Press Review #9

Mar 07, 2012 | 6 minutes read
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Tag: Press

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

Are SSD-based arrays a bad idea?

Think: if NAND flash storage arrays were being developed today, what is the chance that we’d put the flash into little bricks and then plug a bunch of them into a backplane? So why do it now?

Shall I use Zones or LDOMs?

Of course one can't answer this question without talking about the platform requirements and the reasons to pick the right technologies, but before we'd go into details, let me get the most important statement straight: Zones and LDOMs are not rivalling, but complementary technologies. If you need kernelspace separation, use ldoms. But run your applications in zones within those ldoms anyway!

Zones? Clusters? Clustering zones? Zoneclusters?

Everyone values zones, Solaris' builtin OS-virtualization. They are near-footprintless. Their administration is delegable. They have their own bootenvironments. Easily cloneable with ZFS snapshots, etc. They are also cleanly integratable with Solaris Cluster in different ways - this post should shed some light on the different options, and provide an example of zoneclusters.

POWER: Loss of Sony Playstation Platform

Apple abandoned PowerPC for Intel in 2006, leaving IBM POWER without a desktop partner. Sony is rumored to discontinue use of IBM POWER for their gaming consoles in the PlayStation 4, starting the decline of POWER in the gaming market. POWER7+ from IBM is now nearly a half-year late and IBM has still not delivered as of March 2012.

Cheatsheet for configuring...

There are quite a number of changes in the procedures to configure some of the networking parameters. Many things have changed, that were just editing of a file in the past, have now command-line based tools in order to change their parameters. Before you ask: The reason for this steps are quite simple.

Solaris Fingerprint Database - How it's done in Solaris 11

Many remember the Solaris Fingerprint Database. It was a great tool to verify the integrity of a solaris binary. Unfortunately, it went away with the rest of sunsolve, and was not revived in the replacement, "My Oracle Support". Here's the good news: It's back for Solaris 11, and it's better than ever!

Sun ZFS Storage Appliance : can do blocks, can do files too!

As a benchmark SPC-1's profile is close to what a fixed block size DB would actually be doing. See Fast Safe Cheap : Pick 3 for more details on that result. Here, for an encore, we're showing today how the ZFS Storage appliance can perform in a totally different environment : generic NFS file serving.

The USE Method...

A serious performance issue arises, and you suspect it’s caused by the server. What do you check first? Back when I was teaching operating system performance, I wanted a methodology my students could follow to find common issues quickly, without overlooking important areas. Like an emergency checklist in a flight manual, it would be something simple, straightforward, complete and fast. I eventually came up with the “USE” method (short for “Utilization Saturation and Errors”), which I’ve used many times successfully in enterprise environments, and more recently in cloud computing environments.

Getting Started with Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2

This article describes how you can update your Oracle Linux systems to the latest version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. By switching to the latest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, you can get the latest innovations in mainline Linux. Switching is easy—applications and the operating system remain unchanged. There is no need to perform a full re-install; only the relevant RPM packages are replaced. You can obtain future updates easily from the Unbreakable Linux Network to keep your systems fully patched and secured.

Oracle Solaris 11 Cheatsheet

In the last few days i created a cheat sheet for Solaris 11 ... while it's still a work in progress (it will be surely longer in the future).

Performance impact of the new mtmalloc memory allocator

I didn't wrote about this as it was in my phase of silence but there was some change in the allocator area, Solaris 10 got a revamped mtmalloc allocator in version Solaris 10 08/11 (as described in "libmtmalloc Improvements"). The new memory allocator was introduced to Solaris development by the PSARC case 2010/212.

Linux Kernel Performance: Flame Graphs

To get the most out of your systems, you want detailed insight into what the operating system kernel is doing. A typical approach is to sample stack traces; however, the data collected can be time consuming to read or navigate. Flame Graphs are a new way to visualize sampled stack traces, and can be applied to the Linux kernel for some useful (and stunning!) visualizations.

'Cheap' Oracle box bashes NetApp benchmark

Save one MILLION dollars, get 32% more speed

The Sun ZFS 7320 scored 134,140 SPECsfs2008 IOPS with an overall response time of 1.51msecs and cost $179,602.

Oracle quotes a price of $1,215,290 for NetApp's FAS3270 which scored 101,183 IOPS with a 1.66msec response time.

The Oracle-NetApp pricing difference is huge and, on the face of it, paying $1,035,698 more for 32 per cent less performance is not an attractive idea for a basic NFS file-serving box.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 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 Red Hat Enteprise Linux and Oracle Solaris 11, so that administrators with knowledge in the former can kick start their learning experience if planning deploy the latter.

How To install Solaris 11 automated install server

This a quick blog entry designed to outline the commands that can aid in the process of setting up a Solaris 11 Automated Install server. More details and an overview of what's changed, are of course available at the Simplified Installation section of the Oracle Solaris 11 Spotlight pages.

Great Solaris 10 features paving the way to Solaris 11

Again: the main message is: Go for Solaris 11 if you can. If you need to run Solaris 10, we recommend deploying the mentioned technologies, they can and will improve your daily system engineering business and prepare your platform for the move to Solaris 11.

How to Find Out What's in an Oracle Solaris Binary File

How to determine the contents of Oracle Solaris binaries and what tools you can use to read, extract, and delete sections. Plus, the effect of compiler flags on binary file size and how to reduce the size of the executable.

SPARC: Life in the Fast Lane - 10 Months Later

Both Oracle and Fujitsu are independently pursuing SPARC in disjoint, non-overlapping, markets. They are not the only vendors creating new production quality SPARC processors (as noted by the former #1 HPC system from China.) SPARC appears to have a long road ahead, being implemented by multiple vendors, and each implementation performing best in it's class.