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Jul 25th, 2011 — Jul 31st, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 161, Issue 4 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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How Uncle Sam Gave Rise to Open Source
ArsTechnica Article Suggests Perhaps That Was the Case

Only infrequently does the history of IT occupy writers on the industry but Matthew Lasar's article "The Unix revolution -- thank you, Uncle Sam?" is an exemplary bit of IT history. Lasar backtracks to 1956 when AT&T and the U.S. Justice Department signed a consent decree that, among other things, prompted AT&T to begin licensing its formerly closely held Unix patents with the declared intention of not providing support for the code. Thus, Lasar argues, was born what we now know as "open source," though he concedes that not all will agree with his interpretation of events. In any case, the article is a rewarding read.

SquareTwo Financial Goes Live with Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle Exadata Database Machine
Gains 9X in Response Time, 5X in Concurrent Users; Implementation Completed in 44 Days
The Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle Exadata Database Machine now power eAGLE, the proprietary system used by SquareTwo Financial in analyzing, distributing and managing the data necessary for the successful purchase and liquidation of debt. SquareTwo also employs Oracle Application Development Framework and Oracle SOA Suite with 600 BPEL processes in production. This implementation was in place a mere 44 days following the end of the proof of concept. With the implementation of these Oracle solutions, SquareTwo Financial enjoys a 9x improvement in response time and a 5x increase in concurrent users. eAGLE currently supports over 1,000 concurrent users processing over 400,000 transactions per day.
Extreme Solaris Virtualization Performance: Webcast
Oracle Expert Panel Offers Tips on Optimizing the Virtualization Capabilities of Solaris
Three prominent leading technical experts discuss the "Extreme Solaris Virtualization Performance" in the webcast originally broadcast on July 14, 2011, and now available in the archive. The panel includes Joost Pronk, Director of Product Management, Oracle Solaris; Duncan Hardie, Product Line Manager, Oracle Solaris Virtualization; and John Falkenthall, Software Development Director, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, who discuss how to

  • Utilize the built-in, unmatched virtualization capabilities of Oracle Solaris
  • Consolidate your existing environment with levels of efficiency you may not have thought possible
  • Increase business agility with the latest release of Oracle VM Server for SPARC
  • Take advantage of Oracle’s latest industry-leading, powerful SPARC and x86 systems to quickly bring modern cost/performance levels to even your oldest legacy applications

(Registration and log on required.)

Many New Features, Improvements in Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1
The Fat Bloke Sings About It All

The new features in Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1 are highlighted in a recent blog post by The Fat Bloke, who "sings" about VM clones; more extensive system support; improved remote access; drivers for Windows Vista and Windows 7; support on the latest Linux platforms; and a new networking mode. There is also an updated Virtual Media Manager, proxy support for the update checker, and an updated USB stack, Fat Bloke adds.

Java Technology
Java Spotlight Episode 39: Daniel Smith on Project Lambda
Dalibor Topic, Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine Join Developer Panel

The guest on Java Spotlight Episode 39 is Daniel Smith, a relative newcomer to the Java language team, where he leads development of the Lambda specification, which he discusses with host Roger Brinkley. As usual, Dalibor Topic, Java Free and Open Source Software Ambassador, and Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine, Java EE Developer Advocate, are on the Java All Star Developer Panel.

