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Friday, April 24, 2009
Developing MySQL Database Applications With PHP

A four part tutorial that explains the PHP / MySQL extensions - mysql, mysqli, and pdo_mysql - with simple examples is now accessible from Sun Developer Network. While most of the information presented in the tutorial is available elsewhere in bits and pieces, the real value-add is in the introduction of the MySQL native driver for PHP, mysqlnd.

Here is a brief description of all four parts in the series:

Application developers who are new to the development of MySQL database applications with PHP are the target audience of this tutorial.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Exploring the Features of MySQL Connector/C++

With the introduction of MySQL Connector/C++, now C++ application developers have one additional option to choose from, to connect to MySQL Server 5.1 or later from a C++ application. Admittedly, as of today, there isn't enough documentation with examples to show the capabilities [and gotchas] of MySQL Connector/C++. I tried to fill that gap with the technical article, Developing Database Applications Using MySQL Connector/C++. Hopefully it serves as a starting point for the C++ developers while waiting for the MySQL Connectors documentation team to publish the official documentation on MySQL Developer Zone.

While you are at it, don't forget to check the supplement document, Installing MySQL Connector/C++ from Source, in case if you want to build the driver on your own from the source code.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Controlling [Virtual] Network Interfaces in a Non-Global Solaris Zone

In the software world, some tools like SAP NetWeaver's Adaptive Computing Controller (ACC) require full control over a network interface, so they can bring up/down the NICs at their will to fulfill their responsibilities. Those tools may function normally on Solaris 10 [and later] as long as they are run in the global zone. However there might be some trouble when those tools are attempted to run in a non-global zone, especially on machines with only one physical network interface installed, and when the non-global zones are created with the default configuration. This blog post attempts to suggest few solutions to get around those issues, so the tools can function the way they normally do in the global zone.

If the machine has only one NIC installed, there are at least two issues that will prevent tools like ACC from working in a non-global zone.
  1. Since there is only one network interface on the system, it is not possible to dedicate that interface to the non-global zone where ACC is supposed to run. Hence all the zones, including the global zone, must share the physical network interface.

  2. When the physical network interface is being shared across multiple zones, it is not possible to plumb/unplumb the network interface from a Shared-IP Non-Global Zone. Only the root users in the global zone can plumb/unplumb the lone physical network interface.
    • When a non-global zone is created with the default configuration, Shared-IP zone is created by default. Shared-IP zones have separate IP addresses, but share the IP routing configuration with the global zone.

Fortunately, Solaris 10 has a solution to the aforementioned issues in the form of Network Virtualization. Crossbow is the code name for network virtualization in Solaris. Crossbow provides the necessary building blocks to virtualize a single physical network interface into multiple virtual network interfaces (VNICs) - so the solution to the issue at hand is to create a virtual network interface, and then to create an Exclusive-IP Non-Global Zone using the virtual NIC. Rest of the blog post demonstrates the simple steps to create a VNIC, and to configure a non-global zone as Exclusive-IP Zone.

Create a Virtual Network Interface using Crossbow

Create a Non-Global Zone with the VNIC

Dynamic [Re]Configuration of the [Virtual] Network Interface in a Non-Global Zone

As simple as that! Before we conclude, be informed that prior to Crossbow, Solaris system administrators were required to use Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN) to achieve similar outcomes.

Check Zones and Containers FAQ, if you are stuck with a strange situation or if you need some interesting ideas around virtualization on Solaris.
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