Oracle Solaris 11 is the Future

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Lots of speculation about Solaris and OpenSolaris is happening right now, with an allegedly leaked email being the latest generator of buzz, rumors and troll-ism.

But is that any useful? No.

So let's cut through the shiitake, do some due diligence and focus on some real facts instead.

In this article, we'll check out some real and authoritative sources of Solaris direction, mainly John Fowler's recent webcast about Solaris 11. Then we'll see what our future opportunities as members of the Solaris community are, and close with some pointers to other opinions on Solaris 11.

What Communities Should Do (And What They Shouldn't)

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Ever since Oracle announced that they'll buy Sun, there has been a lot of discussion about the future (some would say "fate") of OpenSolaris in the "community".

In fact, the last 15 months have been very instructive in terms of how communities work, or how they don't.

Let's check out what a community is supposed to do, and what it is not supposed to do, in the light of the latest OpenSolaris announcement: Illumos.

Sysadmin Day is Coming Up! 7 Cool Gift Ideas That Will Make Your Geek Friend Happy

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Every year, on the last Friday of July, Sysadmin Day is celebrated around the world.

You know, the guy (or gal) that makes sure you always receive your emails on time, strips away the spam, cuddles your web server so you can write blog articles, or makes sure the network is always online, so you can read your favorite blogs. Or install new servers and storage so your web experience becomes faster and so your data is never lost.

Sysadmins often have a hard time: Noone calls them to tell them "Thank you for delivering all my emails!" or "Thanks for making sure my data is backed up every day!". Instead, they only get phonecalls when something goes wrong, or worse yet, some anonymous electronic complaint in some soulless ticketing system.

Therefore, this Friday, the 30th of July, 2010, think about your sysadmin, call her up and say something nice, or consider giving them a gift. Here are some geeky gift ideas for sysadmins to celebrate Sysadmin Day 2010, from low-budget to truely-devoted-appreciation pricing order.

After all, you really don't want your sysadmin to turn into a grumpy BOFH, do you?

Solaris ZFS, Synchronous Writes and the ZIL Explained

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When talking to customers, partners and colleagues about Oracle Solaris ZFS performance, one topic almost always seems to pop up: Synchronous writes and the ZIL.

In fact, most ZFS performance problems I see are related to synchronous writes, how they are handled by ZFS through the ZIL and how they impact IOPS load on the pool's disks.

Many people blame the ZIL for bad performance, and they even try to turn it off, but that's not good. Actually, the opposite is true: The ZIL is there to help you.

In this article, we'll learn what synchronous writes are, how they're processed by ZFS, what the ZIL is, how it works, how to measure ZIL activity and how to accelerate synchronous write performance, which is at the root of many, if not the majority of ZFS performance problems.

The ProBlogger 7 Links Challenge #7links

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Darren from ProBlogger today posted his 7 Link Challenge. A fun idea in which he asks bloggers to share 7 links to posts, based on the 7 criteria he selected.

ProBlogger is a great website with lots of useful tips for bloggers. Even if you don't plan to make money with your blog, or if you don't think of yourself as a pro blogger, this site is still one of the best in terms of blogging advice.

I'm currently reading his book "ProBlogger" (affiliate link) and I can highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking more seriously about blogging.

Now, let's get started with the ProBlogger 7 Link Challenge for Constant Thinking:

Here Are The Ten Most Important Independent Solaris Blogs

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One of the best information sources for any topic are blogs, and the Oracle Solaris operating system in all its variants (Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris) is no exception. Most of what I learned about OpenSolaris was through blogs, or through interacting with Solaris bloggers.

As a way of saying "Thank You", I did some research and came up with a list of the top ten Solaris related blogs with the highest traffic on the Internet.

But first, let's clear up some basic rules.

ZFS is for 1337 Hax0rz

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The developers of ZFS are a funny bunch of people. You can tell that by watching the "ZFS: The Next Word" talk, meeting them on conferences, reading their blogs or their comments on mailing lists.

And there are also some funny parts in the ZFS source code, too. In fact, if you use ZFS, you'll have a funny joke sitting on your disk, right under your nose!

I was reminded about this particular joke while listening to Ulrich Gräf's excellent talk on ZFS internal data structures during OSDevCon 2009 (watch a video of Ulrich's talk here).

But first, we need to dig a little bit into the world of ZFS data structures.