Tuesday Mar 18, 2014

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 Released

We are pleased to announce the latest Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 release. The major changes for this release are as follows.

For information about the hardware and software requirements for the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 release, see the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 and 3.1 Release Notes.

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 has been integrated into Oracle Solaris 11.1 beginning with SRU 17.5. To download the software, refer to Oracle Solaris 11.1 Support Repository Updates (SRU) Index [ID 1501435.1]  from My Oracle Support.

Oracle Premier Support for Systems provides fully-integrated support for your server hardware, firmware, OS, and virtualization software. Visit oracle.com/support for information about Oracle's support offerings.

For additional resources about Oracle VM Server for SPARC

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

Friday Aug 23, 2013

Friday Tips #42

Happy Friday! With this week's release of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1, it's a perfect time to offer a tip on how to upgrade your systems to the latest version. Oracle's Jeff Savit had this to say about the upgrade process:

"Updating to Oracle Solaris 11.1 to include Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 takes little effort - it only requires a few commands and a few minutes per server. This can be done with the CLI or with Oracle VM Manager."

For the complete step by step guide, check out Jeff's blog detailing the procedure here: 

Upgrading to Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 using Solaris 11.1

See you next week!

-Chris 

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Announcing Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 Release

We are pleased to announce the availability of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1. The new release delivers significant virtual networking performance improvements, more flexibility to configure I/O virtualization, and further enhancements for cross-CPU secure live migration to help customers take advantage of the massive thread scale offered by SPARC servers and the Oracle Solaris operating system.

See the key features and benefits delivered in Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1:

  • Virtual network performance improvements: Significantly improve the virtual networking performance up to 5 times faster. For example, guest to external network approaches wire-speed at ~9Gb/s; while for the guest to guest within the same host, it's measured up to 16Gb/s. For more details, read the blog.


  • Dynamic Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV): Bringing configuration flexibility to I/O virtualization with native I/O throughput. For more details, read the blog

  • Cross-CPU secure live migration enhancements: Perform secure live migration across different generations of SPARC servers, including the new SPARC T5 and SPARC M5. For more details, read the blog.
  • Extends the Direct I/O and SR-IOV features to non-Primary root domains. For more details, read the blog
  • Adds InfiniBand device support to the SR-IOV feature in addition to the Ethernet devices.
  • Adds the Fault Management Architecture (FMA) blacklisting feature. When FMA detects faulty CPU or memory resources, Oracle VM Server for SPARC places them on a blacklist. A faulty resource that is on the blacklist cannot be reassigned to any domains until FMA marks it as being repaired.
  • Adds a recovery mode feature that automatically recovers domain configurations that cannot be booted because of faulty or missing resources.
  • Adds the ldmpower command to show per-domain, power-consumption information.
  • Adds support for VNICs on virtual networks.
Read the blog to learn the in-depth details of the new release and how to upgrade to the latest release. Please review the What's New section and the documentation about specific details of required and minimum software and supported platforms. Visit the download page for instructions to download the required software.

Oracle Premier Support for Systems provides fully-integrated support for your server hardware, firmware, OS, and virtualization software. Visit oracle.com/support for information about Oracle's support offerings for Sun systems.

For additional resources about Oracle VM Server for SPARC

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

Friday Jul 26, 2013

Friday Tips #38

Happy Friday! This week's tip is on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and it's just a quick pointer to a really great paper. 

A common scenario for Oracle Database users is to run the database on Oracle Solaris and use Oracle VM Server for SPARC as the virtualization technology. Of course, one of the great benefits of virtualization is portability, but how do you move an instance of the database to take a physical server offline (to add more memory, for example)? The Oracle white paper Increasing Application Availability by Using the Oracle VM Server for SPARC Live Migration Feature: An Oracle Database Example will tell you the hows and whys of this important process.

See you all next week!

-Chris

Monday Jun 24, 2013

Oracle VM on OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day

Looking for quick summer education to become an Oracle VM power user and still make your beach run? Join us in the OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day July 15th to learn how you can deploy a 2 node Oracle RAC cluster in an hour. You can also get familiar with step by step hands on lab for Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris.

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

Oracle Solaris Remote Lab Uses Oracle Secure Global Desktop!

