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Sep 26th, 2011 — Oct 2nd, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Oracle Launches Next Generation SPARC T4 Servers
New SPARC T4 Servers Outperform IBM 780, HP Superdome
Oracle's newly introduced SPARC T4 server line excels on mission-critical single threaded and highly concurrent workloads, enabling customers to consolidate multiple application tiers onto a single server, reducing system complexity and improving utilization. The end-to-end SPARC T4-4-based solution has proven itself 2.4x faster per socket than an all-IBM solution and 5.7x more performant than HP's Superdome 2 with 16 Itanium processors. The SPARC T4-4 server features build-in virtualization with live migration; on-chip cryptographic acceleration; and dynamic threads.
Oracle Takes Aggressive Stance Against IBM with Its SPARC T4 Processor -- The Register
New, Speedier Processor to Support Four New Servers
Oracle is mounting a full court press against Unix market leader IBM with its SPARC T4-based server line, writes Timothy Prickett Morgan in "The Register," where he notes, among other strong selling points of the new processor, its speed, which at 2.85 Gigahertz (GHz) and 3GHz is 73 and 82 per cent faster respectively than the previous 16-core SPARC T3 processors, which ran at a much slower 1.65GHz. The SPARC T4 is also capable, Prickett Morgan writes, of switching on the fly between thread hogging and normal modes of resource management.
The Oracle Database Appliance
Offers Simplified Approach to Deploying a High Availability Database
The Oracle Database Appliance simplifies deployment, maintenance, and support of high availability database solutions. Oracle Database Appliance is built from the latest generation of Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Real Application Clusters, and offers customers a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage and networking in a four-rack unit consisting of two server nodes and 12 Terabytes (TB) of raw storage capacity running Oracle Linux and Oracle Database 11g Release 2.
Replay of Webcast: Oracle SPARC SuperCluster Announcement
Larry Ellison, John Fowler Extol the Virtues of Oracle's New Release
Oracle's SPARC SuperCluster is introduced by CEO Larry Ellison and EVP John Fowler in a webcast that explains how the SPARC T4 and Oracle Solaris stand to redefine the IT industry. As Ellison and Fowler explain, the Oracle SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 is the first general-purpose engineered system that combines the computing power of the new SPARC T4 processor, the performance and scalability of Oracle Solaris 11, the optimized database performance of Oracle Exadata storage, and the accelerated middleware processing of the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. (Registration and log-in required.)
Oracle's SPARC SuperCluster T4-4
WorldÂís Fastest General Purpose Engineered System
Oracle's SPARC SuperCluster T4-4, the world's fastest general purpose engineered system and a complete application-to-disk solution, has demonstrated its capability to deliver twice the performance of the IBM Power7 and HP Superdome systems at only half the cost of running enterprise applications. The SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 combines Oracle’s SPARC T4-4 server running Oracle Solaris with the optimized database performance of Oracle Exadata storage cells, the accelerated middleware and application processing of the Exalogic Elastic Cloud software, and offers internal shared disk storage via Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage 7320 Appliance.
Exadata Storage on Demand
License Only What You Need
For those purchasers of Oracle Exadata Database Machine who anticipate future growth in storage demands, blogger Andy Colvin suggests purchasing the hardware up front but licensing only what is needed at the moment. Working with a half rack that was only licensed for a 1/4 rack, saved $480,000 in licensing costs. Come time for expansion, Colvin continues, cells 5 through 7 were removed one at a time with a rebalance performed in between setting the DISK_REPAIR_TIME attribute for each diskgroup to 1 minute through sqlplus. No downtime necessary.
Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management on Exadata, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Demonstrates Extreme Performance
Processes One Billion Meter Reads per Hour

The Smart Grid's "Data Deluge" is no match for Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management 2.0.1, running with Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud X2-2, processed 1 billion meter reads per hour. This configuration also responded to 19.3 million requests for bill determinants per hour, with each request requiring the calculation of four bill determinants, equating to 77.2 million bill determinants calculated per hour. The test used data from 5.5 million smart meters measuring consumption in 15-minute intervals.

IT - Storage
Has SSD Finally Been Accepted
eWeek (September 23, 2011) 
"More than 40 percent of IT decision makers say they have plans to use SSD technology in the future or are already using it ..."

A recent IBM report indicates that "Sold-State Storage Technology Favored by IT Departments". The price of SSD is more than offset by the increased speeds relieving pressure from more conventional disk arrays and allowing more of the available space on the drives to be utilized.

