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Dec 19th, 2011 — Dec 25th, 2011 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 166, Issue 3 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
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Video: The Rise & Development of Illumos
Bryan Cantrill VP, Engineering, Joyent, Pulls Back the Curtain (1hr)
The video of Bryan's talk is now available. He is a great speaker and he adds much to the slide deck. Warning: some of his remarks are quite frank.

The Illumos project is the fully open community fork of the OpenSolaris operating system lead by Garrett D'Amoreat of Nexenta.

Joyent VP for Engineering Bryan Cantrill colorfully details "Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos" in his presentation that answers the question "WTF is illumos?" in the following way:

An open source descendant of OpenSolaris, which itself was a branch of Solaris Nevada which was the name of the release after Solaris10, and was open but is now closed, and is itself a descendant of Solaris2.x, but it can all be called "SunOS5.x" -- but not "SunOS4.x" --"(that's different).

Oracle's Q2 Earnings: Operating Cash Flow Up 45%
EPS Up 17% TO 43c; Q2 Non-GAAP EPS Up 6% TO 54c
Oracle reports that its GAAP earnings per share were $0.43, up 17% compared to last year while non-GAAP earnings per share were up 6% to $0.54. GAAP operating cash flow on a trailing twelve-month basis was $13.1 billion. “Non-GAAP operating margins increased to 45% in Q2,” said Oracle President and CFO, Safra Catz, “and we expect those margins to keep growing. Operating cash flow over the last twelve months grew to $13.1 billion; that’s up a remarkable 45% compared to the preceding twelve month period.”
New Release of Oracle Tuxedo 11g
App Server for C/C++, COBOL, and Dynamic Languages
The features and the optimized integration with Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud available in the new release of Oracle Tuxedo 11g application server for C/C++, COBOL, and dynamic languages, enable users to gain increased application performance, accelerated and simplified migration and modernization of mainframe applications. Oracle Tuxedo 11g also includes Oracle Tuxedo Application Runtime for IMS 11g, a new product within the Oracle Tuxedo family that helps customers substantially reduce IT costs, increase business agility and reduce risk by accelerating and simplifying the migration of IBM mainframe IMS applications to open systems.
Explaining a Big Data Implementation and its Components
Smartmall as an Example
In his use case approach to explaining a big data implementation, Jean-Pierre Dijcks uses the example of Smartmall, which he characterizes as "multi-channel customer interaction," or luring customers into the online store rather than have them shop via smart phone. He identifies the elements of such a system and follows the data flow from end-to-end by way of example. Big Data, he writes, allows users to leverage tremendous data and processing resources to come to accurate models while also allowing users to create more accurate models, new ideas, and new business.
Digicel Haiti Implements Oracle Exadata Database Machine
Improves Analysis of Call Data Records by 16X
With the purchase of a half-rack Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 Digicel Haiti has improved analysis and report performance of call data records by a factor of 16x without any additional changes. Daily reports are now processed and delivered each morning to assist the business in strengthening and refining the company's sales strategies and campaigns.
IT - Storage
Batter Up for Big Data
ComputerWorld (October 25, 2011)
"With big data being hyped as the next big strategic initiative for business, it's time for IT to lay the groundwork ..."

There's good news and bad news on the horizon for big data; The good news is that the C Levels are starting to hear about big data; the bad news is that the C Level is hearing about big data. Here are "5 Things You Should Do Now" to get ready for the impact of big data on the data center and to have answers ready when the question comes down from above.

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.

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.

Sub $5K NAS Shootout
InfoWorld (October 19, 2011)
"Five- and six-bay NAS cabinets from Iomega, Netgear, QNAP, Synology, and Thecus compete on speed, ease, and business features ..."

Looking for an inexpensive NAS filer? Here are the results as "5 Storage Servers Battle for Business". Even if one of your choices is not of the list you can compare the guidelines and results with you choice to determine if you choice makes sense.

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.