Oracle Solaris Security: It's a Given
Oracle Solaris: In a Class By Itself
"Oracle Solaris Security" is the topic under discussion in this episode of Oracle Solaris: In a Class by Itself. Bill Nesheim, VP of Oracle Solaris Engineering, Chris Armes, Senior Director of Oracle Solaris Engineering, and Alex Barclay, Product Manager for Oracle Solaris Security, join host Charlie Boyle. By design, the panel observes, security is part and parcel of Oracle Solaris, which has been developed within the Oracle Software Assurance process. As a result, users can protect data both at rest (e.g. with the new ZFS on-disk encryption), or in motion (e.g. with the built-in cryptographic framework). They can as well reduce insider risk with Role Based Access Control, and use Zones as a security isolation feature, capitalizing on its new delegated administration capabilities. In addition, together with process privileges, customers can add modern security policies to legacy applications without changing them, which offers enough granularity to meet their specific security requirements.
Integrated Load Balancing Feature in Solaris 11
How-to Demonstrates Balancing Traffic Across Two Zones
If you are unfamiliar with the load balancing function of Solaris 11, Brian Leonard's blog post "Integrated Load Balancer" will be helpful reading. There he provides an implementation example of the explanation from the "Integrated Load Balancer Overview" using the HALF-NAT operation mode. HALF-NAT, he explains, means that the client's IP address is not mapped so that the servers know the real client address, normally a preferred practice for server logging. In an 11-step procedure, Leonard shows how to load balance traffic across 2 zones, each running the Apache Tomcat server. The load balancer itself will be configured as a multi-homed zone.
Oracle Solaris Zones Demo on OTN
How Telco Develops and Deploys Applications Using Zones Technology
The Oracle Tech Network presents a demonstration on "Using Oracle Solaris Zones to Develop and Deploy Applications" drawn from the telco industry. The demonstration illustrates how isolation, rapid boot, built-in rollback, mobility between systems, and cloning -- capabilities built in to Solaris Zones -- enable fast and efficient application development and deployment. A link is provided to the "System Administration Guide: Oracle Solaris Zones, Oracle Solaris 10 Containers, and Resource Management" as well as to the "Resource Management and Oracle Solaris Zones Developer's Guide."
MySQL Cluster Manager 1.1.1 Available for Free Download, 30-Day Trial
Cluster Management Made Simpler and Safer

"While managing clusters will never be easy, it keeps getting a whole lot simpler," or so writes Mat Keep in his blog post "Simpler and Safer Clustering: MySQL Cluster Manager Update." He writes further that, with MySQL Cluster Manager 1.1.1 now released to General Availability it is much simpler to get up and running and to manager a cluster or even multiple clusters from a single process. MySQL Cluster Manager 1.1.1 is available free for a 30-day trial at Oracle eDelivery, Keep notes, pointing out as well the numerous upgrade operations that can easily be performed online. He draws attention to the whitepaper on MySQL Cluster Manager and to the online demo as well.

Early Access to MySQL 5.6 New Features
Improved Performance, Scalability and Scalability

Early access to new features of MySQL 5.6, which focus on better scalability, performance and flexibility, is available for the community to test, deploy and provide feedback. Enhancements include the InnoDB storage engine, to provide support for full text search, greater performance for write-intensive applications, and better scalability under high concurrency/user loads.

In addition, new and improved MySQL replication features help with performance, scale-out and data integration. The following MySQL 5.6 early access features are available for community testing and feedback:

  • InnoDB Full-Text Search
  • InnoDB Buffer Pool Pre-loading Options
  • Larger InnoDB Redo Log Files
  • Binlog Group Commit
  • Binlog API

This opportunity provides users the chance to offer feedback on features that will eventually move into future Development Milestone and General Availability Releases.

Oracle Buys Ksplice to Become Only Enterprise Linux Provider with Zero Downtime Updates
Support Applies to Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel
With its acquisition of Ksplice, Oracle is now in the position of being the only enterprise Linux provider that can offer zero downtime updates. In its customer letter Oracle announces that it plans to make the Ksplice technology a standard feature of Oracle Linux Premier Support. The letter also mentions that Oracle does not plan to support the use of Ksplice technology with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Enterprise Linux. Rather, the Oracle Linux Premier Support subscription applies to Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.
Next-Generation Oracle Unified Directory 11g
Solution Integrates Storage, Synchronization and Proxy: One Directory for All Enterprise Needs

Oracle Unified Directory 11g, newly announced by Oracle, delivers highly integrated storage, synchronization, and proxy capabilities that help enterprises meet the evolving needs required to support an increasing number of mobile computing and cloud computing requirements. Using Oracle Unified Directory, customers can lower the cost of both administration and ownership by maintaining a single directory for all of their enterprise needs, while also simplifying their enterprise architecture. According to Oracle's press release, this next-generation product builds on the company’s existing directory solutions, providing the most integrated and complete directory services offering on the market.

Oracle x86 Infrastructure TCO Study
Oracle's Vertical Integration Carries the Day, Edison Group White Paper Finds
The Edison Group's white paper, "Oracle x86 Infrastructure: The Optimized Stack: Reducing Total Cost of Ownership through Vertical Integration" examines the cost structures across a range of system sizes and deployments for the core x86 system stack by comparing Oracle's integrated complete infrastructure with alternatives from HP and HP, all deployed with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and VMware vSphere, both together and separately.

Among the findings is that TCO with an Oracle solution is as much as 57 percent lower than comparable deployments. Edison evaluated two, four and eight socket systems over three and five year periods using the Oracle Sun Fire X4170 M2 server for the two socket study and the Sun Fire X4470 M2 for the four socket system.

