Having spent most of 2000 – 2010 using Sun Ray machines for everyday working, you can forgive me if I’m not a little sad that these great tech machines have been EOL’d and are no longer available for purchase.
The Sun Ray was a networked display device, with applications running on the server – which meant you could go from machine to machine with just a smart card and your session would pop up. It was the ultimate portable computer, as long as you had a networked machine to plug into.
With Secure Global Desktop, Virtualbox and Oracle Virtualization technologies, it was always a crowded space within Oracle and with the switch to tablets, mobile and cloud computing it makes sense to let software connect to virtual sessions, rather than tie to a physical box on a desk you had to plug into.
Now you can use laptops, phones and tablets to seamlessly connect to any session, whether you’re at your desk or on the move.
Almost a year since 126.96.36.199 was released, Oracle have had a big event in Tokyo to announce the release of 188.8.131.52 (among other things).
Great to see our president and founder Robin Ranzal quoted in the release:
“Organizations that lack visibility into cost and profitability will find the expanded features of Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management attractive,” said Robin Ranzal, president of Edgewater Ranzal. “These features allow revenues and costs to be allocated at a very granular level. Executives gain improved insight into how customer-driven interactions across any channel impact profitability and allow for improved decision-making about company offerings.”
It will probably take a few days for the downloads to be released and the new readmes and known issues fully read and understood. Then there should be a flood of information on the internet tubes 😉
The one interesting note is that Oracle Hyperion Calculation Manager has replaced Oracle Hyperion Business Rules as the mechanism for designing and managing business rules, therefore, Business Rules is no longer released with EPM System Release 184.108.40.206. If you are applying 220.127.116.11 as a maintenance release, or upgrading to Release 18.104.22.168, and have been using Business Rules in an earlier release, you must migrate to Calculation Manager rules in Release 22.214.171.124.
Last year I participated in an Oracle internal project to look at the future of computing in 2020 now it seems that has taken a step forward with the Sun Labs demo of a virtual client running on an iPad.
Although this is not an actual product today, nor does it mean there will be one according to the disclaimer, it does show how devices can connect to a users desktop remotely. This is an extension of the current SunRay software, which allows virtual user desktops which are centrally managed and served to clients.
Not really sure why they show all those pinches and zooms in the demo, seems rather distracting to me 😉
I’m always impressed when folks take the time to understand, investigate, review and learn from testing. They even set up a website from their progress and learnings: http://www.zfsbuild.com/ As they say: “a friendly guide for building ZFS based SAN/NAS solutions”
They cover all three products highlighting some of the commitments and major improvements on integrating components which provide developer and users with improved value:
- improvements to Solaris Containers, enabling workloads to be consolidated and migrated from physical systems to virtual containers, ZFS improvements
- improved application performance for OBIEE, PeopleSoft, MySQL Cluster, enhanced integration with WebLogic and Siebel and enhanced support for InfiniBand and Sun 7000 series storage
John Fowler also gives a high level overview.
More information available from the following (thanks guys):
ZFS Triple Parity Raid: video by George Wilson
Solaris Studio 12.2: blog by Darryl Gove
Developer Licensing changes: blog by Joerg Moellenkamp
Solaris 10, Update 9/10: feature and benefits (pdf)
Solaris Technical Articles: lots, take your pick!
You wait and wait, then all of a sudden three show up. Well that’s not exactly true as I highlighted the first Solaris podcast in early August and had just noticed a new one this week and then lo and behold a third quickly followed on Friday.
Although there does seem to be some gremlins as the last two don’t show up on main podcast page, you have to point to the feedburner site to see them: http://feeds.feedburner.com/OracleSolaris. Oracle also seems to have consolidated Solaris into a “Servers, Storage, and Solaris” Podcasts category too. Nothing like making it hard for folks 😉
In the second podcast, SPARC Integration and Optimizations, Dan Roberts is again joined by Bill Nesheim and Chris Armes to give a high level update on Sparc and highlight some key items:
- By building the Sparc chip, Oracle has been able to design items into the chip
- Reliability, redundancy, availability and scalability are a combination of chip, system and application level design and integration
- Sun Sparc Enterprise M9000 server, with SPARC64 VII processors scale to 512 threads and 2TB of memory
In the third podcast, Dan is joined by Bill, Chris (as above) and Robert Barrios and give an update on the Solaris testing and integration over the last 6 months:
- Patch testing: now added Oracle Certification Environment and Oracle Applications Test Suite, which means 55,000 test cases are being run per week on patches
- Systems testing: Stress and fault injection tests on a variety of configurations are now being performed on Solaris and Solaris updates
- Global IT: A lot of work has been done migrating and moving servers and applications to Oracle data centres, utilising the best practices. The consolidation means systems are moving to the Utah compute facility, which contains 25,000 square foot at 8kW per rack. IT are also migrating the backup media servers to Solaris and using the Sun Unified Storage 7000 series.
All of this means that best practices are fully developed, tested and integrated giving real world use cases – which will be documented once completed so customers can get the benefits too. This means that customers can spend their time on business issues, rather than getting their components and IT infrastructure working together.
