Friday Aug 31, 2012

Impressions from VMworld - Clearing up Misconceptions

Gorgeous sunny weather…none of the usual summer fog…the Oracle Virtualization team has been busy at VMworld in San Francisco this week. From the time exhibits opened on Sunday, our booth staff was fully engaged with visitors. It was great to meet with customers and prospects, and there were many…most with promises to meet again in October at Oracle OpenWorld 2012.

Interests and questions ran the gamut - from implementation details to consolidating applications to how does Oracle VM enable rapid application deployment to Oracle support and licensing. All good stuff! Some inquiries are poignant and really help us get at the customer pain points. Some are just based on misconceptions. We’d like to address a couple of common misconceptions that we heard:

1) Rapid deployment of enterprise applications is great but I don’t do this all the time. So why bother?
While production applications don’t get updated or upgraded as often, development and QA staging environments are much more dynamic. Also, in today’s Cloud based computing environments, end users expect an entire solution, along with the virtual machine, to be provisioned instantly, on-demand, as and when they need to scale. Whether it’s adding a new feature to meet customer demands or updating applications to meet business/service compliance, these environments undergo change frequently. The ability to rapidly stand up an entire application stack with all the components such as database tier, mid-tier, OS, and applications tightly integrated, can offer significant value. Hand patching, installation of the OS, application and configurations to ensure the entire stack works well together can take days and weeks. Oracle VM Templates provide a much faster path to standing up a development, QA or production stack in a matter of hours or minutes. I see lots of eyes light up as we get to this point of the conversation.

2) Oracle Software licensing on VMware vSphere
In the world of multi-vendor IT stacks, understanding license boundaries and terms and conditions for each product in the stack can be challenging.  Oracle’s licensing, though, is straightforward.  Oracle software is licensed per physical processor in the server or cluster where the Oracle software is installed and/or running.  The use of third party virtualization technologies such as VMware is not allowed as a means to change the way Oracle software is licensed.  Exceptions are spelled out in the licensing document labeled “Hard Partitioning".

Here are some fun pictures!

Visitors to our booth told us they loved the Oracle SUV courtesy shuttles that are helping attendees get to/from hotels.

Also spotted were several taxicabs sporting an Oracle banner!

Stay tuned for more highlights across desktop and server virtualization as we wrap up our participation at VMworld.

Friday Aug 24, 2012

Oracle VM Templates Enable Oracle Real Application Clusters Deployment Up to 10 Times Faster than VMware vSphere

Oracle VM - Quantifying the Value of Application-Driven Deployment

Oracle VM - Quantifying the Value of Application-Driven Deployment

The recently published report by the Evaluator Group, “Oracle VM – Quantifying The Value of Application-Driven Virtualization,“ validates Oracle’s ease of use and time savings over VMware vSphere 5. The report found that users can deploy Oracle Real Application Clusters up to 10 times faster with Oracle VM templates than VMware vSphere. Using Oracle VM templates users can deploy E-Business Suites nearly 7 times faster than VMware vSphere.

"Oracle VM’s application-driven architecture was built to enable rapid deployment of enterprise applications, with simplified integrated lifecycle management, to fully support Oracle applications. Our testing has demonstrated 90 percent improvement deploying Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g R2 using Oracle VM Templates and a similar improvement of 85 percent for the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1. This clearly shows that Templates can provide real value to customers and should become an essential component for enabling rapid enterprise application deployment and management," said Leah Schoeb, Senior Partner, Evaluator Group.

Read the Press Release

Get a copy of the Evaluator Group Report: Oracle VM – Quantifying The Value of Application-Driven Virtualization

Tuesday Aug 21, 2012

Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1.20 released

VirtualBox.png

Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1.20 was just released at the community or Oracle download sites.  

This release is a maintenance release containing bug fixes and stability improvements, read all about it in the ChangeLog.

- FB 

Thursday Aug 16, 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT: Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 Released!

