• IBM Consulting

    DBA Consulting can help you with IBM BI and Web related work. Also IBM Linux is our portfolio.

  • Oracle Consulting

    For Oracle related consulting and Database work and support and Migration call DBA Consulting.

  • Novell/RedHat Consulting

    For all Novell Suse Linux and SAP on Suse Linux questions releated to OS and BI solutions. And offcourse also for the great RedHat products like RedHat Enterprise Server and JBoss middelware and BI on RedHat.

  • Microsoft Consulting

    For Microsoft Server 2012 onwards, Microsoft Client Windows 7 and higher, Microsoft Cloud Services (Azure,Office 365, etc.) related consulting services.

  • Citrix Consulting

    Citrix VDI in a box, Desktop Vertualizations and Citrix Netscaler security.

  • Web Development

    Web Development (Static Websites, CMS Websites (Drupal 7/8, WordPress, Joomla, Responsive Websites and Adaptive Websites).

30 October 2011

Solaris 11


Solaris 11 is here:

As we can read on Jeff Victor’s Blog (Principal Sales Consultant at Oracle Corp) these are some of the cool new features:
Software management features designed for cloud computing
The new package management system is far easier to use than previous versions of Solaris.
·       A completely new Solaris packaging system uses network-based repositories (located at our data centers or at yours) to modernize Solaris packaging.
·       A new version of Live Upgrade minimizes service downtime during package updates. It also provides the ability to simply reboot to a previous version of the software if necessary - without resorting to backup tapes.
·       The new Automated Installer replaces Solaris JumpStart and simplifies hands-off installation. AI also supports automatic creation of Solaris Zones.
·       Distro Constructor creates Solaris binary images that can be installed over the network, or copied to physical media.
·       The previous SVR4 (System V Release 4) packaging tools are included in Solaris 11 for installation of non-Solaris software packages.
·       All of this is integrated with ZFS. For example, the alternate boot environemnts (ABEs) created by the Live Upgrade tools are ZFS clones, minimizing the time to create them and the space they occupy.
Network virtualization and resource control features enable networks-in-a-box
Previewed in Solaris 11 Express, the network virtualization and resource control features in Oracle Solaris 11 enable you to create an entire network in a Solaris instance. This can include virtual switches, virtual routers, integrated firewall and load-balancing software, IP tunnels, and more.
In addition to the significant improvements in flexibility compared to a physical network, network performance typically improves. Instead of traversing multiple physical network components (NICs, cables, switches and routers), packet transfers are accomplished by in-memory loads and stores. Packet latency shrinks dramatically, and aggregate bandwidth is no longer limited by NICs, but by memory link bandwidth.
But mimicking a network wasn't enough. The Solaris 11 network resource controls provide the ability to dynamically control the amount of network bandwidth that a particular workload can use.  (Note that some of the details may have changed between the Solaris 11 Express details described in that entry, and the details of Solaris 11.)
Easy, efficient data management
Solaris 11 expands on the award-winning ZFS file system, adding encryption and de-duplication. Multiple encryption algorithms are available and can make use of encryption features included in the CPU, such as the SPARC T3 and T4 CPUs. An in-kernel CIFS server was also added, and the data is stored in a ZFS dataset. Ease-of-use is still a high-priority goal. Enabling CIFS service is as simple as enabling a dataset property.
Improved built-in computer virtualization
Along with ZFS, Oracle Solaris Zones continues to be a core feature set in use at many data centers. (The use of the word "Zones" will be preferred over the use of "Containers" to reduce confusion.) These features are enhanced in Solaris 11. I will detail these enhancements in a future blog entry, but here is a quick summary:
·       Greater flexibility for immutable zones - called "sparse-root zones" in Solaris 10. Multiple options are available in Solaris 11.
·       A zone can be an NFS server!
·       Administration of existing zones can be delegated to users in the global zone
·       Zonestat(1) reports on resource consumption of zones.
·       A P2V "pre-flight" checker verifies that a Solaris 10 or Solaris 11 system is configured correctly for migration (P2V) into a zone on Solaris 11.
·       To simplify the process of creating a zone, by default a zone gets a VNIC that is automatically configured on the most obvious physical NIC. Of course, you can manually configure a plethora of non-default network options.
Advanced protection
Long known as one of the most secure operating systems on the planet, Oracle Solaris 11 continues making advances, including:
·       CPU-speed network encryption means no compromises
·       Secure startup: by default, only the ssh service is enabled - a minimal attack surface reduces risk
·       Restricted root: by default, 'root' is a role, not a user - all actions are logged or audited by username
·       Anti-spoofing properties for data links
·       ...and more.
There are multiple reasons why this important news:

On Oracle OpenWorld 2011 several new Appliances were introduced as well:



ORACLE SPARC SUPERCLUSTER T4-4

The Oracle SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 is the world’s fastest general purpose engineered system that delivers high performance, availability, scalability and security across a wide range of enterprise applications, including database, middleware, Oracle and custom applications. The SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 solution is a completely optimized package of servers, storage and software that integrates high performance technologies including Oracle Exadata Storage Servers and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud while utilizing the newest SPARC T4-4 servers, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, InfiniBand I/O fabric, and Oracle Solaris 11.




Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine

Engineered System for Extreme Analytics

The industry's first in-memory BI machine that delivers the fastest performance for business intelligence and planning applications.








ORACLE DATABASE APPLIANCE

The Oracle Database Appliance saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high-availability database solutions. Built with the latest generation of the world’s most popular database—Oracle Database 11g—it offers customers a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage, and networking in a single box that delivers high-availability database services for a wide range of homegrown and packaged online transaction processing (OLTP) and data warehousing applications. All hardware and software components are supported by a single vendor—Oracle—and offers customers unique pay-as-you-grow software licensing to quickly scale from 2 processor cores to 24 processor cores without incurring the costs and downtime usually associated with hardware upgrades.




Big Data for the Enterprise

With the recent introduction of Oracle Big Data Appliance, Oracle is the first vendor to offer a
complete and integrated solution to address the full spectrum of enterprise big data requirements.
Oracle’s big data strategy is centered on the idea that you can evolve your current enterprise data
architecture to incorporate big data and deliver business value. By evolving your current
enterprise architecture, you can leverage the proven reliability, flexibility and performance of your
Oracle systems to address your big data requirements.
Defining Big Data

Big data typically refers to the following types of data:

Traditional enterprise data – includes customer information from CRM systems,
transactional ERP data, web store transactions, general ledger data.
• Machine-generated /sensor data – includes Call Detail Records (“CDR”), weblogs,
smart meters, manufacturing sensors, equipment logs (often referred to as digital
exhaust), trading systems data.
• Social data – includes customer feedback streams, micro-blogging sites like Twitter,
social media platforms like Facebook

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that data volume is growing 40% per year, and will
grow 44x between 2009 and 2020. But while it’s often the most visible parameter, volume of data
is not the only characteristic that matters. In fact, there are four key characteristics that define big
data:

Divided solution spectrum

Many new technologies have emerged to address the IT infrastructure requirements outlined
above. At last count, there were over 120 open source key-value databases for acquiring and
storing big data, with Hadoop emerging as the primary system for organizing big data and
relational databases expanding their reach into less structured data sets to analyze big data. These
new systems have created a divided solutions spectrum comprised of:

• Not Only SQL (NoSQL) solutions: developer-centric specialized systems
• SQL solutions: the world typically equated with the manageability, security and trusted
nature of relational database management systems (RDBMS)

NoSQL systems are designed to capture all data without categorizing and parsing it upon entry
into the system, and therefore the data is highly varied. SQL systems, on the other hand, typically
place data in well-defined structures and impose metadata on the data captured to ensure consistency and validate data types.



Oracle’s Big Data Solutions

Oracle’s big data strategy is centered on the idea that you can
evolve your current enterprise data architecture to incorporate big data and deliver business
value, leveraging the proven reliability, flexibility and performance of your Oracle systems to
address your big Oracle data requirements.




Oracle Big Data Appliance

The Oracle Big Data Appliance is an engineered system that combines optimized hardware with the most comprehensive software stack featuring specialized solutions developed by Oracle to deliver
a complete, easy-to-deploy solution for acquiring, organizing and loading big data into Oracle Database 11g. It is designed to deliver extreme analytics on all data types, with enterprise-class performance, availability, supportability and security. It is also tightly integrated with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Database, so you can analyze all your data together with extreme performance.
The figure below shows how Oracle Big Data Appliance fits within the entire ecosystem of Oracle engineered systems for big data. Oracle Big Data Appliance addresses the data acquisition and organization requirements for data stored in NoSQL solutions.



High-level overview of Big Data Appliance Software

The Oracle Big Data Appliance also includes an open source distribution of Apache Hadoop,
including HDFS and other components, an open source distribution of the statistical package R for analysis of unfiltered data on Oracle Data Appliance, and Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.6
operating system.

Oracle Big Data Appliance
New I Integrated




The figure below shows three Big Data Appliances streaming data from
sensors and social media, acquiring this data, organizing it and leveraging Oracle Exadata for data analysis.


