Tuesday Apr 29, 2014

Oracle VM for Excellent Scalability, Manageability, and Ease of Use

Oracle VM and the Oracle stack have been designed from the ground-up for excellent scalability, managebility, and ease of use. To learn more about how you can benefit from Oracle VM, consider taking the training course to suit your platform.

These live instructor-led courses are available as live-virtual events that you can attend from your own desk or as in-class events for which you can travel to an education center. Below is a selection of the in-class events already on the schedule.

Oracle VM Administration: Oracle VM Server for x86

 Location  Date  Delivery Language
Perth, Australia
19 May 2014 English
Sydney, Australia
18 June 2014 English
Ottawa, Canada
27 May 2014 English
Montreal, Canada
27 May 2014 English
Toronto, Canada
27 May 2014 English
Prague, Czech Republic
19 November 2014 English
Paris, France
5 May 2014 French
Hamburg, Germany
10 June 2014 German
Rome, Italy
21 July 2014
Italian
Riga, Latvia
12 May 2014 Latvian
Mexico City, Mexico
5 May 2014 Spanish
Auckland, New Zealand
3 June 2014 English
Oslo, Norway
11 June 2014  English
Makati City, Philippines
5 May 2014 English
Warsaw, Poland
26 May 2014 Polish
Singapore
24 June 2014 English
Istanbul, Turkey
20 May 2014 Turkish
Phoenix, AZ, United States
2 September 2014 English
Sacramento, CA, United States
2 September 2014
English
San Francisco, CA, United States
2 September 2014
English 
San Jose, CA, United States
2 September 2014 English
Roseville, MN, United States
 28 April 2014 English
 Edison, NJ, United States 27 May 2014 English
King of Prussia, PA, United States
27 May 2014 English
Columbus, OH, United States
30 June 2014 English

Oracle VM Server for SPARC: Installation and Configuration

 Location  Date  Delivery Language
Canberra, Australia
23 June 2014 English
Melbourne, Australia
21 July 2014 English
Perth, Australia
26 May 2014 English
Sydney, Australia
18 August 2014 English
Bogota, Colombia
28 April 2014 Spanish
Prague, Czech Republic
23 June 2014 Czech
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
8 May 2014 English
Hyderabad, India
21 May 2014 English
Tokyo, Japan
25 September 2014 Japanese
Singapore
26 June 2014 English
Madrid, Spain
29 May 2014 Spanish
Taipei, Taiwan
5 June 2014 Traditional Chinese
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
29 June 2014 English
Phoenix, AZ, United States
6 August 2014 English
Sacramento, CA, United States
6 August 2014 English
San Francisco, CA, United States
6 August 2014 English
San Jose, CA, United States
6 August 2014 English
Caracas, Venezuela 22 May 2014 Spanish

To register for an event or to learn more information about Oracle's virtualization curriculum, go to http://education.oracle.com/virtualization.

Monday Apr 28, 2014

Announcement: Patch Set Updates (PSUs) for Oracle Secure Global Desktop releases

Oracle has released some important Patch Set Updates (PSUs) for Oracle Secure Global Desktop.  Oracle Secure Global Desktop team releases regular updates to make the overall user experience smoother and up-to-date.  Patch Set Updates (PSUs) are clusters of recommended stability, security, and/or performance patches that have been certified for an existing maintenance releases.

Following links points to these PSUs for Oracle Secure Global Desktop releases, PSUs are available for download on My Oracle Support (MOS)

Oracle is Coming to EMC World on May 5-8

EMC World 2014 returns to Las Vegas May 5-8 at The Venetian! As data growth explodes, EMC creates the infrastructure that enables you to manage your business and your career. Come to EMC World 2014 to find out how we collaborate with EMC on Oracle VM and Oracle Linux products. Here’s just a summary of the sessions and activities that will involve our products:

Oracle VM and Oracle Linux related session:

Wed     4:00- 5:00 PM EMC & Oracle Simplifies Cloud Infrastructure Deployment       

Room: Lido 3005      

Speaker : Ken Crandall

Oracle customer meeting room: everyday

Theater presentation:  5 minute overview presentation given twice a day (Mon-Wed)

Oracle Linux and Virtualization presenter: Ken Crandall

This will be in a presentation area located in one of EMC’s booth

Register today and meet us at EMC World to understand how you can benefit from Oracle Linux and Oracle VM collaboration.