IT - Technology
Quantum Computing: Fact or Fiction
NetworkWorld (September 26, 2011)
"Researchers have been working on quantum systems for more than a decade, in the hopes of developing super-tiny, super-powerful computers ..."

The answer is like the quantum particles themselves; who knows? "Is Quantum Computing Real?" Scientists have been working towards a solution for the past decade and are not very far along to solving to huge problems: how do you work with atoms and how to you work with something that changes with observation. This is not to say that quantum computing is impossible, just very difficult.

Take This Test
NetworkWorld (September 28, 2011)
"The complexity of encryption schemes has been increased dramatically in an attempt to outpace the development of computational tools designed to crack them ..."

Here are encryption experts and then there are people that have to work with encryption hoping that they are doing everything correct; and keep track of the keys. Take "The Encryption Quiz" and find out how much you really know about this very important aspect of data protection.

Free and Open Source S/W
15 Essential Open Source Tools for Windows Admins
No Need to Check with Microsoft

Despite what you may have assumed, there is an alternative to Microsoft when it comes to enhancements for Windows, and these enhancements are free and olpen source, so why call Redmond. J. Peter Bruzzese a number of these offerings in his InforWorld article "15 Essential Open Source Tools for Windows Admins." Here's a list:

  • Wireshark
  • MailArchiva
  • Exchange 2010 RBAC Manager
  • Core Configurator 2.0 for Server Core
  • AutoSPInstaller for SharePoint 2010
  • OCS Inventory
  • UltraDefrag
  • Nmap for Windows
  • Zenmap
  • PowerGUI
  • Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool
  • ClamWin Antivirus
  • Virtual Router
  • VirtualBox

Microsoft also hosts CodePlex, a site for open source projects.

HP-UX to Oracle Solaris Porting Guide
Oracle White Paper Argues that Porting HP-UX to Solaris Is Both Logical and Operationally Sound
In 111 pages, "HP-UX to Oracle Solaris Porting Guide," an Oracle white paper, treats the subject in exhaustive detail, filling a growing need as the future of HP-UX becomes increasingly uncertain. With ISVs offering diminishing support to HP-UX 11i -- an even more threatening situation to those users running on Intel Itanium processors -- porting to the Oracle Solaris OS presents itself as a logical solution. The white paper adds the consideration that source code compatibility between platforms ensures applications ported to SPARC systems can be recompiled easily on x86 systems and vice versa.
New Commercial Extensions Worry MySQL Community
Licensing Issues Give Some Cause for Concern

A number of open-source devotees are not all that happy with Oracle's decision to follow the dual-licensing path for MySQL, given the querulous response to the release of three new commercial extensions. But, insists Brian Profitt in ITWorld, part of Oracle's agreement with the European Union Commission for being allowed to go through with the acquisition of Sun was the promise that Oracle would continue to support the dual-license scheme until January 28, 2015. Until then users will have to live with commercial and open licenses and just wait for the possibility of a proprietary, Profitt writes.

Cloud Computing
Security Trumps Scale
NetworkWorld (September 26, 2011)
A study has found that "SMBs Just Aren’t Into the Cloud". SMBs recognize the benefits of the cloud, the problem is that their necks are on the line and if for any reason, yours, mine or an Act of God, it the cloud doesn't protect my data and perform as promised I'm the one on the street.
    Some Winners in Cloud Services
    NetworkComputing (September 28, 2011)
    The cloud is still in the infancy stage and yet some MSPs are finding the key to success while others are still searching for answers on both the provider and user sides. The cloud must "Is It Time to Reinvent the Cloud? Not necessarily if you leverage what you do best in a vertical market. One cloud solution can't be everything to everyone but to someone the cloud can be everything.
      Simplified Oracle Database Installation on Oracle Linux
      The Answer Is oracle-validated RPM
      Installing the oracle-validated RPM can save time when installing Oracle Database 10g or 11g on Oracle Linux, according to Ginny Henningsen, who writes about her experience in simplifying Oracle Database installation. She finds that the RPM addresses most Oracle Database installation prerequisites and greatly simplifies the installation process. She describes the several pre-configuration steps that RPM performs and then outlines the steps involved in installing RPM.
      IT - Cloud
      This Is Not Your FatherÂís Solution
      eWeek (September 27, 2011)
      "From storage to management controls, hypervisors, security, disaster recovery and governance, IT managers have a laundry list of checkpoints to pass to successfully get a cloud system up and running ..."

