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Oct 13th, 2008 — Oct 19th, 2008 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 128, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Features
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Proximity Communication: A Primer by Many Hands
Much Promise Lies in Sun's Research on Chip-to-chip Wireless Communication
Proximity communication is a Sun Microsystems technology for wireless chip-to-chip communications that has been developed in part by Robert Drost and Ivan Sutherland in the course of their research on the High Productivity Computing Systems for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Proximity communication, which replaces wires by capacitive coupling, promises significant increase in communications speed between chips in an electronic system, among other benefits.
Chill-Off 2: Comparing Data Center Cooling Systems
Organizers Up the Ante
In a recent blog Dean Nelson, Senior Director of Sun's Global Lab and Datacenter Design Services, outlines the plans for the upcoming Chill-Off 2. Nelson characterizes the strategy and project implementation for Chill-Off 2 as having a "much more aggressive goal" than last year.
Illumos
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OpenSolaris Ignite
A Monthly Newsletter by, for, and About the OpenSolaris Community, Featuring News, How-To Articles, Tech Tips and Reviews
Those interested in OpenSolaris are now invited to subscribe to OpenSolaris Ignite, the newsletter for the OpenSolaris user community. Each monthly issue will come packed with what's happening with OpenSolaris such as:

Software
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Solaris: Why it's so Successful.
It's all about platforms, developers, OEM providers and application availability.
"Solaris 10 runs on the major volume platforms in the industry: SPARC, Intel and AMD. Contrary to popular opinion, the SPARC architecture is not a proprietary architecture. It is an industry standard and open source architecture that anyone can replicate. On the other hand, the Intel X86 architecture is considered propriety and can only be replicated using an expensive and legally difficult clean room reverse engineering process," said Jim Laurent in his Weblog.
Sun Identity Compliance Manager Offers Compliance Functionality Features of Sun Role Manager 4.1
Buy Only What You Need in the Way of Compliance Management Tools
Here is yet another economy available from Sun, the Sun Identity Compliance Manager offering, which provides a portion of the existing Sun Role Manager functionality at a lower price point. It includes defined entitlements that grant the customer use of only the Compliance related functionality within Sun Role Manager 4.1. The Sun Identity Compliance Manager offering reduces the business risks and costs associated with enterprise access control through comprehensive identity auditing, access certification and policy enforcement.
Installing Sun Web Stack on OpenSolaris OS
Brian Leonard, Marina Sum Show How Easy It Is
Brian Leonard and Marina Sum report on installing Sun Web Stack on the OpenSolaris OS. The writers escort users through the relatively few simple steps involved in the installation of Sun Web Stack, which Sun shipped in July. The solution, available as part of the Image Packaging System (IPS) package, contains popular, preconfigured tools for developing and running applications.
Cool Stack to Sun Web Stack
http://blogs.sun.com/shanti/entry/cool_stack_roadmap
Recently, Sun released Cool Stack 1.3.1. Shani, a Senior Staff Engineer in the Perormance & Applications Engineering Group (PAE), reports, "This was the last release that was built to work on releases as old as Solaris 10 01/06 (Update 1). Going forward, future versions of the stack will only be supported on newer Solaris 10 updates. So I'd like to urge everyone who is running older releases to please schedule their systems for upgrade. We highly recommend that you upgrade to at least Solaris 10 01/08 (Update 5) as it has many performance, security and other fixes."

He continues, "to enable a unified stack, we are now transitioning Cool Stack to Sun Web Stack. This new stack was announced in OSCON in July. It will be very similar to Cool Stack in that it will be separately downloadable but it will be a full-fledged product in that customers who want production support, can now purchase it. The stack will continue to be available free of charge with limited support via a forum."

The first version of Sun Web Stack will be 1.4 (keeping the Cool Stack versioning in place) and should be available in November.

Servers
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Sun's 4-chip CMT system raises the bar
Allan Packer's Weblog
Allan Packer has posted a detail review of the various Sun blogs that cover various aspects of the new Sun server, the SPARC Enterprise T5440. He has group his reviews into sections:

  • The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server and technology
  • I/O Performance
  • Network Performance
  • Virtualization
  • Solaris features
  • Application Performance
  • Database Performance
  • World Record Benchmarks
  • Sizing

Quite an impressive server and quite an impressive collection of blog entries with great depth. (Thanks again to Allan for gathering and reviewing those blogs.)

