there are a number of processes to go through as part of this deal, there are lots of technologies that are merging together to deliver a more integrated platform stack to deliver the value that customers are looking for today.


Perhaps a surprise to many - the reality is that between the two companies we have a very large shared installed base across many industries. 


For the longest time, Sun and Oracle have jointly worked on integrating each other's technologies through SOATC (Sun Oracle Application Technology Center).  I, for one, have worked on a number of projects integrating Oracle's Parallel Server services (pre-RAC) and Sun Cluster technologies on top of Solaris.  Long history between the companies - lots of synergy and it'll be very interesting to see how it all begins to pan out following today's announcement.  


 

Saturday Jan 31, 2009

Lose your laptop and not worry about data on it !



Rangers lost to Boston Bruins on Saturday night.  I just can't stop wishing for '94 all over again...


As I travel around the world I am constantly asked by customers about our strategy for VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). While the VDI market itself is relatively young (albeit growing very rapidly as various technologies are establishing an edge for themselves in different aspects of VDI), a key element of the entire picture is not just data locality (which is largely a function of ever-expanding bandwidth) but the means to service access itself.  That is to say that the user of the desktop is now being more and more challenged to essentially be decoupled from the actual personal computing device and, instead, be associated with the application execution environment - ala "The Desktop".  Assumptions of data security/integrity and device access being postulates, the ever-growing need for workers to be mobile - mixed with the notion that "thin is in" to reduce cost by driving lower power consumption and reduce software operation/licensing costs - has many financial institutions investigating various alternatives. This trend is more noticeable now, as many of these companies are struggling to deal with the global economic downturn that has left many of the weaker financial players either on the sidelines or, in a better case, - acquired by stronger financial entities. This is happening now, at a time when security, operational and compliance demands are at extremely high levels. Mergers and acquisitions are a natural outcome in times like these and as financial services firms merge - newly acquired employees will need to access back-office applications from current office locations in order to maintain employee productivity across all parts of the organisation. The need to onboard newly acquired employees securely and efficiently, to provide them access to back-office applications reliably and productively, without having to undergo a costly cross organizational network integration, has never been a higher priority for the financial services market segment. 


Now, if you've been around the industry for a few years, you've probably heard a thing or two about Sun's contributions to this space - how Sun's motto that "The Network Is The Computer" actually gets translated to something meaningful for "The Desktop". Sun's innovations in this space go way back at least 10 years ago - when the research and development work of Sun Lab's engineers had culminated in a first product release of the Sun Ray unit (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ray for a quick history tidbit).  One of the crucial elements of this products design is the Appliance Link Protocol (ALP) - that is responsible for the best in-class user experience - particularly demonstrateable across wide area networks (where the user's physical location is quite a distance away from where the user's desktop might be) - and the levels of patience are directly proportional to network latencies of the day.


The Sun Ray device is ultra-thin (it doesn't have an operating system and is completely stateless) - its operating as a display engine for all of the data processing that happens in the data centre. The actual bits that get sent from the data centre to the device are compressable and yield a very amenable and competitive user experience especially in  high network latency environments.  Having a Sun Ray device on your office desktop or at home does not solve today's mobility dilemma. While it is true that Sun - as well as a growing list of other companies are - is offering some of their employees a "Sun Ray at Home" program, the moment you have to travel on a train, on a plain, on a bus - is when you wish you had your "desktop" with you.  And while iPhone can deliver email and let you look at you calendar, .pdf's and spreadsheets, its just not your "desktop". So - what do you do? 


Most of us have a laptop - and while we are asked not to keep company sensitive data on our laptops - how many of us outthere really heed such advice ? How, then, do we access our applications and associated data that is managed centrally for us? We run a local OS and access that data remotely. Now what would happen if the laptop got lost or stolen? Simple - the data that we had on the laptop's hard disk is now in the hands of someone who will likely go prowling through it. Is that what we want? Ummm, no.


So, what do we do? "Elementary my dear Watson" - we move to offer an access layer on the laptop that connects you to the backend.  Then, with a broadband card available for $0 with a 2-year contract from Cingular (for example),  you access your data.  This isn't news - Citrix have done this sort of thing already.  There's a price tag associated with that, of course - and depending on where you're coming from and what you're happy to settle for this may be exactly what you're after.  But if you have a Sun Ray environment deployed what would really be interesting is to run a piece of software that gives you EXACTLY the same look and feel as if you were connecting from a Sun Ray device.  To give you that enhanced level of crossover, mobility and device indepdendence. The ability to maximize the ROI of the existing PC laptop/desktop gear that you'd invested in and have plenty of - and as you look to evaluate where Sun Ray can be deployed in your organisation, your users realise that all of a sudden they can connect and RESUME  their  session at a point EXACTLY where they'd left it the day prior - when they'd left the office for that important client meeting just hours prior.


