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Aug 29th, 2011 — Sep 4th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 162, Issue 5 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Oracle
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Thinking About an Upgrade to Oracle 11g?
Might Be a Good ... Make that Very Good ... Idea
How many reasons would it take to convince you to upgrade to Oracle Database 11g? Mike Dietrich offers six worth thinking about ... maybe more than once:

  • Oracle support period will end soon or has ended
  • Oracle EBS, Siebel, Peoplesoft, JD Edwards, even SAP - will require Oracle 11.2 for their currently supported versions

  • The last word in security will be found only ... that is, only ... in 11.2

  • Cost savings: 11.2's advanced compression permits users to eliminate superfluous and costly fast disks; and Active DataGuard allows users to employ standby for a number of purposes.

So how does 11.2 look in this light?

SPARC
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T4 - Next Generation SPARC Processor
Improves Single-thread Performance
Oracle's SPARC T4 processors are expected to be released in the fall of 2011 with volume shipments slated for 2012. Also forthcoming in 2011 is the release of Solaris 11. Yet another T-Series server product refresh is expected in 2013, scheduled to be coincident with another update of Solaris 11, writes Lloyd Cohen. He calls the T4 an inflection point in the T-Series designs, because it improves single-thread performance beyond what it was in the T3 processors.
Virtualization
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VMware Product Support for Oracle Servers and Storage
Certifications for x64 Rack Servers and Blades and for Four Sun Storage Series
Check for the latest update on VMware certifications for Sun x64 Rack Servers and Blades on multiple VMware ESX platforms, as well as for VMware certifications for Sun Storage that cover the Sun Storage 2500 series; Sun Storage 6000 series; Sun Storage 7000 series; and Sun Storage 9000 series.
IT - Storage
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Never Underestimate Stupidity
Enterprise Storage Forum (August 26, 2011)
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ..."

As John Wayne said "Life's tough ... it's ever tougher if you're stupid." In this very entertaining article The Evolution of Stupidity: Research (Don't Repeat) the Storage Past, Henry Neman takes looks at statements concerning, flash memory, tape, optical and holographic storage and the ridiculous claims that companies make over and over.

Java Technology
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Java Spotlight Episode 45
Banco Do Brasil Senior Analysts Find They Can Bank on Java
Episode 45 of the Java Spotlight finds Lúcio Camilo Oliva Pereira, Fúlvio Longhi, and Giovanni Roberto Machado, all senior analysts at Banco do Brasil, talking about Java development at the bank. Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine takes his customary seat on the Java All Star Developer Panel alongside host Roger Brinkley.
GlassFish Powers Parleys.com
From Tomcat to GlassFish
The eLearning platform for Java developers Parleys.com has switched from a Tomcat instance to a GlassFish 3.1.1 cluster to power the service. In a recent blog post Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine writes that Parleys.com uses the web container (with virtual hosting), GlassFish application versioning (doc), clustered MQ brokers and other product features and Java EE APIs. The application also uses a good number of frameworks such as Spring, Hibernate, Wicket, BlazeDS among others. Future plans include some refactoring to use more Java EE 6 technologies (namely EJBs). Read Parleys master Stephan Janssen's reports his experience in this transition
Training
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MySQL Live Virtual Classes
On-line Offerings from Oracle University
Oracle's MySQL Blg encourages readers to Go virtual and get Trained on MySQL. Oracle University is now offering a number of Live Virtual Classes that allow students to interact directly with trainers through lectures and labs. The following MySQL Live Virtual Classes are now available:

  • MySQL for Database Administrators
  • MySQL for Beginners
  • Introduction to MySQL 5.5
  • MySQL for Developers
  • MySQL Performance Tuning
  • MySQL and PHP Developing Dynamic Web Applications
  • MySQL Developer Techniques

The trainers are Oracle University expert instructors who deliver an educational experience that is comparable to our traditional in-class training—without the need for expensive travel.

Free and Open Source S/W
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The Long Road To (Software) Freedom
Simon Phipps on the Seven-step Road to FOSS

Simon Phipps has devised a seven-step "path to software freedom" that he lays out for readers as follows:

  • Open source as enemy
  • Damage containment
  • Embrace and extend
  • A change of executive direction
  • Exploratory opening
  • General opening
  • Embrace of software freedom

Sun, Phipps says, was at stage 6 when the acquisition occurred. Where is your organization on the spectrum?