29 October 2011

Recently joined the IBM Partner World


I recently joined the IBM Partner world:     

 

 

They have a lot of cool hardware to offer, with great OS platform possibilities:

 

Linux on IBM System z


Redhat for Mainframe

Red Hat Enterprise Linux support for mainframe systems allows customers to deploy a common operating system across their entire IT infrastructure. From the laptop to the mainframe.
What makes Red Hat Enterprise Linux the appropriate solution for mainframe environments?
·       service capabilities
·       better performance
·       security
·       quality
·       API/ABI stability
·       a world-leading OEM/ISV certification portfolio




Mainframe ISV Ecosystem
Red Hat Enterprise Linux enjoys a full ecosystem of ISV partners on our distributed platforms, and our release for IBM System z is no different. Currently we have over 700 independent ISV certifications, including IBM WebSphere, Oracle and SAP. For a complete listing, please visit our ISV Software Catalog.

Notes

[1] With a System z Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, an unlimited number of Red Hat Enterprise Linux images can be run per processor.

Novell









IBM z-Linux is tested for:







14 October 2011

Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is here, with elaborate Cloud management!

Overview demo of Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops center


Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center is the industry's first converged hardware management solution for Oracle's Sun environments - combining management across servers, operating systems, firmware, virtual machines, storage, and network fabrics into a single console, to maximize the value of infrastructure investments. With its end-to-end lifecycle management and built-in integration with My Oracle Support, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center dramatically improves the efficiency of IT operations.

This demo provides a high level overview of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops center.




Integrated MySupport Systems management and support




Does your Browser matter!

Microsoft has a new tool to test the security and effectiveness of defense mechanisms to protect your private data.

http://www.yourbrowsermatters.org/#/home

If you click the link you will find yourself on the website testing your browser. But is the test really al you need to know about safe browsing?

If you install some of the security add-ons on the alternative WebBrowsers, you will find that security increases rapidly, recommended add-ons are no-script on all browsers and cookie safe add-ons. But also a add-banner add-on can help you against third party cookies and thus attacks. Should we ban adds then? No. Websites should be build save and with a first party cookies check. WOT and Netcraft help also to browse safer. Biggest problems are however XXS and phishing and webpage hijacking.  False cookies inserted after a phishing attack that succeeded can lead to session hijacking, which is even worse. The test is checking according to a list of criteria that is made by a few renowned web security parties. So not a total non-sense test, but off course a test is only as good as its criteria, and a all inclusive test is very hard to assemble. So conclusion all browsers do have security flaws and lack supported for some video format or are not supporting all new web 3D technology and have different names for the webkit command to use for the 3D technology, but at least an attempt to make browsing safer for the users.

A good firewall with the right settings, is also very important in safe browsing and protecting your private data.

Here are some tips from the site:


11 October 2011

New Edition of Firewall Builder 5!



Firewall Builder 5 is here:


NetCitadel recently announced the release of Firewall Builder 5 which includes some minor changes in the GUI. I blogged before about firewall Builder 4.1.0. You can find the details of that blog here:

What is Firewall Builder?
Firewall Builder is a program that simplifies the management of firewall rules for a wide range of operating systems and hardware firewall devices. Normally you have to define the rulesets by hand. Looking for some assistance during the definition of rulesets like Webend Server rules, etc. Firewall Builder can help you out.
Supported Firewalls
Firewall Builder supports GUI based firewall policy configuration and management on the following firewalls:
  • Linux iptables
    • 2.4 & 2.6 kernels
    • Most commonly used modules supported
    • Support for embedded distros including DD-WRT, OpenWrt and Sveasoft
  • Cisco router access control lists (ACL)
    • IOS versions 12.1 through 12.4 (other versions unofficially supported)
  • Cisco ASA/PIX
    • PIXOS 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.0, 8.0, 8.2, 8.3
  • Cisco Firewall Service Module (FWSM)
    • FWSM 2.3, 3.2 and 4.x
  • OpenBSD pf
    • All versions, with version specific syntax for 3.x, 3.7 - 3.9, 4.0 - 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 and later
  • FreeBSD ipfw and ipfilter
    • All versions
  • HP ProCurve ACL
    • K.13
Looking for a platform that isn't currently supported? Email NetCitadel at info@netcitadel.com.

