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Nov 14th, 2011 — Nov 20th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 165, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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SPARC
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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—no kernel environment, root permissions, or special setup is needed, he explains.
IT - Storage
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Work Smarter Not Harder
CRN Online (November 16, 2011)
"Managing the growing amount of accumulated data can be difficult for any business, but those that apply the right management tools will find ways to increase the efficiency of their storage environments. ..."

If you continue to do what you've always done the trying to get control of an ever increasing storage pool will only get frustrating in the future. "Storage Efficiency is Key to Managing Fast Growing Data" where you can do more with your current staff.

Reasons to Implement iSCSI
eWeek (November 14, 2011)
"Storage connectivity is evolving away from wires and embracing the Internet ... Fibre Channel ... most often used in large data centers for high-transaction workloads, has been on the market for decades ... Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) - an end-to-end protocol for transporting storage I/O block data over an IP network - has matured ..."

Setting up a SAN or NAS may or may not be the solution for you data center now that iSCSI has come into the picture. Here are "10 Reasons Why 10Gb iSCSI Connectivity Wins Acceptance in Data Centers". One of the big reasons is that iSCSI is open standards-based and you avoid vendor lock in.

Everything Needs to be Cut Back in the Cloud
CIO (November 9, 2011)
"Year after year, the cost of disk space has plummeted. Since you can pick up a terabyte for $50, it's often seemed a false economy to be careful with storage. But in the clouds, the rules are different. If you've got too much low-value data or too many copies of files, it can cost you ..."

Data whether in the cloud or your back yard can get out of control and become unmanageable (and expensive). Here are some "Strategies for Pruning Data in the Cloud"; I suspect that the same techniques could be used for pruning data in your captive environment.

Java Technology
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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.
IT - Technology
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What's Ahead in 2012
Global Knowledge (November 2011)
"... my predication for technology are all about communication and the information stream. Technology in 2012 and beyond will significantly shift and enhance the exchange of information for people and for enterprise organizations ..."

The bottom line is that no one really knows exactly what the future holds; however, these "Seven Technology Predictions for 2012" should not be that far off. The one surprise is #5, haven't seen any sign of this but who knows.

    Solaris
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    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
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    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.
    IT - Cloud
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    Where are Your Docs
    IT World (November 14, 2011)
    "DropBox, GoogleDocs, Microsoft Office 365, SkyDox ... the field of companies urging you to put your documents in the cloud is growing by the minute. Appealing as this concept might seem, CFOs and IT teams have to take a step back and evaluate the benefits and risks ..."

    There is good news and bad news about docs in the cloud. The good news is that the docs are in the cloud; the bad news is that the docs are in the cloud. You need to take a hard look at "Company Docs in the Cloud: The Risks and Rewards". Employees will put them in the cloud and you need to have policies and procedures in place to make sure where they are, they are protected and you can get them back.

    Moving Security Expertise
    NetworkWorld (November 11, 2011)
    "There are definitely inherent advantages and disadvantages to moving to a cloud-based firewall ..."

    As more and more functions move from in house to out house (no pun intended) there is a cost in skills. No where is this more evident than with security. Looking at the "Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based Firewall" we see that security expertise moves from your control to the providers' control. You need to make sure you have the expertise to monitor any incidents effectively.

    IT Is Not Being Consulted
    CIO (November 11, 2011)
    "Cloud computing rapidly gained traction because of its ability to manage the complexity of multiple legacy environments while consolidating infrastructure. But as organizations move forward with various cloud initiatives, many CIOs are now wrestling a sprawl of clouds that seems to be spinning out of control ..."

    One of the problems IT is facing daily are the number of end users that are signing up for cloud services without any input from IT and then expecting IT to support their choices. IT is looking at solving this issue through "Federated Cloud Strategies"; What CIOs Need to Know when addressing both the cloud and the users.

    IT - CxO
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    Don't Let Stress Become Life Threatening
    DataCenterEdge (November 11, 2011)
    "A survey that the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)_ conducted back in 2006 showed that even then, workplace stress was a problem. ... If things were that bad before the recession, imagine what they’re like now. So ADAA has identified some helpful tips for managing stress at work ..."

    Any one will tell you that a high level of stress over a prolonged period can be dangerous. These "Fourteen Tips for Managing Work-Related Stress" will go along way to getting your life back. Pay special attention to 11 and 13, the life you save may be your own.

