15 September 2015

Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta Security. Speed. Simplicity.

Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta

In case you missed it, and how could you, the Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta was made available 7th July 2015. 

You can find the details here.   

As always the Oracle Solaris Virtualization team has been very busy and there is a great list of things that they have delivered. Here are a few highlights:

    Secure Live Migration: Kernel Zones can now be moved around the datacenter without causing an outage. End users can be unaffected and moved onto other systems whilst administrators perform key system maintenance. The secure part of the migration means that data is protected while man in the middle attacks are prevented.
    Zones on Shared Storage (NFS): Now in addition to SAN and iSCSI you can put your zoneroot on NFS shared storage. Administrators can continue to benefit from snapshots, cloning and zone boot environments while choosing the appropriate storage for their environment (right now this is for Kernel Zones only)
    Live Zone Reconfiguration: Originally introduced in Oracle Solaris 11.2, with the latest beta release the benefits of Live Zone Reconfiguration come to Kernel Zones with the ability to reconfigure the network and attached devices without the need for a reboot.
    Virtualized Clocks for Oracle Solaris Zones: We've just had a leap second, with virtualized clocks support in Oracle Solaris Native Zones you can now test how a system will behave in advance. Of course you could always do this with Kernel Zones but now this functionality is extended across the entire zones family.

Here's hoping you enjoy running the new features in Oracle Solaris Zones - do let us know via the comments how you get on. 

The Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta program is an opportunity for developers, administrators and architects to evaluate a pre-release version of the Oracle Solaris enterprise cloud platform. Get a head start on implementing technology that will transform your business and save you money. This is also your opportunity to provide feedback on the latest Oracle Solaris release.

Key Benefits:

  • Oracle Solaris’ advanced and easy to use, built-in security features help you prevent hacking and avoid malware for the lifetime of your applications, from install to runtime and prove it simply! Through the bundled compliance tools, tailored reports can be generated easily and rapidly saving money and time.
  • Oracle Solaris virtualization technologies give you all the flexibility of a hypervisor with the performance and density of a container, enabling you to deploy your enterprise workloads safely and securely, in traditional or OpenStack based cloud environments.
  • Simplified and fast lifecycle management provides for large gains in productivity and lower cost of operations, enabling you to build new products and services and deliver on your business strategy faster.

How to Get Started Creating Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones in Oracle Solaris 11

Converting native zone as Kernel zone – Solaris 11.2

Built-in Virtualization for OpenSolaris- Containers, Sun Logical Domains (LDOMs), and xen

See What's New in Oracle Solaris 11.3 http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E53394_01/html/E54847/index.html

Oracle Solaris Overview and Roadmap 

Software-in-Silicon : Oracle SPARC Roadmap 

Oracle Solaris 11.3: Securing and Simplifying the Enterprise Cloud
Courtesy of Larry Wake -Oracle on Jul 07, 2015

Oracle opened up access to the beta release of Oracle Solaris 11.3.  If you’ve been following along (and if not, why not?), you know there have been some big advances in Oracle Solaris 11, including lightning-fast intelligent provisioning and maintenance, and some key additions to our already highly-regarded “defense in depth” security.

Oracle Database, Java, and Applications and Oracle Solaris 

Most notable for the latter is the work we’ve done to simplify compliance checking and mitigation, making it possible for administrators to quickly and easily check system security configurations against industry standards, and get a “report card” showing compliance, with guidance for any areas that may need addressing.

Oh, and did I mention fully-integrated OpenStack?  This is a win in two ways: it not only brings access to the fastest growing open cloud platform to Oracle Solaris users, it brings the incredible breadth of Oracle Solaris enterprise capabilities to the fingertips of OpenStack users.

…and that of course brings to mind some of the above-mentioned Oracle Solaris 11 features, such as built-in, zero-overhead virtualization, a new and super-powerful Unified Archive capability for rapid, safe, compliant deployment, and all the things we’ve done in terms of performance and administrative ease to make Oracle Solaris the best platform for deploying both Oracle’s own and 3rd party software.

So what’s left to do?  In this beta release, you'll find we're taking those capabilities and making them even better.

Solaris Linux Performance, Tools and Tuning 

OpenStack: Oracle moved forward to the OpenStack Juno release, and also done some behind-the-scenes work to make it easy to continue to bring you new OpenStack goodness quickly and reliably.

    Learn more at the Oracle OpenStack blog  http://blogs.oracle.com/openstack

Virtualization: In Oracle Solaris 11.2, Oracle introduced “Kernel Zones”, making it possible to deliver hypervisor agility while still maintaining the low overhead and ease of administration you expect from Zones.  In 11.3, Oracle introduces secure live migration for Kernel Zones,  live zone reconfiguration, and verified boot.

