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Nov 7th, 2011 — Nov 13th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 165, Issue 2 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Oracle Global IT Upgrades to Sun Storage Products
Case Study

By way of their slide presentation from Oracle OpenWorld 2011, now available as a download, Cheri Williams, Craig Yappert, and Gowthaman Ranganathan provide an update on Oracle IT Upgrades to Sun Storage Products. The presentation is in three parts:

  • Overview: Oracle IT and Storage Strategy (reasons for migrating to ZFS Storage Appliance and outline of storage strategy)
  • Storage Configurations and Performance (specifics of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance)
  • Oracle IT Use Cases (includes an overview of ZFS Storage in Product Development)

The presentation then summarizes lessons learned from the migration to ZFS Storage Appliance.

Oracle Named to Leaders Quadrant in Gartner's 2011 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Servers
Quality of Vision, Ability to Execute that Vision Are Chief Criteria
Oracle has been named in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner's 2011 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Servers for both its vision within a particular market segment and for the completeness of vision and ability to execute on that vision. In Oracle's case, its Cloud Application Foundation and Oracle WebLogic Server figure prominently as the reason behind the nomination. Oracle describes its Oracle WebLogic Server as " ... optimized to run as a high performance, mission critical, elastic cloud infrastructure on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, the world‘s first and only engineered system for cloud computing, tested and tuned by Oracle to provide the best foundation for Java applications ...."
Best Practices for Mission-Critical Computing on SPARC Servers
Slides from Oracle OpenWorld Presentation
Gary Combs and Eve Kleinknecht, both principal product managers at Oracle, presented at Oracle Open World on "Best Practices for Mission-Critical Computing on SPARC Servers." Now the 50-slide set from their presentation is available for download and viewing. The presentation concludes that the best High Availability solution for Oracle Solaris (itself the number one enterprise OS) is Oracle Solaris Cluster for its ability to deliver higher service levels for mission critical applications; its ability to provide protection for consolidated, virtualized workloads; and its ability to perform disaster recovery in an elastic, flexible environment.
Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1.6
Latest Maintenance release

There are a number of items either fixed or added in Oracle's maintenance release of VirtualBox 4.1.6. These are detailed in the changelog.

Building a Virtual Computing Platform for Fusion Energy Research
Oracle OpenWorld Talk: Slide Set
One of the more abstruse presentations at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 was that of Tim Frazier, Associate Project Manager, National Ignition Facillity (NIF), whose topic was, "Building a Virtualized Computing Platform or Fusion Energy Research." Frazier stresses the central role of virtualization in the IT infrastructure of the NIF, mentioning the role that Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control 11g plays in that scenario. In the course of that discussion, Frazier points out that it was surprising to learn that memory rather than CPU or network bandwidth was the critical scarce resource.
IT - Storage
SSDs Offer Speed and Power Advantages
Processor (November 4, 2011)
"A good rule of thumb when budgeting for SSDs is that each will cost about 10 times as much as a hard disk drive of the same capacity...."

SSD advantages comes at a premium price. "Getting Started with SSDs" is very straightforward, they look and act like a normal HDD with none of the mechanical delays and less power. Performance increases of 50-100% are realistic and as storage bandwidth improves the SSDs will keep up.

Java Technology
Java Spotlight Episode 54: Stuart Marks on the Coinification of JDK7
His Current Assignment: Enhancing Core JDK Libraries
Stuart W. Marks, Principal Member of Technical Staff in Oracle's Java Platform Group, is the guest on Episode 54 of the Java Spotlight Podcast, where the discussion involves the coinification of JDK 7. Marks is currently working on enhancing the core libraries of the JDK and has previously worked on JavaFX and Java ME at Sun. Host Roger Brinkley notes that Marks has over 20 years of software platform product development experience in the areas of window systems, interactive graphics, and mobile and embedded systems. Once again, Dalibor Topic, Java Free and Open Source Software Ambassador, sits on the Java All Star Developer Panel.
IT - Technology
Give Your Career A Boost
InfoWorld (November 7, 2011)
"Too many projects, too little time: That's the sad lament of many IT professionals who must constantly balance the needs of the enterprise against the desires of business users -- all while keeping a close eye on the newest technologies coming at them from every direction."

Nothing gets upper management's attention like solving a true business problem. Become the go to person with these "5 Hot Tech Projects to Boost You IT Career"; no one ever said success was going to be easy; but then no one ever said success was impossible.

