28.09.2008

WMWare Server 2.0: at first glance

Last week i downloaded the new VMWare Server 2.0 to see what has changed from 1.0.x to 2.0. I installed it on Debian Linux on my laptop and the installation process was like in version 1 the same text based procedure.

The major upgrades for my pattern of usage are:
  • 8 GB RAM usable for a guest operating system
  • 64-bit operating system support
  • Web based VMWare console
  • USB 2.0 support
If you want to know, what are the complete features take a look here.

So let's start with some screenshots. You can access the VMWare console via http://localhost:8222 or https://localhost:8333.

Under commands (right tab) you can click create virtual machine or add virtual machine to inventory.
I added a virtual machine and to this file browser:


In the middle tab of the WMWare Console you can see this virtual machine and in the commands window, you can click Power on.


If you choose the virtual machine in the inventory tab and not in the middle window, you can see many details for this virtual machine like performance graphs and the hardware:





So let's go ahead and start the machine. But this was suprise! In the console window you get this message:

And now? If you installed VMWare Server 2 you can find at
http://localhost:8222/ui/help/en_US/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm?context=VI_Web_Access&topic=WAC_RemoteConsolePlugin&tab=contents&accessible=true
a online help. This will tell you that clicking on Install plug-in installs a plugin in your firefox, which enables you to use your browser as console to the virtual machine:



And voila after restarting your firefox, you will see this message

It is a little bit confusing that the console opens in a new window, but after a short wait:


There are some other blogs about VMWare Server 2 beta like "VMWare Server 2.0 is a step back" or "VMware Server 2.0 beta 2: Erfahrungsbericht unter Vista-..." which can show some other aspects of the new version, like size of the software, memory consumption, etc...

Yes, there are some things which could be better, but if you really want this in production quality, you have to move the other (non-free) VMWare products ;-).

24.09.2008

Oracle BPEL PM 10.1.3.4: New features

Some days ago i made my first tests with BPEL PM 10.1.3.4. If you are interested for a full list of the new features you should read the official release notes. Here the summary from Oracle:

  • Improved Visibility of Engine Threading Model
  • Improved Statistics Collection
  • Minimize XML Coding Errors
  • Rescuing Lost Instances
  • Automated Recovery Agent
  • Collection of Support Information
  • Deployment Plan
I will show a few screenshots to the first three topics, but for an impression of 10.1.3.4, this should be enough:

In 10.1.3.4 there is a graphical representation to monitor the threading model of the BPEL PM. In the old one, you only got the numbers without a history:


This gui should be very helpful for performance tuning and finding bottle necks.

Another enhancement is the analytics tab placed in the processes view. There you can investigate for each activity of the BPEL process the times for
  • count
  • avg-cpu
  • min-cpu
  • max-cpu
  • avg-wall (this number is always the same like avg-cpu)


And you can investigate the sources for the activities by clicking on the + symbol.

At processes view Oracle added another tab "Validate XML". This is nothing special, just a validation of the XML against the XSD of the BPEL process, but it is nice to have it inside the BPEL Console, so you can stay at the BPEL Console and debug what is wrong with you entrance message.


At the BPEL Console these three enhancements have been introduced from Oracle. In the release notes you can find:
Goal is to make BPEL Console the only place you'll need to go

There are some other enhancements (not at GUI level), maybe i will write about them in another posting...

21.09.2008

Oracle Configuration Support Manager: "next generation MetaLink expirience"

In a posting two months ago i wrote about a new tab in Oracle's MetaLink. Now Oracle changed the login behaviour of https://metalink.oracle.com.
Now you get a new login page where the default is now the "My Oracle Support".

The login is a little bit slow (>10s) but it shows this nice animated picture ;-)


But you can step back to the "Classic MetaLink" if something is not working. For viewing one Service Request i had to step back to the classic metalink, because of some encoding problems:



In addition cut & paste with firefox 3.0 and Linux does not work with this web based application, so i will use the classic one. But hopefully Oracle can fix all these errors in the next weeks...

03.09.2008

Oracle Forums: New Feature(s)

The new forums.oracle.com site is now online and running. Since the first preview (see this entry) they changed some functionality:





Now there is not only the discrimination between member and active member. Now you can achieve 5 levels from Newbie to Guru. As you can see, you have to answer 20 questions correct to get to the second level called Journeyman.
At the thread overview a new column was added which shows, if you can get points for answering the thread and if this thread was already answered correct. The green star indicates a right answered thread:



Inside the thread there is the green star at the beginning:


and the correct answer is marked, too:


Last but not least the person, who gave the answer, gets the points:



Here the official statement from Oracle about this points:

What are "rewards points"?
It is possible for you to reward an answerer 5 points for a "helpful" answer or 10 points for a "correct" one (or none at all). Users who accumulate certain amounts of points reach different levels of recognition (see legend). In this manner, users who offer consistently helpful or correct answers raise their standing in the community. (Note: in order to award points, you must identify your post as a "question" first - which is set as default.)

One feature was removed from the forum:
The first column of the thread overview indicated "New content since your last visit" or "updated content since your last visit". I think this feature broke the forum the last time, because you have to save for each visitor all states of the threads he visited...

This "correctly answered" feature is very helpful for all forum users. And the race for the top users in the forums is now open again and we all have to start from zero again ;-(