Solaris
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Preparing for Solaris 11 Installation: OTN Video
Architect Dave Miner Explains What's New, Different and Improved with Solaris 11 IPS
Log on to view a half hour video on the Oracle Technology Network featuring Dave Miner, architect for Solaris Installation, describes the changes to the installation process and tools for Solaris 11. Miner begins his review with a look at Jumpstart, explaining how much easier installs are with Solaris 11 tools. The new automated installer will do remarkably better what Jumpstart was designed to do, Miner contends. Much more detail is in the video.
MySQL
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MySQL Relational Database Management
Two-Part Series of No-Cost Webinars on MySQL

Oracle University is presenting a two part series of free webinars on MySQL. The first, available now, is devoted to MySQL Relational Database Management with Angeliki Korovesi. She intends to cover the importance of MySQL; MySQL architecture; management; high availability; and backup and recovery. Registration and log in are required.

“Meet The MySQL Experts” Podcast Series
Episode 2: Inaam Rana on InnoDB

From Oracle's MySQL blog comes the announcement by Bertrand Matthelie that the 2nd episode of the “Meet The MySQL Experts” podcast series, where Oracle engineers share their expertise, is now available. In this episode Wei-Chen Chiu interviews InnoDB team member Inaam Rana, who discourses on the new InnoDB features and improvements delivered in MySQL 5.5 as well as in the first development milestone release of MySQL 5.6. Inaam also shares his views about the InnoDB features available in labs.mysql.com.

Linux
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Linux Turns 20
Wim Coekaerts Lights the Candles
Looking back on the 20 years of Linux, Wim Coekaerts celebrates the managerial acumen and stewardship of Linus Torvalds, who shepherded Linux from a hobby project into a hugely successful software product as evidenced by the growth from a few 100K downloads to 70M+ in size. It is an important benefit to Oracle customers, Coekaerts points out, that products are built on Linux and tested on Linux. The Oracle Linux Development Team has two objectives, Coekaerts explains, which are to make Linux a better OS in general and to improve Linux so that Oracle products can run better and faster.
IT - Cloud
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Choosing a Cloud Vendor
Processor (August 26, 2011)
"Choosing the right cloud provider is no easy task, especially with so many vendors and strategies available. The good news is, with a few helpful hints, data center and IT managers can wade through many options to ensure they select the right provider for their companies ..."

There is no doubt that choosing a cloud vendor is like getting married; and 50% of all marriages end in divorce. We never say "I Do" thinking about divorce but it happens. Cloud contracts are like a pre-nup, and "Weighing Your Cloud Options" up front can minimize the chance of a nasty nasty divorce if things go wrong.

    The Cloud Turns into Thunderstorms
    InfoWorld (September 1, 2011)
    "Google App Engine's price hikes and VMforce's quiet death give enterprise cloud developers and CIOs reasons to tread carefully ..."

    The recent price increase from Google indicate that uncertainty about cloud pricing may put a damper on activity. We use the word 'may'' so you can "Beware The Bait and Switch in the Public Cloud". Again as we have often stated, forewarned is forearmed.

    IT - CxO
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    IT Leaders are Made Not Born
    InfoWorld (August 31, 2011)
    "Leading an IT organization is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Responsibilities are complex, most executives consider it a necessary evil, and everyone in it knows more than you do ..."

    No one is born a leader, maybe rich, smart or good looking but not a leader, that's a learned skill. Our good friend Bob Lewis gives insight with The "8 Essential Habits of Highly Effective IT Leaders". If you are like me you quickly realize that these skills are not relegated to IT.

    IT - DR
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    FUD As a Selling Tool to Executives
    Continuity Central (September 2, 2011)
    "Nick Johnson, CBCP, discusses the pros and cons of using a 'fear-based' approach to getting business continuity buy-in. ..."

    Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is a powerful tool in selling an idea. The problem is that we need to ask "Are We Fear-Mongers? Business Continuity and the Boy Who Cried Wolf" looks at using fear judiciously when present BC concepts, solutions, and results.

