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Feb 14th, 2011 — Feb 20th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 156, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache
Bigger Database Buffer Cache Without Adding RAM
Entities operating in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments can expect to benefit from Database Smart Flash Cache, a feature now available on Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux that allows customers to increase the effective size of the Oracle database buffer cache without adding more main memory to the system. According to the white paper "Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache" the Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array and the Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card provide a natural fit for Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache and offer an excellent opportunity for end users to take advantage of this new functionality. Database Smart Flash Cache on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux has the potential to offer considerable benefit to users of Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with disk-bound read-mostly or read-only workloads, the white paper concludes.

More Information

Why Solaris Zones?
A Look at the Virtues of this Solaris Feature
"Why Solaris Zones?," one in the Openomics series of blogs, discusses how Zones, which do not require an intrusive hypervisor, can, as an integral part of a running Solaris Instance, meet the same business objective of server consolidation through Virtual Machines, isolated from each other and designed to provide fine-grained control over hardware resources. Blogger Frederic Pariente notes that light-weight Zones devote more of every CPU cycle to useful work; are supported on all hardware platforms supported by Solaris 10 and later; and require no additional software. Further, he contends that the ease of use and manageability of Solaris Zones is the characteristic that delivers the greatest value to users. He provides a couple of scenarios to illustrate his point.
'A Year Later: Has Oracle Ruined Or Saved Sun?'
Paul Krill of InfoWorld Offers Some Points to Ponder
It's a complicated picture that Paul Krill sketches in his CIO article "A Year Later: Has Oracle Ruined or Saved Sun?" The answer is ambiguous, necessarily, given the number of Sun technologies that Oracle has terminated (along with key engineering personnel who have left), and the former customers of Sun, some of whom are still in limbo over the future of their underlying Sun-based infrastructure. It's almost as though Scott McNealy was still running things. There have been some profitable synergies as a result of the acquisition, Krill concedes, synergies that promise abundant profit. But, perhaps a less ambiguous answer could be arrived at were the question, "What if Oracle had not acquired Sun; would there still be a Sun Microsystems?" And, then, the industry itself is undergoing vast changes. Consider the irony that part of Facebook is now housed in Sun's former corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park.
Solaris 11 Express VirtualBox VM
An Easy How-to Gets the VM Up and Running
Given the availability now of a VirtualBox image for Solaris 11 Express, it would be helpful to have a guide to getting it up and running. Brian Leonard has provided that in his The Observatory blog Solaris 11 Express VirtualBox VM. The blog includes screen shots and code samples in a six-step process that will allow users to immediately begin using the VM that, helpfully, comes pre-configured in Solaris 11 Express.
MySQL 5.5 and InnoDB 1.1 running on Oracle Linux
MySQL 5.5: Storage Engine Performance Benchmark for MyISAM and InnoDB
The MySQL white paper "MySQL 5.5: Storage Engine Performance Benchmark for MyISAM and InnoDB" reports on a direct comparison of performance involving the latest InnoDB 1.1 release included with MySQL 5.5 and MyISAM, using the SysBench benchmark, a modular, cross-platform and multi-threaded benchmark tool for measuring OLTP (On-Line Transaction Processing) database performance under intensive load. The white paper concludes with the recommendation that new applications built around MySQL 5.5 use the default InnoDB storage engine. For existing applications, the paper suggests that users evaluate migrating to InnoDB to gain the benefits of additional database features, performance and scalability.
Cloud Computing
Grid Consolidation in a Private Cloud
Slides from Bob Thorne's Talk at Oracle Cloud Computimg Road Show
There is an informative slide presentation by Oracle's Director of Product Management Bob Thorne entitled, "Grid Consolidation in a Private Cloud," that introduces cloud technology, differentiating the several kinds of clouds from one another, and then treats both the business drivers and cloud architectures common to the database cloud. Thorne includes recommendations for optimal cloud architecture by workload type, noting that private database clouds consolidate servers, storage, operating systems, databases and workloads. He adds that Oracle's Exadata is a pre-integrated, highly optimized platform for deploying private database clouds that maximizes ROI. The presentation includes cases studies of successful implementations of Exadata cloud consolidation by Commonwealth Bank Australia, Dell, and FedEx.
Sun Fire x86 Clustered Systems: New Performance Records; Lower TCO
Enterprise Systems for Highly Virtualized and Private Cloud Deployments

With the newly announced Sun Fire x86 Clustered Systems customers can avail themselves of solutions that have recently garnered five world records. Oracle's virtualized x86 systems with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM have delivered up to 48 percent better TCO than HP with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and VMware over a three-year period, Oracle reports. It is further to users' benefit that the clustered Sun Fire x86 solutions can be managed and supported as a single system with Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g.

