The state of OpenSolaris

Matty and I haven’t really spoken much about the current state of the OpenSolaris project. Oracle has been pretty tight with releasing any type of information about their plans / directions in which they will be taking Solaris / OpenSolaris. Its caused a lot fusteration.

The OpenSolaris Governing Board threw down the gauntlet and has threatened to dissolve pending some direct interaction / involvement from Oracle. Ben Rockwood has made his opinion made and a lot of what he has to say makes sense.

Sun spent a lot of effort / time / money / energy / excitement in trying to build the OpenSolaris community while they were still an independent entity from Oracle. UNIX admins played / tinkered with Linux at home, and it made its way into the data center and into production applications as it matured and became a rock solid technology. There is value in having the community embrace your O/S in a non-enterprise setting — such is the target market for OpenSolaris adoption. Its how the popularity of Linux overtook the large traditional UNIX implementations. (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX) If Oracle abandons OpenSolaris and allows the OGB to dissolve, I believe it will be a step in the wrong direction.

Oracle needs to fix their certification requirements

I have been spending a good bit of my spare time studying for the Oracle RAC certification, and am hoping to get certified by the end of summer. Once thing that annoys me is the fact that you have to attend a vendor training class in order to get certified. This is kinda silly, and I have yet to find a test that I couldn’t pass by studying the product on my own (I have 14 certifications, all of which I got by studying vendor documentation). While I can understand that Oracle wants to make money off the certification process, they should be a bit more flexible and allow people to acquire certifications through self-study (I think you learn more when you study material on your own). Since I don’t have $3,500 to spend on the class, I may have to stop once I get my OCA next month. Bummer!

Best I/O scheduler to use with virtualized Linux hosts

While reading through the Redhat Oracle 10G best practices document, I came across this gem:

“In virtualized environments, it is often detrimental to schedule I/O at both the host and guest layers. If multiple guests access storage on a file system or block devices managed by the host operating system, the host may be able to schedule I/O more efficiently because it alone is aware of requests from all guests and knows the physical layout of storage, which may not map linearly to the guests’ virtual storage. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 guests can use the noop I/O scheduler to allow the host to optimize I/O requests.”

This makes complete sense, and I am going to have to test out the noop I/O scheduler in my lab this weekend. I’m curious how many folks run the default I/O scheduler in their Xen or KVM guests, and are actually hindering I/O performance by doing so.