Oracle Solaris Remote Lab (part of Oracle's Exastack Remote Labs) provides independent software vendors access to Oracle Solaris 11 11/11  environments (SPARC and x86) for validating their applications. The lab provides a simple and straight forward cloud interface for configuring an application test environment. It extensively leverages Oracle technologies, meets Oracle's stringent security requirements and is available to Oracle Partner Network members at the gold level and above. The Oracle Solaris Remote Lab leverages Oracle Secure Global Desktop to address many requirements. 
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop (coupled with Oracle Secure Global Desktop's Secure Gateway) provides access to Solaris desktops and terminal sessions from a variety of client devices and from anywhere in the world, allowing excellent performance even over high-latency WAN links.
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop (using the Client Drive Mapping or CDM feature) provides the ability to transfer files from user's local computers to the secure storage assigned to them within the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop is used to secure each independent software vendor's data and desktop access. The lab implements a separate Oracle Secure Global Desktop server per partner which is isolated on a separate VLAN, allowing for a multi-tenant setup.
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop's web services API allows for seamless integration of functionality within Oracle Solaris Remote Labs' portal, resulting in a coherent user experience for independent software vendors.
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop's Secure Gateway allows independent software vendors access to their resources using only a single point of entry into the network.The role of this gateway is to direct each user's network traffic to the correct VLAN and, thus, to the correct VMs.

Friday Feb 15, 2013

Friday Tips #15

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our tip this week is a little different. This week, we found a blog post from another Oracle blogger that we thought would be interesting for those of you diving deep into Oracle VM VirtualBox. The tip answers the question, "how can I get access to the serial console output of a Solaris VirtualBox guest running on a Solaris hypervisor host?"

Serial Console with VirtualBox on Solaris host by darrenm

Thanks to Darren for a very cool tip. We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Friday Nov 23, 2012

Friday Tips #3

Even though yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US, we still have a Friday tip for those of you around your computers today. In fact, we have two! The first one came in last week via our #AskOracleVirtualization Twitter hashtag. The tweet has disappeared into the ether now, but we remember the gist, so here it is:


Question:
Will there be an Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for Android?

Answer by our desktop virtualization product development team:
We are looking at Android as a supported platform for future releases.


Question:
How can I make a Sun Ray Client automatically connect to a virtual machine?

Answer by Rick Butland, Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle Desktop Virtualization:
Someone recently asked how they can assign VM’s to specific Sun Ray Desktop Units (“DTU’s”) without any user interfaction being required, without the “Desktop Selector” being displayed, or any User Directory.  That is, they wanted each Sun Ray to power on and immediately connect to a pre-assigned Solaris VM.  

This can be achieved by using “tokens” for user assignment – that is, the tokens found on Smart Cards, DTU’s, or OVDC clients can be used in place of user credentials.  Note, however, that mixing “token-only” assignments and “User Directories” in the same VDI Center won’t work.  

Much of this procedure is covered in the documentation, particularly here. But it can useful to have everything in one place, “cookbook-style”: 

1. Create the “token-only” directory type:

From the VDI administration interface, select:

 “Settings”, “Company”, “New”, select the “None” radio button, and click “Next.”

Enter a name for the new “Company”, and click “Next”, then “Finish.”

2. Create Desktop Providers, Pools, and VM’s as appropriate.

3. Access the Sun Ray administration interface at http://servername:1660 and login using “root” credentials, and access the token-id’s you wish to use for assignment.  If you’re using DTU tokens rather than Smart Card tokens, these can be found under the “Tokens” tab, and “Search-ing” using the “Currently Used Tokens” tab.  DTU’s can be identified by the prefix “psuedo.”   For example:


4. Copy/paste this token into the VDI administrative interface, by selecting “Users”, “New”, and pasting in the token ID, and click “OK” - for example:

5. Assign the token (DTU) to a desktop, that is, in the VDI Admin Gui, select “Pool”, “Desktop”, select the VM, and click "Assign" and select the token you want, for example:


In addition to assigning tokens to desktops, you'll need to bypass the login screen.  To do this, you need to do two things: 

1.  Disable VDI client authentication with: 

/opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda settings-setprops -p clientauthentication=Disabled

2. Disable the VDI login screen – to do this,  add a kiosk argument of "-n" to the Sun Ray kiosk arguments screen.   You set this on the Sun Ray administration page - "Advanced", "Kiosk Mode", "Edit", and add the “-n” option to the arguments screen, for example:

3.  Restart both the Sun Ray and VDI services:

# /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utstart –c
# /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda-service restart


Remember, if you have a question for us, please post on Twitter with our hashtag (again, it's #AskOracleVirtualization), and we'll try to answer it if we can. See you next time!