      Board Prepared
      DataCenterEdge (November 9, 2011)
      "As CIOs increase their interactions with the board of directors, it is vital that they improve their knowledge of this unique and independent audience, according to Gartner, Inc. Only 16 percent of board directors have any IT background or experience ..."

      Sooner or later the CEO is going to ask you to present to their boss. These "Seven Points CIOs Must Know About the Board of Directors" will help you navigate the mine field. Two thing to remember; don't step in anything and don't surprise your boss in front of the Board.

      IT - Networks
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      Why Fees are Going to Go Up
      InfoWorld (November 17, 2011)
      "Congestion on the Web means more profits for providers -- and less bandwidth and higher prices for us ..."

      In an interesting treatise on "Why the Big Carriers Won't Build Out Their Networks" the author uses an interesting analogy. While the paper referenced is from June 2008, the impact is current. As long as the networks stay congested someone will pay dearly for faster speeds and in the end we all pay higher fees for poorer performance.

      More Life for IPv4
      NetworkWorld (November 11, 2011)
      "It is clear that IPv4 is going to be with us for decades to come and there are strategies to prolong the lifespan of IPv4. Are these strategies worthwhile or are they distracting and confusing the industry from moving to IPv6? ..."

      IPv4 is not going away any time soon regardless of what the IPv6 pundits would like us to believe. That being said something has to be done and "Techniques for Prolonging the Lifespan of IPv4"] will likely be forthcoming.

        IT - Operations
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        Appliance Sizing
        Enterprise Systems Journal (November 14, 2011)
        "Buying a backup appliance simplifies the entire integration effort, because you no longer worry about how the software and hardware work together. That's the good news. The bad news is that you still have a sizing decision to make, and picking the wrong sized solution can impact your success ..."

        One of the many frustrations with backup is that the quantity of data is never the same; sometimes drastically. The best you can ever do is "Over- Or Under-Size Your Backup Appliance on Purpose". Using straightforward questions and subsequent data will get you close and any choice will not go wasted.

          IT - Security
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          How Much is Enough
          IT World (November 16, 2011)
          "Cadillac or Kia? How much security is enough, and how much is too much? Can you even have too much security? Is seeking perfection in security a luxury or a necessity? ..."

          In the era of reduced budgets the balancing of safety vs. cost is ever present. In "Why Not Spring for Cadillac Security], the author makes one important point. Companies have to be correct 100% of the time in security, the bad guys only have to be right once! You can cut back if the C levels will tell you where the danger will appear, when the danger will appear and what the danger looks like…so much for cutting back.

          An Ounce of Prevention
          Global Knowledge (November 2011)
          "it's time for our society to adopt a new set of street smarts - technology skepticism. Blindly trusting electronic resources, connectivity, or services puts our identities, finances, and privacy at risk. It's time to pay attention and take precautions ..."

          The bad guys are everywhere; fortunately for most of us we are not on their radar unless we happen to be low hanging fruit. Here are "Ten Technology Opponents You Can Beat" by applying some good techniques and awareness.

          IT - Careers
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          Policies that Work
          IT Business Edge (November 17, 2011)
          "Striking the right balance between risk mitigation and the commercial demands of the business is an essential skill, which must be adapted according to the nature of your industry and the size, culture and risk appetite of your organization. This role needs to have clear ownership at senior management level ..."

          Ever get the feeling that policies are not working or ever worse ignored? You may have poorly written and enforced policies; while the intent was great the execution wasn't. Here's a guide to "Policy Excellence in Six Steps" that will take the intent and combine with good execution for policies that can be understood, implemented and tracked for follow-up, review and modified if necessary.

          IT - Social Media
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          Keeping Out of Court
          silicon.com (November 17, 2011)
          "Many employers now see the benefits of their staff using social media but that doesn't mean businesses should turn a blind eye to the legal risks, says lawyer Kate Hodgkiss ..."

          More and more companies are understanding the power of social media; what they don't have in place are any policies governing their use. Here are "Five Things You Need to know to Avoid a Social Media Lawsuit"]. The last thing you want to say in court is 'I didn't know'.

          Top10
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          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.

            Developer
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            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.
            Sysadmin
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            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.

            Security
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            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.
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