News about Oracle's Solaris and Sun Hardware
System News
Nov 28th, 2011 — Dec 4th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
System News System News for Sun Users
Volume 165, Issue 5 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
Sections in this issue:
click to jump to section

Worldwide Server Shipments Grew 7% - Gartner
The Register Sees Things as Back to Pre-2008 Levels
Gartner reports that server shipments worldwide are up 7% and revenue up 5% in 2011Q3. IBM led the worldwide server market based on revenue while HP declined 3.6 percent year-on-year and Oracle exhibited flat growth. HP held on to its leadership position in server shipments despite a decline for the quarter. Dell was in second place and IBM in third. The Register confirms Gartner's finding, noting that "shipment and revenue levels on a global basis have more or less recovered to the levels prevailing ahead of the server crash in the wake of the Great Recession three years ago."
Best Practices For Database Consolidation On Exadata Database Machine (Nov. 2011)
Oracle White Paper
Oracle Exadata, combined with Oracle resource management, provides a simpler and more flexible approach to database consolidation than other virtualization strategies such as hardware or OS virtualization. "Best Practices for Database Consolidation on Exadata Database Machine," an Oracle white paper, provides the best practices for setting up and managing applications for maximum stability and availability. Chapters include:

  • Planning for Exadata Consolidation
  • Resource Management
  • Maintenance and Management Considerations

The authors contend that these best practices maximize stability when supporting multiple applications and databases that use shared resources in a consolidated database environment

Oracle Exadata Database Machine Consolidation: Segregating Databases and Roles (Sep. 2011)
White Paper: Case Study Approach Examines Platform Consolidation

The Oracle white paper "Oracle Exadata Database Machine Consolidation: Segregating Databases and Roles" demonstrates how to isolate and secure each of the application databases on Exadata Database Machine so that the grid infrastructure as well as the application database can be administered separately and securely. The authors contend that treating the segregation of all databases and their administration from one another with separate diskgroups in a consolidated environment nevertheless offers an opportunity to consider such predictable variations as chargeback requirements or hybrid implementations that involve control by a single administrator of multiple databases, for example.

Managing Virtualization with OracleVM: Oracle Magazine Article by Philip J. Gill
Looks Beyond Consolidation to Application-Driven Virtualization
The November/December 2011 issue of Oracle Magazine features a cover story by Philip J. Gill titled, "Managing the Virtual World," which focuses on how virtualization with Oracle VM consolidates servers and makes applications more available, reliable, and manageable. Gill writes about the experience of Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Pella Corporation in using virtualization. The article also considers the evolution of virtualization beyond consolidation, specifically Oracle VM 3.0's focus on "Application-Driven Virtualization."
IT - Storage
Ongoing Battle of SSD, Disk and Tape
InfoWorld (November 22, 2011)
"Companies may want to skip using a tiered storage architecture and move directly to an all-SSD (solid state drive) architecture, according to a new report from Forrester Research. In the report, Forrester contends that while enterprise-class SSDs are vastly more expensive than hard disk drives, deduplication can reduce capacity requirements, making flash a cost-effective, better-performing alternative ..."

While tape is not mentioned specifically in the article the 30,000 foot view of data storage, protection and access has to include all three. The problem with "Skip Data Tiering, Go Directly to All-SSD Storage" is the assumption of two things. Prices for disk won't fall and the deduplication that is mentioned is not applicable to traditional disk and tape. Both are incorrect.

Squeeze Every Last Byte
ComputerWorld (November 23, 2011)
"Recent flooding in Thailand has affected many hard drive manufacturers, resulting in price hikes for hard drives of as much as 50 to 100 percent. How long this will last is unclear, but in the meantime, you can postpone new purchases of storage gear by implementing these methods to help reduce unnecessary files, reduce the space used on the system, and allow for expansion with existing systems ..."

An interesting dichotomy exists in the storage world, prices keep dropping but yet the cost of storage keeps growing. Easy to understand when you look at data growth but the cost is still frustrating. Here are "Five Ways to Get the Most of Existing Storage" to help mitigate future expenditures.

    The Next Evolution
    IT Knowledge Exchange (November 23, 2011)
    "Although IT professionals and vendors often think of storage efficiency in different ways, there are usually two main methods of handling it. One is through efficient storage systems that maximize resources. The other is through data management that determines where data is located and how it is protected ..."

    Controlling data both in terms of efficiency of space and access is a time consuming business that is both an art and science. There is no doubt that "Efficient Storage Systems and Data Management Add Value", the problem is up until now vendor viewed these two as distinct areas. That is about to change in the near future.

