In 2009, Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystems hardware and software: Solaris operating system, MySQL database, Java programming language, and SPARC hardware - servers and storage systems.
The Oracle Corporation's stated strategy is to become an end-to-end service provider for corporate and public sector clients. Oracle has been emphasizing that its software will simplify the development, management, and monitoring of
service oriented architecture while delivering performance and scalability. In conjunction with additional acquisitions, Coherence Tangosol software is being used to provide value-based application performance to distributed and frequently accessed data. Tangosol Data Grid is an enabler for the use of XPT: Extreme Transaction Processing in financial services, telecommunications, travel, and logistics industries.
Sun Microsystems developed and positioned Solaris-UNIX as a base operating system platform and front end for scalable databases, web servers, middleware, and virtual machines to IBM mainframe operating systems - z/OS, z/VSE, and z/VM.
In terms of reliability and service, Solaris is highly rated.
Oracle Corporation has extended the featureset and
made enhancements to the Solaris 11 operating system to support
virtualization, isolation of workloads, and network virtualization for
provisioning VM: virtual machine deployment. The secure-by-default
features for startup, role-based root access, phone-home automatic
reporting and auditing have been implemented to support recurring cloud
deployments. The Solaris 11 release is integrated in
the Oracle software environment: 1- Java programming language 2- Oracle VM 3- Oracle
applications 4- Oracle WebLogic 5- Oracle Fusion middleware 6- Oracle
Database 11g products.
Solaris is a component in the Oracle Corporation SOA:
service oriented architecture strategy and development platform roadmap. Solaris Cluster
extends Solaris virtualization technologies and provides support for Oracle applications and databases. In addition to managing resources such as load balancing and global virtual IP addresses,
security and networking capabilities have been improved in deploying active applications
through Solaris Cluster scalable data services. The system and volume management choices
are included with replication modules.
Oracle Solaris 11 - Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is central to the Oracle Corporation strategy for delivering expanded services and software offerings to its clients: public, private, and hybrid clouds. Oracle
hardware and software infrastructure provides scalability, data addressing, storage subsystems, and performance. Management tools deploy and provision systems and services to meet elastic requirements.
Oracle Solaris 11 supports and enables:
||Software as a Service
||Consumer-facing cloud computing system which provides websites that deliver bi-directional services and digital content.
||Infrastructure as a Service
Virtualizes a server into the cloud. The operating environment is
moved into the cloud: operating system, database software, applications and data. Access is through Internet connectivity.
||Platform as a Service
||The operating system or database is built to run directly in a cloud environment.
This cloud strategy brings challenges and risks: applications need to scale for handling orders of magnitude, the inability to manage peak activity means a loss of service and revenue,
and dislocation to customers, and security must be built in at each level to ensure that applications and services run with integrity and safely.
|Solaris Operating System Design
||Oracle Hardware and Software Stack
The Oracle Solaris cloud deployments are implemented using default features for startup, role-based root access, automatic reporting, and auditing. Oracle Solaris 11 integrates Oracle Solaris Zones, dynamic resource
management, and network bandwidth control. Computing resources can be divided into multiple environments that can be provisioned and migrated. As cloud deployments scale, the assumption is that Oracle customers will repeatedly deploy multiple VMs.
The Solaris operating system provides virtualization for an elastic cloud infrastructure which can expand and contract on demand while providing services.
Tools - Software Installation and Deployment
||Controls file access and protects system resources with integrated, multilevel security through immutable zones, data link protection, role-based administration, and
hardware-accelerated encryption for on-disk and network data.
||Cloud applications and services are deployed, configured, and updated with the AI: Automated Installer and IP: Image Packaging System
Security - Application Stack
Intelligent zone migration and remote and local clustering keep applications running even in the event of a hardware failure.
|Monitoring and Usage
||Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center provides visibility into cloud computing resource availability and the ability to track services consumption and expense. It is used to manage the hardware and software stack:
firmware, operating systems, virtual machines, servers, storage, and networking components.
The Solaris operating system uses the ZFS file system for storing up to 256 quadrillion ZB: Zetabytes without media limits. The file system space automatically is allocated across
storage devices. The advantages with the ZFS file system include: 1- root and boot environments 2- integrated volume management 3- built-in compression 4- data integrity with
copy-on-write and RAID-Z 5- Tiered storage with Flash. 6- Snapshot, clone, and rollback for backup, restore, and migration.
Oracle Corporation Investment in UNIX-Solaris and Linux
The consensus is that Oracle Corporation will be evaluating UNIX-Solaris and its investment in the Oracle-Sun Microsystems hardware platform in relation to the broad industry support for specialized utilization of Linux-variants and its own cloud and mobile computing strategies. Oracle has been investing in both UNIX-Solaris and Linux operating systems. By contributing to and supporting the open source Linux operating system base code, Oracle Corporation is positioning its hardware architecture to meet emerging and new client computing requirements in multiple ways. The capability to migrate from Solaris to Linux or have both operating systems coexist on a hardware platform removes issues associated with endianness and provides an economic incentive both to continue licensing the Oracle database and develop applications with Oracle software. Failure to account
for a varying endianness across architectures when writing code for mixed platforms leads to failures and bugs that can be difficult to detect. A big-endian machine stores the most significant byte first; a
little-endian machine stores the least significant byte first. In these standard forms, the bytes remain ordered by significance. Mixed-endian and middle-endian forms also are possible where the ordering of bytes
within a 16-bit word can be different from the ordering of 16-bit words within a 32-bit word. Endianness is important as a low-level attribute of a particular data format. The order in which the two bytes of a UCS-2
character are stored in memory is of considerable importance in network programming where two computers with different byte orders may be communicating with each other.
Several leading hardware and software companies have based their information technology operations on Linux and open source software. Accordingly, Oracle Corporation has been transitioning software to work on Linux-variant
operating systems in order to adjust its strategy and respond to competition in the market.
Oracle Solaris and Red Hat Linux Enterprise - Commentary
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is open source software designed for large data centers and virtualization. It is acknowledged to be a stable platform for enterprise applications.
For Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a typical implementation would be either a Fedora Core or CentOS deployment. Each version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is supported for up to 10 years. Oracle Corporation - Solaris 11 contains a number of significant changes,
including an installer that replaces JumpStart, new packaging, and a requirement to use the ZFS: Zetabye file system for root. Since the changes in Solaris 11 impact system management functionality, the impact on operational procedures can
be substantial. The evaluation of Solaris 11 is a convenient juncture for evaluating whether to upgrade Solaris or consider an alternative operating system.
The Oracle business model is based on licenses, support, and maintenance agreements. For enterprises currently utilizing Oracle SPARC hardware and the Solaris operating system, there are reasons to consider
migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Oracleís integrated hardware and software provide the greatest benefit when running Oracle software products and the requirement is to have a single point of purchase and support. However, Oracle
customers in the past have expressed issues relating to indiscriminate cost increases and possible limitations on deployment options. There continues to be a wariness not to be locked into a single vendor and the Oracle roadmap.
With open source software, organizational enterprise retains the ability to control software licensing costs by combining commercial distributions with an affiliated non-commercial software distribution.
The selection of an operating system for an information technology infrastructure has long-term implications. The selection process must take into account not only the featureset of the current operating system, but
the ability for the operating system to enable and support business requirements. Reduced total cost of ownership, flexibility, scalability, and uncertainty regarding Oracle Corporationís long term commitment to the SPARC
architecture and the Solaris operating system are all reasons for migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.