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Sep 19th, 2011 — Sep 25th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 163, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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IT - CxO
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Staying Abreast of WhatÂ’s Going to Be Game Changing
InformationWeek (September 16, 2011)
"From HP Chairman Ray Lane challenging IT to the confessions of a hacked CIO, the InformationWeek 500 Conference had plenty to make IT leaders squirm ..."

When IT leaders get together and start talking every one should listen up. This article has a "CIO Summary of Killer insights From the IW 500 Conference" two weeks ago in So California. CIOs no longer are making technology decisions; their thinking is way ahead of what technology. There job is to make strategic decisions that affect the business in positive ways; not make tactical selections of hardware and software.

Team Building 101
NetworkWorld (September 19, 2011)
Putting together a winning team is no small task, ask any professional sports coach. Build an effective IT team is just as difficult and fraught with the same risks (getting fired). The CSO of Caterpillar, a $45B heavy equipment manufacturer, talks about his "5 Secrets to Building a Great Security Team". While his area of expertise is security the lessons can be applied to any area within your company.
Oracle
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Oracle Q1 Earnings: Up 12% to $8.4 billion
Q1 GAAP EPS Up 34% TO 36 Cents
Oracle announced fiscal 2012 Q1 GAAP total revenues up 12% to $8.4 billion, while non-GAAP total revenues were up 11% to $8.4 billion. Both GAAP and non-GAAP new software license revenues were up 17% to $1.5 billion. GAAP software license updates and product support revenues were up 17% to $4.0 billion, while non-GAAP software license updates and product support revenues were up 16% to $4.0 billion. Both GAAP and non-GAAP hardware systems products revenues were down 5% to $1.0 billion.

GAAP operating income was up 40% to $2.7 billion, and GAAP operating margin was 32%. Non-GAAP operating income was up 21% to $3.6 billion, and non-GAAP operating margin was 42%. GAAP net income was up 36% to $1.8 billion, while non-GAAP net income was up 16% to $2.5 billion.

GAAP earnings per share were $0.36, up 34% compared to last year while non-GAAP earnings per share were up 14% to $0.48. GAAP operating cash flow on a trailing twelve month basis was $12.8 billion, up 46% from last year.

Exadata
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Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 3.2.1 with Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2
Configuration Demonstrates Extreme Performance for Utility Bill Processing, Ample Scaling Reserves
In a test using 12 months of historical financial data for a company with one million accounts Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.3.1 running with Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 processed an unprecedented 16,500 bills per minute or 993,240 bills per hour. A typical night’s billing run for such a — 47,600 bills — was processed in 2.87 minutes. The quarter rack Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 running Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Real Application Clusters with Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing 2.3.1 on the application tier running on Oracle’s Sun Fire X4770 server demonstrated ample room for additional growth.
Virtualization
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Windows 8 in VirtualBox
Fat Bloke Blogs a 4-Step Procedure
If you need to run Windows 8 in Oracle VM VirtualBox,"] then follow the simple procedure Fat Bloke outlines in his blog. Only four steps:

  • Download Windows 8 from the MSDN
  • Create a New Windows 7 VM in VirtualBox
  • Configure the CD/DVD to point to the downloaded Developer Preview iso
  • Turn it on and go
IT - Storage
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Tiering Basics
InformationWeek (September 21, 2011)
"Leverage a virtualized storage systemÂ’s granular understanding of block of data to automatically move data segments to faster or slower storage tiers, based on access patterns ..."

Understanding access patterns, response times and capacity of a disk farm and then making decisions can be, shall we say, a little confusing. Take a "Storage Virtualization Tour: All About Automated Tiering" to help you understand what goes where and why.

    Java Technology
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    Java Spotlight Episode 48: Stephen Chin
    Offers Preview of His Forthcoming JavaOne 2011 SF Sessions
    In Java Spotlight Episode 48 Java Champion Stephen Chin, Chief Agile Methodologist for GXS, focuses on three of the four sessions that he is presenting at Java One 2011 in San Francisco. Chin, along with James Weaver, Weiqi Gao, and Dean Iverson, is the author of Pro JavaFX 2 Platform: A Definitive Guide to Script, Desktop, and Mobile RIA with Java Technology. 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.
    IT - Technology
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    The Game Changes with BYOD
    InformationWeek (September 21, 2011)
    "Progressive CIOs and their organizations can realize big benefits, but tread carefully ..."