Today we are proud to announce the general availability of Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, the latest release of Oracle's enterprise-class software to simplify access to server-hosted applications. Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 has gone through tens of thousands of hours of engineering and quality assurance hours, to make the product rock-solid. This new release delivers significant enhancements which provide rich user experiences, enhanced security, faster deployment, exceptional application responsiveness and expanded list of supported server operating systems and internet browsers.
  • Rich User Experiences: With Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, users can run multiple applications on different physical monitors attached to their client device. This increases productivity for users in organizations such as call centers, financial institutions etc. Also with this release, improved performance for 3-D applications utilizing OpenGL 1.3 graphics extensions is supported. The above capabilities are achieved due to incorporating a new protocol engine, based on the X.org foundation X Server release X11R7.6. In addition, Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 now supports audio-input capability for server-hosted Windows applications. This allows use of conferencing, training etc applications with Oracle Secure Global Desktop. 
  • Enhanced Security: With Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, connections to the server are made secure by default, during installation. This ensures optimal out-of-the-box security, eliminating the need for additional post installation tasks by the administrator and ensuring consistency for large enterprise deployments. Secure mode installation also enables connections between the Oracle Secure Global Desktop servers in an array to be encrypted.  For more information, please refer to the Oracle Secure Global Desktop Security Guide for Release 4.7.
  • Faster Deployment: With Oracle VM 3 templates, anyone using Oracle VM 3 need not download, install and configure the supported operating system and the Oracle product(s) individually. A new Oracle VM 3 template that includes Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 and Oracle Linux 5.8 can easily be imported and cloned from as a virtual machine within Oracle VM 3. This results in a nearly instant deployment and configuration of Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7.
  • Supported for Latest Platforms: With Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, support for the latest internet browsers including Internet Explorer 9, Chrome and the latest Firefox ESR has been added. In addition, Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 servers can now be installed and are supported on Oracle Linux 6 and Solaris 11 operating systems.
  • Exceptional application responsiveness: Exalogic is hardware and software engineered together to provide extreme performance for Java applications, Oracle Applications, and all other enterprise applications. Oracle Secure Global Desktop can run on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud to provide secure remote access directly to Oracle Applications co-resident in Exalogic for an exceptionally responsive user experience. The following video from Oracle product management provides more details.

For more details regarding Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, please refer to the Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 documentation

Oracle's press announcement regarding this release can be found here.

Wednesday Aug 15, 2012

Gabe Knuth Talks About Oracle Secure Global Desktop

I was really happy to see that Gabe Knuth over at brianmadden.com wrote a piece on our Oracle Secure Global Desktop. He goes a little bit into the background of the product, which is great because the software has quite a long history. I've been personally involved with the product for a lot of that time, so it was especially good to see it for me. We'll explore some of that history in another post, but for now, have a read about what Gabe has to say:

Oracle Secure Global Desktop is still around? That's what I thought, too!

And if you want a quick refresher on what Oracle Secure Global Desktop does, our very own Jeff Reilly can give you a quick overview in this video from last year's Oracle OpenWorld:

-Chris 

Monday Aug 13, 2012

Oracle Virtualization Team is an Exhibitor Sponsor of VMworld 2012

VMWORLD 2012

 August 26-30, 2012
Moscone Center
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
 In Person
Space is limited. Register today!

The Oracle Virtualization team will be exhibiting at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, CA. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with Oracle's Virtualization and Cloud experts.

If you are planning to be at VMworld 2012, come visit us at the Oracle booth #2231, and learn about Oracle's portfolio - enabling IT to implement data center to desktop virtualization with one vendor while maximizing your investment.

Agenda details can be found here.

Click here for more information on Oracle's Virtualization products and solutions.

Thursday Aug 09, 2012

Oracle Secure Global Desktop Gateway Enables 'Anywhere Access'

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post on how Catholic Education South Australia leverages Oracle Secure Global Desktop to provide services anytime, anywhere. One of the questions I get asked is what enables Oracle Secure Global Desktop to allow access to applications or services 'anywhere'. The answer lies in one of Oracle Secure Global Desktop's most popular features - the Oracle Secure Global Desktop Gateway (SGD Gateway).

The SGD Gateway comes included (at no additional cost) with purchase of Oracle Secure Global Desktop. The SGD Gateway is a proxy server designed to be deployed in a demilitarized zone (DMZ), which in turn connects to an array of Oracle Secure Global Desktop servers located on the internal network of an organization. Additionally, all connections can be authenticated in the DMZ before any connections are made to the Oracle Secure Global Desktop servers in the array. Connections between client devices and SGD Gateway use port 443. Hence, this does not require administrators to obtain additional approvals for use of non-standard ports in the DMZ. 

The SGD Gateway consists of the following components:

  • Routing proxy: A Java technology-based application that routes Adaptive Internet Protocol (AIP) data connections to an Oracle Secure Global Desktop server. Keystores in the routing proxy contain the certificates and private keys used to secure connections for the SGD Gateway. The routing proxy uses routing tokens to manage AIP connections. A routing token is a signed, encrypted message that identifies the origin and destination Oracle Secure Global Desktop server for a route.
  • Reverse proxy: An Apache web server, configured to operate in reverse proxy mode. The reverse proxy also performs load balancing of HTTP connections.


To learn more about the SGD Gateway, please refer to the Oracle Secure Global Desktop Gateway Administration Guide.

