Here is a little press review around Oracle technologies, and Solaris in particular:

Analyzing Interrupt Activity with DTrace

Interrupts are events delivered to CPUs, usually by external devices (e.g. FC, SCSI, Ethernet and Infiniband adapters). Interrupts can cause performance and observability problems for applications.

Performance problems are caused when an interrupt "steals" a CPU from an application thread, halting its process while the interrupt is serviced. This is called pinning - the interrupt will pin an application thread if the interrupt was delivered to a CPU on which an application was executing at the time.

ZFSSA/S7000 major update

The first major software update of S7000/ZFSSA/Fishwork in over a year is now available. With the original version "2011.Q1" it seems a bit delayed, perhaps due to the departure several key persons behind the software post Oracle acquisition of Sun.

The all-seeing eye of DTrace

I was recently involved with a problem related to backup software running on Solaris, as part of a general health check of the system I stumbled on something interesting that was not visible using conventional tools.

Windows 8: Getting More ZFS'ish

Storage has always been a part of operating systems. Over time, storage capabilities have increasingly became more sophisticated in operating systems, consuming features from 3rd party partners. Occasionally, a vendor will release very sophisticated increments to their operating systems. Windows 8 is projected to receive more ZFS-like features, to make it more competitive with Solaris, when Sun release ZFS over a half-dozen years ago.

Big Data : opportunité Business et (nouveau) défi pour la DSI ?

Comme le souligne une étude de McKinsey ("Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity"), la maîtrise des données (dans leur diversité) et la capacité à les analyser à un impact fort sur l’apport que l’informatique (la DSI) peut fournir aux métiers, pour trouver de nouveaux axes de compétitivité. Pour ne citer que 2 exemples, ils estiment que l'exploitation du Big Data pourrait permettre d'économiser plus de €250 milliards sur l'ensemble du secteur publique Européens (identification des fraudes, gestion et mesures de l'efficacité des affectations des subventions et des plans d'investissements, ...). Quant au secteur marchand, la simple utilisation des données de géolocalisation pourrait permettre un surplus globale de $600 milliards[...]

Activity of the ZFS ARC

Disk I/O is still a common source of performance issues, despite modern cloud environments, modern file systems and huge amounts of main memory serving as file system cache. Understanding how well that cache is working is a key task while investigating disk I/O issues. In this post, I’ll show the activity of the ZFS file system Adaptive Replacement Cache (ARC).

Engineered Systems and Enterprise Architecture (or: How to Sell Dog Food Online)

One of the first things that customers and sales teams realize when dealing with Engineered Systems is: They fundamentally change the IT architecture of a business.

Change is good, it means progress. But change is sometimes seen as a bad thing: Change comes with fear.

The truth is that Engineered Systems really empower IT architects to add value to their business, application and data architectures, without worrying about the technology architecture.

New My Oracle Support User Interface to Replace HTML-Based User Interface on January 27, 2012

On January 27, 2012, we will upgrade My Oracle Support’s current HTML-based user interface (UI) to a new one built using Oracle’s Application Development Framework (ADF). This upgrade is driven by customer feedback, and will help provide our My Oracle Support HTML-based users more streamlined access to support information and services.

NEW CERTIFICATION: Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), Oracle Solaris 11 System Administrator

Oracle Certification announces the release of the new "Oracle Certified Associate, Oracle Solaris 11 System Administrator" certification. This certification is for Oracle Solaris system administrators who possess a strong foundation in the administration of the Oracle Solaris 11 Operating System and are proficient in essential system administration skills such as managing local disk devices, managing file systems, installing and removing Solaris packages and patches, performing system boot procedures and system processes.

Solaris Tip: How-To Identify Memory Mapped Files

A memory mapped (mmap'd) file is a shared memory object, or a file with some portion or the whole file was mapped to virtual memory segments in the address space of an OS process. Here is one way to figure out if a given object (file or shared memory object) was memory mapped in a process or not.

New Storage Magazine awards for NAS...

Storage Magazine just came out with the January 2012 issue, showing Oracle Storage doing quite well (#1) with the Oracle ZFSSA 7420 and 7320 family. Check out pages 37-43 of this month's Storage Magazine. Storage Magazine: http://docs.media.bitpipe.com/io_10x/io_103104/item_494970/StoragemagOnlineJan2012final2.pdf (pages 37-43)

SSDs and the TPC-C top 10

If SSDs are so great, shouldn’t we see the results in TPC-C benchmarks? They are, and we do.

But there are some surprises.

MWAC in Global Zone

Solaris 11 has a new cool feature called Immutable Zones. [...] Immutable Zones basically allow for read-only or partially read-only Zones to be deployed. You can even combine it with ZFS encryption - see Darren's blog entry for more details. The underlying technology to immutable zones is called Mandatory Write Access Control (MWAC) and is implemented in kernel. So for each open, unlink, etc. syscall a VFS layer checks if MWAC is enabled for a given filesystem and a zone and if it is it will check white and black lists associated with a zone and potentially deny write access to a file (generating EROFS).

IBM Slashes Some Power7 Processor Prices

The new year is well under way and IBM, as we report elsewhere in this issue of The Four Hundred, has closed out last year and is facing whatever new challenges it has. The big one is that new Opteron 6200 processors from Advanced Micro Devices and Sparc T4 processors from Oracle are out, and the even bigger problem is that the Xeon E5 processors from Intel are shipping under NDA to selected customers and are expected to launch this quarter.

With Power7+ machines expected this year, intense competition from X86 and Sparc iron, and a bunch of Power7 machines probably sitting in the barn at IBM's resellers, there may never be a better time to get a discount on Power7 processors.

How Dell Migrated from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux

How Dell planned and implemented the migration, including key conversion issues and an overview of their transition process.

In June of 2010, Dell made the decision to migrate 1,700 systems from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux, while leaving the hardware and application layers unchanged. Standardization across the Linux platforms helped make this large-scale conversion possible. The majority of the site-specific operating system and application configuration could simply be backed up and restored directly on the new operating system. Configuration changes were minimal and most could be automated, easing the administration effort required and helping achieve a reliable and consistent transition procedure.

ZFS Storage Appliance Calculator

Hardware and Systems Upgrade

Learn how to upgrade and why refreshing your data center makes good business sense.

Oracle Solaris and Oracle SPARC T4 Servers—Engineered Together for Enterprise Cloud Deployments

Over the last 25 years, the Oracle Solaris has been developed hand-in-hand with systems built around the SPARC processor. Oracle Solaris is tightly integrated with the many system level capabilities of the SPARC T4 processor, providing scalable, high-performance compute capability coupled with integrated high-speed networking and cryptographic acceleration.

Today, with Oracle Solaris 10 and SPARC T4 systems, existing applications can receive an immediate performance boost and at the same time companies can begin extending their operations into the cloud with Oracle Solaris 11.

Use the OPN Fast Track to move your Application to Oracle Solaris 11

The first building block is the Oracle Solaris binary guarantee. It warrants that Oracle Solaris 10 binaries can be executed on Oracle Solaris 11 without recompilation.

Even binary compatible applications rely on all the frame works which have been provided with Oracle Solaris 10. Applications who need this fine grained support of the older Oracle Solaris 10 infrastructure are likely to work smoothly on Oracle Solaris 11systems using an Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone. This will work as long as the applicaton has been supported to run in a Oracle Solaris 10 zone before.

Oracle and the Solaris Brand

When Oracle Corp. acquired to save some brands of Sun Microsystems April 2009 through January 2010, much was made about the enterprise software giant’s entry to the hardware business. Now, two years on, things are looking up for one of the industry’s better known platforms for performance and stability through the last couple decades—Solaris. Just last month, Markus Flierl, Vice President of Software Development, Oracle, told MIS Asia what Oracle has been doing to breathe new life into Solaris and where he expects the new platform to add value to industry users.