Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

Oracle Database 12c runs best on Solaris

Oracle has released Oracle Database 12c. There are dozens of years and thousands of man hours of joint development between Solaris and Oracle Database engineers, resulting in unique performance capabilities provided by the operating system. Check out why Oracle database runs best on Solaris and make sure to tune-in to a webcast on Wednesday July 10th at noon (Eastern)!

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.

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: 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

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 Feb 15, 2012

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!

Sunday Jan 15, 2012

Simplified administration with ZFS

The simplest case in system administration can often be just about one's ability to, inexpensively, move an OS image with as minimal effort as possible.  I recently acquired an old used Sun Ultra 40 system, and this being a long weekend (in the US), decided to allocate time to make it my primary desktop system.  Well, turns out I didn't need a weekend -- all I needed was 1 hour, a screwdriver and Scorpions to keep me company -- a thought-provoking combination.

Your mileage may vary, of course, based on what you already have in place, i.e. what your starting point and destination points are. In my case, I was looking at migrating from an older HP Pavilion desktop model a1150y, that I previously outfitted with 4GB of RAM (for $60 from Amazon) and 2 mirrored 1.5TB SATA drives (for $100 or so, each, prior to the flooding in Thailand that has since caused a spike in hard disk pricing). I'd been running a version of Oracle Solaris 11 Express that I have been updating to SRUs (Support Repository Updates) as they were being released by Oracle. Since the disks were mirrored when installed on the HP system, I simply broke the mirror by disconnecting one of the disks (no advance zfs commands were necessary), and plopped the 1.5TB disk into the Ultra 40.  At the time when Ultra 40's were being sold by Sun, the largest SATA disks that were sold by Sun for this model (if my memory serves me right) had been of 750GB capacity. Taking off the hard disk brackets from original disks in the Ultra 40, and attaching them to the bigger disk took the most time in this exercise (that, and proofreading this blog entry). As soon as the system was powered-on, the 4 year old Phoenix BIOS had no issues detecting the ZFS submirror and the GRUB menu simply came up -- showing all of the Boot Environments (why they're important) that had been created over the lifespan of the OS installation from when it'd been on the HP desktop.

All Boot Environments are shown below:

isaac@HPensolaris:~# beadm list
BE             Active Mountpoint Space   Policy Created         
--             ------ ---------- -----   ------ -------         
151a-july11    -      -          12.29M  static 2011-07-18 12:54
151a-july11-1  -      -          15.34M  static 2011-09-19 15:12
S11EwithSRU11  NR     /          8.63G   static 2011-10-10 09:18
before_168     -      -          87.91M  static 2011-07-02 18:46
snv_150        -      -          49.48M  static 2010-10-17 11:05
snv_150-bkup   -      -          6.85M   static 2011-03-17 00:58
snv_150-bkup-1 -      -          356.53M static 2011-07-02 18:47
snv_151a_ga    -      -          10.59M  static 2011-03-17 11:57

It would probably be unfair to hint at the performance improvement being seen on this machine, without mentioning that there's now 16GB of RAM addressable by Solaris, vs. 4GB. The processing power of 2 socket dual-core AMD CPUs at 3.2GHz is gargantuan compared to the 3GHz single socket dual-core Pentium 4 in the older HP machine.  This is just an artifact and a reality -- I did not perform any benchmarking activities on these two machines -- that's not the aim here.  One of the other reasons why I wanted to make the switch away from that HP desktop model was because the HP desktop's fan had always been working extra hard and generated noise that became almost unbearable to deal with.  Looking into it further had been something I'd planned on doing but never gotten around to doing. Now it can be a system used for Solaris 11 Automated Installation (and related) testing.

Yeah, the fact that the ZFS dataset submirror just worked, in a different system, albeit of the same architecture (after being moved) is slick! (ZFS is the only root file system available on Solaris 11 for a number of reasons, one of which is our reliance on conducting system updates by leveraging the benefits and features of ZFS such as snapshots and clones). No fsck, and firefox/thunderbird/office productivity (read: youtube) are all much faster now.

The next thing to do here is to add the 2nd disk from that HP machine, to correct the following condition being tracked automatically by the Solaris Fault Management subsystem.

isaac@HPensolaris:~# zpool status
  pool: rpool
 state: DEGRADED
status: One or more devices could not be opened.  Sufficient replicas exist for
    the pool to continue functioning in a degraded state.
action: Attach the missing device and online it using 'zpool online'.
   see: http://www.sun.com/msg/ZFS-8000-2Q
 scan: resilvered 10.8G in 0h8m with 0 errors on Mon Oct 18 08:06:03 2010

    rpool          DEGRADED     0     0     0
      mirror-0     DEGRADED     0     0     0
        c13t0d0s0  ONLINE       0     0     0
        c9d0s0     UNAVAIL      0     0     0  cannot open

errors: No known data errors

isaac@HPensolaris:~# fmdump -v|tail -10
          Location: -

Jan 15 19:20:03.5998 f6f64adc-b226-cbd7-9829-eedc74efdfd5 ZFS-8000-D3 Diagnosed
  100%  fault.fs.zfs.device

