News about Oracle's Solaris and Sun Hardware
System News
Jun 6th, 2011 — Jun 12th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
System News System News for Sun Users
Volume 160, Issue 2 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
Sections in this issue:
click to jump to section


Oracle
x
Oracle Exadata Database Machine Command Reference
All the Commands DBAs and DMAs Might Require
Users new to Oracle Exadata Database Machine (and even some old hands) will surely find the four-part guide authored by Arup Nanda called Series: Oracle Exadata Command Reference a helpful reference. Contents include:

  • Part 1: Jumpstarting on Exadata
  • Part 2: Command Categories, Configuration, and Basic Commands
  • Part 3: Storage Management
  • Part 4: Metrics and Reporting

Nanda assures readers that they will " ... learn all the commands necessary to administer the Exadata Database Machine, especially the storage-related commands" within the pages of the guide.

Database Cloning Using Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance and Oracle Data Guard
High Availability and Disaster Protection for Production Databases
Responding to the challenges facing database administrators charged with meeting the requirements of application development and code testing within a production environment, Oracle has developed Oracle Data Guard and the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to provide an efficient solution for cloning databases that provides disaster protection and high availability for mission-critical databases. The operation of these solutions is described in the white paper "Maximum Availability Architecture: Oracle Best Practices for High Availability." The document describes how the Oracle Data Guard feature is deployed in conjunction with the snapshot and cloning features of the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance, enabling easy and efficient database cloning of a standby database, including as well the Oracle-validated best practices and scripting to automate the database cloning operation.
Features
x
ORCInternational Surveys Users on TOC Between IBM/POWER and Oracle/SPARC Servers
Oracle Edges Out IBM in Several Categories
In their survey of managers familiar with the Oracle/SPARC and IBM/POWER servers, ORCInternational's purpose was to determine the responses of these individuals to issues such as the respective strengths and weaknesses of both sets of servers; factors affecting total cost of ownership (TOC); key system differentiators; and purchase criteria rankings. The respondents spanned several industries, including banking and finance, telecom, healthcare, and insurance.

Findings revealed that TOC, performance and acquisition cost (including hidden costs) were the three most important criteria governing product choice. Oracle surpassed IBM in terms of both fewer hidden costs and equal or better real-world performance. Oracle won greater favor in the category of required scheduled downtime as well.

Both the robustness and the scalability of Solaris OS won favor with a greater number of respondents than did AIX. Over-dependence on IBM consulting services was another condition that customers expressed wariness about. The need for such over-dependence was mitigated by Oracle's hallmark integrated solution approach to system design in the eyes of respondents.

SPARC
x
Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1
Adds Live Migration, Improved P2V Tool, Dynamic Resource Management (DRM) between domains
Oracle has augmented its virtualization portfolio with the release of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1, which comes installed on Oracle’s SPARC T-series servers. Oracle VM Server for SPARC allows up to 128 virtual machines, or "domains", on one system, providing organizations increased flexibility and improved server utilization.

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1 also delivers live migration capabilities to the SPARC T-series server family, including SPARC T3, UltraSPARC T2 Plus and UltraSPARC T2 based servers, allowing customers to quickly and easily migrate running domains from one physical server to another, eliminating application outages and server downtime.

In addition, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Virtualization Management Pack provides full lifecycle management of Oracle VM Server for SPARC.

Virtualization
x
The Value of Application-Aware Virtualization
Moving Virtualization Beyond Server Consolidation
Spend three minutes watching Oracle Senior Director of Product Marketing Monica Kumar's whiteboard explanation of "Application-Aware Virtualization" in which she outlines the benefits of Oracle VM Server, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder, and Oracle Enterprise Manager, all of which move virtualization from the horse-and-buggy era of server consolidation to the 21st Century era in which the datacenter becomes a service center that can deliver complete solutions on demand efficiently and rapidly.
VDI Solution Demo
A How-to Guide on Getting the Greatest Benefit from the Virtual Desktop
The VDI Solution Demo available at this link (registration required) shows, step by step, how Sun VDI Software provides seamless integration with the virtualization layer and makes it easy to control the life cycle of virtual machines and assign users to virtual desktop environments.