      Building applications for the cloud whether, private, public or hybrid is not the same as building a conventional application.  If you are at the stage of "Cloud Application Deployment; Avoid These 10 Deadly Sins".  The Cloud is more self service that full service to your end users and planning with that understanding makes the transition a lot easier.

      Utilizing the Cloud for Profit
      Bank Systems and Technology (September 29, 2011)
      "Financial institutions need to quickly respond to market demands by delivering the services customers want without building new, complex and expensive internal IT infrastructures to support them ..."

      While "7 Steps to Greater ROI in the Cloud" was written for financial institutions, the lessons are applicable to any industry. The reason to look at the cloud is flexibility and infrastructure reduction which will lead to reduced cost. Make sure that the business case justifies the solution.

      IT - CxO
      Fix Faulty Data At the Source
      IT Business Edge (September 23, 2011)
      The rant in "Three Ways IT Can Fix Data Quality, Even if Business Users Won't" certainly hits home. So many companies are stuck in the past on data entry that errors are absolutely going to happen and get passed down the food chain. Lets fix the problem and the beginning of the food chain where the cost is minimal not at the end where the cost is enormous.
        JavaOne San Francisco 2011 Keynote Lineup
        Conference Features Java Strategy, Technical and Community Keynotes
        JavaOne 2011, scheduled for October 2-6 in San Francisco, will feature Java strategy, technical and community keynotes, as well as insight from industry leaders and Java technology experts and enthusiasts on a wide range of technical topics. JavaOne 2011 tracks cover everything from building modern applications using JDK 7, leveraging JavaFX to create client-side applications, to creating sophisticated Java-based cloud solutions and more.
        IT - Networks
        The Ultimate I/O Solutions Going Slowly
        NetworkWorld (September 26, 2011)
        "So if converging the I/O infrastructure in data centers is all the rage, what's taking IT shops so long to do it? ..."

        Can you imagine one connection through which all the I/O passes? These "Six Factors Slowing Adoption of Converged I/O" will get addressed but the process is expensive and time consuming. Ethernet is the backbone of the entire process and that the old saying of you can have Ethernet fast, functional or cheap but you get to have two of the three at any one time.

        IT - Security
        PCI Compliance is Not Commonplace
        InfoWorld (September 28, 2011)
        "Verizon Business report shows that nearly 80 percent of firms don't keep up their PCI compliance, jeopardizing data security ..."

        Six years ago the PCI standards was developed by the leading credit card companies to address security issues with companies that take credit cards. In this repost from Verizon sadly "Businesses Are Failing to Maintain Data Security" and data security like backups are something you don't want to find out later is not adequate.

        Big Trouble for HTTPS
        InfoWorld (September 26, 2011)
        "There's now a tool that exploits a flaw in SSL and TLS. Will the industry respond fast enough? ..."

        A browser connection used by hundreds of millions of people every day has been compromised. Consider this a "Red Alert: HTTPS Has Been Hacked". Although the issue has been know for the last decade no one has developed a way to exploit the vulnerability till now. Let's hope someone finds a solution soon.

        Clever Hacking Come Ons
        CSO Online (September26, 2011)
        "From a new twist on tech support to playing the odds with a large number of desperate job seekers, today's social engineers are getting very specific in their plans to manipulate their marks ..."

        The bad guys are good, they do bad things but they are very good at what they do. Couple that expertise with our gullibility and trusting nature and we have "5 More Dirty Tricks: Social Engineers Latest Pick-Up Lines". All we can do is educate, educate and educate our users on the dangers.

          IT - Careers
          Crossing the Darwin Awards with the Nobel Prize
          NetworkWorld (September 29, 2011)
          "Every year, in a gala ceremony in Harvard's Sanders Theatre, 1200 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the winners step forward to accept their Prizes. These are physically handed out by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates ..."

          There's some strange research going on in the world and the "2011 Ig Nobel Prize Honors Offbeat Research". When you read these, you have to stop and think¬Öturns out that's exactly what the awards from Harvard is intended to do.

          Tips for Better Productivity
          Baseline (September 27, 2011)
          "Productivity does not hinge on the number of hours you spend on the job, but on how well you use the time ..."

          When you read "10 Ways To Get More Done At Work" your first reaction is 'I know that'. There is a big difference between knowing and doing; read then list again and then adjust your actions to become more productive and develop better habits.