If you have any feedback on the Solaris podcasts or suggestions for guests, please send an email to solaris_podcast-at-oracle-dot-com.
Also mark your calendars for September 8, to watch the Webcast of John Fowler, Oracle Executive Vice President of Systems, discuss Oracle Solaris. I haven’t seen a link to sign up yet, stay posted for further details.
For those in San Francisco, there is the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld & Oracle Develop, September 19-23. Register here, detailed Oracle Solaris sessions here (pdf). I look forward to seeing the output and I’m hoping for some video of the events 😉
Several years ago Sun began a project to update and consolidate the business intelligence tools used at Sun and we decided on Hyperion as we had a variety of Hyperion tools already: Brio, Essbase. This was a few years before the Oracle acquisition of Hyperion and we wanted to run on Solaris.
This meant we were one of the first customers to run the Hyperion suite on Solaris and I frequently had conversations with other Hyperion experts similar to the title of this post and was also told that Essbase was designed on windows and would therefore run best on windows.
While the original implementation had it’s difficulties being one of the first on Sun hardware, software and operating system it undoubtedly laid the groundwork for the recent Hyperion Essbase ASO World Record on Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000.
The Oracle Essbase Aggregate Storage application employed for the benchmark was based on a real customer application in financial industry with 13 Million members in the customer dimension.
The benchmark system was a M5000 server with 4 UltraSPARC64 Vii 2.53 Ghz (quad core) and 64Gb ram running Solaris 10 update 8 and Oracle Essbase 126.96.36.199 (64 bit) combined with a Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array consisting of 40 x 22 GB flash modules in a single zpool.
The benchmark compared 500 and 20,000 users and showed that usage based aggregation improved response times, while adding the extra users showed similar performance with no signs of degradation in query timings.
What is interesting in the benchmark is that this seems to be one of the first to combine a variety of Oracle technology and provide a benchmark for John Fowler to beat: Solaris ZFS, SPARC M9000 server, Storage F5100 Flash Array and Essbase.
For more information check out the whitepaper here(pdf), Note: the BestPerf blog has an incorrect link since the recent update to the Oracle Technology Network. More details on Hyperion applications here.
Following up from John Fowlers Oracle Systems / Storage Product Briefing on Tuesday, 10th August it was exciting to see the focus on application performance and tuning for SPARC: “2x plus performance improvement every 2 years”.
This kind of performance increase is a big stake in the ground to show the intention to dramatically improve SPARC servers and systems that Oracle sells. This was shown further by the intention to increase cores, threads, memory, TPM and Java Ops Per Second by 2015 as shown in the below slide:
So how do you get this kind of performance increase for the systems? First you have the individual component engineers who design the components and applications firstly to be best of breed and secondly to work together with other Oracle engineers to reduce complexity, improve execution and focus on the sum being larger than the parts of the whole.
How do they do this? I’m not an engineer, so don’t know the answer, although reading through blogs.sun.com and blogs.oracle.com, shows me the passion and desire radiating from all of them – which undoubtedly helps.
Another key component is the OS, Solaris and one of the recent nuggets of gold: DTrace – which allows developers and administrators to get answers about the behaviour of applications and the operating system using a dynamic tracing framework. While first being created for Solaris and OpenSolaris, there are now ports to Mac OSX, FreeBSD and Linux. Check out the following resources for more info:
- BigAdmin DTrace page
- DTrace whitepaper & instruction (pdf) page
- Lots of videos and demonstrations @google
- Binary compatibility with older Solaris releases
- Trusted Extensions
If your current server or operating systems don’t have some of these features or an aggressive roadmap, isn’t it time to look around and see what alternatives there are that can dramatically increase your performance.
One thing I’ve noticed from the Oracle acquisition is the re-focusing on Sun strengths around the engineering talent that Sun had: Solaris, Sparc, servers and technology integration and innovation. This talent also developed such cool things as zfs, dtrace, F5100 storage array, hybrid storage pools and unified storage.
As my MBA tutor tells me, one way to harness and move a company forward is to focus on the key strengths or core capabilities that an organization has. There can be a problem if you rely on the core capabilities too much they become core rigidities – which can be evidenced in Suns past, focusing too much on Sparc and proprietary servers, and at one point even dropping Solaris on x86.
It’s taken a while for some information to flow out but in the last week 2 items have come out which shows the ongoing work and strategies are there:
Oracle Solaris Podcasts
This is a new monthly podcast series hosted by Dan Roberts, giving a general update on Oracle Solaris including industry news, events and technology highlights. This episode features Bill Nesheim and Chris Armes, and provides an update of what’s been happening over the last few months and details on why Oracle Solaris is the best OS for x86-based servers: scalability, reliability and security. It also includes a brief overview of the new support offering for Oracle Solaris on third party x86 hardware.
Strategy for Oracle’s Sun Servers, Storage and Complete Systems: 9AM Tuesday, August 10, 2010 Join John Fowler, Executive Vice President, Systems, for a live update on the strategy and roadmap for Oracle’s Sun servers, storage and complete systems including Oracle Solaris.
Sign up here.
With some of these developments and others, the technology future certainly looks bright at Oracle.