Is a Robot in Your Future
NetworkWorld (November 2, 2011)
"Robots are making huge strides in space, on the ocean floor and even in the dentist office ..."

What seemed science fiction just a few years ago is now a reality and the incorporation of robots into the real world is moving beyond the manufacturing arena. In the ongoing philosophical battle of "Robots v. Humans: Real Steel or Dumb Metal" the use of automated and intelligent tools i.e. robots can not be disputed.

    Legacy App Quandary
    ComputerWorld (November 7, 2011)
    "Legacy applications are one of the most difficult issues to face within IT. A rip-and-replace approach is expensive and thus difficult to justify; plus, it tends to interrupt operations. Meanwhile, the aging software lingers in accounting's ledgers, overstays its welcome in sales and causes poor network performance throughout the organization ..."

    Moving from one platform, language or OS to another often entails a thorough study of the applications. Here are three examples of "Legacy Application Fixer-Uppers", the thought process the perils and the outlooks for each.

    Cloud Computing
    Oracle Enterprise Manager Enables Cerner Health Care to Cut Capital Expenditures by $9.5 Million
    Single Console Management Has Reduced Database Incidents by 50 Percent
    Cerner, a global health care company with over 9,000 facilities worldwide, has implemented Oracle Enterprise Manager in its aim to eliminate error, variance and waste for its affiliated health care providers and customers while also generating additional revenue. The new cloud-based services supported by Oracle Enterprise Manager have enabled Cerner to reduce capital investments by $9.5 million. The simplified management environment of Oracle Enterprise Manager allows Cerner staffers to operate from a single management console, enabling preventive actions that have reduced database incidents by 50 percent and allowed 17 percent of problems to be identified without DBA intervention.
    IT - Cloud
    Plan Before You Leap
    InformationWeek (November 8, 2011)
    "Cloud Technology Partners execs share advice on avoiding common traps as you move from legacy enterprise infrastructure to the private cloud ..."

    The cloud sounds so good; reduce costs; improve performance; react faster; and the list goes on. The problem is that the cloud is not all cream and cookies. Before you start, address these "Six Big Questions for Private Cloud Projects"; and these are only the beginning of the due diligent process.

    Evolution not Revolution
    InfoWorld (November 10, 2011)
    "As we gain experience with the cloud, expect to see centralized trust systems, amazingly large databases, and more ..."

    The cloud is not going away and any revolution in utilizing the cloud wll not be materialize. What we will see is an evolution around these "5 Key Trends in Cloud Computing's Future"; while the final product will morph over time, these are a good roadmap as to what's going to occur.

    One Step At A Time
    Baseline (November 8, 2011)
    "Virtualization and cloud computing increase efficiency and flexibility in providing data and applications to users, yet managing performance of applications and transactions in the cloud is neither simple nor easy ..."

    Getting your apps into a cloud is like herding cats; there are a few issues along the way. These "10 Steps to Moving to the Cloud" should allow you to make a document detailing what needs to be done, who needs to be involved and when each step needs to be completed. Like any project document, the cloud plan is not engraved in stone but evolves with real time information.

    IT - CxO
    Funding Preparation
    NetworkWorld (November 7, 2011)
    "Security may be a hot-button issue for business executives, but in an environment of ongoing economic uncertainty, support for security initiatives isn't always easy to come by ..."

    Getting a major project funded is not easy task given today's environment. These "9 Secrets of Getting Stuff Done in a Big Company" will come in hand regardless of the size of the company, the size of the project and the audience.

    Keeping The Best
    Baseline (October 3, 2011)
    "Today’s tech boom is the 21st Century version of the California gold rush. But today’s gold is a treasure of a different sort - people ..."

    People very rarely leave a position for money; they leave because they get no respect; no challenging work; no courtesy; no consideration and lack of leadership. Knowing "How to Protect Your Employees" means they won't be looking over the fence to see if the grass is greener because y0u're proactively taking care of the grass on your side.

    The Way to Failure
    InfoWorld (November 4, 2011)
    "Many companies are having great success with cloud computing, and it's clear that the market continues to grow by leaps and bounds. However, with any new technology plays, there are those projects that do quick face-plants. These paths to failure are also emerging -- and highly avoidable ..."