Oracle also has Oracle Enterprise Manager and Solaris sessions and kiosk. Visit this Everything Oracle @EMC page for more information on all of Oracle presence in EMC World.

Friday Apr 25, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Updating to the latest Oracle VM version

The Oracle VM team is releasing regular updates to make sure we address bugs that we or the customers uncover. Our goal is to make sure we translate findings from our testing and support to patches which will make the user experience smoother and the product more up to date.

Every couple of months we release a patch set which is named 3.2.x where x designate the update number. So far we have release 7 updates to Oracle VM 3.2 and we try to make sure customer are given the latest and greatest as quickly as we can.

If you have not looked at the updates recently it will be good to take a look at our external wiki here: Oracle VM What's New 

To receive notifications about Oracle VM updates you are welcome to sign up for our mailing list at http://oss.oracle.com/mailman/listinfo/oraclevm-errata.and you can also review the mail archive at https://oss.oracle.com/pipermail/oraclevm-errata/

If you are running the previous version of Oracle VM Server for x86 release 2.2, we recommend migrating to the latest Oracle VM 3.2. by using the following article on Oracle suppor "Repository Migration from Oracle VM Release 2 to Oracle VM Release 3 (Doc ID 1366216.1)". With the new version you can assure support for latest hardware as well as many features we have introduced since the release of Oracle VM 3.

Oracle VM support subscription is an integrated part of customer's successes. Customers enjoy the benefit of the industry-leading global support 24x7 for their server virtualization implementation, and receive access to patches, fixes, and updates via ULN and My Oracle Support

For more information about Oracle's virtualization, visit oracle.com/virtualization.   

Thursday Apr 24, 2014

The April '14 Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is Out!

The April 2014 edition of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available! Learn why Oracle VM is the best platform for Oracle Database, read about what it takes to deploy and manage private clouds, learn about Oracle joining the OpenStack Foundation, have a look at customer stories and much more.

You can read the latest edition online right now, or subscribe to have future issues delivered straight to your inbox! 

-Chris

Friday Apr 18, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Creating an Oracle VM Template for BeyondTrust’s PowerBroker

BeyondTrust is a long time partner of Oracle and we serve many joint customers. To make our customers’ lives easier BeyondTrust decided to create an Oracle VM template which will allow customers to deploy BeyondTrust’s PowerBroker in matter of minutes without the need to even install and configure. PowerBroker provides customers with wide range of capabilities for compliance, security and audit essential to their business and correctly configuring it every time is critical for the organization.

PowerBroker is an agent based solution and has to be deployed many times in a consistent manner. Oracle VM template allows BeyondTrust to pre-package and standardize an image which can be deployed across the organization, minimizing risk of configuration errors and saving a lot of time. As you can see below the process of creating the template is pretty straight forward allowing the customer to make changes or introduce specific components he needs for his business by following few simple steps to re-package the template tailored for his needs. 

Moving to a template based deployment has many advantages as we can see from BeyondTrust’s example. Templates can significantly reduce OPEX by making sophisticated applications deployments and long configuration procedures into simple, repeatable operations. Customers can consume more software faster taking advantage of new features as soon as they come out. 

Another interesting value is the ability to test and develop features using a template to mimic the production environment accurately. When a customer would like to have an exact replica of the production deployment he uses all he needs to do is deploy the template into a test environment, apply the patch or feature and get an accurate picture on how it will affect his production deployment. Once he is done he can tear down the test environment and re-use the resources for something else. Without the template a developer will have to rebuild the environment making best effort to assure it is accurate and correctly replicates the production environment.

Creating a template and re-packaging it comes down to a simple set of steps which include:

  1. Download a Linux template from edelivery.oracle.com – this will be the base for the template
  2. Create a virtual machine from the template in Oracle VM
  3. Install and configure the software you would like to bake into the template – every vendor knows best how configure his software.
  4. Clean the VM, remove IPs, hostnames and any deployment specific information 
  5. Package the VM as a template.

You can watch BeyondTrust’s Paul Harper and Oracle’s Doan Nguyen discussing the work and experience BeyondTrust had with Oracle VM templates in this video.

Friday Apr 11, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Writing a Broker for Oracle Secure Global Desktop

We talked about the dynamic launch feature in Oracle Secure Global Desktop earlier and pointed out that the code providing the functionality is implemented in a broker.  Here, we'll look at the fundamentals of writing a broker before working through a scenario where a bespoke broker would simplify operations.

