Monday, July 22, 2013

SunRay: End of Life Coming...

[Oracle SunRay 3plus]
Desktop Clients have moved from dumb terminals, to slightly intelligent systems with built in BASIC into a ROM, to desktop personal computers, to highly functional desktop UNIX workstations, to stateless appliances. The SunRay was Sun Microsystems' vision into the stateless appliance on the TCP/IP Internet. Oracle has announced the end-of-life of their hardware appliances.

[Sun Microsytsems SunRay 270]
Oracle had acquired a significant set of virtualized infrastructure with their purchase of Sun Microsystems. There was Tarantella, purchased by Sun, and now mainstream within Oracle as "Oracle Secure Global Desktop". There was VirtualBox, purchased by Sun, and now mainstream within Oracle. There was Zones, constructed on Solaris, and finding their way into Oracle Enterprise Linux. There was LDom's, constructed on OpenFirmware, and gone mainstream under the Oracle T processors as Oracle VM for SPARC.

[Sun Microsystems SunRay 2]
Virtualization Blog:

Not all went well. There was Sun's Xen based Hypervisor (on top of OpenSolaris with ZFS), killed & replaced by Oracle's home-grown inferior Linux hypervisor (which lacks ZFS.) In the latest announcement from Oracle's Virtualization Blog:
In an effort to more tightly align Oracle's future desktop virtualization portfolio investments with Oracle Corporation's overall core business strategy, we have ended new feature development for Oracle Sun Ray Software (SRS), Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software (VDI), Oracle Virtual Desktop Client (OVDC) Software, and Oracle Sun Ray Client hardware (3, 3i, and 3 Plus).

The SunRay, an amazing stateless appliance, is finding it's days coming to an end.
Network Management:
Many SunRay's are still functional after 10 years, but in new devices may not find their way into production under Oracle's flag. The question is: will the source code be opened and will others from the Illumos community decide to carry the torch for desktop appliances which have a near-forever hardware life expectancy with no moving parts?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

North America: Wireless Network Carrier Update


Huge and significant changes are occurring in the Telecommunications and Wireless space during the month of July! Significant change in plans for consumers and consolidation of smaller-tier carriers may offer more competitive choice for consumers... but with advancements comes security risks.

On the Mobile User front...

2013-07-10: T-Mobile’s new "Jump" service plan gives customers two upgrades per year
At a press conference in New York City Wednesday, T-Mobile unveiled a new type of mobile service plan that will allow customers to upgrade their phones up to twice a year with no outright financial penalty or waiting period. On the “Jump” plan, customers will still pay to switch phones, but they can get them at new-contract prices. Customers on T-Mobile will have to pay an extra $10 per month for the Jump plan.

2013-07-16: AT&T jumps on the frequent-phone-upgrade bandwagon with “AT&T Next”
Not to be outdone by T-Mobile's "Jump" program and Verizon's rumored "Edge" program, AT&T on Tuesday announced a plan called "AT&T Next" that will allow its customers to upgrade their smartphones and tablets more frequently without having to pay the full, unsubsidized price for the devices. AT&T Next gives customers the option to get a new phone or tablet with no down payment in exchange for an extra charge, equivalent to about five percent of the device's unsubsidized price, on their monthly bill.

2013-07-15: Verizon’s rumored "Edge" plan may ensure you always have a new phone in your hands
It looks like the days of waiting two years for your next handset upgrade might be over. DroidLife is reporting that Verizon may be introducing its own “buy a new phone if you’re sick of your old one” plan later next month. According to the site’s source, the plan is called VZ Edge, and it will enable customers to upgrade their phones more often than once every two years to help them “stay on the leading edge of technology.”

On the Carrier front...

