News about Oracle's Solaris and Sun Hardware
System News
Nov 14th, 2011 — Nov 20th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
System News System News for Sun Users
Volume 165, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
Sections in this issue:
click to jump to section

Taking Your First Steps with Oracle Solaris 11
An Installation Guide Using 'Live Media'
Since Oracle Solaris 11 is distributed with several different installation options, Brian Leonard and Glynn Foster have created a procedure to guide users through the interactive graphical installer, officially known as "Live Media." With the graphical installer, Oracle Solaris 11 can be booted into RAM, causing zero impact on an existing operating system, the authors explain. After it is loaded, users are free to experiment with Oracle Solaris to determine whether it is something they would like to install on their systems. The blog post contains the necessary code samples and illustrative screen shots to render a complex process manageable.
Building a Solaris 11 Repository Without Network Connection
Utilizing the Potential of the New IPS: A How-to

In blogger Jim Laurent's view one of the great new features of Oracle Solaris 11 is the repository-based Image Packaging system (IPS), which not only introduces new cloud based package installation services, but is also integrated with the zones, boot environment and ZFS file systems to provide a safe, easy and fast way to perform system updates. Laurent explains that users without network access can now employ the IPS and locally stored repository to create a Solaris 11 system. He provides a "quick and dirty" procedure to create the repository and an explanation of how each command functions.

The IPS System Repository
IPS All But Does Everything for Users Installing Oracle Solaris 11
In earlier OpenSolaris releases, after each global-zone update, each non-global zone had to be updated by hand, attaching and detaching each zone, Tim Foster blogs. During that detach/attach the ipkg brand scripts determined which packages were in the global zone and updated the non-global zone accordingly. In Solaris 11 each zone is installed as a linked image, connected to the parent image, which is the global zone. During packaging operations in the global zone, IPS recurses into any non-global zones to ensure that packages are kept in synch between the global and non-global zone.
Before you Download Solaris 11 Find Out Which Devices Are Supported
A How-to Using the Hardware Compatibility List
Before a user installs Oracle Solaris 11, it would be helpful to know which devices the solution supports. In a recent blog post, Rick Ramsey explains how this can be determined. Consulting the x86 Device List (part of the Oracle Solaris Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) will reveal that information, Ramsey writes, listing the steps to access the table that will list all the devices of that type that are supported by Solaris 11, including PCI ID and vendor.
Cloud Computing
Building an Infrastructure Cloud with Oracle VM for x86 + Enterprise Manager 12c
A DIY Approach
Setting up an infrastructure cloud service is a piece of cake, so to speak, blogs Richard Rotter on Oracle Systems Blog Austria. He did it himself, he writes, in a mere three hours -- configuring a complete cloud environment with three x86 servers and a small JBOD. All the process required was Oracle VM for X86, Enterprise Manager 12c and some experience with both those solutions. He outlines the process aspect by aspect, moving from hardware to virtualization and concluding with cloud management. Rotter's post is an ideal place for the relatively uninitiated to begin in familiarizing themselves with the cloud. He promises a technical cookbook on the subject in a matter of weeks.
SPARC T4 OpenSSL Engine
New Cryptographic Capabilities
Among the important new features of the SPARC T4 microprocessor are several new instructions available to perform cryptography functions in hardware, according to a blog post from Dan Anderson. These instructions are used in the OpenSSL 1.0 t4 engine available in Solaris 11. These new crypto instructions are different from previous generations of SPARC hardware, which has separate crypto processing units. The major difference lies in solving the problem of kernel and buffer overhead, Anderson writes. These new instructions are non-privileged: any program can create or use these instructions┬Śno kernel environment, root permissions, or special setup is needed, he explains.
Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
Vol 165 Issue 1 and 2; Vol 164 Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4; Vol 163 Issues 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:

  • UNIX - Dead or alive?
  • Oracle Solaris 11 Launch Web Replay
  • Best Practices for Maintaining and Upgrading Oracle Solaris
  • Oracle Solaris 11, the First Fully Virtualized Cloud OS
  • LibreOffice 3.4.4 Available for Download
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1.6
  • Case Study: High-Performance Cloud Datastore Using Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris ZFS
  • The [System] Developer's Edge: 322 page pdf
  • Best Practices for Mission-Critical Computing on SPARC Servers
  • Beefing Up Xeon Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability: Slide Set

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

    GlassFish at Three
    Register Your Preferences for Improvements in 3.1.2
    The third anniversary of the first GlassFish v3 shipment is the subject of Moussine-Pouchkine's blog in which he also announces the imminent release of version 3.1.2, due in 2012. This version includes new features as well as updated components and, of course, bug fixes. Mouchkine-Poussine's favorite new features include DCOM node support and GMS non-multicast support. There is a link in his blog that readers can use to register their preferences on additional new features and fixes for the release.
    Recent Benchmarks Using Oracle Solaris 11
    A List of Links to the Results
    Oracle's BestPerf site lists a series of links to recent benchmarks using Oracle Solaris 11. Among them are the following:
    • SPARC T4-2 Delivers World Record SPECjvm2008 Result with Oracle Solaris 11
    • SPARC T4-4 Produces World Record Oracle OLAP Capacity
    • SPARC T4-2 Server Beats Intel (Westmere AES-NI) on ZFS Encryption Tests
    • SPARC T4 Processor Beats Intel (Westmere AES-NI) on AES Encryption Tests
    • SPARC T4 Processor Outperforms IBM POWER7 and Intel (Westmere AES-NI) on OpenSSL AES Encryption Test
    • SPARC T4-1 Server Outperforms Intel (Westmere AES-NI) on IPsec Encryption Tests

    See the BestPerf site for details.