    In the Wake of Hurricane Irene
    Bank Systems and Technology (August 26, 2011)
    "In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, it's never too late to review and implement these business continuity best practices ..."

    Hurricanes are unique from a DR standpoint; you get advance warning. Unfortunately there are companies that don't heed the warnings and suffer accordingly. Here are "10 Things you Should Do Today to Minimize the Impact of a Disaster". DR is not a one time knee jerk reaction; DR along with Business Continuity is an ongoing part of an effective IT strategy.

    IT - Networks
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    Having all the Arrows In Your Quiver
    InfoWorld (August 29, 2011)
    "When network problems seem to defy the laws of physics, you'd better know your way around the dark region below layer 3 ..."

    Knowledge is like having a quiver full of arrows and the more difficult the problem the more arrows you need. "The Lost Art of Reading Packet Traces" gives a good example of why a deep background in networks can solve problems very quickly or at least tell you what rocks to turn over.

      IPv6 Action Items
      NetworkWorld (August 29, 2011)
      "With the official exhaustion of IPv4 open-pool addresses in February, the long migration path to IPv6 has passed another important milestone ..."

      With IPv4 addresses gone the option of moving to IPv6 is gather steam; albeit slower than expected. Here's "What You Need to Do Now" to get ready for IPv6. If you wait till the last minute everything will cost more, take more staff, take longer and the project will still be in trouble.

        Faster Internet
        InfoWorld (August 31, 2011)
        "Scientists have come up with a way to use graphene that greatly increases the amount of light optical communications devices can handle ..."

        As more and more streaming takes place over the Internet, the slower the overall transfer become. Researchers have found out how the World's "Thinnest Material Could Boost Internet Speeds" by tens or hundreds of times.

          IT - Security
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          Best Practices Aren't Being Implemented
          IT Business Edge (August 31, 2011)
          "The assessment findings were startling. We suspected we would find that many organizations were challenged, but we had no idea that failure rates would run this high ..."

          Like any other activity there are certain best practices that need to be followed to insure consistency. A new report indicates "An Epidemic of Security Worst Practices"; we have identified our worst enemy and they are us.

          File Transfer Myths
          NetworkWorld (August 29, 2011)
          "The typical enterprise transfers thousands of files per day, making it one of the essential business productivity tools ..."

          Sending files is a standard process within every company and those files often contain sensitive, private, confidential and proprietary information and little or no thought is given to security. Here are "5 Misconceptions About File Transfer Security" that need to be recognized and addressed.

          Laptop Protection
          InfoWorld (August 31, 2011)
          "Follow these tips, tools, and techniques to protect your Windows notebook against theft, intrusion, and data loss ..."

          Just imagine your laptop stuffed with $100 bills, think you'd watch that laptop? Well your laptop is stuffed with stuff worth a lot more and yet these laptops are misplaced, damaged, stolen or lost (12,000+ lost per week just at airports alone). Here are "4 Simple Steps to Bulletproof Laptop Security" so even if the laptop goes missing all you've lost is some hardware and not stacks of $100 bills.

          The Thief Among Us
          Baseline (August 26, 2011)
          "Who commits fraud in your company? He may be one of your hardest-working and most trusted colleague ..."

          "Identifying the Fraudster In Your Company" is tough; almost 3.5 years go by from the inception of a theft to detection. These insights come as a surprise especially the one area in the company that has the highest percentage of fraudsters.

            IT - Careers
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            Public Speaking Primer
            Baseline (August 29, 2011)
            "Fear of public speaking is routinely ranked up there with death, heights, and spiders among the things that really freak people out. ..."

            Sooner or later you are going to face one of life's biggest fears – speaking in front of a group (and probably your peers or bosses). These "10 Tips for Effective Public Speaking" are tried and true and will help you calm down and do a great job.

              The Good Ole Days of Pranks
              TechRepublic (August 26, 2011)
              "An office without practical jokes would be a mighty dull place to work. Luckily, legions of IT pranksters have kept things lively over the years ..."

              Anyone without a sense of humor becomes a target and these "10 Wacky IT Office Pranks" certainly prove the point. #9 is great for getting a user to back up their data. Of course these days we don't need the user to back up their data and we certainly would not do any of the pranks on our fellow IT workers.