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Friday tips #2

Welcome to our second Friday tips blog! You can ask us questions using the hash tag #AskOracleVirtualization on Twitter and we'll do our best to answer them.

Today we've got a VDI related question on linked clones:

Question: I want to use linked clones with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. What are my options?

Answer by John Renko, Consulting Developer, Oracle:

First, linked clones are available with the Oracle VirtualBox hypervisor only.

Second, your choice of storage will affect the rest of your architecture.

If you are using a SAN presenting ISCSI LUNS, you can have linked clones with a Oracle Enterprise Linux based hypervisor running VirtualBox. OEL will use OCFS2 to allow VirtualBox to create the linked clones. Because of the OCFS2 requirement, a Solaris based VirtualBox hypervisor will not be able to support linked clones on remote ISCSI storage.

If you using the local storage option on your hypervisors, you will have linked clones with Solaris or Linux based hypervisors running VirtualBox.

In all cases, Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure makes the right selection for creating clones - sparse or linked - behind the scenes. Plan your architecture accordingly if you want to ensure you have the higher performing linked clones.

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

Thursday Jul 26, 2012

BriForum 2012 - Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Aligns with the Experts.

BriForum 2012 in Chicago includes great sessions from industry experts and consultants focused on VDI and Server Based Computing.   One session delivered by Ron Oglesby of Unidesk presented "How you can solve common problems with VDI".  As VDI deployments have increased in size a major challenge as been optimizing storage to deliver the IOPS required for desktop workloads.  This requirement often is in conflict with the goals of reducing the CAPEX investment of implementing VDI.

Ron Oglesby recommends the use of "Hybrid Storage Arrays" that provide a combination of large controller memory,  Solid State Disk (SSD) for high IOPS,  combined with lower cost array disks.   He then asks if anyone has heard of ZFS

When you consider this general recommendation from Ron, it aligns with the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution that for years has taken advantage of the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance.  Otherwise considered a "Hybrid Storage Array" that as Ron generically suggests works very well for desktop workloads.

Ron goes on to mention the option of using local storage for lowering the CAPEX cost for VDI that can provide high IOPS with the lower cost of internal disks within the hypervisor server.   Local storage is not for all deployments but can certainly be used for deployments such as flexible desktops without high availability requirements. 

The latest release of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure aligns well with this recommendation by supporting fast local storage installed on servers running the Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor.   The Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor when installed on Oracle Solaris can provide the local storage with ZFS combined with the large server memory footprint available with Oracle Servers.  Additionally, the Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor can be deployed onto Oracle Linux and leverage the Oracle Cluster Files System V2 (OCFS2) combined with the large memory available with Oracle Servers.

The Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure strategy that leverages hardware and software optimized for delivering virtual desktop workloads clearly is lining up with recommendations from virtual desktop experts.  

Wednesday Jun 27, 2012

Get the latest Oracle VM updates

We have released the latest Oracle VM updates for both x86 and SPARC. 

For Oracle VM Server for SPARC:

  • Oracle Solaris 11 SRU8.5 includes Oracle VM server for SPARC 2.2 so if you're already running a Solaris 11 as the control domain. All you need do is a 'pkg update' to get the latest 2.2 bits. Learn more how to upgrade to the latest Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2 release on Solaris 11 here and consult the documentation for further details.

For Oracle VM Server for x86

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

Sunday May 27, 2012

Full Stack Story with Oracle VM

Full Stack Story with Oracle VMWhen we talk about the server virtualization solution from Oracle, Oracle VM has the server virtualization and management components in one solution. One of the reasons that differentiate Oracle from others is the full stack story.

At the virtualization layer, we have Oracle VM Manager included with Oracle VM. Oracle Enterprise Manager is the enterprise management product providing an integrated management environment for the full software stack together with physical or virtual environment. Specifically, we have Oracle VM Server for x86 and Oracle VM Server for SPARC, both offer high performance server virtualization solution, with advanced capability to help customers accelerate application deployment. With Oracle Premier Support for Systems, the enterprise quality support includes server virtualization (Oracle VM) and the operating systems (Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris).