    IT - Technology
    Getting Ready for the 2012 Summer Olympics
    NetworkWorld (November 26, 2011)
    "While London's massive Olympic park is still very much a frenetic construction site, IT engineers are fine tuning the equipment that will be used to transmit scores, let athletes send e-mail and transmit high-definition video of the Games ..."

    The Technology Operations Center is in full swing as "London Wires Up" for the 2012 Olympic Games. The goal is for the 400+ people to become bored during the games with no issues. They know that is not going to happen but they are planning for every possible issue, problem, delay or outage that can be imagined.

    Everything Old is New Again
    InfoWorld (December 1, 2011)
    "Before tablets, smartphones, and PCs became prominent, "big iron" mainframes led down the path to computing, becoming a staple of enterprise business worldwide several decades ago. Rather than going the way of the dinosaur as PCs and the client/server model emerged, mainframes remain stalwarts in heavy-duty transactional applications ..."

    Here are two numbers that may be of interest: 70/40. 70% of all shops need these people and 40% of these people will be retiring. Guess what is "IT’s Most Wanted: Mainframe Programmers." Yep, this technology is still the heart and soul of 80% of Fortune 500 companies; if you know of someone that is looking to make a mark, you may want to have them look to the old days.

      Oracle Solaris 11 Training and Certification Programs
      Help Speed Your Enterprise on Its Way to the Cloud

      A recent press release introduces readers to Oracle University's offerings on Oracle Solaris 11 Training and Certification, pointing out the value this training delivers in enabling graduates to foster the migration of their respective enterprises to the cloud. The newest courses in the curriculum include What’s New in Oracle Solaris, previewing the latest innovations in Oracle Solaris 11; Transition to Oracle Solaris 11, designed for experienced Oracle Solaris 10 system administrators; and Oracle Solaris 11 System Administration and Oracle Solaris 11 Advanced System Administration, intended for new Oracle Solaris or UNIX system administrators.

      Solaris 11 Launch Blog Roundup
      If Not Everything, then much of What You'd Like to Know about Oracle Solaris 11

      Contantin Gonzalez has compiled what he terms the "Solaris Launch Blog Carnival Roundup," where blogs pertaining to the Oracle Solaris 11 launch are grouped into helpful categories such as:

      • Getting Started/Overview
      • Automatic Installation and the Image Packaging System
      • Networking
      • DTrace
      • Security
      • Developers-
      • Desktop and Graphics
      • Performance

      A lot of Oracle and non-Oracle bloggers contributed helpful and informative blog articles.

      Cloud Computing
      Know What the Cloud Means to Your Enterprise Before You Enter
      Four Distinguishing Characteristics of Cloud Computing
      In his post on "A Brief Introduction on Migrating to an Oracle-based Cloud Environment," Tom Laszewski prudently begins at the beginning and suggests that his readers do the same: defining what the cloud means to an enterprise. He points out the four characteristics that distinguish the cloud from virtualizing IT infrastructure and making it available on the web. Those characteristics are:

      • Provisioning
      • Metering and Charge-back capability
      • Multi-tenancy
      • Elasticity

      For further information, Laszewski points his readers to his 400-page book "Migrating to the Cloud" (co-authored with Prakash Nauduri).

      Dual Boot Oracle Solaris 11/11 and Linux
      A -Start-to-finish Procedure for Users Requiring Dual OSes

      "Please back up your data carefully before trying any of this" is the prudent caution blogger Hartmut Streppel offers in his post "Dual Boot Oracle Solaris 11/11 and Linux (Ubuntu 11.10/grub2)." Beginning with the uninstall of Oracle Solaris 11 Express and an Open SuSE installation and then consulting the web, Streppel found instructions on the dual boot of Linux and Windows. He also found that Ubuntu needs an active partition and that grub2 uses a different numbering scheme for the partitions. Finally, using the grub CLI and a tool from, Streppel confirmed the correctness of his basic setup.

      IT - Cloud
      ThereÂs A Network Bottleneck Ahead
      InfoWorld (December 2, 2011)
      "According to a recent Cisco report, annual global data center IP traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes (that's 4.8 million petabytes) by 2016. In 2015, global data center IP traffic will reach 402 exabytes (that's 402,000 petabytes) per month. What's more, global data center IP traffic will increase fourfold over the next five years. Overall data center IP traffic will grow 33 percent per year from 2010 to 2015 ..."

      What happens when you try to put 5 gallons per minute thru a 2 gallon per minute hose? Now you see the problem as "The Cloud is Growing Faster Than the Networks It Relies On." The answer is either faster pipes or more likely restrictions on how much data you are allow in and out. Make sure you cover this with your cloud provider before you sign on the dotted line.