And, Oracle extended the new Zones on Shared Storage (ZOSS) capabilities.  You can now place zones on FC-SAN, iSCSI, or NFS devices.

Oracle Solaris 11.3 is all about “more”, so now you have more flexibility and more security in your virtualization.

Database: If you’re an Oracle Database fan, you know we’ve been giving you “more” for years: more observability, more performance, more flexible administration.  Now we’re also giving you “less” — less down time.  We’ve slashed database startup and shutdown times.  These are not only faster than it’s ever been on Solaris; it’s faster—a lot faster—than on any other platform.

Security: We’ve extended the compliance capabilities mentioned above, so that you can more easily tailor compliance policy configurations to suit your site’s requirements.  Oracle Solaris and Oracle Solaris Studio are also ready for Software in Silicon application data integrity (ADI).  To learn more about this and start working with it today, visit the SWiS Cloud.

Data Management: You've already come to know and love what Oracle Solaris brings to the table with the first 21st century filesystem, ZFS.  In Oracle Solaris 11.3, we extend its built-in compression capabilities to include LZ4 support, we give you the ability to compare snapshots recursively, and have introduced a wealth of scalability and performance improvements to make it faster than ever. We’ve also enhanced its monitoring features, and upgraded its built-in SMB support.

There’s more than this, but this should give you a taste of what we’ve got in store for you today.  You can download it now, and take a look at the “What’s New” document to see what we’re doing to make your data center cloud-ready, secure, fast, and simple.

7th July 2015 is a very exciting day for the Solaris team: 7th July 2015 Oracle released a beta for Solaris 11.3, less than a year after Oracle released Solaris 11.2.

Introducing Oracle Solaris 11.2 

Solaris 11.2 What's New  

With Solaris 11.2 Oracle turned Solaris into a comprehensive cloud platform which includes virtualization, SDN and OpenStack. Since the release of Solaris 11.2 Oracle seen a rapid uptake of these new capabilities: A lot of customers a using Unified Archives for deploying their images, are taking advantage of the immutable root-file system, have started to deploy Kernel Zones and OpenStack and take advantage of the automated compliance reporting. The latter has become a lot easier since we are tracking the CVE meta data with IPS. We are getting a lot of good feedback on OpenStack: We recently even received a big compliment from one of the senior architects of one of our OpenStack competitors: He said that Solaris provides the best integration for OpenStack since the OpenStack services are mapped to the Solaris service management facility (smf) which provide automated restarting capabilities for all of the OpenStack services and since we've also tightly integrated it with our role-based access control capabilities in order to limit the privileges required for administering OpenStack.

Solaris 11.3 is taking things to the next level by making Solaris the most advanced enterprise cloud platform. We are introducing a number of critical enhancements in the following areas: (courtacy of Markusflierl-Oracle)

1. Security and Compliance:
- Verified boot for Kernel Zones
- BSD Packet Filter
- Tailoring of compliance policies

2. Virtualization:
- Secure (encrypted) live migration of Kernel Zones
- Zones on Shared Storage via NFS
- Live reconfiguration of I/O resources

3. OpenStack: There are a number of major enhancements:
- Automated upgrades to the newer versions of OpenStack
- Support for orchestration of services (Heat)
- Support for bare metal provisioning (Ironic): This is already in S11.3 but not yet in the beta

Partner Webcast – Platform as a Service with Oracle WebLogic and OpenStack 

Oracle Solaris OpenStack 

Oracle also is working on integrating DBaaS with Trove and Murano. On the latter I had provided an overview at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit back in May.

4. Networking:
- Private VLANs
- Flows support for DSCP Marking

5. Deep integration with the Oracle stack, for instance:
- Up to 6x faster DB restart and shut-down by leveraging the latest Virtual Memory Management(VM2) capabilities

In addition to that Oracle are providing early access to the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) components that we are shipping with Solaris.

Of course these are just some of the highlights, there are a ton of other enhancements.

Have fun exploring Solaris 11.3!

Here's Your Oracle Solaris 11.3 List of Blog Posts, thanks to Larry Wake -Oracle 

Here are some videos on how to manage and maintain Oracle Solaris

Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 

Oracle Solaris Hands-On Labs 01/2014 

Immutable Service Containers 

More Information:

What's New in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

Independent and Isolated Environments With Kernel Zones

What's New in Oracle® Solaris 11.3

Oracle Solaris 11.3 Beta

Live Migration for Kernel Zones

New Oracle Solaris Zones features


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