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May 9th, 2011 — May 15th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 159, Issue 2 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Pearson VUE Becomes Exclusive Testing Vendor for Oracle Certifications
Transition Applies to Java, Oracle Solaris, MySQL and Other Former Sun Certification Exams
As of June 1, 2011, Pearson VUE will become the exclusive source of certification exams for Java, Oracle Solaris, MySQL, and NetBeans. Oracle explains that this move will consolidate all of its certification examinations within a single testing vendor whose 5000 test sites will enable Oracle to better service and provide global testing coverage for these certifications. Prometric will continue to accept walk-in registrants through May 31, 2011, but not beyond. Registrations with Pearson VUE begin on May 16, 2011 for those planning to take an exam on or after June 1. Oracle advises completing a registration with Pearson VUE to ensure access to certification history and to enable registration after the transition.
Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index - Media Fact Sheet
Telco Leads Standings in Making Best Use of Technology, Business Practices
The seven-page pdf "Oracle Next Generation Data Centre Index -- Media Fact Sheet" is a research-based snapshot into the sophistication of the data centre strategies of organisations in Europe, the Middle East and USA. Oracle has found that many businesses are lagging behind in their use of innovative technology in data centres, meaning they are unable to meet industry demands and respond to change quickly. On average, businesses scored 5.28 on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 would be the most sophisticated data centre strategy), that maps organisations’ performance in achieving data centre flexibility, sustainability and supportability, highlighting that many are failing to return business value from their IT. In terms of overall performance, management and IT capabilities telco is a consistent leader; utilities and financial services (FS) also rank in the top three. The telco industry is also first in the Flexibility, Sustainable and Supportability Indices, Oracle reports, speculating that this lead is the result of telco, FS and utilities having made the most progress around virtualisation. Telco, FS and Utilities have also done the most around consolidation, the report continues. In terms of consolidation, public sector, retail and healthcare have done the least.
Solaris Hands-on Lab Explores the World's First Fully Virtualized Operating System
The Focus is on Solaris ZFS File System

Exploring the World's First Fully Virtualized Operating System is a hands-on-lab tutorial that walks readers through the virtualization of the operating system, the storage and the network, as well as the combination of these three sectors to create an extremely agile system. The two prerequisites to this tutorial are Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express in Oracle VM Virtual Box and Introduction to the Oracle Solaris 11 ZFS File System. Readers will create some zpools and explore different types of virtual devices (vdevs), creating, two different types of ZFS datasets, file systems and volumes, then customize some properties, snapshot and clone them, and perform some upgrades. In the final, advanced section, readers will look at how some of the other Oracle Solaris services, like NFS (Network File System) and FMA (Fault Management Architecture) are tied into ZFS.

Protect Your Applications with Oracle Solaris Security: Oracle Hands-on Lab
Examines Privileges, RBAC, and integration with SMF (Service Management Facility)

Yet another addition to Oracle's Hands-on Labs series is "Protect Your Applications with Oracle Solaris Security," which examines privileges, RBAC (Rights and Authorizations) and integration with SMF (Service Management Facility). Students are assumed to have completed the lab "Installing oracle Solaris 11 Express in Oracle VM Virtual Box." There are four lab exercises:

  • Introduction to Solaris RBAC and Privileges
  • A closer look at Solaris Privileges
  • Process privileges and rights
  • SMF.process privileges and authorizations

Completion time for all four is approximately one hour.