Broker Basics

The interfaces and classes you need to write a broker are in the com.tarantella.tta.webservices.vsbim package in the sgd-webservices.jar archive. 

IVirtualServerBroker is the key interface and all Secure Global Desktop brokers must implement it.  These are the methods where a broker writer would typically add logic.

void initialise(Map initParams) This method is called once when the broker is loaded by the Secure Global Desktop workspace.  It gives the broker a map of the key/value pairs configured on the dynamic application server object using the broker.  Typical parameters would be the name and port of a source of real or virtual application servers.
Map getCandidateServers(Map params) Secure Global Desktop calls this method to obtain a list of servers available to a particular user.  The broker receives a map of parameters, including the identity of the user, and the broker returns a list of candidate servers.  The broker writer is free to decide how to populate that list and whether to return one candidate or several.  For example, the broker could contact a database to reserve a single server.  Alternatively, it could use APIs or web services to contact a VM provider and get a list of available virtual machines.
ICandidateServer prepareCandidate(String type, ICandidateServer candidate) This method is called after getCandidateServers returns a single option or the user has selected one from several.  This is the place for any code needed to set-up the chosen server or virtual machine.
void destroy() This is where the broker would tidy-up, freeing any resources it had used, like sessions and connections.

A Sample Broker

Let's look at a scenario where writing a broker could simplify operations.  You are an administrator of a Secure Global Desktop deployment where users periodically need to access a key application.  Only a single instance of the application can run on any one server and you have a limited number of licenses.  When a user requires access to the application, they submit a service request to reserve one.  The traditional, broker-less approach in Secure Global Desktop would be to create an application object, configure it to run on the reserved application server and then assign it to the user who reserved it.  Time-consuming if you have to do this repeatedly and on a regular basis.

However, if we can access the reservation database, we can do it dynamically in a broker.  The operation now becomes:

  • Once only, the administrator assigns the application a dynamic application server configured with a custom broker

Then,

  • User submits a service request and reserves a server
  • User logs into Secure Global Desktop and clicks the link to launch the application
  • The broker queries the database, gets the server that the user has reserved and launches the application on it

For the administrator, there is no need to create, modify or destroy objects in the Secure Global Desktop datastore every time a user submits a service request.

Skipping many details, defensive coding and exception handling, the broker code would look something like this:

package com.mycompany.mypackage;

import com.tarantella.tta.webservices.vsbim.*;
import java.sql.*;
import java.util.*;

public class DbBroker implements IVirtualServerBroker {

    static private final String TYPE = "A Description";
    private Connection dbConn;

    public void initialise(Map<String, String> parameters)
            throws VirtualServerBrokerException {
        // Connect to reservation database.  End-point and credentials are
        // supplied in the parameters from the dynamic application server
        dbConn = DriverManager.getConnection(params.get("URL"), params.get("USER", params.get("PASS"));
    }

    public Map<String, List<ICandidateServer>> getCandidateServers(
            Map<String, String> parameters)
            throws VirtualServerBrokerAuthException,
                   VirtualServerBrokerException {
        Map<String, List<ICandidateServer>> launchCandidates =
                new HashMap<String, List<ICandidateServer>>();

        // Get the user identity
        String identity = parameters.get(SGD_IDENTITY);

        // Lookup the application server for that user from the database
        Statement statement = dbConn.createStatement();
        String query = createQuery(identity);
        ResultSet results = statement.executeQuery(query);
        // Parse results;
        String appServerName = parseResults(results);

        if (appServerName != null) {
            // Create the assigned server.
            CandidateServer lc = new CandidateServer(appServerName);
            lc.setType(TYPE);

            List<ICandidateServer> lcList = new ArrayList<ICandidateServer>();
            lcList.add(lc);
            launchCandidates.put(TYPE, lcList);
        }

        return launchCandidates;
    }

    public ICandidateServer prepareCandidate(String type,
            ICandidateServer candidate)
            throws VirtualServerBrokerException {
        // Nothing to do
        return candidate;
    }


    public void destroy() {
        // Close the connection to the database
        dbConn.close();
    }

    // And the other methods
    public boolean isAuthenticationRequired() {
        // No user authentication needed
        return false;
    }

    public Scope getScope() {
        // Scope at the application level for all users.
        return Scope.APPLICATION;
    }
}

In summary, dynamic launch and custom brokers can simplify an administrator's life when operating in a dynamic environment.  The broker can get its data from any source with a suitable interface: a database, a web server or VM providers with open APIs.  Next time, we'll illustrate that with a broker connecting to Virtual Box.


