Simon Haslam's Oracle Fusion Middleware blog

The Fantastic New WebLogic on Oracle Database Appliance 2.9 Release is Here!

Last week was a big day in virtualised ODA-land as it saw the launch of WebLogic on ODA 2.9. Admittedly it doesn't sound like a very exciting release but it is one that we at O-box have been looking forward to for quite some time. Let me explain why, then we'll look into the details...

The ODA X4-2 has 48 Intel Xeon cores. That is a lot of compute power. Whilst the largest O-box SOA Appliance single environment configuration can in theory use all those cores (currently with 40 vCPU of SOA!) the vast majority of O-box users will want smaller configurations. Prior to 2.9 the Oracle WebLogic implementation only supported one domain per ODA, so the conundrum O-box development faced last year was either: offer customers only one SOA environment on their O-box for now (but have the benefit of a standard, easily supportable WebLogic installation), or build our own WebLogic/OTD OVM templates from scratch.

One of our driving goals with O-box is to give the best possible experience and make the appliance as supportable as possible. Therefore we took the gamble that we would stick with the Oracle's one-domain WebLogic configuration initially, and just hope that it would deliver multi-domain support for us in a timely manner (note: this is probably not a strategy that business textbooks would recommend!).

Anyway, we've been working closely with Oracle Product Management for a few months now and I'm delighted to see 2.9 as the fruits of their labour. This also neatly ties in with several recent requests for O-box to include OSB as well as SOA/BPEL (which we have always wanted to have in separate domains). The diagram below is the neatest way to summarise what the new 2.9 release will allow us to deliver, i.e. previously only one 3D box was possible:

O-box SOA Appliance running multiple environments

The second important feature for O-box is now being able to run the ODA WebLogic Configuration Utility (or "configurator" if you are the other side of the Atlantic!) in silent mode. Some of you will have heard me talk about my vision for O-box which is to provision 100% silently, based on our "2 stick install" approach. Technically this is feasible but one of the stumbling blocks has been us not being able to run the configurator java UI silently from the O-box Manager. I'm pleased to say there's now a --silent option and that it works exactly as advertised!

Finally, there was a little unexpected treat in 2.9 which I'll come on to later. So let's dig a little deeper...

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2013: the Year O-box was Born!

2013 has been one of those "flat out" years for me. This has been due to a few factors: a SOA EDG project that spanned much of the year, a couple of systems going live in the summer, a few shorter engagements for architectural designs/reviews, the usual Oracle conferences and last, but certainly not least, forming a new software company called "O-box".

 2013
Firstly let's rewind...[Read More]

Oracle Database Appliance X4-2 Released

With Intel's release last September of the Ivy Bridge-EP "v2" processors, very quickly followed by Oracle's Sun Server X4-2, the stage was set for some imminent updates to the whole of Oracle's Engineered Systems range. Last Friday Oracle launched the Oracle Database Appliance X4-2 - or at least that's when there are some blogs about it (Oracle Database Insider Blog and eSTEP Blog) though I didn't see a press release.

So what's in this new version? I've pored over the documentation and here are the differences I've spotted:

Processors

The headline difference for the ODA X4-2 is that the processors used are now E5-2697 v2 2.7 GHz / 12 core (instead of the E5-2690 2.9 GHz / 8 core in the ODA X3-2). This is one of Intel's "tick" releases and they have shrunk the lithography down from 32nm to 22nm. [See benchmark observations in full post]

I had expected to see the E5-2690 v2 (10 core) in the X4-2 as the E5-2697 v2 (12 core) processor is apparently about 25% more expensive, so the inclusion of the 12 core was a very pleasant surprise given that the ODA X4-2 is the same price as the X3-2 it replaces.

Some of you will know about my involvement with O-box and the new O-box SOA Appliance - these extra cores will come in very useful for our larger configurations. :)

Networking

As regular readers may remember I have pointed out that, having nothing but copper 10GbE ports, the ODA X3-2 networking could be a bit too restrictive for some customers (i.e. those who have fibre, either via SFP+ modules or TwinAx cables, into their fabric extenders or core 10GbE switches).

Anyway, I see that the new ODA X4-2 white paper says...

Oracle Database Appliance

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UKOUG Tech13 WebLogic Hackathon - the networking behind the scenes

Last Sunday at UKOUG Tech13 we ran a "WebLogic Hackathon". This started with Peter Lorenzen showing people how to install the JDK and WebLogic, and then create a domain - all done silently (i.e. without graphical screens and user interaction). After this Ronald van Luttikhuizen and I, ably assisted by Pete and Guido Schmutz, ran a session to use either Puppet or Chef, both popular automation tools, to do the same thing on 3 nodes entirely automatically. Delegates worked in groups of 3 with the VirtualBox images and various other files distributed centrally from my ThinkPad. One common factor to all three sessions was the network so I thought it might be amusing to describe a little about our adventures that morning...

Hackathon network - halfway there

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OOW 2013 Summary for Fusion Middleware Architects & Administrators

This September during Oracle OpenWorld the weather in San Francisco, as you see can from the photo, was exceptionally sunny. The dramatic final few days of the Americas Cup sailing competition, being held every day in the bay, coincided with the conference and meant that there was almost a holiday feel to the whole event.

Here's my annual round-up of what I think was most interesting at OpenWorld 2013 for Fusion Middleware architects and administrators; I hope you find it useful and if you think I've missed something please add a comment!

 Howard Street flags at OpenWorld 2013
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