Oh, and when they're back at the office - just have them insert the personalized secure smart card into the Sun Ray, authenticate, and resume the session EXACTLY where it'd been left off while accessing it on the laptop with a 3G modem in the airport! The increased productivity and cost savings presented by an opportunity to decrease desktop management challenges (and associated licensing costs) is only the beginning.


Sound cool? You bet it FEELS cool, too!


(Oh, maaan, I didn't even mention ZFS and solid-state disks in this context!)



Monday Nov 03, 2008

Sun Ray in FS

In my new role at Sun, I've started to shift my focus toward the desktop end of the datacenter spectrum. Very often I get asked the question of who is using Sun's thin client/desktop appliance technology, Sun Ray, in Financial Services. So how do Sun Ray and Sun's VDI offerings apply to Banking, Trader's desktop, Branch modernization aspects of the financial services industry?

Here are a few public successes stories particularly around FSI.

1)Bank Improves Customer Service using Sun Ray Technology. Sparkasse Haslach-Zell is a savings bank headquartered in Zell,
Germany. The bank has 11 branch offices, employs 230 people and manages EUR 900 million. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/software/sparkasse.xml
2) Netsol/Chelsea Financial Services: Sun Ray Desktop Solution Success Story. Details: http://www.sun.com/sunray/docs/TeamNetsol082703ss.pdf
3) Savings and Credit Bank Kuwait. Kuwaiti Bank Gains a Scalable Architecture with High Availability and Efficient, Centralized Desktop Management. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/storage/scb.xml
4) World's oldest financial services institution, in Italy, chooses Sun Ray. Details: http://www.sun.com/customers/software/banca_mps.xml
5) Reuters use of Sun Ray and Secure Global Desktop in China. Details: http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2006-10/sunflash.20061026.4.xml and http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/105/1/ClientSystems/17123

Additionally of interest should be the following:
Toronto's Center of Excellence, joint work with Sun's partner - Scalar Decisions - highlighting Sun Ray/SGD technology for next-generation trading systems. Details: http://sun.systemnews.com/articles/102/3/ClientSystems/16759

Sun Ray is not a new technology. It has been evolving over the last 10 years and arguably first appeared way ahead of its time in the early mid-90's. It has been featured in the financial services/trader press specifically:

http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/it-infrastructure/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208402360
http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1889496/
http://www.cio.in/news/viewArticle/ARTICLEID=5098

And of course we have a number of financial institutions that are not comfortable being public about what they're doing. If the latest mergers and acquisitions activities in the financial services industry are of any indication into activities that happen as crucial business and IT components (datacenters, desktops, employee integration and onboarding, mobility) are undertaken, rest assured that the big names in the industry are doing quite a bit. That should read: "Quite A Bit" actually. And all for a number of good reasons:

1) Network performance vs. the competition, particularly around WAN deployments (think: Singapore to London to New York). A number of banks have done (some are doing) their own testing to see for themselves. Yes, the kind that involves serious WAN latency simulators (Shunra comes to mind). We would love to help you with yours.

2) Cost [not just acquisition but ongoing large user base management]: the per user cost for a desktop client is much less then a PC. It has a very very very very small firmware footprint, essentially NO OS running, meaning that it doesn't have to be managed for updates against viruses/malware/anything. And yes, it operates very well with your favorite Operating system and delivers awesome access to applications (Windows, Solaris, Linux, etc.). "Zero-administration" is what my next Sun t-shirt ought to say.

3) Multimedia enhancements - in cases of VDI integration, quite a bit of work has already been done using VMware's and Sun's brokering technologies to deliver access to RDP sessions - and more is in the works! There are of course a number of non-financial use cases (Verizon, Time Warner) that, although aren't part of the financial services umbrella, do resonate with the types of business units that banks have been eyeing dekstop appliances for (customer-facing counters [read: branch tellers], call centers [read: customer service agents]). Been to swap or upgrade your cable/modem service recently? At Sun, of course, we've been doing it for years, saving millions in infrastructure & maintenance (power, cooling) costs.

And, if you're ever in Singapore, please do stop by Sun's office at 1 Magazine Road for a peek at a local "Bank on Sun" showcase, featuring Sun Ray's integration with many branch-focused input devices.

Don't turn a blind eye and don't judge Sun by where we were 6-7 years ago. Instead, judge us by what we've got up our sleeve now ;-)

More soon!

Thursday Nov 01, 2007

Virtualization hits New York City Government

 

NYC GOV 2007 Technology ForumNew York City on the 1st day of November ...aaah, yet another data point reminding us that the flavor of autumn has once again made its appearance.  I love autumn!  As if last night's stroll with the kids trick-or-treating wasn't enough, this morning's cold, crisp air (augmented with randomly dancing yellowish leaves occasionally painted with traces of red and orange) created such a wonderful & unique experience. (Had it rained, the experience would not only have been  unique but a wet one, too!)