            Well, No Ones Perfect
            InfoWorld (September 28, 2011)
            "Technology has automated so much in our lives, but it still comes down to human hands to create, maintain, and work with said technology ..."

            The trouble with life is that life often gives the test before the lesson. Such is the case with "To Err is Human: Just Ask These Tech Pros". As John Wooden, legendary UCLA Basketball coach says ¬ďIf you're not making mistakes, then you are doing anything.¬Ē These folks were doing something.

              IT - Mobile
              BYOD Consumeration Fears
     (September 26, 2011)
              "Increasingly it is staff - and not the IT department - who are calling the shots when it comes to what technology they should use at work ... "

              More and more companies are allowing their employees to Bring Their Own Devices to the office; like companies have a choice. Here are "Five Ways to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway". This consumeration of IT is not going away and to fight the flow is a losing battle, so you might as well learn to live with them and secure your company as best as possible.

                Dot the I's and Cross the T's
       (September 21, 2011)
                "The days when the IT department decided which devices workers could use in the office are coming to an end ... "

                Personal devices are invading business like a horde of grasshoppers and if you don't have a policy in place you deserve anything that happens. These "10 Tips for an Ideal BYO Policy" will help you monitor an out of control situation and let employees know exactly what is expected.

                Not in the Crosshairs Yet
                InformationWeek (September 28, 2011)
                "Security pros weigh in on major trends that will change the way enterprises handle mobile threats, such as separate personal and work spaces on devices and faster patching ... "

                When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied 'because that's where the money is.' (The truth is Willie never made the statement.) The same can't be said for mobile devices yet; but as apps increase and more sensitive information is stored on these smart devices, the bad guys will notice. Here are "4 Expert Predictions on Mobile Security's Future". The question isn't when the bad guys will notice, only when.

                Paying Attention to the Past
                InfoWorld (September 23, 2011)
                "A new report from Forrester lists mistakes some mobile early adopters made and gives advice on how to avoid those pitfalls ..."

                Mobile devices are like coat hangars in you closet; if you're not careful they start to multiply with little or no effort on your part. These "10 Lessons Learned for Managing Mobile Devices" will ease the transition to these tools. Also be ready for vendor to start pitching MDM (Mobile Device Management).

                Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
                Vol 163 Issues1, 2 and 3; Vol 162 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:

                • SATA Group Creates New High-speed Storage Spec
                • Gartner Hype Cycle for Storage Technologies 2011
                • Oracle Solaris on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine
                • Awk One-Liners Explained
                • Patching Not The Time Hog It Used to Be
                • MySQL Newsletter August 2011
                • Oracle RAC DB 11gR2 on Oracle VM Server for SPARC (LDoms)
                • Setting Up Unison File Synchronization Between Two Servers
                • Get into the Cloud but Stay Out of Trouble
                • Sun Blade X6270 M2 with Oracle WebLogic Sets World Record on 2-Processor SPECjEnterprise 2010 Benchmark

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

                  InfoWorld Awards Best of Open Source to LibreOffice
                  Open Source Productivity Suite Shows Signs of Maturing
                  Among the accolades accruing to LibreOffice is its InfoWorld Best of Open Source for 2011 award. While by its own admission the Document Foundation (TDF) does not claim to have replaced in every respect, still the faster launch and the incrementally better set of features give TDF something to crow about. There is work to be done on such matters as spelling/grammar checking, for example but the more business-like look and feel has won praise.
                  LibreOffice Celebrates Its First Birthday
                  Conference Convenes in Paris October 13-15
                  The Document Foundation will be holding its first LibreOffice Conference in Paris, October 13-15, 2011. Events will include public Q&A sessions, birds-of-a-feather meetings, and the customary keynote addresses, one of which will summarize the project achievements during the first year: development, infrastructure, community and marketing.
                  Integrated IP Equals Total Systems for Customers
                  Oracle President Mark Hurd Explains Company Strategy
                  "What you're seeing from Oracle is, we're integrating more of our IP" -- intellectual property -- "into total systems that bring our customers significant performance and cost advantages," said Oracle President Mark Hurd as reported in a story by Brandon Bailey for Hurd is becoming increasingly visible as a member of the Oracle executive team to the extent that outsiders are crediting him with adding strength to Oracle's hardware operations which John Fowler heads up, even though Hurd's province at Oracle is sales.
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