                IT - Social Media
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                Facebook Phishing Scams
                ZDNet (August 28, 2011)
                "Notification e-mails from social networking sites like Facebook can be dangerous; if youÂ’re fooled by a phisher, you can click your way into big trouble ..."

                With more and more smartphones behind the firewalls, getting users to practice 'safe text' is often frustrating. Here's a good starting point, "Can You Tell a Real Facebook E-Mail from a Phishing Attempt?" If you can't then don't expect your users to differentiate. Educate and then educate some more.

                Develop a Social Networking Today
                InformationWeek (August 31, 2011)
                "Social networking policies will vary by organization and especially by industry, but there are some basic tenets that should be addressed in all social networking guidelines ..."

                If you don't have a policy addressing social media of any kind you are behind the power curve. Here are "Social Networking Policy Must-Have Elements"; not 100% inclusive but enough to get you down the right path.

                  What You Don't Know Can Cost You
                  Baseline (August 29, 2011)
                  "Social media content created by and for your business could expose you to litigation, trash your reputation, and hurt the bottom line ..."

                  More and more reports that social media is here to stay and Social Media Cost Companies Bigtime. We are not talking chump change; we are talking millions not to mention the future lost revenue because of lost opportunities or brand erosion.

                    Storage
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                    Manage Your Storage Environment with Oracle VM Storage Connect Plug-Ins for Oracle VM 3.0
                    Simplifies Virtualization Environments; Allows for Precise Security Conditions
                    Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins for Oracle VM 3.0 -- just announced by Oracle -- make it possible for customers to cut the time and complexity of their virtualization environments. Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins, integrated with the features provided by Oracle and partner storage devices and file systems, permit virtualization administrators to use the Oracle VM Manager GUI to execute on advanced storage functionality directly on the storage area including snapshots or “instant” cloning, Logical Unit Number (LUN) creation, deduplication, and thin provisioning.
                    Deploying Microsoft SharePoint Server on the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance
                    A Multi-step How-to Quick Start Guide
                    The Quick Start Guide to Deploying Microsoft SharePoint Server on the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance by Andrew Ness describes creating and preparing shares and block-protocol iSCSI LUNs on a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to be published and used by a Microsoft Windows server running Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Ness's procedure allows administrators to make use of the simple, powerful BUI in the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to manage scalable, high performance data storage for use by a Microsoft SharePoint Server.
                    Top10
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                    Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                    Vol 162 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 161 Issues 1,2, 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:

                    • Oracle's SPARC T4 Chip Called Twice as Fast as SPARC T3
                    • Oracle VM 3: More Scalability, Less Cost than VMware
                    • Oracle VM 3: Architecture and Technical Overview
                    • Oracle Solaris 10 Jumpstart Server Setup Tutorial
                    • IDC Reports Server Revenues Increase 17.9% for Q2 Worldwide Server Market
                    • Replacing the System HDD by a Larger One on Solaris 11 X86
                    • Oracle VDI 3.3 Overview: 70-slide Presentation Covers Four Aspects
                    • Sun Ray Primer Part 1
                    • Best Way to Automate ZFS Snapshots and Track Software Updates in Oracle Solaris 11
                    • Best Way To Update Software Using IPS in Oracle Solaris 11

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

                      Sysadmin
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                      Using smpatch to Apply Solaris Cluster Patches and Other Enhancements
                      System Must Be Registered as User-based Rather than S/N-based

                      With the built-in Solaris 10 patch automation utility, 'smpatch' / Update Manager users can once again download patches for products such as Oracle Solaris Cluster and Oracle Solaris Studio, as well as Oracle Solaris Operating System patches. Systems must be registered or re-registered for users to switch 'smpatch' / Update Manager from using hardware-serial-number-based access entitlement to user based access entitlement.

                      Security
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                      Who's Using RBAC These Days?
                      100% of Solaris Users

                      While Oracle's Solaris engineers don't have exact figures on the number of Solaris users also using RBAC, they can be certain of the percentage: 100%. Why? Because from Solaris 10 forward it is impossible to turn RBAC off in the parts of the system that 100% of Solaris users always use. Darren Moffat blogs that the kernel always checks Solaris's fine grained privileges (82 distinct privileges in Solaris 11 Express), even if the process is running "as root".

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