Flexibility in the Datacenter with the X4150 Server
A Computerworld Review by Martin MC Brown
Martin MC Brown's blog in ComputerWorld muses about how shopping for computers has changed over the years, leading to the current emphasis on such considerations as consolidation, virtualization and managing real estate and utilities costs. He finds a winner in the Sun Fire X4150 Server.
Storage
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Ben Rockwood on Trends in the Storage Industry
De-duplication and Solid State Disk Storage in a Nutshell
Ben Rockwood, Director of Systems at Joyent, blogs on two of the hottest current topics in the storage industry: de-duplication and solid state disk (SSD) storage.
Sun StorageTek 8Gb FC PCIe HBA
High Performance Connectivity in a Low Profile Form Factor
Now available, the Sun StorageTek 8Gb FC PCIe HBA is an 8Gb FC HBA that provides single and dual-port 8Gb FC connectivity in a PCIe low profile form factor HBA for the Sun servers. The Sun StorageTek 8Gb FC PCIe HBA supports Solaris 10 for x64/x86, Windows, RedHat Linux, SUSE Linux, and VMware operating system environments. Multi-pathing IO capability is supported for these OS environments.
Storage Tech Tips, Videos, and Resources for Sys Admins
Links to Everything Storage
With the help of BigAdmin we've made available an article whose purpose is to share links to a flurry of things relevant to storage technology. The Table of contents is as follows:

Sun Disk
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Sun Blueprint: Using RAID 6 on the Sun StorageTek 6140 Array
Increasing Reliability for Storage Arrays
Many users have chosen either RAID 5 or RAID 1+0 for their data storage needs. While both of these RAID algorithms provide increased data availability, they are not without their disadvantages:

  • RAID 5 - only able to sustain a single drive failure.
  • RAID 1+0 - 50% of the available storage capacity is used for mirroring

These disadvantages are exacerbated as disk drive capacity increases. With larger disks, the RAID 1+0 implementation becomes increasingly costly. A blueprint by Said A. Syed describes using Raid 6 on the Sun StorageTek 6140 Array and concludes,

"RAID 6 provides protection against two consecutive drive failures by using two independent parity calculations. Sun Microsystems takes advantage of the better performing P+Q algorithm implementation of RAID 6 and uses dedicated processors for RAID computations on intelligent RAID controllers in the StorageTek 6140 arrays for improved performance.

RAID 6 offers highly available storage for applications and implementations requiring extremely high fault tolerance while keeping cost down and performance at an acceptable level during normal circumstances. If best practices are followed, a RAID 6 disk group is capable of performing at rates very close to RAID 5 with a slightly higher cost. RAID 6 is also capable of providing reliability close to RAID 1+0 at a fraction of the cost. "

Sun Tape
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Sun's Reference Architecture for Next-Generation Data Backup
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 Server, Symantec NetBackup 6.5.2 Software Provide Excellent Backup Tools
Jason Ehrhart and Dean Halbeisen's Sun BluePrints On-Line paper entitled, "Sun's Reference Architecture for Next-Generation Data Backup" describes the Sun reference architecture for next-generation data backup using Symantec NetBackup software.
Top10
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Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Volume 128 Issues 1 and 2; Volume 127 Issue, 3 and 4
We track how frequently each article is viewed on the web site to determine which the readers consider the most important.

Top Ten Articles for Vol 128 Issue 2

  • Infoworld Virtualization Showdown: VMware Workstation 6.5 vs. Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 [20639]
  • LDOMS I/O Best Practices - Network Availability With Logical Domains [20657]
  • BBC Backstage Interview with Jonathan Schwartz CEO of Sun Microsystems [20704]
  • Review: SPARC Enterprise T5140/T5240 and Virtualization [20676]
  • Sun and Open Source: The Payoff Is in View [20703]
  • x86 and x64 Server Interactive Whitepaper [20677]
  • Sun StorageTek 6540 Array Storage Solution for 20,000 Mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange 2007 [20660]
  • Sun Blade X6450 Server Module with Intel Xeon 4-Core and 6-Core Processors [20694]
  • Next Sun Launch Event: Change Your IT Economics [20707]
  • Winners of OpenOffice.org Community Innovation Program Awards [20700]

The longer version of this article lists the top 10 articles for each of the last eight weeks.