The white paper concludes that, "By engineering the entire infrastructure with service and support in mind, Oracle can deliver lower TCO in the design and operation of its system, in the ease of deployment enabled by VM Templates and Validated Configurations ... and in the efficiency and effectiveness of its ... Premier Support package."

Too Much Data? No Such Thing with Oracle's Exadata Storage Expansion Rack
Handles from 96 Terabytes (TB) to more than 3 Petabytes (PB)

More data than you planned for? Oracle can help with the Exadata Storage Expansion Rack, which allows customers to scale the capacity of the Oracle Exadata Database Machine. The Oracle Exadata Storage Expansion Rack configurations, which come with 96 Terabytes (TB) to more than 3,0000 Terabytes of Raw Disk Storage using only the included InfiniBand switches, can store massive amounts of both structured and unstructured data including historical relational data; backups of Oracle Exadata Database Machine; weblogs; documents, images, LOBs and XML files.

Consider that more than 10,000,000 Gigabytes of user data can be stored using the Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, which is included, along with the Flash PCI Card Capacity ranging from 1,500 GB to 47,000 GB. The Intel Xeon CPU processing power in the Oracle Exadata Storage Servers ranges from 48 CPU Cores to more than 1500 CPU Cores.

Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Vol 161 Issues 1,2 and 3; Vol 160 Issues 1, 2, 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:

  • Java 7 Launch Webcast: The Road Ahead for Java
  • Don't Overlook Java's Potential as a Programming Language
  • Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 5/11 Release
  • Sun Fire Servers 3D Demos
  • SAP Applications Certified for Oracle Exadata Database Machine
  • Secure Administration of Oracle VM Server for SPARC (Logical Domains)
  • Facebook for Java ME - for 2,500 feature phones
  • Business Transformation with Oracle Exadata : An Interactive E-Book
  • Polk Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) with Oracle Exadata Database Machine
  • New “Meet The MySQL Experts” Podcast Series

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

    Live Upgrade
    Bob Netherton Offers some Survival Tips

    "Live Upgrade Survival Tips," a blog post by Bob Netherton, contains several useful suggestions that readers are well advised to employ in the process of patching software. As Netherton writes, some of his suggestions are common sense; others may surprise certain readers. Here they are:

    1. Always make sure your patching and packaging utilities are up to date

    2. Always check the logs. Always. Always. Always!

    3. Use ZFS as your root file system.

    4. Don't save patch backout files.

    5. Start using Live Upgrade immediately after installation.

    6. Remember to install the LU packages from the upgrade media.

    7. Use the installcluster script from the Solaris patch cluster.

    8. Keep it simple.

    The Oracle Hardware Management Pack
    Indispensible Tool for x86 Servers

    Oracle's Hardware Management Pack comprises two components: an SNMP monitoring agent and a family of cross platform Command Line (CLI) tools for managing and configuring Oracle Sun Fire x86 servers. The Sun Server Management Agent component provides an in-band SNMP agent for monitoring the server hardware and storage. The cross platform command line tools run on Solaris, Linux (Oracle Enterprise Linux, and current releases from Red Hat and Novell), and Microsoft Windows 2008. The tools. listed below, provide powerful and flexible configuration and update capabilities.

    • ilomconfig, configure the service processor
    • biosconfig, configure the BIOS
    • raidconfig, configure RAID components
    • fwupdate, update firmware
    • All configuration tools are Capable of loading

    The Hardware Management Pack saved the day for Peter Tribble, who blogs about his efforts to build a jumpstart profile and to map from the WWN-based device names to physical positions on the chassis of the SPARC T3-1 and the x86-based X4170 M2.

    Andy Bechtolsheim Casts His Vote for Merchant Silicon
    The Stuff that 10GB Ethernet Switches Are Made of

    Merchant silicon gets Andy Bechtolsheim's vote as the technology for Ethernet switches. He writes that throughput and cost-performance factors make merchant silicon the winner, hands down. This is reflected in the fact that, according to him, most of the 10 Gigabyte (GB) switches manufactured in the current year are based on merchant silicon. Given the network scalability demands of contemporary datacenters, Bechtolsheim writes, only 10 GB Ethernet will do as the switch. He also comments on the features of Arista's 7050-64S and compares them to those of Cisco's Catalyst 6509, asserting that the features gap between the two is closing.

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