        Problem in: zfs://pool=rpool/vdev=fb5057fa88f00c2f
           Affects: zfs://pool=rpool/vdev=fb5057fa88f00c2f
               FRU: -
          Location: -

Tuesday Nov 22, 2011

Solaris Day in NY and Boston

Hey all, --

We're hosting yet another Solaris event in New York -- this one will be on November 29th and focused on some key in-depth technologies in Solaris 11, which had just been released earlier this month.  Speakers include Dave Miner, Glenn Brunette and Jeff Victor.  It starts in the morning and goes through lunch; check out the agenda from the below link. Topics include: new and improved installation and package management experience, virtualization, ZFS and security.

Please check it out and come join us! The RSVP link is below

Additionally, if you are in the Boston area, an identical event will be held in Burlington the following day, on November 30th. The RSVP link for that is http://www.oracle.com/us/dm/h2fy11/21285-nafm10128512mpp013-oem-525338.html

Hope to see you there!

Thursday Oct 27, 2011

Come join us as we launch Solaris 11 in New York!

We are gearing up to launch Oracle Solaris 11.  Here is a formal invitation to join us at a live event for this 6+ years-in-the-making occasion.
Join Oracle executives Mark Hurd and John Fowler along with Oracle Solaris engineering personnel at the Oracle Solaris 11 launch event in New York, Gotham Hall on Broadway, November 9th and learn how you can build your infrastructure with Oracle Solaris 11 to:

   * Accelerate internal, public, and hybrid cloud applications
   * Optimize application deployment with built-in virtualization
   * Achieve top performance and cost advantages with Oracle Solaris 11–based engineered systems

The launch event will also feature exclusive content for our in-person audience including a session led by Markus Flierl,  VP of Core Solaris development and his engineering leads on Solaris 11 and a customer insights panel during lunch. We will also have a technology showcase featuring our latest systems and Solaris technologies. The Solaris executive team will also be there throughout the day to answer questions and give insights into future developments in Solaris. Come meet the folks behind the scenes and spend the day with us as we illustrate how the upcoming release of Solaris is ready to address tomorrow's business problems.

Following Executive Staff from Solaris organization will be available for customer conversations:

John Fowler, Markus Flierl, Bill Nesheim, Chris Armes, Lynn Rohrer, Charlie Boyle, Scott Tracy, Marshall Choy

Following Solaris Engineers will be on-hand and available for customer conversations:

Liane Praza, Bart Smaalders, Daniel Price, Nicolas Droux, David Comay, Leonid Grossman, Mark Maybee, David Brean, Ethan Quach, Jan Setje-Eijers, Rafael Vanoni, Darren Moffat

Following Solaris Product Managers will be on-hand and available for customer conversations:

Joost Pronk, Glynn Foster, Alex Barclay, Dominic Kay, Larry Wake, Isaac Rozenfeld

Don't miss the Oracle Solaris 11 launch in New York on November 9.

Monday Oct 10, 2011

S11 Automated Install Hands-on-Lab

Update: May 2012 - due to certain infrastructure improvements on oracle.com, the files are now also available in the My Oracle Support Communities section, specifically here


I have now posted the materials that I used in this year's Hands-on-Lab on new Solaris 11 Installation technologies that had been held in the Marriott that rainy Wednesday morning midway through Oracle OpenWorld 2011.  Thanks to all of you who made it and kept me and the rest of my proctors on our toes! The materials include a guide in the form of ~90+ slides, as well as a compressed package of configuration files that otherwise would need to be typed in by the end-user. So, if you'd like to avoid the unnecessary typing go ahead and grab that file here if you wish.  This was the first time I gave the talk with so much content in it, and by some accounts it was probably quite ambitious of me - given that people's experiences in the room were so diverse. I'm going to be making some adjustments to the materials and if you've got any comments and suggestions for how you'd like to see this done differently or, perhaps, better -- please go ahead and do let me know.   I'd like to thank the following folks for helping me carry out the in-person lab activity: Dave Miner, Karen Tung, Scott Dickson, Brian Leonard, Martin Widjaja, Marek Pospisil, the Oracle lab team who supplied the laptop gear -- and of course the entire Install team whose technologies we had been putting to good use, including the folks from IPS, Zones, ZFS storage engineering and, of course, Virtualbox!  Check out the following Spotlight on Simplified Administration for more information on Installation and Upgrade improvements.

Thursday Sep 15, 2011


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.

Wednesday Mar 23, 2011

Solaris Online Forum

We are putting on a first ever Oracle Solaris Online Forum event - with a solid agenda, speaker line-up and direct access to speakers via the chat capability. Hear from IDC, VP of Solaris engineering, Solaris engineering leadership and product teams on what is happening and how it will benefit you.