[AT&T storefront, courtesy Business Insider]
2013-07-12: In move for spectrum and prepaid customers, AT&T buys Leap for $1.1 billion
As a way to solidify its spectrum holdings and gain a stronger foothold in the growing prepaid mobile market, AT&T has agreed to acquire Leap Wireless (and its prepaid Cricket brand) for $15 per share, which works out to $1.1 billion, given 79.05 million in outstanding shares. Considering that Leap’s closing stock price on Friday afternoon was $7.98 per share, that’s a hefty premium. ... As of April 15, 2013, Leap had $2.8 billion of net debt. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 MHz ‘A Block’ spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.”

2013-07-05: FCC clears way for SoftBank to buy Sprint, Sprint to buy Clearwire
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced the removal of the last barrier to a three-company merger that will see Japan's SoftBank take control of Sprint Wireless, which itself is set to take over Clearwire.

2013-07-10: SoftBank priority is beefing up Sprint, not exec changes

SoftBank Corp (9984.T) will move rapidly to use airwaves from Clearwire Corp CLWR.O to bolster Sprint Nextel Corp's (S.N) wireless service, but it does not plan any big personnel changes once it takes over the No. 3 U.S. mobile carrier, a top SoftBank executive told Reuters.
2013-07-11: Sprint wants to become the mobile autobahn, removes all limits for life

Sprint has thrown down its own gauntlet in attracting...(e.g., contract) customers: guaranteed unlimited voice, text, and data, forever. In a press release Thursday, Sprint said that this deal would apply to both new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My Way, or My All-In plans. The deal will be available starting Friday, July 12, 2013 for just $80 per month.

On the Hardware front...

[image courtesy article on femtocells from]
2013-07-13: Femtocell flaw leaves Verizon subscribers' Wi-Fi and mobile wide open
Security researchers have demonstrated a flaw in femtocells that allows them to be used for eavesdropping on cellphone, email, and internet traffic. The hack was demonstrated on Verizon hardware, and the telco giant has issued an update to patch the vulnerability, but up to 30 other network carriers use systems with software that can be hacked in the same way. Femtocells are used to boost Wi-Fi and mobile signals within a household, but a common form of software that many devices use has a major security flaw that allows all traffic to be recorded and analyzed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

SPARC T5 and M5 Tutorials

[Sun Microsystems Logo]
Sun Microsystems has been a leading provider of data center and internet hosting equipment for decades. Recently, Oracle corporation purchased Sun Microsystems. In 2013, Oracle released a new line of servers, as well as a refresh in video introductions, interactive tutorials, and white papers.

[Oracle Corporation Logo]
Oracle Hardware Introduction [html] video - Oracle Hardware: Automating Server Management
[html] video - Oracle Hardware: Simple Server Management at No Cost

Oracle's SPARC T5 and SPARC M5 Server Technical Insights

[html] tutorial - Oracle SPARC T5 and Oracle M5 Core

[SPARC T4 Processor, courtesy Oracle kick-off]
Oracle T5 Platforms
[html] tutorial - Oracle's SPARC T5 Servers External Features
[html] tutorial - SPARC T5-1B Server Module 3D Tour
[html] tutorial - SPARC T5-2 Server 3D Tour
[html] tutorial - SPARC T5-4 Server 3D Tour
[html] tutorial - SPARC T5-8 Server 3D Tour
[html] paper - Maximizing Application Reliability and Availability with SPARC T5 Servers
[html] paper - Oracle's SPARC T5-2, SPARC T5-4, SPARC T5-8, and SPARC T5-1B Server Architecture

[Oracle SPARC die, courtesy Oracle kick-off]
Oracle M5 Platforms
[html] tutorial - SPARC M5-32 Server 3D Tour
[html] tutorial - Oracle SPARC M5-32 External Features
[html] paper - SPARC M5-32 Server Architecture
[html] tutorial - Oracle's SPARC M5-32 Server Virtualization Options
[html] docs - Oracle's SPARC M5-32 Documentation
[html] paper - Maximizing Application Reliability and Availability with the SPARC M5-32 Server