Free and Open Source S/W
x Names the 10 Best Open-Source Products Of 2011
LibreOffice Leads the Pack
The ten best open source products of 2011, as named by are these, in reverse order:

  • Fedora 16
  • Ubuntu 11.04
  • OpenStack
  • Asterisk 10
  • MySQL 5.6, Beta
  • Android 3.xx, or "Honeycomb"
  • Firefox for Android
  • Linux Mint 12
  • Ubuntu 11.10
  • LibreOffice

(Selected by Edward F. Moltzen, CRN)

Iowa Network Services Gains Performance Efficiencies with SPARC T-Series Implementation
Consolidates 36 Servers Onto Four for Nearly 99.999% Availability
Iowa Network Services, an ISP, has implemented Oracle Solaris on Oracle's SPARC T-Series servers and improved the availability and reliability of their services, achieving close to 99.999% uptime for their 80,000 subscribers. Thirty-six servers have been consolidated onto four SPARC T-series servers, reducing its footprint by more than 85 percent, and reducing support costs, decreasing power and cooling requirements and improving personnel efficiency, resulting in a 15% reduction in operational costs. Consolidation has increased the flexibility of server resources and provided a 25% performance improvement.
CRN Includes MySQL 5.6 in 10 Best Wins Best Open Source Product of 2011 Awards
'Strongest Open-source Database'
CRN has named MySQL 5.6 as among the 10 best open source products for 2011, Bertrand Matthelie reports on Oracle's MySQL Blog. He quotes the CRN announcement, which said, "MySQL 5.6, now in beta, includes significant advances in text-based search inside a database, as well as performance enhancements. With the growth of the world’s data set to explode like never before with the advent of data-capturing and data-creating mobile devices, MySQL 5.6 is firmly in place as the strongest open-source database.”
Oracle Linux 6 .2 Released to General Availability
For both x86 (32 bit) and x86_64 (64 bit) Architectures.
Oracle has announced the release to general availability of Oracle Linux 6.2 for x86 (32 bit) and x86_64 (64 bit) architectures. Both, Oracle explains, ship with two sets of kernel packages and include both a 32 bit and a 64 bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel:

1: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel [kernel-uek-2.6.32-300.3.1.el6uek] (installed and booted by default)


2: Red Hat Compatible Kernel [kernel-2.6.32-220.el6] (installed by default) This release also includes several network driver updates and storage driver updates.

IT - Cloud
Coding Problems
InfoWorld (October 24, 2011)
"Coding and system modification strategies can weaken your cloud apps over time, so keep these steps in mind to keep your code functioning"

Putting applications into the cloud could be an issue if you don't pay attention to the details. Here are 16 tips on "How to Head Off Coding Errors in the Cloud". The proof of the pudding is in the details, miss one and big trouble may lie ahead.

    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.

    Unexpected Expenses
    ComputerWorld (December 5, 2011)
    "The cloud is moving past the hype stage and starting to deliver tangible benefits, primarily increased flexibility and agility. But moving to the cloud can also mean added costs, some of which are unexpected, according to IT executives whose organizations have implemented or are considering cloud services ..."

    Most of us know by now that when a vendor does your ROI calculations that there may be one or two surprises in store. To avoid sticker shock with the first of many invoices start "Preparing for the Real Costs of Cloud Computing"] by taking these four areas into account up front.

    IT - CxO
    Relieving Stress
    CIO Insight (October 31, 2011)
    "Do you find that some of your IT workers always think in worst-case scenarios, even when there’s no indication that the worst will happen? Or, do they they lash out over relatively minor setbacks? ..."

    Anyone in a management or leadership position has to deal with personal and organizational stress. Knowing how to recognize the signs and make changes is key to being effective. Here are "Five Ways to Help Your IT Employees Deal with Stress"; and don't forget to look in the mirror occasionally.

    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.