    Sometimes when a new technology comes along every one wants to be part of the project and work on something new. Then things turn sour. If you ignore these "3 Surefire Ways To Screw Up Cloud Computing", you could be hung out to dry; out of time, money and resources.

    Beefing Up Xeon Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability: Slide Set
    Oracle Solaris Optimization for Intel Processors Pays Off in Many Ways
    "Beefing Up Xeon RAS with Solaris," a presentation by Ashok Raj originally given at Oracle OpenWorld 2011, is available as a slide set that covers the following aspects of the talk:

    • Intel Processor Advances
    • Platform RAS Components (Oracle Solaris FMA)
    • Xeon Machine Check Architecture Improvements
    • Future Enhancements

    Raj contends that Oracle Solaris has been optimized for Intel Xeon-based systems in terms of scalability, enhanced power management, and mission critical reliability.

    View 20110 Oracle OpenWorld Sessions
    Keynote Highlights
    From a single URL, viewers can watch the entire lineup of keynote addresses delivered at Oracle OpenWorld 2011. Among the speakers and their topics:

    • Oracle OpenWorld Opening Keynote: Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle
    • Cloud + Big Data = Massive Change + Massive Opportunity: Joseph M. Tucci, Chairman, President, and CEO, EMC
    • Extreme Innovation: Mark Hurd, President, Oracle: Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Product Development, Oracle
    • Dell Keynote: Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell Inc.
    • Engineered Systems: John Fowler, Executive Vice President, Systems, Oracle
    • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Launch: Richard Sarwal, SVP, Oracle
    • Empowering Customers Through Datacenter Transformation. Together We Innovate: John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco
    • Oracle Applications: Complete Solutions, Complete Choice: Steve Miranda, Senior Vice President, Applications Development, Oracle
    • Accelerating Growth: New Paradigms: S. D. Shibulal, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys
    • Oracle Cloud Computing: Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle
    • Shimp and Zavery - Highlights - OpenWorld 10-6-11

    These videos are available to all.

    IT - Security
    Keeping Tabs on Admin Accounts
    InformationWeek (November 7, 2011)
    "Whether you're a company trying to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements, an energy utility looking to get a handle on standards set forth by the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC), or the typical enterprise, separation of privileges and privileged account management can be a daunting task ..."

    When an outsider hacks into your system that's bad news; but when a trusted employee does something wrong the hurt cuts to the core. Learning "How to Manage Privileged Accounts" goes a long way in discovering nefarious activities before they get out of hand.

    The (Mobile) Sky is Falling
    InfoWorld (November 4, 2011)
    "CSOs, IT security staff, and other risk managers by nature are supposed to be paranoid, to see risks everywhere. Not only are their glasses half empty, but they're likely hiding a tasteless, slow-acting poison. You want some of that in your organization to identify risks. But that paranoid thinking is inappropriate to decide the risks you act on ..."

    Just like Chicken Little with a pessimistic view of the world, "Security Grinches' Misleading Scare Tactics" do the same, all smoke and no fire. Do not get sucked into the year end musings of vendors that have all sorts of horror stories about the impact of security failures. We know the risk and know where to look for answers.

    IT - Careers
    Employee Firing Errors
    CIO (November 2, 2011)
    "Terminating an employee is one of the hardest things a manager will ever have to do. Because firing someone can be so emotionally charged and logistically complicated, it's an easy process to mess up. Here are six more common mistakes managers make ..."

    No doubt that tiring an employee is tough; even when deserved. Here are "6 More Mistakes Managers Make When Firing Employees"; watch out for these in this litigious era.

    A Whimsical Look at Software
    Baseline (October 27, 2011)
    "Who knew that geeks can be wordsmiths, or that software can inspire examples of rhetorical excellence? ..."

    A Whimsical Look at Software: Those of us that have been around the block a few time look at software the way we look at our dysfunctional family members; driving us crazy most of the time. Here are "10 Deep Thoughts About Software" that should remind us from whence we all came.

      Basic Business Skills Lacking in College Grads
      NetworkWorld (October 12, 2011)
      "... says he doubts any new college grad could easily fill any of those roles. Undergraduate and graduate programs aren't able to keep up with the needs of enterprise IT shops ..."

      Colleges are good at some things; making grads ready for the real world is not one of them. IT execs discuss the "7 Key Skills New IT Grads" are Lacking. There are jobs waiting but a college degree isn't the ticket pass go and start collecting a pay check.