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is not the panacea that most people outside of IT would lead us to believe. While there are some real benefits of employees bringing their own devices inside the henhouse there are risks. Is "Allowing Personal Devices At Work A Faustian Bargain?" Not if you take the suggestions at the end of the article as policy basics.

    Always One Step Ahead
    ComputerWorld (September 20, 2011)
    "IT managers start supporting employee-owned smartphones. Still, about a third of companies frown on using personal smartphones for work tasks, Forrester finds ..."

    Often technology changes much faster that companies can move as in the case of personal devices. With the change we find more and more "IT Managers Start Supporting Employee-Owned Smartphones" not because they want to but because they have to and have recognized that employees are going to use them one way or the other.

      Passing of the Baton
      InformationWeek (September 22, 2011)
      "We've just moved out of one generation of solution architectures and on to one that will define the enterprise computing trajectory for the next decade or more ..."

      While the future can never be predicted with 100% accuracy, examining the past gives an indication of whatÂ’s ahead. The last "10 Years of Information Management" has brought about some dramatic changes in the IT philosophy. This philosophical shift will define the future.

      Solaris
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      Oracle Releases Solaris 10 8/11 with New ZFS Capabilities
      Additional Hardware Support, Performance Enhancements
      Newly released Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 provides enhancements to Oracle Solaris ZFS and Oracle Solaris install technologies, advanced support for the latest SPARC and x86 systems and Oracle Database 11g performance improvements. The Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 update includes new features, fixes and hardware support, in an easy-to-install manner and preserves the Oracle Solaris Binary Application Guarantee Program to guarantee binary compatibility with older Oracle Solaris releases.
      Simplified Installation and Cloud Provisioning with Oracle Solaris 11
      Result Is Lowered Up-front and Ongoing Deployment Costs
      Oracle has developed Solaris 11 with simplification and modernization of installation as one of the key areas of focus and the lowering of up-front and ongoing costs of deploying Oracle Solaris-based systems and software stacks as one of the principal goals. A few of the benefits of these new Oracle Solaris installation technologies are:

      • Improvement for the cloud-driven software lifecycle process
      • Reduced complexity resulting from enterprise-scale flexibility features in the product
      • Unified design that supports various installation options
      • Enabled end-users able to take advantage of modern network protocols and architectures with WAN-based network and file-based software repositories
      MySQL
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      New Commercial Extensions for MySQL Enterprise Edition
      Expands MySQL Business Model
      There are now three new commercial extensions to MySQL Enterprise Edition, which are:

      • MySQL Enterprise Scalability: Thread Pool
      • MySQL Enterprise High Availability: Features Oracle VM Template for MySQL Enterprise Edition and Windows Server Failover Clustering
      • MySQL Enterprise Security: Allows users to be authenticated using external libraries, directories, etc.
      Cloud Computing
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      SAS Grid omputing with the Sun Blade 6000 Modular System and the Sun ZFS Storage 7420 Appliance
      Strong I/O Scalability Makes this Configuration a Winner
      In her OTN article on creating a robust platform for SAS Grid Computing that uses the Sun Blade 6000 Modular System and the Sun ZFS Storage 7420 Appliance, Maureen Chew concludes that this particular blade/storage appliance combination and the Solaris 10 OS constitute an ideal environment for SAS Grid Computing applications. She writes that 30 compute hours in the SAS Grid Mixed Analytic workload finished in approximately 45 minutes, adding that a mirrored pool across two disk shelves was found capable of delivering more than 3 GB/sec of I/O throughput. Tests using a single PCIe, dual-ported, InfiniBand connection from the Sun ZFS Storage 7420 appliance performed roughly equivalent to a quad 10 GbE link aggregation despite the expectation that the quad 10 GbE might perform 20% to 25% better.
      Linux
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      Zero Downtime Updates for Oracle Linux with Ksplice
      No Reboots, No Configuration Changes
      Ksplice is the answer if you're searching for zero-downtime updates for Oracle Linux, says the Penguin. Ksplice is now available at no additional charge to existing and new Oracle Linux Premier Support customers as part of Oracle Linux, enabling users to update the Linux operating system (OS) kernel while it is running without a reboot or any interruption. Oracle Linux Premier Support subscribers can request a Ksplice access key through Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).
      IT - Cloud
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      A Paradigm Shift if Data Center Design
      InfoWorld (September 20, 2011)
      "As data centers shift toward being low-cost, high-scale environments in order to support clouds, old designs and economics fall out of favor ..."