    Free and Open Source S/W
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    DoD Takes Another Look at Open Source
    The Procurement Door May Be About to Open a Bit Wider
    The Department of Defense may be at a turning point in its attitude toward open source solutions, Bill Vass, Sun Microsystems Federal COO, suggests. He cites a yet-to-be released memo being drafted in the office of the Pentagon's CIO that is scheduled to be issued in early November. Joab Jackson's article "Pentagon: Open Source Good to Go" discusses the memo and its background.
    Developer
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    What You've Always Wanted to Know About Ruby
    Something for Every Kind of Ruby Fan
    With almost as many flavors as that famous California ice cream brand, Ruby and its variants receive a helpful introduction in the article by Janice J. Heiss that she entitles "NetBeans, Solaris, GlassFish: The Ruby's Red Slippers Fit." Heiss writes that, "Although Ruby is sometimes described as a scripting language, its supporters characterize it as a general-purpose computer language with broad application." Her article is a useful primer on the subject and provides information that is helpful in understanding the article "Develop Ruby, JRuby, and Rails Applications" from the Ruby Developer Center.
    BigAdmin
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    Installing Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on Sun Fire X4500
    On a Server Without a CD-ROM or Floppy Drive: It's Possible
    As the title suggests, Rainer Walter and Ryan Pratt's Sun BigAdmin paper "Installation of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on Sun Fire x4500 Server" describes the installation itself and the steps one must take to obtain usable file systems.
    What's New on BigAdmin
    As of October 16th, 2008
    Articles which have been posted to BigAdmin in the last week include:

    • New Solaris 10 Applications Library Is Live on BigAdmin
    • Using Sun Java System Web Server With Sun Identity Manager and MySQL
    • Community-Submitted Article: Configuring IBM WebSphere Process Server With OpenDS as an LDAP User Repository
    • Community-Submitted Tech Tip: Setting Up and Debugging SSH Authorized Keys
    • Spanish-language Community Article: Configurando Sun Cluster 3.2 con Oracle 10g RAC y ASM
    • The Latest BigAdmin Content on Our Wiki

    http://www.sun.com/bigadmin

    Sysadmin
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    Installing HA Containers With ZFS Using the Solaris 10 5/08 OS and Solaris Cluster 3.2 Software
    Luke Williams Fills In Some of the Gaps in Sun Documentation
    "Installing HA Containers with ZFS Using the Solaris 10 5/08 and Solaris Cluster 3.2 Software" is the title of Luke Williams' BigAdmin paper that, in the author's view, fills in some of the gray areas in the documentation Sun provides for the same purpose.
    S10 Binary Guarantee Program applies to Virtual Environments
    ISV Engineering Reveals a Sun "Piece-of-Mind"

    Sun has updated the Solaris 10 Binary Application Guarantee Program to include virtualized platforms, in addition to Solaris native host operating system environments. What does this mean for developers who build using a virtualized Solaris OS?

    Security
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    Everything Today's Ciso Needs To Know About Using SSO To Succeed In The Web 2.0 Era
    Sun White Paper Takes the Worries Out of Extranet Security Issues
    The Sun white paper "Rick, Reach, and Return: Everything Today's CISO Needs to Know About using SSO to Succeed in the Web 2.0 Era" delivers on the promise of its title.
    Sun OpenSSO Enterprise
    A Single Solution for Web Access Management, Federation, and Web Services Security
    Throughout the years, multiple solutions have been required to address the challenge of balancing risk and reach, with a different application for Web access management, federation, and for Web services security. However, as the network environment continues to grow larger and more complex, this approach is becoming increasingly difficult, costly and, ultimately, unsustainable. Sun's Open SSO is geared towards clearing up this problem area.
    Telco
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    Sun Netra Carrier-Grade Solutions Lead the Way
    Four-page Datasheet Introduces the Family
    Sun has prepared a handy four-page pdf datasheet that asks the question, "Are Your Telco Solutions Taking You in the Right Direction?" The pdf introduces the Sun Netra carrier-grade solutions that are able to point the way.

    The datasheet introduces Sun's Netra rackmount servers, which it describes as "ideal for the lowest cost of first-subscriber-sensitive applications," as well as the Sun ATCA servers, built for "highest performance density, availability and network throughput -- ideal for scaling applications."

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