Solaris on the x86 Platform
In this episode of the "Oracle Solaris: In a Class By Itself" podcast series, our hosts Bill Nesheim, Chris Armes, and Charlie Boyle are joined by special guest Andy Roach, Director of Software Engineering. Together, they discuss why Oracle Solaris on the x86 platform is a key part of Oracle's OS strategy. As the amount of cores and thread counts are increasing on those platforms, learn why Oracle Solaris is a perfect solution for mission critical environments, and ideal for deploying one consistent OS on both the x86 and SPARC architectures.
MySQL 5.6.2 Dev Milestone and New MySQL Labs Features
Blog Post Summarizes Improvements
The features introduced in MySQL 5.6.2 are helpfully summarized in Rob Young's blog post on the Oracle MySQL Blog. In brief he notes an improved optimizer, a better InnoDB, better replication, improved instrumentation, and improved partitioning. Young praises the changes implemented by the MySQL Engineering Team for the more rapid access to new features that these initiatives deliver to users.
Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne (October 2 - 6, 2011 )
Register Early and Save as much as $500
Oracle is offering three registration possibilities for the upcoming JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld 2011 which is set for October 2 - 6, 2011. Registrations completed between April 2 and July 29, 2011 will save $500; those between July 30 and October 1, 2011 will save $200. Onsite registrations will be offered at the full price. A similar savings is being offered on the same schedule to bona fide employees of a national/federal, state, provincial, or local government entity, including public higher education institutions. With more than 1,800 sessions, 400 partner exhibits, and hundreds of demos to explore, attendees will have no trouble learning new ways to optimize systems, find new solutions that will help take a business to the next level, and new practices that will make those businesses more successful.
Sun Ray Software 5.2
Easier Deployment and Improved Audio, Video and Smart Card Support
Sun Ray Software 5.2 is the latest release of Oracle’s server-hosted desktop software. It is dramatically simpler to install and configure and features improved video, audio, smart card, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and network resiliency.

Wim Coekaerts, Oracle’s senior vice president, Linux and Virtualization Engineering said, "with Sun Ray Software, IT can centralize the management and maintenance of thousands of thin clients - reducing cost and complexity, while enhancing security. Innovations in Sun Ray Software 5.2 make it even easier to install and update, while delivering an improved end user audio and video experience."

The Sun Ray Server software is supported on Oracle Linux 5.5/5.6, Solaris 10 5/09 or later on SPARC and x86 platforms.

The Lowdown on the ZFS Storage Appliance
Links and Answers to Provide a Comprehensive Picture
Just as he provided an abundance of information on Solaris 11, Marius Scholtz has blogged in similar fashion on the subject, "What is the ZFS Storage Appliance?" Once again, Scholtz has compiled a list of links that will allow readers to download the appliance and to find answers on such topics as backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and performance.
Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Vol 159 Issue 1; Vol 158 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 157 Issues 3, 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:

  • Judge Rules for Oracle in Round One of the Court Battle with Google
  • Amazon EC2, Solaris 2.6, and the San Andreas Fault
  • Introduction to IPS for Developers: Oracle Hands-on Lab
  • Oracle Solaris 11 Express Best Practices: Updating Software
  • Brendan Gregg on vmstat
  • Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Sys Admin Day – Oracle Solaris
  • Revue of New Functionality in MySQL 5.6.2 Development Milestone Release
  • Develop Your Roadmap for Cloud Computing
  • A Tool for Determining the Contents of Oracle Flash Cache
  • Ultra-Fast Application Deployment with Oracle VM and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder: Webcast

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

    Keep Your DR Site in the Best Possible Condition
    Use It for Application Development Testing

    In the blog post "Leveraging a disaster recovery site for development -- Part 1" Amir Javanshir contends that this practice offers a testing cloud without additional costs for purchasing or deploying additional hardware while also giving access to the latest production data for testing, thus capturing the latest trends in using the application and making the DR site itself more secure. The last consideration is by no means the least, Javanshir writes, given that only when DR operations become necessary do shortcomings in the DR system itself. He says, " ... the best way to be sure that these systems are fully operational is to have them working / worked on, on a regular basis." In the forthcoming Part 2 the author promises details on how to use the Oracle Solaris Zones and ZFS technologies to setup such an architecture, at no extra cost.

    Making Sense of Parallel Programming Terms
    By Susan Morgan, Revised April 2011

    This article explains common parallel and multithreading concepts, and differentiates between the hardware and software aspects of parallel processing. It briefly explains the hardware architectures that make parallel processing possible. The article describes several popular parallel programming models.