Among the virtues of Sun VDI and the Sun Ray Thin Client that the demo points out are: Security with mobility, The same virtual display accessible from every desktop, Increased compute resource utilization, Manage user desktops from a single desk, Consistent graphic display performance over WAN with Sun Ray Appliance Link Protocol

Will Oracle Make a Move to Red Hat's KVM for Oracle VM?
Not Very Likely Says Wim Coekaerts

If you are waiting expectantly for Oracle to move Oracle VM from Xen to KVM (Red Hat's Kernel Based Virtual Machine,) Roddy Rodstein in his blog "Oracle VM: Xen today, KVM tomorrow?" suggests that you not hold your breath. After first providing an informative history on the development of both Xen and KVM, Rodstein then cites the expert opinion of Wim Coekaerts who blogs that Oracle has no really compelling reason to make the suggested shift to KVM. So take a breath.

Solaris
x
Automating ZFS Snapshots and Tracking Software Updates
Part 2 of a Series on Oracle Solaris 11 Express Software Management Best Practices
In Part 2 of her series "Software Management Best Practices for Oracle Solaris 11 Express," "Automating ZFS Snapshots and Tracking Software Updates," Ginny Henningsen describes how Oracle Solaris 11 Express uses automated snapshots to deliver Time Slider services, a new feature in the GNOME desktop. Using Time Slider, she writes, users can take periodic snapshots of the active Boot Environment (BE), capturing the software state at regular intervals, which can prove useful if you forget to explicitly create a BE when you update software.

BEs, Henningsen goes on to explain, a built-in safety net when to be used in making software changes, much like Live Upgrade environments in Oracle Solaris 10. In Oracle Solaris 11 Express, the root file system is implemented using Oracle Solaris ZFS, so BEs are basically Oracle Solaris ZFS snapshots that are readable/writable and activated for booting. This underlying technology enables users to periodically generate snapshots of BEs just like you can take a snapshot of any Oracle Solaris ZFS volume.

ZFS Features by Version
From ZFS Version 1 to Version 5, from iSCSI to Triple Parity RAID-Z

In his Oracle blog post on ZFS zpool and file system version numbers and features Steffen Weiberle points out that ZFS versions are conveniently backward compatible but that the reverse is not the case. It is therefore important, he writes, to know what the oldest kernel version is that one might with to attach a pool to, making sure that upgrades are not made that would render this impossible. He then provides a helpful table that lists the ZFS feaures introduced in Solaris 10 updates.

Servers
x
Oracle Linux 6.1 With Both 32 and 64 Bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel
ISOs Available for Download
With the release of Oracle Linux 6.1 users can enjoy the benefits of improved IRQ balancing; reduced lock contention across the kernel (improves performance on large NUMA systems); improved network I/O via receive packet steering and RDS improvements; and improved virtual memory performance. In addition to these improvements, uses will discover numerous driver updates and both a 32 bit and a 64 bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. As was the case with the previous release, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (kernel-uek-2.6.32-100.34.1.el6uek) is installed and enabled by default. If you prefer to maintain full kABI compatibility, the Red Hat compatible Kernel (kernel-2.6.32-131.0.15.el6) is installed as well and can be selected manually at boot up time or by changing the default in the GRUB configuration file.
Storage
x
Oracle Solaris ZFS and Traditional File System Differences
Learn How to Successfully Employ Solaris ZFS in Conjunction with Traditional File Systems

In Chapter 3 of the "Oracle Solaris ZFS Administration Guide" is a discussion of differences between Oracle Solaris ZFS and traditional file systems, an understanding of which can contribute to minimizing confusion whenever traditional tools are employed in conjunction with Solaris ZFS. The differences under discussion include the following:

  • ZFS File System Granularity
  • ZFS Disk Space Accounting
  • Out of Space Behavior
  • Mounting ZFS File Systems
  • Traditional Volume Management
  • New Solaris ACL Model

and more

Monitoring Multiple 7000s with Oracle Grid Control
No-cost Solution Simplifies the Process
Oracle Grid Control (OGC) is a no-cost subset of Oracle Enterprise Manager, writes Steve Tunstall on his blog. He adds that there are a large variety of Management Agents available for it, many at no cost. The agents for the 7000 and 6000 arrays are free. The oracle database needed is considered an "Infrastruture database", a separate Oracle Database that can be installed and used as a OEM Grid Control repository without additional license requirements, Tunstall continues, provided that all the targets (databases, applications, and so forth) managed in this repository are correctly licensed. This database may also be used for the RMAN repository, but it may not be used or deployed for other purposes, he cautions. With the setup complete, users can monitor not only the metrics from the 7000 analytic screens, but also the 7000 alerts from multiple 7000s.
Top10
x
Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Vol 160 Issue 1; Vol 159 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 158 Issues 2, 3 and 4
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:

  • What's the Future of OpenOffice.org?
  • Oracle Solaris 11 Express ZFS Technology
  • DNS on Solaris 11
  • Oracle Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle and Sun System Software
  • The Value of Linux in Today's Fast-Changing Computing Environment
  • Certification with Oracle Linux 6
  • Pre-Built Developer VMs for VirtualBox
  • Oracle Linux 6.1 With Both 32 and 64 Bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel
  • Hardware Compability List for Oracle Solaris
  • Oracle Solaris on the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud: White Paper

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

    LibreOffice
    x
    LibreOffice 3.4.0 Released by The Document Foundation
    Includes New Features in Calc, Improved Interface for Writer, Impress and Draw
    The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4.0, the free office suite for personal productivity. The release is the work of some 120 developers. LibreOffice 3.4.0 offers several new features for Calc, the Document Foundation reports, with faster performances and an improved compatibility with Excel spreadsheets, and Pivot Table – the new name of DataPilot – with support for unlimited numbers of fields and named range as data source. In addition, the user interface of Writer, Impress and Draw has been improved with many new features, and several cosmetic changes have been applied to the Linux version, with a better text rendering engine and an improved GTK+ theme integration. Several thousand lines of code in German have been translated into English, and over 5.000 lines of dead code have been removed from Writer, Calc and Impress. The foundation advises that the target audience for LibreOffice 3.4.0 is community members and power users, and recommends against its implementation in a corporate environment. LibreOffice 3.3.x is going to be maintained for several months to come, until the end of calendar year 2011, for the most conservative users. A download of LibreOffice 3.4 is available.
    Sysadmin
    x
    How to Use Automated Installation Instead of Flash Archive on Solaris 11
    New Multi-purpose Feature Enables both Install and Recovery Procedures

    As more of the features of Oracle Solaris 11 Express come into use, the literature on best practices grows accordingly. One recent addition is "How to use Automated Installation instead of Flash Archive on Solaris," a blog post by Philip Torchinsky. Rather than using the option that Solaris 9 and 10 provided called "flash installation," -- essentially a disaster recovery feature with other uses -- the blog recommends installing Solaris on one server, called "master machine," making an archive containing all files installed on the master machine (so called "flash archive"), and then cloning it using flash installation option to other servers, called cloned machines. Like flash installation, Torchinsky writes, flash archive can be used for disaster recovery, as Solaris sysadmins generally know. It is possible to make a flash archive from an existing server's installation and use it to install the server with the same configuration in case of fatal disaster requiring complete system reinstall. The blog provides the code samples necessary for the described process.

    Security
    x
    Oracle Issues 17 Fixes for Java SE Platform
    Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory - June 2011
    The June 2011 Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory alters users to 17 new security fixes across Java SE products. The affected product releases and versions are:

    • JDK and JRE 6 Update 25 and earlier
    • JDK 5.0 Update 29 and earlier
    • SDK 1.4.2_31 and earlier

    The next Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Updates will be released on October 18, 2011; February 14, 2012; and June 12, 2012.

    As always, Oracle advises installation of the 17 patches in this update as soon as possible to avoid exploitation of vulnerabilities. Given the reported increase in the number of cyberattacks against Java as reported by Microsoft and noted in infosecurity-us.com these patches will be seen as timely.

    Trending in
    Vol 233, Issue 3
    Trending IT Articles