      No longer is a data center a set of specialized components linked together. Understanding "How Cloud Computing is Changing Data Center Design and Cost" will help you when the discussion of a new data center comes up.

      TheyÂ’re Called Hazards for a Reason
      InfoWorld (September 19, 2011)
      "Cloud computing not only distributes resources, it distributes risk -- widely ..."

      Everyone knows what a hazard is in golf, water and sand being the big two. So what about "The Cloud Hazard No One Talks About?" The cloud has some compelling benefits that warrant a serious look but at the same time there are issues that need to be addressed before giving your companies lifeblood to someone somewhere.

      Useful Uses
      Enterprise Storage Forum (September 20, 2011)
      "Compiling this list was a little like trying to name the top 10 classic rock songs of all time... here are the cloud deployments I believe are the most interesting ..."

      You put a bunch of people in a room and ask them what the cloud does and you get a bunch of different answers, none of which may make sense. Here are "10 Cloud Deployments Worth A Look" that may get you to think more about the what instead of the how.

      Hardware
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      Oracle Database Appliance
      Simple, Highly Reliable, Affordable Database System for Small/Midsize Enterprises and Departments
      The Oracle Database Appliance is an easy-to-use, affordable, and highly available database appliance that is built using Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) on a 2-node Sun Fire server cluster running Oracle Linux.

      The Oracle Database Appliance features a pay-as-you-grow software licensing for Oracle Database and related software from 2 to 24 processor cores. This allows customers to align their software spend with their business growth without the need for any hardware upgrades.

      With proactive system monitoring, one-button software provisioning, full-stack integrated patching, and automatic phone home on hardware failures, the Oracle Database Appliance also reduces the cost and resources required to build and maintain a highly-available database system.

      IT - Operations
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      Getting a Project On Time and On Budget
      ComputerWorld (September 19, 2011)
      "As data centers shift toward being low-cost, high-scale environments in order to support clouds, old designs and economics fall out of favor ..."

      Trying to save some money on a project is always a good idea until the project is over budget and over deadline. HereÂ’s "A Tale of Two U.S. Government Data Center Projects"; one went right and the other went wrong because in saving money no one was responsible.

        IT - Security
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        Learn by Example
        InformationWeek (September 19, 2011)
        "Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ... did something few other cyber attack victims have been willing to do. It decided to talk openly about what happened ..."

        Standing on the shoulders of someone with experience is the best way to learn how to avoid trouble that can get you in deep water. This is exactly what "7 Lessons: Surviving A Zero Day Attack" is all about. CIO Jerry Johnson of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory disclosed in a candid discussion of an attack at a recent Southern California conference conducted by Information Week.

        Not As Bad As We Are Led To Believe
        Channel Insider (September 21, 2011)
        "according to a new study out from Webroot, three quarters of employees really do try their best to adhere to company IT security policies ..."

        Doom and gloom reports abound about how much employees fight security policies and procedures. Recent studies of 2,500 employees detail "The Surprising Truth About Corporate Security Policies". The bottom line is that employees know that security is a key part of a companies survival and there personal stake in keeping the company viable.

        Same Tactics Just New Faces
        InfoWorld (September 20, 2011)
        "Cyber criminals have used the same technologies and tactics for years, but companies keep failing to defend against them ..."

        Most burglars and car thieves donÂ’t do anything dramatic; they just look for unlocked doors and keys left in cars. The same is true for computer security, this is "Why Hackers DonÂ’t Need To Be Smart"; people are too lazy or busy to lock their doors or take their keys with them. The bad guys are simply using tried and true techniques that have worked for the last 10 years.

        The Bad Guys Trust You
        ComputerWorld (September 21, 2011)
        "It started with an IDS alert, and ended up when I discovered a problem on one of my company's firewalls -- a serious problem ..."