A combination of hardware, virtualization, middleware, database and packaged applications, when combined with integrated management across all layers, comprises the best building blocks for streamlined operations and maximum agility in the data center. It also creates the underpinnings for the future in cloud-based deployments. Only Oracle’s integrated stack represents a virtualization offering that is application-driven and can enable deployment of complete solutions as opposed to just servers and operating systems.

Moreover, it's very affordable to get started. The base installation of Oracle Enterprise Manager includes several features free of charge with the purchase of any Oracle software license or Support contract. Read Base Enterprise Manager Functionality for the list of features that are included with the base functionality of Oracle Enterprise Manager, including Server, Storage, and Virtualization Management Features.

To learn more, read the blog "The case for Oracle VM". 


Thursday May 24, 2012

Announcing Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2 Release

We are excited to announce Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2, the latest release of Oracle’s enterprise-class server virtualization solution. The new release delivers significant enhancements that improve workload agility and performance, maximize the availability of business-critical applications, and increase flexibility in provisioning and deployment. Oracle VM Server for SPARC takes advantage of the massive thread scale offered by SPARC T-Series servers and the Oracle Solaris operating system.

See the key features and benefits delivered in Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2:

  • Secure live migration is now available across different generations of SPARC T-Series servers for flexibility of workload deployment and migration. Customers continue to benefit from their existing investment as they add SPARC T4 servers into the environment for increased capacity with minimal downtime or disruption to their operation. Secure live migrations are as simple as point and click using Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center’s console. Read more about Cross-CPU Secure Live Migration here and watch a video demo.
  • Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) delivers superior I/O throughput to guest domains that have SR-IOV on Oracle's SPARC T4 and SPARC T3 platforms. SR-IOV enables the efficient sharing of PCIe network devices among I/O domains so application workloads can achieve native I/O performance. Read more about SR-IOV feature and SR-IOV Virtual Function (VF).

  • Integrated optimization with SPARC T-Series servers, especially for SPARC T4 and SPARC SuperCluster T4-4, provides administrators with fine-grained control of server resources and the ability to tailor CPU performance across business-critical enterprise workloads for better throughput. Read more about whole core allocation enhancements here.

Please review the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2 Documentation for specific details of required and minimum software and supported platforms. Visit the download page for instructions to download the required software.

Oracle Premier Support for Systems provides fully-integrated support for your server hardware, firmware, OS, and virtualization software. Visit oracle.com/support for information about Oracle's support offerings for Sun systems.

For additional resources about Oracle VM Server for SPARC

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

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Oracle Desktop Virtualization Security Solution at DISA Mission Partner Conference 2012

Oracle desktop virtualization is showcased with the Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution and Oracle Systems at the DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency) Mission Partner Conference 2012.  This annual DISA conference brings together decision-makers and subject-matter experts from the military services, combatant commands, industry, and academia to share information and ideas that are of mutual interest and are critical to helping the U.S. Department of Defense achieve mission success.  The conference also features a list of stellar speakers including Oracle President Mark Hurd as the featured speaker on Wednesday May 8, 2012.

Oracle Sun Ray Clients and Oracle Solaris with Trusted Extensions are key elements of the accredited Cross Domain Security Solution used by the U.S. Federal Government.  The Oracle Solution for Single Level Security adds the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure software for the secure access and provisioning of Windows 7 Virtual Desktops.

This years DISA Conference theme is “The Joint Enterprise: Delivered Through Partnership.”  As described by Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins: "DISA realizes that delivering an enterprise that improves security, enhances effectiveness, achieves efficiency, enables innovation, and reduces the warfighter’s burden can be achieved by working with our mission partners".

Oracle Sun Ray Clients are featured at the Oracle Booth for the DISA 2012 Mission Assurance Conference. Solaris Trusted Extensions provide the cross domain multi-level security solution shown to the left with green and red window labeling indicating the security level.

Integrated labeling enforce secure access across security domains and applications including access to Windows desktops hosted on Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  The Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution supports the Federal Government Common Access Card and SIPR Token Cards.

Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins stops by the Oracle Booth to discuss the Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution with Oracle sales consultants at the DISA Mission Partner Conference 2012.

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