Tiered Storage Takes Center Stage: White Paper by Fred Moore of Horison Inc.
And Reduces Acquisition and Operating Costs as Well
The central assertion of the white paper "Tiered Storage Takes Center Stage" by Fred Moore is, "Tiered storage, as a storage initiative, has been proven to significantly reduce acquisition and operating costs for medium and large scale storage enterprises." He supports this contention by citing the costs for a 100 TB capacity two-tiered, all-disk implementation at $765,000 versus $359,250 for a three-tiered implementation using tape for tier 3 archival data. This economic advantage increases, Moore continues, as the storage pool itself enlarges. The overall savings from the three-tiered implementation stem from a reductions in purchase price, monthly license fees and maintenance costs and a freeing up of storage administrators to address more critical tasks. Moore sums up his argument with the statement that, "A multi-tiered storage system with automated data management provides the optimal solution for managing the 21st century data explosion."
Sun Tape
Evaluating Tape Drive Performance
Looking at Host Interface Speed Alone Is Not Enough
"Evaluating Tape Drive Performance" is an Oracle white paper that discusses the total performance of a tape drive, and how it should be evaluated to determine which drive provides the best performance solution. The paper cautions against selecting a new tape drive system on the criterion of host interface speed alone. The speed of the storage application in sending data to, or processing data from, the drive, and the speed at which the tape drive writes or reads data at the head/media interface are also vital considerations, it maintains. Oracle, the white paper asserts, is focused on delivering storage solutions rooted in true customer applications. By focusing on native drive performance, and doubling throughput on the newest StorageTek T10000 tape drive, Oracle is solving a real customer problem, the white paper concludes.
Protecting Your Archival Data With Improved Tape Dimensional Stability
Oracle's Use of Aramid as a Tape Substrate Assures Archival Longevity

While magnetic tape has one of the longest archival lifetimes of all storage solutions now available, dimensional stability remains a problem with tape generally, and that has an effect on the robustness of data. Consequently, Oracle has chosen aramid as the StorageTek T10000 T2 substrate in order to assure superior tape dimensional stability performance and long-term archival life no matter what the storage environment. The Oracle white paper "Protecting Your Archival Data With Improved Tape Dimensional Stability" explains this, providing some insight into the factors that make for longer lasting tape.

Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Vol 156 Issues 1 and 2; Vol 155 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 154 Issues 4 and 5
We track how frequently each article is viewed on the web site to determine which the readers consider the most important. For last week, the top 10 articles were:

  • Fujitsu and Oracle Strengthen Decades-Long Relationship
  • Solaris 2.6 and 7 Apps - Urban myth or IT nightmare?
  • An Offer You Cannot Refuse: Cash for Clunkers
  • Oracle Cloud File System
  • Lowering Storage Costs with the World's Fastest Tape Drive
  • Oracle's Tiered Storage Solutions Flash Demo
  • Oracle Plans One-Two Punch With Specialized Partners and ISVs
  • Overview of Oracle Solaris Studio Compilers & Tools
  • Java Spotlight Episode 15 - Bruno Souza and SouJava
  • Measuring the TCO of Tape Storage Solutions

The longer version of this article has list of top ten articles for the last 8 weeks.

    'Multicore Application Programming'
    An Interview with the Author, Darryl Gove
    Darryl Gove, author of "Multicore Application Programming" talks with InformIT writer Jim Mauro about programming with threads and concurrency, as well as the current state of multi-threaded application software, and the effectiveness of automatic parallelization technology. Gove concludes his comments with the observation that, "Multicore processors are a great opportunity for developers. They have placed parallel application development at a much more accessible price point than multiprocessor systems. The are also a more forgiving platform than multiprocessor systems." And, he notes, this is just the beginning of the exciting discovery of what can be done with multiple threads.
    Discover and Uncover
    Two Helpful Features Now Available in Oracle Studio Solaris 12.2

    Oracle Solaris Studio 12.2 introduces two new features: Discover, which detects memory leaks, and Uncover, which measures code coverage in an application. These features are explained in brief in the "Compile My Code" blog. Discover, the post maintains, identifies the exact place where a memory-related problem exists in the source code, along with other capabilities. Uncover's ability to identify which areas of code are exercises in testing and which are not allows users to tailor test suites to test more of the code under scrutiny.