FWB helps you to configure multiple firewalls in a consistent way

Broadly speaking, FWB is both an graphical interface (GUI) and a set of compilers. You define your rules in the GUI, and a compiler generates scripts from them for the chosen platform. In fact, the same set of rules may be used to generate scripts for iptables, ipfilter, or (e.g.) Cisco devices.
FWB provides an handy library of objects for commonly used entities in firewall rules (e.g.: private address ranges, well-known IP and networks addresses, as well as protocols). These standard objects may be extended by the user with new objects, or by grouping together existing objects in new ones. Firewalls are also objects, so you can manage many firewalls in the same interface, and share objects between them. This, as we’ll see, is an unexpectedly powerful feature.
FWB saves all these entities (objects and firewalls) in an XML file using the “.fwb” extension. Corruptions in fwb files may be corrected using a simple text editor such as gedit (eh, yes, that happened to me a few times…).
For a article with a scenario describing how to configure with Firewall Builder see this link:

You find information for a Xen ruleset scenario in the article. 
Do you really need Firewall Builder:
Creating similar rulesets by hand is not too
 difficult, but there is a hidden pitfall: 
maintenance
You’ll need some templating system in place to generate consistent rulesets for your firewalls. Or you can use Firewall Builder.
Object Model
Instead of having to type firewall commands, Firewall Builder allows you to create firewall rules with user-defined objects. After an object is created, for example an IP address to represent an E-mail server, that object can be used in rules on all your firewalls. And the search function makes it easy to find everywhere an object is being used.
A special type of object, the group object, lets you define a group of objects and use that group object in a rule. Groups can contain many types of child objects. For example, a group could include a mix of networks, hosts, and address ranges. When Firewall Builder generates rules for a firewall platform, like Linux iptables, that doesn’t natively support group elements in its command syntax, Firewall Builder automatically creates individual rules to match all the child objects in the group.

Example of Group Object with Network, Host and Address Range Members

Rules Validation
Using powerful inspection logic Firewall Builder analyzes configured firewall rules to identify:
  • Rules not supported by a particular firewall platform
  • Invalid rules that might be the result of user error, such as NAT'ing UDP into TCP
  • Rule shadowing, which are rules that will never be matched due to an earlier rule matching the traffic first
Shadowed Rule Example




Firewall Builder Error when Shadowed Rule is Detected





Automatic Configuration Generator
The built-in rules compiler generates platform specific firewall commands. The compiler understands the differences between types of firewalls and software versions, ensuring it generates the right commands for each type of firewall platform.
You can compile individual rules in the GUI at any time to see the specific commands that will be generated for that rule. This gives you instant visibility of the specific commands that would be deployed to the firewall.

Example of On-Demand Rule Compilation




Integrated Installer
Firewall Builder uses SSH and SCP to securely deploy your rules to the firewall. To help avoid situations where a firewall change accidentally blocks access to the device, Firewall Builder includes functions to automatically revert a firewall configuration to the previous version.
Advanced Feature Configuration Support
Firewall Builder also supports configuration of many advanced features. For example:
  • Cluster support for Cisco ASA/PIX, Linux iptables and OpenBSD pf firewalls
  • Dynamic live rule updates on Linux iptables (via ipset module) and OpenBSD pf
  • Run time options to have rule objects, like interfaces, determined on firewall startup
  • Predefined templates, including firewall rules, for common deployment scenarios
  • Device configuration of interface IP addresses, static routes, VLAN and bridge interfaces
  • Configuration versioning control using RCS
  • User defined pre and post firewall startup scripts


How it Works
Firewall Builder makes configuring and managing firewalls much easier. The process follows five basic steps:
  • Create Firewall. Define your firewall settings including platform type, software version and interfaces.
  • Define Objects. Create objects for network elements for use in firewall rules.
  • Configure Policy. Use the defined objects to specify the rules for this firewall.
  • Compile Rules. Convert rules into a configuration file for the firewall.
  • Deploy Configuration. Install the configuration file on the firewall.

A Quick start guide can be found here:



You can use Firewall Builder also for more complex server configurations like failover clusters:






06 October 2011

04 October 2011

Solaris 11 Express on Laptop!


I have been playing around with the first version of Solaris 11 Express on a old laptop with an old 100 Gb disk I put in and was not at all disappointed apart from the fact that the system was reported to work but is not considered as supported hardware for this platform. Apart form really nagging and hacking idiots in the town I life, who seemed to find it a sport to attack the system even before it was installed, because of a stupid old fashioned dial-in modem that was hacked all the time, the platform is quick, and reliable and  secure. I have the same problem on my second hand Mac Book, which has more then one dial-in modem. 

The system is intended for great Sparc and Sun x86 servers from Oracle and will work really fine on them. It is reliable, secure and fast. No question about it I like Solaris. It is currently also very fast and ranks the top of the TCP-H benchmarks tests. So why not consider Solaris and SUN servers for your OBIEE 11g dashboards? Want proof, take a look at the table below, it really is the top at this moment.

By the way: Solaris can also run great on IBM servers to. We all know that great iron does a great job.

Checkout the Sparc server range at: