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

IOPS and latency are not related - HDD performance explored

Today, we routinely hear people carrying on about IOPS-this and IOPS-that. Mostly this seems to come from marketing people: 1.5 million IOPS-this, billion IOPS-that. Right off the bat, a billion IOPS is not hard to do, the metric lends itself rather well to parallelization...

How to Use the Power Management Controls on SPARC Servers

SPARC T-Series systems have power-saving features designed into the hardware and software. These features allow you to reduce server power consumption, which leads to a cost reduction for environmental cooling and reduced power usage by other infrastructure components. The SPARC T-Series power management (PM) interfaces make it easy to manage these PM features.

Solaris: What comes next?

As you probably know by now, a few months ago, we released Solaris 11 after years of development. That of course means we now need to figure out what comes next - if Solaris 11 is “The First Cloud OS”, then what do we need to make future releases of Solaris be, to be modern and competitive when they're released? So we've been having planning and brainstorming meetings, and I've captured some notes here from just one of those we held a couple weeks ago with a number of the Silicon Valley based engineers.

Solaris 11 features: nscfg

As you may have noticed many configuration tasks around name services have moved into the SMF in Solaris 11. However you don't have to use the svccfg command in order to configure them, you could still use the old files. However you can't just edit them, you have to import the data into the SMF repository. There are many reasons for this need but the ultimate one is in the start method. I will explain that later. In this article i want to explain, how nscfg can help you with with the naming service configuration of your system.

New Oracle VM Hardware Certifications

We've received inquiries from the community on certification of Oracle VM 3.0 on HP Proliant systems. We're pleased to update that we've recently completed certification of the HP Proliant systems for Oracle VM 3.0.

Oracle’s SPARC SuperCluster is now Supported by SAP

Oracle’s SPARC SuperCluster now runs the Oracle Database, the SAP central instance, application or web server, and Oracle Enterprise Manager management software along with all your SAP applications.

POWER, AMD, Itanium, and SPARC

The addition of compression engines (in the T5), in addition to the well-know crypto engines in the SPARC T Series will be a welcome capability addition for general purpose computing. Fewer proprietary crypto cards, proprietary network devices with crypto engines, and proprietary disk arrays (sporting compression, encryption, and dedup) will be needed - to achieve outstanding performance of general purpose applications running under SPARC.

How the SPARC T4 Processor Optimizes Throughput Capacity: A Case Study

Latency is the time delay between when a request is sent and the moment the result of the request is delivered. Such delays can be found between many components within a computer system and can have a significant impact on performance.

In this paper, the focus is on instruction-level latencies, which are usually expressed in processor cycles. Many instructions have a fixed latency, but there are also instructions with a latency that depends on the runtime conditions or data type format.

AIX to Oracle Solaris 11 Evaluation

The following guide gives an overview of some of the technologies included in Oracle Solaris 11 and the direct benefit you can get by using some of these features. This guide also provides a similar technology mapping, where possible, between IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris 11, so that administrators with knowledge in the former can kick start their learning experience if planning deploy the latter.

dtrace.conf(12) wrap-up

For the second time in as many quadrennial dtrace.confs, I was impressed at how well the unconference format worked out. Sharing coffee with the DTrace community, it was great to see some of the oldest friends of DTrace — Jarod Jenson, Stephen O’Grady, Jonathan Adams to name a few — and to put faces to names — Scott Fritchie, Dustin Sallings, Blake Irvin, etc — of the many new additions to the DTrace community. You can see all the slides and videos; these are my thoughts and notes on the day.

Ksplice: Kernal Update Without Reboot

Operating Systems normally comprise two distinct layers: the kernel and the user space. Normally, updating the kernel would require a reboot, so the OS can apply a new kernel module. Operating Systems like Solaris created a mechanism called "live update" to update OS Kernel, OS User Space, or even third-party applications (not to mention provide rollback) with merely a reboot. Oracle Solaris 11 facilitates virtually unlimited patch/rollback cycles leveraging ZFS. The new Ksplice tool from Oracle allows for Linux to get closer to Solaris uptime requirements by providing for kernel updates without reboot, leaving OS User Space and Applications to normal reboot or application restart cycles.