Date: April 14th
Time: 12pm ET / 9am PT




9:00am - 9:45am PT
Oracle Solaris Strategy Overview, Bill Nesheim, VP Oracle Solaris Engineering

9:45am - 10:00am PT
An Industry Analyst's View of the Operating System Market, Gary Ghen, IDC

10:00am - 10:45am PT
Manage Your Deployments with IPS and AI, Bart Smaalders, Dave Miner, Glynn Foster, Isaac Rozenfeld, Oracle

10:45am - 11:30am PT
Get More out of your Oracle Solaris environments with Virtualization, Dan Price, Nicholas Droux, Duncan Hardie, Oracle

11:30am - 12:15am PT
Learn How All New Features in Oracle Solaris 11 Raise the Bar for Operating Systems, Markus Flierl, Liane Praza, Joost Pronk, Oracle

Please register \*in advance\* to attend this FREE online event !

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 :-)

Sunday Jan 16, 2011

Solaris Days XIII ...with Audio!

Hello and Happy New Year! 2011 is promising to be a fun, surprising and exciting year!

With the help of audio professionals who took care of sound systems at the NY/NJ events last month, I have made available the audio recordings of last month's Solaris Days Part XIII - and have modified my December blog entry to include references to individual sound clips pertaining to each of the presenter's sessions. Since the ordering between the NY and the NJ sessions had been different, the agenda had been re-arranged to represent the sequence from the NJ session, along with the relevant audio files hyper-linked throughout.


Sunday Dec 05, 2010

Solaris Day - Part XIII - December 2010

This past week we had yet another installment of Solaris Days - a 2-day tour of New York City and Bridgewater, New Jersey specifically focusing on Solaris-related activities and technologies that our customers are becoming increasingly aware of, and consuming.  Solaris is an important asset for Oracle; innovations in Solaris are ongoing, particularly with a focus on making it the OS of choice for increased internal service and application development deployments, as well as a stronger choice in Oracle's strong software portfolio.

As part of demonstrating Oracle's commitment to the Solaris ecosystem in the post-acquisition era, Solaris 11 Express was recently released and we had number of senior Solaris seasoned architects & developers from across the US come meet with customers, partners and community as a whole, to articulate the innovations in Solaris technologies and appropriate implications to our customers' businesses.

The over-encompassing, albeit Solaris-focused, presentation agenda looked like below (with the order slightly being different for the 2nd day in NJ, due to customer meetings that had been setup in advance) - the slides are available below for your consumption.  If you are interested in hearing about these events in the future, please subscribe to our NYC OpenSolaris user group  mailing list.

8:30        Registration & Breakfast

9:00         Welcome Back, AgendaIsaac Rozenfeld [Audio] Focus on Financial Services - Ambreesh Khanna [Audio]

9:10        Solaris Networking Virtualization – Nicolas Droux [Audio]

10:00        Solaris Zones Update – Dan Price [Audio]

10:45        Image Packaging System – Bart Smaalders [Audio]

11:30        Platform Updates: x86 and SPARC – Sherry Moore [Audio]

12:15        Lunch, Isaac Rozenfeld's bonus session on running Solaris on top of the VirtualBox hypervisor [Audio]

1:00        Solaris Integration into Oracle – Damien Farnham [Audio]

1:45        Leaping Forward with Solaris Infiniband – David Brean [Audio]

2:30        Installation Experience Modernization – Dave Miner [Audio]

3:15        Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center – Mike Barrett [Audio]

4:00        Service Management Facility Architecture and Deployment – Liane Praza [Audio]

4:45        Q&A/Raffle

Hats off to all engineers/speakers who traveled to make this content-rich event possible, as well as to the entire Sun/Oracle marketing folks who provided excellent logistics support. Most of all - thank YOU, our customers and attendees, for asking the questions, interacting and providing excellent candid feedback regarding areas
where to take Solaris to keep meeting your growing needs! And, congratulations to the raffle/book winners!

'till next time!

Wednesday Nov 17, 2010

November to remember

Update: On December 1 and 2 we’ll be conducting a Solaris Day event at 101 Park Ave (Dec 1) and Bridgewater NJ (Dec 2).   Here’s
the registration link for both locations:  http://www.oracle.com/dm/11q1field/60801_oracle_solaris_days.html

Solaris 11 Express is out as of this Monday - http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/solaris/solaris-11-express-185123.html

We are planning a Solaris Day: Part XIII event for NY and NJ for 12/1 and 12/2 - please go ahead and "pencil in" these dates if you're interested in learning about what's going on in Solaris-land (and are local to the NY/NJ area).  We shall have engineers from various parts of Solaris development universe talking about significant activities and accomplishments leading up to the Solaris 11 Express release.

See you there!


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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