We're Hiring! Oracle VM Product Management

We continue to expand the Product Management team for Oracle VM to deal with the growth and success of the product so we've got an opening on the team.  This would be a Principal Product Manager or possibly Director level individual contributor.  While we're a close team and everyone contributes to driving the product, the person in this role would likely be focused on driving the roadmap and execution in particular with internal- and external partners that are integrating Oracle VM with their products.  So we're looking for someone fairly technical that, today, typically might have a Technical Marketing Manager or Product Manager title.

Ideally, we'd locate this individual either at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores California or in the Boston area (the campus is actually in Nashua New Hampshire), but other locations may be considered for extremely strong individuals. 

 If you are interested, please go to the Careers site on oracle.com and search by the job requisition number as the "Keyword":  IRC1873887.

 I look forward to reviewing your resume and following up with qualified candidates!

Wednesday Aug 08, 2012

The "Server Chooser" problem and solution

The Think Thin blog here on blogs.oracle.com has extremely in-depth technical content related to Oracle desktop virtualization. In the latest entry, a complex use case involving tying applications and logins to specific server instances is explored. The problem is described, and a solution with step by step implementation instructions is provided. Have a read here:

Server Chooser on Think Thin

-Chris

Tuesday Aug 07, 2012

Join Us August 23 at the OTN Sys Admin Day in Broomfield, CO

OTN Sys Admin Days are live classroom events with two, parallel hands-on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux tracks designed for the System Administrator. In addition to the Oracle Solaris track and the Oracle Linux track, there will also be a session on Best Practices for Deploying Oracle VM. In this session our best practices engineer will go over specific steps to prepare an environment so you can quickly and easily deploy Oracle VM and virtualize your servers. Register now for this FREE event.

Here is what you can expect to learn:

Oracle Linux Track

  • Overview of Ksplice, zero downtime kernel updates that enable customers to apply security updates, patches and critical bug fixes without rebooting.

  • Installing and configuring Oracle VM VirtualBox, importing the Oracle Linux virtual appliance

  • Package management on Oracle Linux using RPM and yum.

  • Linux services and run levels, how to start and stop them, checking the status of a particular service.

  • Preparing block devices, creating physical and logical volumes.

  • Introduction to the Btrfs file system.

Best Practices for Deploying Oracle VM:

  • How to prepare your storage, network and planning of your guests for the deployment

  • How you can use Oracle VM to rapidly virtualize and deploy to production enterprise applications in minutes

  • Specific steps on how to validate and manage the server pools

Note: You'll need to bring your own laptop to follow the practical exercises that we will go through in an Oracle VM VirtualBox environment.

Event Details:

Thursday August 23, 2012
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Oracle
500 Eldorado Blvd
Building 1, 1st Floor, Room 1125
Broomfield, CO 80021

Why Use Oracle Secure Global Desktop with Oracle Primavera Applications

Oracle Primavera is the leading Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) solution for project-intensive industries. It offers best-in-class capabilities focused on mission critical PPM requirements of industries like engineering & construction, discrete and process manufacturing, public administration, financial services and others. Oracle Primavera enables enterprise agility, team productivity, portfolio predictability and overall project management efficiency. The result is the ability to drive down costs, minimize risk and deliver results to key stakeholders.

Oracle Secure Global Desktop provides the ability to use Primavera P6 applications on a variety of client devices even when users only have access to high-latency WAN or asynchronous dial-up connections. High performance is achieved by using Oracle Secure Global Desktop’s Adaptive Internet Protocol (AIP), which employs heuristics to determine the type of device and network connection in use, and dynamically adapts to optimize performance

Publish Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management applications using Oracle Secure Global Desktop to solve problems like:

  • Remote users experiencing slow performance issues due to high latency
  • Administrators needing to restrict Primavera P6 access to SSL connections only
  • Administrators needing to publish controlled application environments

To learn more about how to publish Oracle Primavera applications when using Oracle Secure Global Desktop, please refer to this document.

Wednesday Aug 01, 2012

Videos from BriForum Chicago 2012

We had a really wonderful show at BriForum Chicago last week! Thanks to everyone for stopping by our booth and coming to our session. It was great to meet all of you, answer questions, and get to hear about how you're using desktop virtualization.

We recorded some videos at the show, and got into a couple of areas we haven't yet touched on. One, is a video in Spanish by Jorge Angel. Another really interesting one is with Brad Lackey where explains the architectural security differences with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. We also have a video from our featured speaker Phillip Fiedler from Open Technologies, giving a quick summary of his session. Really interesting stuff! Here are the videos we did on the show floor:

This is the official video made by the brianmadden.com folks of our demo. The video is hosted there, so you'll need to click the thumbnail here and hop over to their page to see it, but it's worth it!

-Chris

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