      The Winds of Change
      TechRepublic (October 25, 2011)
      "Gartner analyst Ken McGee has a radical assessment of IT and what CIOs need to do about. Read his principles of the 'new CIO manifesto.' ... "

      IT is no longer a bastion of skills sets that supports the business, IT must become an enable of business strategies. To that end, one Gartner analyst has "15 IT Best Practices to Kill" in order to facilitate this change. Some of these have been around a long time and will meet resistance; never the less, changes are afoot.

      Start Now to Keep Employees (November 30, 2011)
      "IT jobs market: Three factors that could spark a backlash among overworked techies ..."

      Doing more with less means more stress on your staff; longer hours, less pay increases, decreased training, old hardware, etc. There are "Three Factors That Could Spark A Backlash Among Overworked Techies"; if you notice any of the signs now is the time to make changes to make sure your keep people don’t jump ship. Remember people move to new jobs for more money, but they usually leave because of lack of respect.

      Made Not Born
      CIO Insight (December 12, 2011) )
      "This guide will help you bring out the qualities within that will allow you to emerge as an organizational agenda-driver. ..."

      No one is born being a leader; and like every other skill you have to pay your dues and learn from your mistakes. Here are "10 Ways to Stand Out as a Leader"; and remember, just because you don't yet have the title or responsibility doesn't mean you aren't a leader.

      IT - Networks
      Free Help for WI-FI Analysis
      NetworkWorld (December 2, 2011)
      "Even if you have an enterprise-level Wi-Fi spectrum analyzer, like Wi-Spy or AirMagnet, free Wi-Fi tools can also come in handy ..."

      Any one tool does not do everything regardless of what the vendors say. Here are "8 Free WI-FI Security Tools" that provide stumbling and surveying solutions for large or small shops.

      IT - Security
      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
      Failures Are the Roots of Success
      Baseline (October 20, 2011)
      "Henry Ford is credited with saying, 'Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.' He would have known, because he endured significant setbacks before finding a winning formula in the automobile industry ..."

      There have been some huge flops from people that have gone on to great accomplishments. Here are "10 Failures Who Became Huge Successes"; getting knocked down is not the end, staying down is.

        Top Ten Articles for last few Issues
        Vol 166 Issues 1 and 2; Vol 165 Issue 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Vol 164 Issue 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:

        • Creating Oracle Solaris Zones in Oracle Solaris 11
        • Using NexentaStor ZFS storage appliance with vSphere
        • Record Performance Result for a Two Processor Intel-Based System with TPC-C Benchmark
        • Integration of LDoms Networking with Networking Enhancements in Solaris 11
        • Doorway to the Cloud: Oracle WebLogic Server 12c
        • Oracle Solaris Studio 12.3 Released
        • TimesTen and In-Memory Database Cache
        • Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management
        • New Documentation for with JavaFX 2.0.2 Release
        • Join Java Spotlight Episode 60 to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Globalcode

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

          Oracle Solaris Studio 12.3 Released
          Optimized for both Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux Operating Systems
          With the release of Oracle Studio 12.3, enterprise developers will find it possible to use the new Code Analysis tool to quickly detect application vulnerabilities, including memory leaks and memory access violations, improving application quality and reliability. Furthermore, the release accelerates performance of SPARC T4 and x86-based applications up to 300 percent by leveraging Oracle’s advanced compiler technology. Developers will also find it convenient that Oracle Solaris Studio 12.3’s built-in remote access capabilities, makes it possible to create Oracle Solaris or Linux applications easily, whether from Oracle Solaris, Linux, Windows, or Mac OS desktops.
          Using the Paint Application to Achieve Deeper Integration of JavaFX in NetBeans RCP
          Getting the JavaFX Bar Chart to Reflect Changes in Sales Properties
          It is possible (and relatively easy), writes Geertjan Wielenga, to have changes in sales properties be reflected in the javafx.scene.chart.BarChart. Wielenga began with the Paint Application, added JavaFX code and a node hierarchy to obtain the desired result. The simplicity of this exercise, he contends, suggests just how well JavaFX can be made to fit into what he terms the "real world of existing Java desktop applications." He advises against dismissing Swing, which he terms unnecessary.
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