How to Avoid Your Next 12-Month Science Project

Could it be there's more going on behind the scenes than merely putting together a bunch of servers, a storage array and an InfiniBand network into a rack? Let's explore some of the special sauce that makes Exalogic unique and un-copyable, so you can save yourself from your next 6- to 12-month science project that distracts you from doing real work that adds value to your company.

How to Update Oracle Solaris 11 Systems Using Support Repository Updates

Oracle Solaris 11 includes a new package management system that greatly simplifies the process of managing system software helping to reduce the risk of operating system maintenance, including planned and unplanned system downtime. Image Packaging System (IPS) takes much of the complexity out of software administration with its ability to automatically calculate dependencies, and it merges both the package and patch management into a single administrative interface.

This article steps through updating an Oracle Solaris 11 system with software packages that are provided with an active Oracle support agreement. In the process, it covers some of the basics that you should know to ensure an update goes successfully and safely.

IBM Launches Hybrid, Flexible Systems Into The Data Center

It takes a little time and a lot of money to roll out a new server architecture, and even a company as large as IBM can't do it very often. The System/360 in 1964. The System/38 in 1979 and its follow-on, the AS/400, in 1988. The RS/6000 in 1990. The BladeCenter in 2002, and the Sequent-inspired clustered server nodes in the xSeries and pSeries in the mid-2000s. iDataplex in 2008. And now the PureSystem converged infrastructure launched last week, in 2012.

OmniOS builds on Illumos to make a complete operating system

"OmniOS is our vision of what OpenSolaris could have been had it remained in the open. It runs better, faster and has more innovations," continued Schlossnagle. "OmniTI did not want to lose the benefits that OpenSolaris technologies brought to customers, so we decided to pursue the continuation of the OS on our own. [...]"

Latency and I/O Size: Cars vs Trains

A legacy view of system performance is that bigger I/O is better than smaller I/O. This has led many to worry about things like "jumbo" frames for Ethernet or setting the maximum I/O size for SANs. Is this worry justified? Let's take a look...

PureSystems Giving You Job Jitters? The Doctor is In!

Will these IBM PureSystems put me out of a job?

After all, you've had a successful career configuring systems, tuning them, rebuilding them, finding performance bottlenecks, writing scripts, and juggling high user expectations with a budget that would starve a mouse. Now there are these new systems that are configured in the blink of an eye, tune themselves and (you may be thinking), don't need you.

Well, before you sign the extinction certificate and set up the world's first museum for experienced AIX sys admins, have a think about the number of reasons your career is not doomed as of 11 April 2012, the day the new IBM PureSystems were launched.

How I Decide Which Virtualization Technology to Use

When the time comes to update your hardware, some workloads that were comfortably ensconced in their own hardware need to be consolidated onto systems with virtual environments. But how do you choose between the various methods of virtualization? For instance, Oracle Solaris lets you create a virtual network. And virtual storage. You can allocate memory and CPUs to workloads in interesting ways. Oracle Solaris Zones (previously called Oracle Solaris Containers) lets you virtualize entire systems. You also have different hypervisors to choose from. And what about the hardware virtualization options in SPARC and x86 platforms -- how do they add to your options, and when should you use them?

Performability Analysis

Modern systems are continuing to evolve and become more tolerant to failures. For many systems today, a simple performance or availability analysis does not reveal how well a system will operate when in a degraded mode. A performability analysis can help answer these questions for complex systems. In this blog, an updated version of an old blog post on performability, I'll show one of the methods we use for performability analysis.

How to Live Install from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11 11/11

First, you create a set of ZFS send archives—golden image—on an Oracle Solaris 11 11/11 system that is the same model as your Oracle Solaris 10 system. Then you install this golden image on an unused disk of the system running Oracle Solaris 10 to enable it to be rebooted into Oracle Solaris 11 11/11. The basic system configuration parameters from the Oracle Solaris 10 image are stored and applied to the Oracle Solaris 11 11/11 image.

Get Ready to Change your Job

As new IT concepts like virtualization, Engineered Systems, Cloud Computing, DevOps, new services, patterns and languages emerge, they force IT organizations to re-think and adapt roles, responsibilities and jobs to the new reality. Change is a constant in IT, and the current times are likely to see a lot more change than we have seen before.

Enable DTrace hooks in GENERIC

This commit enables DTrace in FreeBSD-10 GENERIC kernel!