Friday Apr 04, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM update 3.2.8 is now available through My Oracle Support

Oracle VM 3.2.8 can be downloaded from My Oracle Support by searching patch ID 16410428 for Oracle VM server and 16410417 for Oracle VM Manager. This patch update is a complete Oracle VM Server 3.2.8 installer ISO and Oracle VM Manager update ISO, and includes all the cumulative bug fixes that have been integrated since the Oracle VM 3.2.1 release. Oracle VM Server can also be updated from Oracle Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).

We also provide a separate Oracle VM Server 3.2.8 ISO built with a newer kernel,  UEK2-400 (or more specifically kernel-uek-2.6.39-400.214.3.el5uek). The default kernel still remains UEK2-300 but in case a customer requires this newer kernel it is now also available through a support request.

For more details about this release and a list of the fixed bugs visit our Wiki. This update will be available for download from Oracle Software Delivery Cloud at a later date.

Dynamic Launch in Oracle Secure Global Desktop

In an earlier entry, Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VDI, we mentioned the dynamic launch feature in Secure Global Desktop and described how we used that feature to connect the two products.  Here's a summary of that integration:

SGD and VDI

Now is a good time to dig a bit deeper into dynamic launch.

Dynamic Launch

There are three parts to it:

  • Dynamic Applications
  • Dynamic Application Servers
  • Brokers

Dynamic Applications

A dynamic application is a type of object in Secure Global Desktop that maps to one or more other applications and offers a user a choice between those applications.  Normally, you would map related applications, like a workflow, or alternatives, where you would expect a user to run only one of the applications at any one time.  'My Desktop' is an example of the latter: it is a dynamic application that maps to a Unix desktop and a Windows desktop, the thinking being that most users would run one or the other, but not both simultaneously.

Dynamic Application Servers

A dynamic application server is an object that tells Secure Global Desktop to execute some code to determine where an application should run.  It can be assigned to an application object just like other application servers and the code is executed when the application is launched.  The code is delivered as a broker.

Brokers

A broker is a Java class that implements a simple interface and is a property of a dynamic application server.  Currently, Secure Global Desktop ships with three brokers:

  • SGD Broker: when this is assigned to an application object, it grabs all the other (real) application servers assigned to the application and presents the user with a choice
  • User-defined SGD Broker: an extension of the SGD Broker that adds the option for a user to enter a host name
  • VDI Broker: this is used to provision hosts through VDI

Together, they provide a structured, flexible and extensible system: a single dynamic application in a user's workspace can open up a wealth of choices.  Let's consider a scenario where a user needs to run a range of web applications that require different browser types and versions.  One solution in Secure Global Desktop would be to create separate items for each type of browser and publish them to the workspace.  Alternatively, you could create a dynamic application that maps to the different types of browser and logically group them together.  And this can be taken a step further: by assigning a dynamic application server to an application, that browser could be run on a server dynamically provisioned through VDI or whatever hypervisor the broker has been written to handle.

Dynamic Launch

So, three key components make up dynamic launch.  Two of them, dynamic applications and dynamic application servers, are part of the Secure Global Desktop infrastructure and plumb the feature into the datastore, workspace and launch process.  They belong in the administrator's realm.  The third component, the broker, provides extensibility.  Secure Global Desktop ships with a broker to deliver VMs provisioned through Oracle VDI, but the open interfaces mean it does not have to stop there. To go further, we must enter the developer's world and write a little code.  Next time...


Thursday Apr 03, 2014

Run Virtual Machines with Oracle VM

Each Oracle VM server is a separate virtualization platform which runs Oracle VM Server for x86 or Oracle VM Server for SPARC. An Oracle VM server's main job is to run virtual machines, enabling you to run multiple independent systems at the same time.

To learn more about Oracle VM, take the training course corresponding to your platform. You can take these courses via:

  • Live-Virtual Events: Attend a live event from your own desk, no travel required. Chose from a selection of events already on the schedule to suit different time zones.
  • In-Class Events: Travel to an education center to attend an in-class event. Below is a selection of the in-class events already on the schedule.