    New World Record for SPARC T4-2 on SPECjvm2008 Result with Oracle Solaris 11
    Beats SPARC T3-2 Record by 41%
    The SPARC T4-2 Server equipped with two SPARC T4 processors running at 2.85 GigaHertz (GHz) and using Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle JDK 7 Update 2 set a world record of 454.25 SPECjvm2008 Peak ops/m on the SPECjvm2008 benchmark, a benchmark suite for measuring the performance of a Java Runtime Environment (JRE). This level of performance is 41% better than the mark set by the SPARC T3-2 Server. The hardware cryptography acceleration built into the SPARC T4-2 was found to greatly increase performance on subtests using AES and RSA encryption ciphers.
    Completely Disabling Root Logins on Solaris 11
    A New Approach to Authentication

    With Solaris 11 it is possible to completely disable all need for a root password even for access in single user mode, Darren Moffat blogs, explaining that two complementary new features make this possible. The first is the ability to change which password is used when authenticating to a role. The second feature involves changes to the sulogin program, enabling it to authenticate a specific user. He includes the sequence of commands that transform a root from a normal root account and grant the user the ability to assume the root role and enter single user mode.

    Solaris 11 Resources for System Administrators
    A Wealth of Resources Gathered in a Single Convenient Place

    "Solaris 11 Resources for System Administrators" is a blog posted by Rick Ramsey that very helpfully collects in a single place a variety of resources pertinent to the responsibilities of system administrators. The resources are divided into several categories:

    • Oracle Solaris 11 Documentation Library
    • Oracle Solaris 11 Training
    • Indexes and Feeds of Our Best How-To Articles
    • OTN Systems Community Home Page
    • And, at a more informal level, the Facebook, Twitter and blog pages and sites

    Just about everything a sysadmin might wish to know.

    Java Technology
    Java Spotlight Episode 55: Georges Saab, VP of Core Java Development in the Java Platform Group
    Current Responsibilities Include Work on Java language, Core Libraries, and the Java Virtual Machine.
    Georges Saab, VP of Core Java Development at Oracle, joins host Roger Brinkley for Episode 55 of the Java Spotlight. Saab's history includes his current work on the Java language, core libraries, and the Java Virtual Machine. Saab is a 20-plus-year veteran of programming language and platform development. Members of this episode's Java All Star Developer Panel are Dalibor Topic, Java Free and Open Source Software Ambassador, and Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine, Java EE Developer Advocate.
    'Java Performance": New Title by Charlie Hunt and Binu John
    Called "Definitive Guide to Performance"
    High praise comes for the new 700-page book "Java Performance" by Charlie Hunt and Binu John in a blog by Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine, where he describes the tome as " ... a definitive guide to performance." The contents of "Java Performance" include such topics as performance goals, JVM monitoring and tuning, hotspot-detailed architecture and behavior, Java EE and application server performance and tuning, the blog reports. Four entire chapters are devoted to multitiered applications, web applications, web services and JPA and EJB performance, he writes.
    Solaris AESNI OpenSSL Engine
    for Intel Westmere
    The new Intel Westmere microprocessor has six new instructions to accelerate AES encryption, Dan Anderson blogs. They are called "AESNI" for "AES New Instructions," and are unprivileged instructions, so no "root", other elevated access, or context switch is required to execute these instructions. These instructions are used in a new built-in OpenSSL 1.0 engine available in Solaris 11, the aesni engine. The combination of these solutions makes e-commerce cryptographic operations easier and lower in cost, Anderson contends. He identifies the six instructions and discusses their use with the Oracle Solaris 11 and OpenSSL software optimizations.
    Advanced Security Whitepaper on Oracle Utilities Application Framework
    Available from My Oracle Support
    A new whitepaper is now available from My Oracle Support that outlines common security requirements for industries and markets and outlines the solution that can be implemented using native facilities from the Oracle Utilities Application Framework and/or Oracle Identity Management Suite. Anthony Shorten blogs that the Oracle Utilities Application Framework contains security facilities that can be used standalone or in conjunction with components of Oracle Identity Management Suite to provide a complete solution. The whitepaper itself is designed to inform partners and customers of common security requirements and where the Oracle Utilities Application Framework facilities can best be used and where inclusion of components of Oracle Identity Management Suite can be used as well to meet those requirements. Registration and login are required at My Oracle Support and the whitepaper is available at Doc Id: 1375615.1.
    Trending in
    Vol 229, Issue 4
    Trending IT Articles