    • Parallel Processing
    • Parallelism in the Hardware
    • Parallelism by Software Programming Models
    • Shared Memory Programming Models
    • Distributed Memory Programming Models
    • Hybrid Programming Models
    • Oracle Parallel Application Development Software
    • For Shared Memory Systems
    • For Distributed Memory Systems
    • Hardware and Software for Cluster and Grid

    It also makes connections between parallel processing concepts and related Oracle hardware and software offerings.

    Oracle Performance Testing on Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-8
    100 Million Subscriber Performance Test Whitepaper
    "Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management 7.4 and Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-8" is a 20-page white paper (downloadable as a pdf) that reports on the testing performed using a 100-million-subscriber workload the results of which demonstrate Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management’s ability to handle the most stringent workload requirements of Tier 1 service providers while substantially reducing the costs associated with typical deployments, according to Oracle. For example, the performance of complex rating and discounting of over 50,000 operations/sec, clearly prove the ability to process over 2 billion CDRs in a single 12 hour business day. Similarly, the ability to perform complex billing with taxation for over 2,500 subscribers/sec, the equivalent shows it is possible to process a bill run for 100 million subscribers in just over 11 hours.
    Oracle Reports Superior Cryptographic Performance with SPARC T-3 vs. Xeon
    Test Run Gets Near-line Speed over 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) Network
    Benchmark testing shows that the SPARC T3 processor running the IPsec AES-256-CCM can operate at near-line speed over a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) network, blogs Joerg Moellenkamp, who goes on to write that these results demonstrate more than 2x the throughput of the latest generation Intel Xeon processor. He adds that, with dedicated hardware support for encryption/decryption for AES and eleven other ciphers, the SPARC T3 processor is 12 times faster than the Intel Xeon processor for in-memory RSA decryption. Oracle's own announcement of these results asserts that, "This outstanding cryptographic throughput performance makes servers equipped with SPARC T3 processors an attractive platform for applications requiring secure network communications."
    SPARC T-3, Enterprise M-Series Servers Demonstrate Outstanding Performance
    Several Benchmark Results Showcase SPARC Performance Superiority Across OracleÂs Software Portfolio
    Several recent benchmark results demonstrate the viability of Oracle's integrated approach to hardware and software design, making it clear that Oracle solutions run optimally on Sun Oracle hardware. Oracle tested its SPARC T-Series and SPARC Enterprise M-Series servers in performance measures against IBM notably and in one instance delivered results nearly 2.5 times the IBM entry. Among the benchmarks involved were TPC-H@3000GB; JD Edwards EnterpriseOne "Day-in-the-Life" benchmark; and Oracle Communications ASAP. Oracle announced results as well for benchmarking tests using the Avitek medical Records application and on cryptographic performance of the SPARC T3 processor running the IPsec AES-256-CCM cipher. In every instance, Oracle's current line of servers outperformed either the competition or earlier versions of hardware.
    "DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD" by Brendan Gregg and Jim Mauro
    Excerpt: Chapter 9, "Applications"
    Readers can find a 50-page excerpt (all of Chapter 9, Applications, from Brendan Gregg and Jim Mauro's book "DTrace: Dynamic Tracing in Oracle Solaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD." Of that chapter the authors write, "With DTrace, applications can be studied like never before: following the flow of code from the application source, through libraries, through system calls, and through the kernel. This chapter completed the topics for application analysis; see other chapters in this book for related topics, including the analysis of programming languages, disk, file system, and network I/O."
    Java Technology
    Java Spotlight Episode 28: John Weir of Goldman Sachs on JCP SE/EE EC Nomination
    Operations Technology Group CTO Shares Views
    In Java Spotlight Episode 28 the CTO of the Goldman Sachs Operations Technology Group, John Weir, comments on the nomination of Goldman to the JCP SE/EE Executive Committee. Weir oversees the design and development of application software for the Operations Division and sets technology strategy with respect to cost, controls, quality and commercial needs.
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