        Who's Watching Your Six
        TechRepublic (October 24, 2011)
        "You don’t have to commit a major scandal for your coworkers to lose faith in you. Sometimes it’s a bunch of little things that add up. ..."

        Trust is like a rubber band that has been broken; no matter what you do to retie the ends; the break persists. Many times the broken trust is not based on one major breach but little ones that add up over time. Here are "Seven Reasons Your Coworkers Don't Trust You"]; maybe the time has come to take a hard look in the mirror.

          IT - Social Media
          Sometimes You Have to Eat Crow
          InfoWorld (November 8, 2011)
          "Every new technology brings with it the capacity to screw things up in an entirely new way. With social media, it's now become possible to turn what was once a verbal gaffe behind closed doors into a public peccadillo. ..."

          Social media has good and bad points; the problem is that the bad can be horrendous. Here are some guidelines for "Social Media Disaster Recovery: A First Responders Guide" that will come in handy when the unintended occurs (and it will).

          IT - Mobile
          Corporate or Personal BYOD
          NetworkWorld (November 2, 2011)
          "If an employee walked into work one day clutching his shiny new iPhone, iPad, Android or other mobile smartphone or tablet, wanting to use it for official corporate business, would you say yes? ..."

          Keeping smartphones out of the corporate environment is a loosing battle but that hasn't quelled the discussion on "Corporate-Owned vs. Employee-Owned Devices". Sticking your head in the sand won't make the question disappear, so decide how to make the best use of these devices and protect the company at the same time.

            Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
            Vol 165 Issue 1; Vol 164 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 163 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:

            • Solaris 11 OS: What's Under the Hood
            • Happy 10th Birthday, ZFS
            • Metalogix Increases Speed of SharePoint Migrations and Upgrades
            • The Growth Prospects for Tape vs. HDD and NAND as a Storage Device
            • Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c
            • Inside the Oracle Database Cloud Service
            • Sockets Direct Protocal Gives InfiniBand the Advantage in HPC Java Applications
            • ExalogicTV Channel on YouTube
            • Engineered Systems Deliver Performance and Management Advantages
            • Java Spotlight Episode 53: Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group

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

              LibreOffice 3.4.4 Available for Download
              Now in 105 Native Language Versions
              LibreOffice 3.4.4, an improved version of the award-winning free office suite for Windows, Mac and Linux, is available for download, according to The Document Foundation. With the release of a native language version in Scottish Gaelic, the number of such versions is now 105. LibreOffice has recently won InfoWorld’s BOSSIE Award 2011 as Best of Open Source Software, and the Open World Forum Experiment Award of Most-Popular Software. LibreOffice 3.4.4 is available for immediate download. Extensions for LibreOffice are also available.
              The [System] Developer's Edge: 322 page pdf
              Darryl Gove's Book Back in Circulation Once Again
              "The System Developer's Edge: Selected Blog Posts and Articles" is available now as a pdf, reports Darryl Gove. The pdf differs from the earlier book in only two significant ways, Gove writes, the first being an absence of cover art and the second being a change in the title to include the word "system," indicating a focus on the hardware end of the stack. Some of the links in the pdf are no longer current, Gove cautions, just as a number of the products discussed may have been rebranded or come to end of life under Oracle.
              Best Practices for Maintaining and Upgrading Oracle Solaris
              Slides from an Oracle OpenWorld Talk
              In the course of a 43-slide presentation, Rob Hulme, Senior Director, Solaris and Network Domain, and Chris Gerhard, Chief Technologist. Solaris and Network Domain, tell viewers just about all they might ever might need to know about "Best Practices for Maintaining and Upgrading Oracle Solaris." In the simplest possible language, the presenters summarize their message about the three best practices thus:

              • Getting the most out of My Oracle Support
              • Upgrading Solaris
              • How and where to get help

              Pretty much as suggested above: all you might ever need to know.

              Oracle Releases Oracle Identity Analytics 11g
              Provides Simplified Access Review Certification for Error Reduction, Performance Enhancement

              With release of the latest version of its Oracle Identity Analytics (OIA), a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g and the Oracle Identity Management 11g product family, Oracle has made it possible for its customers to gain simplified access review certification with business-centric views and actionable dashboards, powered by rich identity analytics, all of which helps to reduce errors in the certification process and increase user productivity by up to 80 percent.

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