Oracle VM Administration: Oracle VM Server for x86

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 Melbourne, Australia

 7 May 2014

 English

 Perth, Australia

 19 May 2014

 English

 Sydney, Australia

 18 June 2014

 English

 Montreal, Canada

 27 May 2014

 English

 Ottawa, Canada

 27 May 2014

 English

 Toronto, Canada

 26 May 2014

 English

 Prague, Czech Republic

 19 November 2014

 English

 London, England

 7 April 2014

 English

 Paris, France

 5 May 2014

 French

 Athens, Greece

 2 April 2014

 English

 Rome, Italy

 22 April 2014

 Italian

 Tokyo, Japan

 16 April 2014

 Japanese

 Riga, Latvia

 12 May 2014

 Latvian

 Mexico City, Mexico

 21 April 2014

 Spanish

 Auckland, New Zealand

 3 June 2014

 English

 Oslo, Norway

 23 April 2014

 English

 Makati City, Philipinnes

 5 May 2014

 English

 Warsaw, Poland

 26 May 2014

 Polish

 Bucharest, Romania

 22 April 2014

 English

 Singapore

 15 April 2014

 English

 Ljubjana, Slovenia

 14 May 2014

 Slovenian

 Istanbul, Turkey

 20 May 2014

 Turkish

 Phoenix, AZ, United States

 2 September 2014

 English

 Sacramento, CA, United States

 2 September 2014

 English

 San Francisco, CA, United States

 2 September 2014

 English

 San Jose, CA, United States

 2 September 2014

 English

 Roseville, MN, United States

 28 April 2014

 English

 Edison, NJ, United States

 27 May 2014

 English

 Columbus, OH, United States

 30 June 2014

 English

 King of Prussia, PA

 27 May 2014

 English

Oracle VM Server for SPARC: Installation and Configuration

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 Canberra, Australia

 23 June 2014

 English

 Melbourne, Australia

 21 July 2014

 English

 Perth, Australia

 26 May 2014

 English

 Sydney, Australia

 31 March 2014

 English

 Bogoto, Columbia

 28 April 2014

 Spanish

 Prague, Czech Republich

 23 April 2014

 Czech

 Greece, Athens

 31 March 2014

 English

 Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

 26 May 2014

 English

 Tokyo, Japan

 25 September 2014

 Japanese

 Madrid, Spain

 3 April 2014

 Spanish

 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 29 June 2014

 English

 Phoenix, AZ, United States

 6 August 2014

 English

 Sacramento, CA, United States

 6 August 2014

 English

 San Francisco, CA, United States

 6 August 2014

 English

 San Jose, CA, United States

 6 August 2014

 English

 Atlanta, GA, United States

 8 April 2014

 English

 Roseville, MN, United States

 16 April 2014

 English

 Caracas, Venezuela

 22 May 2014

 Spanish

To register for an event, request an additional event or learn more about Oracle's Virtualization curriculum, go to http://education.oracle.com/virtualization.

Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

PVH - Best Characteristics of All Virtualization Modes

We all know that Oracle VM Server for x86 incorporates an open source Xen hypervisor component, which has been customized and optimized to integrate into the larger, Oracle-developed virtualization server. At the same time, Oracle is behind the Xen project and has made a variety of contributions. PVH is just one of the examples.

In the latest release of Xen 4.4, Oracle has contributed a functional preview of a new virtualization mode called PVH currently available to virtualized guests. PVH is an extension to the classic Xen Project Paravirtualization (PV) that uses the hardware virtualization extensions available on modern x86 processors. PVH uses PV drivers for boot and I/O, and Intel hardware virtualization extensions for page table operations, system calls and other privileged operations. This not only improves performance and security, but also simplifies the architecture and Xen Project Hypervisor-Linux interface significantly.

The feature was made possible thanks to Mukesh Rathor. He talked about his work at the Linux Collaboration Summit last week. For more technical details, you can read Konrad Wilk's blog entry at Xen.org: http://blog.xen.org/index.php/2014/01/31/linux-3-14-and-pvh/. You can learn more about Oracle's technical contributions to Linux and open source communities.

Note that this is about the upstream Xen development, so the feature is not immediately available in the current Oracle VM release. For What's New in the Oracle VM releases, visit here.

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