      IT - CxO
      What Made Steve Jobs Special (November 18, 2011)
      "Walter Isaacson's biography of Apple's co-founder, Steve Jobs: The exclusive biography, tells the story of Jobs' life - from his rebellious teenage years and growing hippy leanings to his passion for tinkering with electronics and the friendship with Steve Wozniak that ultimately led to the founding of Apple in Jobs' parents' garage.

      Isaacson also reveals the evolution of the Apple boss' business strategy, which enabled him to make his second term at Apple even more successful than his first - and to push the company to heights few would have thought possible years earlier ..."

      Love him or hate him but no one was ambivalent about Steve Jobs. His style was straightforward and uncompromising as is the "Ten Leadership Lessons from the Steve Jobs School of Management." Are you and I going to become another Steve Jobs? No. Will we understand, adapt and incorporate what works for us? Yes.

      IT - DR
      Better Late than Never
      eWeek (November 28, 2011)
      "... handling enterprise storage is getting more complicated and requires more professional expertise as time goes by. Increasing creation of huge volumes of data from broad new array of devices along with the rapid expansion of virtual machines and increased federal regulation on securely retaining data archives are only three of the major reasons for this trend ..."

      Even today there are companies that exhibit a laissez faire approach to DR until the hammer drops. If your company is not up to speed here are "10 DR Tips That Could Save a Storage Admin’s Career." Most of these make a lot of sense and need to be done now.

        IT - Networks
        You May Already Have IPv6 Devices
        ComputerWorld (November 28, 2011)
        "If your IPv6 strategy is to delay implementation as long as you can, you still must address IPv6 security concerns right now. If you plan to deploy IPv6 in a dual-stack configuration with IPv4, you're still not off thhook when it comes to security. And if you think you can simply turn off IPv6, that's not going to fly either ..."

        This may come as a shock; even if you haven’t deployed IPv6 you have devices that are IPv6 enabled. There in lies the problem as "Hackers Target IPv6" and you haven’t done anything about IPv6 security. While IPv4 devices will ignore IPv6 messages, those devices on the network that are IPv6 enabled will see the messages and react.

        IT - Operations
        Mod Data Centers
        Baseline (November 28, 2011)
        "Prefabricated data centers can add serious efficiencies to construction, management, and operations. A report from The Green Grid indicates that organizations benefit enormously by adapting a modular and prefabricated approach to data center construction ..."

        We aren’t talking mod from the 60s but a shortened from of modular. CIO’s and board rooms often have to build out data centers larger than what is currently needed to reduce the TCO. The problem is that space goes unused. When "Data Centers Go Modular" a JIT (just in time) mentality starts to take shape for both growth and contraction.

        IT - Security
        The Keys are The Key
        eWeek (November 30, 2011)
        "Enterprises are having trouble recovering business information because they are not properly managing the data encryption keys, which effectively lock them out of the critical data they sought to protect ..."

        Encryption is no longer an ‘if’ question only a where, how and from whom. In a Symantec survey or 1,575 enterprises they found that "Poor Encryption Key Management Leads to Unrecoverable Data" (which should come as no surprise). Moreover, 40% of these companies did not have confidence in retrieving keys in times of need.

        Legacy Issues
        InfoWorld (November 29, 2011)
        "Recent hacks reveal that admins and vendors have fallen behind on protecting legacy systems ..."

        Passwords are nothing new, they have been around forever and the problem is that legacy systems can be "Doomed by Default Passwords." Some vendors had default passwords that did not require users to change; others had hardwired passwords that invited intrusions. Either way big problems are on the horizon is you haven’t checked the security on your legacy boxes.

        Not Getting In from Pen Testing
        Dark Reading (November 28, 2011)
        "The goal of a penetration tester is often misunderstood. It isn't centered around getting shell on a client's critical Web server or domain admin within its Microsoft Active Directory environment. Sure, those things are fun and can cause us to dance around like tweens at a Katy Perry concert, but there's more to penetration testing. The purpose of the test is to demonstrate the risk and impact that existing vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and lack of security awareness training can have on a business ..."

        Most companies expect that hiring a penetration consultant will result in a entry somewhere; not necessarily. "Not Getting ‘In’ Is An Option" for those companies that have a mature, well staffed and funded security operation. The goal in this case is to confirm that the effort, time and money was well spent.