    Hardware Activity Reporter (HAR) 2.0: Performance Monitoring Using Hardware Counters
    Back in Favor with Application Programmers

    The Openomics blog post "Performance monitoring using hardware counters: Releasing HAR 2.0" observes that, Hardware Activity Reporter (HAR) -- relatively little used since the release of Solaris 10 OS -- has returned to favor with version 2.0. HAR combines low-level counts into higher-level metrics more useful to application programmers, such as CPI, FLOPS, MIPS, address bus percentage utilization, cache miss rates, branch and branch miss rates, and stall rates. These metrics help in assessing the fair usage of available processing units, locating bottlenecks and guiding tuning efforts, when needed, notes blogger Frederic Pariente.

    Enterprise Manager Ops Center
    New Documentation Available
    Oracle has released important documentation for users of Enterprise Manager Ops Center that includes "details on infrastructure changes" for users who installed or upgraded before December 20,2010, and "authentications and firewall changes," for users operating in connected mode. Also provided are a "concepts guide" that includes a brief product overview, functionality and a list of new features, and a "site preparation guide" that describes the choices to be made in using the Ops Center software and offers suggestions for preparing the software installation.
    Virtual Network - Part 3
    Creating Vitual Network Elements
    The series on the network virtualization features of Oracle Solaris 11 Express written by Jeff Victor continues with his third post, which deals with the creation of virtual network elements (VNEs). Victor explains that his example employs an old Sun Fire T2000 with a single SPARC CMT (T1) chip and 32GB RAM. He pretends to be implementing a 3-tier architecture in this one system, where each tier is represented by one Solaris zone. This mythical example provides access to an employee database, he continues, and the 3-tier service is named 'emp' and VNEs will use 'emp' in their names to reduce confusion regarding the dozens of VNEs created for the services this system will deliver. Victor remarks on the convenience of the dladm(1M) command in Solaris that one can use to create, destroy and configure datalinks such as VNICs. He illustrates his post with numerous code samples.
    Java Technology
    Not Dead Yet: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Java
    Stephen O'Grady of RedMonk Declares No Post Mortem is Necessary ... at the Moment
    Wait, the "corpse" is still breathing. Much more, in fact, if you believe Stephen O'Grady, one of the founders of Redmonk and a member of Free and Open Source Software Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM). The corpse in question is Java, both as a language and a platform. While Forrester contends that Java is finished as a solution for enterprise app development, O'Grady and the attendees at FOSDEM disagree. O'Grady writes from the developer's perspective, which leads him to the conclusion that, " ... on a relative basis, Java has peaked. It is not as popular as it once was, and is not likely to return to its former prominence in future. It is equally clear, however, that it is still a dominant platform, and the data we have on current usage and employment indicates that this position is sustainable moving forward." Read O'Grady's article and discover where you stand on the issue.
    Java Spotlight Episode 16 - Richar Bair
    Java FX 2.0 Early Access Release
    Java Spotlight Episode 16 features Richard Bair, Java Client Architect and Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine, Java EE evangelist, in a discussion about Java FX 2.0 Early Access Release. Bair gives some insights into the Java FX 2.0 Early Access Release, which is open to Java FX Partners, Java Champions, and Java User Groups. The biggest difference between Java FX 2.0 and Java FX 1.3, according to Bair, is that the emphasis is strongly on Java and making certain it is amenable to Java developers. Listen to the mp3 file for the whole story.
    Two New Netra SPARC T3 Servers from Oracle
    Carrier-Grade Blade and Rackmount Servers
    Oracle unveils Netra SPARC T3 Servers, including two new carrier-grade, NEBS Level 3- certified servers -- the Oracle Netra SPARC T3-1 rackmount server and the Oracle Netra SPARC T3-1BA ATCA blade server -- systems uniquely suited for mission-critical core network infrastructure and service delivery with Oracle Solaris. Oracle contends that these new Netra SPARC T3 systems, tested and certified to run in the harshest conditions, deliver continuous availability with massive scalability.
    Financial Services
    Oracle Reveleus Liquidity Risk Management
    Delivers Extreme Performance for Liquidity Calculations on Oracle Exadata® Database Machine X2-2
    Performance testing of Oracle Reveleus Liquidity Risk Management on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 revealed extreme performance for liquidity computations, enabling financial institutions to now estimate liquidity gaps under baseline and stressed conditions and devise appropriate contingency funding strategies in minutes, Oracle reports. Specifically, Oracle Reveleus Liquidity Risk Management running on Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 calculated business-as-usual liquidity gaps for 370 million cash flows across 65 million accounts in just 69 minutes. After applying modified behavior assumptions to simulate adverse market conditions, stressed liquidity gaps were calculated in only 10 minutes. Oracle reveals that testing was completed using a full-rack Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 running Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Real Application Clusters with the Oracle Reveleus Liquidity Risk Management and the application tier running on Oracle's Sun SPARC Enterprise M9000 server running Oracle Solaris.
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