        They trust you not to cover all the bases, dot and cross all the necessary letters and generally leave holes in your system. Unfortunately this is exactly what happens, next thing you know, "The Bad Guys Are in the House". With decreased funding and more projects on the horizon, getting down in the muck of details gets pushed to one side and sometimes with disastrous results.

        IT - Careers
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        Key Ingredients for A Successful Job Search
        CIO (September 16, 2011)
        "Your resume, LinkedIn profile and professional bio make up the triple jump that launches an executive job search ... "

        Looking for new position is both time consuming and frustrating; the general rule is one month for every $10K in salary. The "3 Critical Elements of an Executive Job Search", or for that matter any job search, will insure that you put the right image in front of any prospective employers.

        IT - Virtualization
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        Exponential Growth from Virtualization
        InfoWorld (September 14, 2011)
        More than half of all programs are now running on a virtualized server and that number will grow to 75%+ in the near future. The result is that "Sever Virtualization is Pushing Storage Demands to New Highs" with no end in sight. This growth may force companies to look outside due to power and footprint demands.
          IT - Email
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          HIPPA Unsecured Communications
          NetworkWorld (September 19, 2011)
          "Anything concerning the privacy of medical data in the USA is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) passed in 1996 ...]

          If you handle in any way shape or form information about a personÂ’s health you fall under HIPPA compliance regulations. With so many dissimilar IT environments how does anyone go about sharing information that is not encrypted? Understanding "HIPAA on Phones, Faxes and E-mail" may help alleviate any fears that you are not in compliance.

          Ignorance is Not Bliss
          eWeek (September 21, 2011)
          "IT security and compliance managers said employees emailing sensitive data is a main cause of data leaks. Unencrypted email sitting on mobile devices is also a problem ..."

          Regardless of what side of the fence you happen to be on (IT or User) not knowing policies and procedures concerning data protection is asking for trouble. A recent survey indicates that "Email is the Main Source of Data Leaks" in Organizations. WhatÂ’s worse is that 84% of organizations have no idea what data to encrypt.

          Storage
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          Q3.4.1 Code Now Available on MOS for the 7000 ZFSSA Family
          Significant Price Reductions
          With the code Q3.4.1 release users can employ the new 15K speed 300 gigabyte (GB) and 600 GB drive trays, mixing and matching drive trays in their systems as long as they do not include the high-capacity slower drives in the same pool as the high-speed drives. While, as blogger Steve Tunstall points out, not everyone will need these faster drives, users whose workloads either fill up the cache or by-pass the Logzillas altogether during writes will find the 15K speed spindles a valuable tool.
          Top10
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          Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
          Vol 163 Issues1 and 2; Vol 162 Issues 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Vol 161 Issue 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:

          • Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g Update 2
          • Questioning the Password Myth
          • First Steps with Oracle Solaris 11 Express
          • Adding Zone Swap Space
          • Webcast - How Oracle Uses Oracle Desktop Virtualization
          • Oracle Exadata: The WorldÂ’s Fastest Database Machine
          • Installing WebLogic in a Zone
          • Oracle Linux 5 Update 7
          • Oracle Solaris 11 Express Available on x86-based Oracle Exadata Database Machines
          • Java JDK 7, NetBeans 7.0.1, GlassFish 3.1.1 Released

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

            Security
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            Recommendations for Creating Reduced or Minimal Oracle Solaris Configurations
            Improves not just Security but Management Costs as well
            One approach to security that has become standard practice within the past decade is the deployment of reduced or minimal configurations of Oracle Solaris in the assumption that if software is not installed it cannot be re-enabled or exploited, or at least not easily. Glenn Brunette's blog on the subject includes recommendations for creating such reduced configurations for security reasons and to reduce the management burden and costs associated with instance provisioning, patching, migration, and audit compliance.
            Oracle Confronts "Apache Killer" Vulnerability
            Security Alert for CVE-2011-3192 Released

            Oracle has responded to the "Apache Killer" vulnerability, which affects several Oracle products such as Oracle Application Server and Oracle Fusion Middleware because of their implementation of Apache. Oracle, as a precautionary measure has issued a patch in advance of the scheduled Critical Patch Update on October 18, 2011. Oracle recommends that all affected customers apply the fixes provided by Security Alert for CVE-2011-3192 in order to maintain their security in depth posture.

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