        The Straight Scoop
        eWeek (November 23, 2011)
        "While organizations are deploying firewalls, public key cryptography and complying with various security and privacy regulations, many of them are still hanging onto certain misperceptions, 'falsehoods' and approaches that don't work ..."

        There are two types of people that know about security; those that know and those that don’t. These "Top 10 Dumb Computer Security Notions and Myths" really bog down the efforts of security pros that have to fight these every day.

        True DUH Insight
        Channel Insider (November 30, 2011)
        "A study shows the human aspect needs to be included in security studies, where humans are the 'weakest link' ..."

        An engineer and criminologist at the University of Maryland are researching how "Cyber-Crime Victims Often Provide Access Unwittingly" to the bad guys. What is surprising is that attacks are more likely to happen in broad daylight than late at night; the reason, users are surfing sites that infect their systems.

        IT - Careers
        Holiday Traps
        CRN (November 25, 2011)
        "During the holiday season, cybercriminals are the Grinches of the tech world, trying to wreck everyone's holiday cheer with cyber scams. This year, security vendor McAfee says scammers will be working overtime to trap online gift buyers ..."

        Those of us in IT know a scam when we come across one. Our friends and family tend to believe that whatever comes across the Internet is OK. MacAfee has put together a list of "The 12 Scams of Christmas"; take a minute and send these to you friends and family to make them aware that the bad guys are out there.

        ItÂs Office Party Time Again
        Baseline (November 28, 2011)
        "Holiday get-togethers can be a nice way to mark the season and to share a little warmth and appreciation with co-workers, but they can also be danger zones, social minefields into which you step at your own peril, dark and confusing places where your inappropriate behavior could have unintended consequences ..."

        For those of you who think that the traditional office party is a anything goes affair, think again. Nothing is off the record and if you commit and of these "10 Office Party No-Nos" you could end up not invited to the next one…because you won't be there.

        IT - Email
        Haste Makes for Problems (December 1, 2011)
        "People often feel that when it comes to email they are always on call. But the pressure to answer emails immediately should be resisted ..."

        How many of us in the name of providing good service respond immediately to any email? That immediacy is not in your best interest for lots of reasons; these "Four Ways to Fight the Urge to Fire Off a Rapid Reply" will help you regain a sense of control. There are no doubts that there are fires during the day, but not every email announcement should set off your fire alarm.

        Possible Successors to NAND Flash Even as 3D NAND Shows Promise
        Replacing NAND Won't Be Cheap
        If you've not yet heard of "phase-change memory (PCM), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) or resistive RAM (RRAM) senior writer Carol Sliwa is certain you will. IBM's announcement this summer that thermal-based PCM might enable systems to retrieve data 100 times faster than NAND flash and to endure at least 10 million write cycles drew attention. In the view of some knowledgeable storage industry insiders, though, NAND's demise is years off because the cost of manufacturing these technologies is still prohibitive. Sliwa's article covers the range of technologies drawing attention both in the lab and the board room.
        Survey of Enterprise Storage Trends
        SSDs, Ability Optimization, Auto-tiering

        If Gestalt is your thing and you have a sharp machete, you might enjoy weeding your way through Stephen Foskett's piece on enterprise storage trends in Foskett covers the field, touching on such trends as solid-state cache; virtualization-optimized storage; capacity optimization; automated tiered storage; and innovation in storage. It's hard going but that machete will get you through the tangle.

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

        • The Future of the SPARC M4
        • New Shell In Oracle Solaris 11
        • Oracle Solaris 10 Compared to Oracle Solaris 11
        • Transitioning From Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11 (Overview)
        • Oracle Solaris 11 ZFS File System on Oracle Solaris 11
        • Installing Oracle Solaris 11 in Oracle VM VirtualBox
        • Creating User Home Directory Encryption with ZFS
        • Creating a Solaris 10 Branded Zone in Solaris 11
        • 84 Open Source Companies Ranked By Momentum Index
        • Technical Product Guide for Sun Ray Clients

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

          NetBeans IDE 7.1 Release Candidate
          Available for Download; Learn About What's New
          For a rundown on what's new in NetBeans 7.1 see Arun Gupta's post on the availability of the download for NetBeans 7.1 RC1. Among the new features or improvements Gupta notes are Support for JavaFX2; enhanced Java editor; enhancements to support for Java EE; and changes involving CSS3, GUI Builder, Git, Maven3, etc. Gupta cites as his favorite the ability to create a Java EE 6 application, deploy on GlassFish, and then re-deploy the same application by changing the target to Oracle WebLogic Server 12c (internal build), which enables users to see the same application deployed to both servers.
          Trending in
          Vol 235, Issue 3
          Trending IT Articles