Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Business Plan for Sun Microsystems

[Sun Microsystems Logo]

The Business Plan for Sun Microsystems

Have you ever wondered what the business plan looked like for a tech startup which becomes a multi-billion dollar international corporation?

Well, this is an example Business Plan for Sun Microsystems, from back in 1982!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fujitsu SPARC M10 and M12 Physical Partitions

[SPARC Logo, courtesy SPARC International]

Fujitsu SPARC M10 and M12 Physical Partitions

Abstract

A conversation occurred recently, with a marketing expert regarding, whether an OS instance could span multiple chassis. At the time, this author indicated that it was not possible, but capabilities of the Fujitsu SPARC products were not well advertised. Fujitsu published a presentation describing the capabilities.
[Solaris Logo, courtesy Oracle and Sun Microsystems]

Oracle Solaris

There is an off-the-shelf OS, which has the ability to span multiple chassis, but you have to have the right chassis. Fujitsu has long engineered high-end servers with mainframe reliability. Fujitsu had also supplied SPARC hardware for Solaris, from the days f the first SPARC processors! When engineered correctly, Solaris can span chassis.

 An example slide which shows a Physical Partition on individual chassis or spanning 2 chassis.
[Fujitsu Logo, Courtesy Fujitsu]

Building Blocks

One may ask, how this physically works?
Fujitsu offers a system with an expandable chassis, where there is an external crossbar, attaching multiple chassis together, similar to the way cards in a traditional Oracle chassis uses a crossbar inside the same chassis.

An example slide of physical Building Blocks illustrated above.

Conclusions

SPARC Solaris continues to have unusual features, which are not common in other equipment vendor equipment. Had this author been aware of this capability, cloud building may have been done a different way... providing a seamless way to expand clouds by merely adding one chassis at a time and never having to worry if an OS instance needs to grow large.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Oracle: OpsCenter 12.3.3

Oracle: OpsCenter 12.3.3

What is OpsCenter?

Oracle support remote systems management tool, offered from Oracle for their hardware & OS's. It is available for gratis. It is referred to as Oracle Enterprise Manager OpsCenter.

What does OpsCenter do?

OpsCenter will provision OS's on bare-metal, as well as distribute patches via a GUI tool,

What makes OpsCenter different from Oracle Enterprise Manager?

OpsCenter will manage all the way down to the hardware ILOM, without an OS agent, something which Oracle Enterprise Manager does not do.

Where can I get it?

You can  download OpsCenter from Oracle's web site.

What is the latest version?

As of this writing, the latest version is 12.3.3 and requires a JIDR for the most recent Oracle Hardware and Operating System support.




Monday, March 11, 2019

Fujitsu: Run Solaris 10 & 11 Natively on New Bare Metal

[Fujitsu Logo, courtesy Fujitsu Ltd.]

Fujitsu: Run Solaris 10 & 11 Natively on New Bare Metal

Abstract:

Sun Microsystems originally designed the SPARC processor and merged AT&T and BSD UNIX together to form Solaris. Fujitsu tarted developing clone hardware, which provided a second manufacturing source, fufilling military applications requirements. Oracle purchased Sun and later ended the native support of Solaris 10 on newer SPARC platforms. Fujitsu continues to support Solaris 10 & 11 on native Fujitsu SPARC M12 Platform.

[Fujitsu SPARC64

The M12

In 2017, Fujitsu released the SPARC64 XII processor, reaching the fastest performance in the industry, of all processors in the market.  This processor was placed in a chassis named the M12. Unlike the newer Oracle chassis, these platforms can run native Solaris 10 or 11, without virtualization.

This chassis comes in 2 flavors: M12-2 and M12-2S. The M12-2S is perhaps, the most interesting: the 2S can scale be adding up to a total of 12 chassis in a system to provide 32 sockets and support over 3000 threads by merely adding one chassis at a time!

[Solaris Logo, courtesy of Sun Microsystems, now Oracle]

Solaris 10

It should be noted, Solaris 10 does have a definitive life expectancy. New features are not expected, as the OS is now in Extended Support. Extended support offered Solaris 10 Patch Clusters. April 17 in 2018 marked the first set of Extended Support Patches, in Classic Solaris. As of this publishing, Oracle released another set of Solaris 10 Patches in January 9, 2019. The details for most current Recommended Solaris 10 Patch Set can be found by following the link. The final set of Extended patches will be released in January 2021. There is an uplift for Solaris 10 Extended Support, while Solaris 11 is a free update... and this is preferable!

Conclusions:

While bare metal may be appealing to some applications, such as dedicated clustered solutions where redundancy is built at the application layer, most engineers prefer the portability of LDoms on a chassis cluster, where LDoms can be live migrated onto another chassis as planned maintenance is conducted on the drained chassis. The Solaris 10 bare metal support offered by Fujitsu provides large scale users, who desire bare metal performance the least amount of complexity, an option offered by no other SPARC vendor.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Solaris 11: Hardware Compatibility List - 2019q1

Solaris 11: Hardware Compatibility List - 2019q1

Abstract

For those who are covering the life of real UNIX systems, a good place to track the progress of Solaris has been the Hardware Compatibility List. For the Q1 quarter of 2019, it may be helpful for readers to understand what the latest hardware is, that has been certified for Oracle Solaris, to execute 2019 purchases.

[Oracle Logo, courtesy Oracle Corporation]

Oracle's Submissions

Oracle's most recent submission - SPARC M8-8 on 2018-09-07 for Solaris 11.3 & 11.4.

Fujitsu's Submissions

Fujitsu's most recent submission - SPARC M-12 on 2017-07-10 for Solaris 11.3 & 11.4.
Interestingly enough, also certified is Solaris 10 1/13 [aka Solaris 10 Update 11]!

[Dell Logo, courtesy Dell Corporation]

Dell Additions

Dell continues to submit hardware into the Hardware Compatibility List.
They included 3x submissions:
  1. 2018-11-14 PowerEdge R640 - 2x socket, 8x cores/socket, Intel Bronze 3106 CPU @ 1.70GHz
  2. 2018-12-20 PowerEdge R840 - 4x socket, 4x cores/socket, Intel Gold 5122 CPU @ 3.60GHz
  3. 2019-01-15 PowerEdge R740 - 2x socket, 14x cores/socket, Intel Gold 5120 CPU @ 2.20GHz
All of these were for Solaris 11.4.


The Odd Man Out

There is a Chinese outsourcing company which also appears on the HCL, called Inspur.
They have 2x submissions:
  1. 2018-11-08 NF5280M5 - 2x socket 8x core/socket, Intel Silver 4110
  2. 2018-11-15 NF5180M5 - 2x socket, 24x core/socket, Intel Platinum 8176
 Inspur was certifying for Solaris 11.4.



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Oracle: Un-Publishes SPARC Solaris Roadmap?

Oracle: Un-Publishes SPARC Solaris Roadmap?

It has been the tradition of Oracle to maintain a public roadmap for the SPARC Solaris product line, since  the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Normal

As of 2018, Oracle had been promoting a roadmap which illustrated a 2020 SPARC M8+.

Fujitsu Today

Fujitsu is still promoting, in 2019 on a roadmap, a new SPARC Server in 2020, as of Feb 25, 2019.



Oracle Today

The "Assets" link was previously available. The "Servers-Storage" link was also previously available. Today, they are no longer available. They had disappears, approximately in January 2019. Oracle's 2018 roadmap was available from  around May 25th.

It should be noted, Oracle's web site had gone through a re-design, with different base URL's now being available, so this could have just been an oversight.


Conclusions

Network Management had traditionally not listened to rumors in the industry, regarding layoffs, but had traditionally depended upon hard evidence such as documents, hiring announcements, code releases, etc. There is a degree of concern, in the industry, what Oracle intends on doing with SPARC & Solaris. Oracle continues to release updates for hardware management software, like OpsCenter, and Fujitsu appears to be holding on to it's roadmap.