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Archived Solaris Articles
20 Jun 2013
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How the OS Makes the Database Fast [31492]
by Ginny Henningsen

Ginny Henningsen writes, "Is choosing an operating system all that's important any more? After all, virtualization lets sysadmins choose the OS that best matches the workload they plan to put on each virtual machine. And Red Hat Linux on Intel is cheap and ubiquitous enough to work for most anything. Right?

We don't think so.

Operating systems were once the glue between the hardware and the applications, parsing out the underlying hardware resources to the application. Over time they evolved to support the entire Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) stack, including server and network virtualization, resource management, advanced file systems, and storage management. While operating system capabilities have broadened in many respects, one aspect has remained the same: the OS can still have a dramatic impact on application performance. Whether deployed on bare metal or in a virtual environment, the OS is a critical factor in boosting or impeding application performance and data center resource efficiency..."
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15 Jun 2013
open to premium members only
Comparing Solaris 11 Zones to Solaris 10 Zones [31399]
Solaris 10 Whole-Root, Solaris 10 Sparse-Root, Solaris 11, Solaris 11 Immutable Zones

Jeff Victor writes, "Many people have asked whether Oracle Solaris 11 uses sparse-root zones or whole-root zones. I think the best answer is "both and neither, and more" - but that's a wee bit confusing. This blog entry attempts to explain that answer.

First a recap: Solaris 10 introduced the Solaris Zones feature set, way back in 2005. Zones are a form of server virtualization called "OS (Operating System) Virtualization." They improve consolidation ratios by isolating processes from each other so that they cannot interact. Each zone has its own set of users, naming services, and other software components. One of the many advantages is that there is no need for a hypervisor, so there is no performance overhead. Many data centers run tens to hundreds of zones per server!..."
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04 Jun 2013
open to premium members only
Instant Automated Installer Zone for Oracle Solaris 11.1 [31299]
By Larry Wake

Larry Wake writes, "One of the biggest differences between Oracle Solaris 11 and previous releases is how provisioning tasks are handled. It's safe to say that just about any installation or update function you can think of has gotten at least an order of magnitude faster, easier, safer, smarter and more powerful -- but still, there's that word "different" ... .

The key new provisioning technology, as you may already know, is the Image Packaging System (IPS). It's the framework for installation, maintenance and removal of software on an Oracle Solaris 11 system. Another key technology is the Automated Installer (AI), which replaces JumpStart for hands-free installation of large numbers of systems.

We've just introduced something new to make it easier to start working with AI..."
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31 May 2013
open to premium members only
Oracle Solaris 11 Certification Study Tips [31192]
Covers all of the topics necessary to effectively install and administer a Solaris 11 system

Bill Calkins writes, "For the past year and a half (beginning in Dec 2011), I have been working as a SME with Oracle on the development the Solaris 11 Certification exams. My role has been to assist in writing exam questions for the OCA and OCP exams as well as technical editing for other members of the team. At the same time, I have been working on my next book, Oracle Solaris 11 System Administration and providing Solaris training to administrators around the world..."

Oracle Solaris 11 System Administration

"This book covers all of the topics necessary to effectively install and administer a Solaris 11 system. When used as a study guide, this book will save you a great deal of time and effort searching for information you will need to administer Solaris 11 on SPARC and x86 based systems. This book covers each topic in enough detail for inexperienced administrators to learn about Solaris 11and apply the knowledge to real-life scenarios. Experienced readers will find the material complete and concise, making it a valuable reference for everyday tasks. Drawing from my years of experience as a senior Solaris administrator and consultant, you'll find new ideas and see some different approaches to system administration that probably were not covered in your Solaris administration training courses..."
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25 May 2013
open to premium members only
Non-interactive zone configuration [31100]
For Solaris 11

Jeff Taylor writes, "When creating new Solaris zones, at initial boot up, the system administrator is prompted for the new hostname, network settings, etc of the new zone. I get tired of the brittle process of manually entering the initial settings and I prefer to be able to automate the process. I had previously figured out the process for Solaris 10, but I've only recently figured out the process for Solaris 11..."
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18 May 2013
open to premium members only
Oracle Solaris 11 and PCI DSS [31007]
Meeting PCI DSS Compliance with Oracle Solaris 11

"This paper provides guidance to IT professionals who are implementing Oracle Solaris 11 within their Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) and to the Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) assessing those environments. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all organizations that store, process, or transmit cardholder data. This includes entities such as merchants, service providers, payment gateways, data centers, and outsourced service providers.

This guidance is not intended as an in-depth technical assessment of Oracle Solaris 11 or an installation guide, but rather an analysis of its ability to meet and support the PCI DSS requirements. In evaluation of Oracle Solaris 11 and its security capabilities, Coalfire has determined that it is fully capable of supporting PCI DSS compliance.

The Oracle Solaris 11 features highlighted within this document specifically address PCI DSS compliance; however, the same basic tenets can be used for meeting other regulatory environment standards such as the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)."

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