The constant hustle and bustle of the city was no different today.  Brooklyn's Marriott Hotel (by the the historic Brooklyn Bridge) hosted this year's New York City Government Technology Forum.  Sun was one of the sponsors. There was an exhibit with many interesting (and well-known) vendors catering to the City, State and Federal Government industries.  I had an honor of speaking at this event; topic - Server Virtualization.

Together with Christopher Theon (Practice Manager, GTSI) and Marcos Merced (an MIS Director from DoITT) we had just over an hour to define and discuss server virtualization.  We divided the time frame into, roughly, three 15 to 20-minute timeslots (to allow opportunity for Q&A). Since my topic dealt with introducing virtualization and discussing hardware and software components, I spoke first. My goal was to remain vendor-neutral and provide an objective overview of server virtualization technologies. (I hope I've succeeded in meeting that goal).  Here are my presentation slides.   Chris extended the discussion by picking up on the business drivers that I had introduced.  He took the discussion further into cost analysis and other business-centric elements that are critical in evaluating the approach and success of a virtualization project.  Marcos talked about a case study of deploying VMware solutions over the last 3 years, and how it has helped his organization  improve overall agility and importantly - reduce costs.  While each of our topics could well take an hour, each on their own, I would love to hear what you thought (if you were among those attending).   

And if you weren't in the audience, I would still love to hear about creative ways that you've used to employ virtualization technologies to address business drivers (even if you did not [or do not] use an ounce of Sun's technology to accomplish that)...

 


Saturday Aug 11, 2007

Zones on Demand (ZoD) - Self-sufficiently Get Your Own Zone in 20 seconds!

Last week I had an opportunity to meet with and present to one of our interesting financial customers (who will remain nameless for non-disclosure reasons). Subject of the meetings had been Solaris, virtualization, container management, processor roadmap discussions (and so forth).

 During the meeting we discussed how Solaris Zones are being used with a real business strategy in mind. Although Zones are a nice feature of Solaris, when taken at face value it doesn't really stand out until you do something creative with it, something so customer-specific (yet amazing!) that vendors typically do not offer out of the box.   What I am referring to here is facility that's been developed [in-house] that focuses on empowering lines of business units to self-sufficiently create Solaris Zone environments for themselves, via  a webtool. 

Not only that, but what had been demo'ed to me actually appeared as a working, really thought through, solution that, at its core, has business drivers in mind.  One of the key deliverables of this webtool is that it leverages inexpensive technology to enable the consumer to request an instantiation of a pre-defined zone profile (and there are a few), with storage, processing power, memory, IP allocation, etc. - self-sufficiently via the intranet web! On top of that, a Zone gets provisioned and becomes available for use in less then a minute!  

How does this exponentiate the coolness factor ?  It allows the customer to expedite the time to requisite hardware/processing space in the datacenter and shrink that from what it would otherwise be (and you know how long that may take) ...down to 20 seconds!

I was amazed.   The idea is really straight forward - there are a number of servers, SAN storage and IP address pools that are allocated for LOB's as a co-operative. Leveraging Solaris Zones (often referred to as Containers), the tool offers up an opportunity for end-users to pick a pre-defined Zone profile (there's a set, reflecting typical types of applications that are of utmost interest, held in a cpio archive).  An end-user access the internal website, chooses an available profile, fills out some basic information about a zone and submits a form. Within seconds, the work is done. The user sees progress of zone creation, gets notified by email when the process is complete. Because it is a shared environment, a zone has an expiration date (think: leasing) that can be adjusted (if needed).

[BRILLIANT, MIKE!]
 


 

8/12/07 - Update and a response to comments -

 

I understand the tools were pretty much  PHP and CGI-like scripts on the backend to call things like zonecfg(1M) and zoneadm(1M).  I do not have specifics as to the effort, however I inquired as to the timeframe for getting this sort of thing done and I understand it was done in a matter of a few months, by one key person working on this often on their own time - as a pet project.


Since this is based on the Solaris 10 11/06 release (which backported\* a ton of Zone/ZFS integration code from OpenSolaris/Nevada), the zone clone feature is leveraged, so is the ZFS filesystem, which is what zones get deployed to and how reservation and quotas are enforced. They also provide storage for data on ZFS so its easier to manage and delegate complete control of ZFS filesystems to the Zone administrator - voila!

\*For those that may not be aware of this fact, a currently available commercial release of Solaris does get features from the next release currently in development. As such, Solaris 10 does get certain features from the next release of Solaris  being developed in the OpenSolaris community. The codename for the SunOS 5.11 kernel is Nevada and that is where new features appear first, prior to getting (if appropriate) backported/integrated into the Solaris 10 codebase. See http://www.opensolaris.org for more.

 

About

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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