Thursday Jan 12, 2012

New ZFSSA simulator download

I've just been informed that the simulator download has been updated to the latest version of 2011.1.1.

So instead of trying to upgrade your older simulator, it is possible to download and install the new one at the latest code. Mine upgraded just fine, but some people report errors during upgrading, which occurs when using a computer or laptop without enough memory or a variety of other problems. You can get the simulator here:

Monday Sep 12, 2011

New Q3.4.1 code out now for the 7000 ZFSSA family

Code release Q3.4.1 is available now on MOS for download.

This is very exciting news, even if you don't need to upgrade. Why? Because Q3.4.1 contains NO bug fixes. The only thing it does is allows your system to use the new drive trays with 15K speed drives.

You can mix-n-match drive trays in the same system, and create a new, faster ZFS pool using the 15K drives in the same system you already have. You do not want to mix the high-capacity, slower drives with these in the same pool, however. Make sure they are different pools to be most effective. Not everyone needs these faster drives to drive their performance, as the ZFSSA really tries to drive performance with it's huge amount of L1 and L2 cache. However, some people run workloads that either fill up the cache, or by-pass the Logzillas during writes altogether, and the faster, 15K speed spindles will matter a lot to them.


Thursday Jul 28, 2011

ASR- Automated Service Request - AKA "Phone Home"

Many of you know that the 7000 family (and pretty much every piece of hardware Oracle sells) has a built-in feature called ASR, or Automated Service Request.

In the past, you may have called this "Phone-Home" or some other name, but basically it's all the same. Something goes wrong on the box, and a signal is sent to Oracle to alert us that there's an issue. Now, this isn’t magic. YOU have to setup ASR on the box correctly or this will not work. The 7000 walks you through this setup during the initial install of the box, but if you skip it, you can always go back and set it up later. Just go to Configuration, Services, Phone Home.

Would you like to know what issues DO send a signal? This website has documentation for Oracle ASR, and at the bottom of the page you’ll see docs for “Fault Coverage Information” for a variety of products, including our 7000 & 6000 storage families. The 7000 is obvious, and the 6000 & 2000 families are under the one titled “Common Array Manager (CAM)”.

Now, once you open up the 7000 document, you will see about 15 pages of issues that will create an ASR if they occur (and ASR is setup properly). The many links inside the document are only useful if you are either and Oracle employee or have a proper MOS login account. If you don’t, and you would like more info on one, please speak to your friendly, neighborhood Oracle storage SC, and they’ll be happy to look some up for you.

It’s pretty important to setup ASR, if you haven’t already. Not only will the system be able to quickly let us know when there’s a major problem, but it also generates a heartbeat with our Oracle support team, and gives them monthly status updates about your system.  There is a comprehensive privacy statement that goes along with this, and Oracle’s lawyers are pretty good at assuring you that this is safe and no private data is collected. I can show you the actual data collected in these reports, if you like. They are very useful. Not only can your local SC use these reports to help you plan for firmware updates and storage capacity use, but will also, in the future, be able to automatically inform you when important bug fixes or system updates come out. If you’re not on ASR, you’re on your own and will most probably miss many of these updates, and your local team will not see your systems in the status reports, so will not even know you have a 7000 out there for them to help you with.

Tuesday May 31, 2011

7000 ZFS Storage Appliance - General info and websites

The ZFSSA is the current name of the oracle 7000 family of products. You can see the public page for them here:

There are just a huge amount of websites, white papers, and blogs regarding this product and the technology that makes it tick, Solaris 10, 11 and ZFS. The following is just a few of them to help get you started.

Software updates:
You need to check here, as the ZFSSA appliance kit gets updated with a minor update about every 3 months and a major update about twice a year. Believe me, you want these. They will either fix bugs that you may have seen (or have not seen yet and don't want to), or give you access to fantastic new features. These will be at no cost to you, as with all software on the ZFSSA, there are no licenses or costs for the software. Very cool.

BigAdmin is a great site to find and download whitepapers on lots of topics, including many for the 7000. Like best practices for setting up SharePoint Server with the 7000.

Power Calculator:
This link takes you to the 7420 calculator, but you can walk the links up at the top to take you to many others

Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-in:
Did you know you could monitor and get alerts from multiple 7000s using OEM? Oh, and did you know the plug-in was free? Oh, and did you know there is no cost to run OEM and the Oracle database needed to run it, as long as you only use it for OEM???? DID YOU? DID YOU??? I bet you didn't....

How to boot from SAN over FC from a 7000:
Yep, of course you can do that.

Workflow and script depot:
I'm afraid this one is Oracle Internal only, but important for my fellow storage consultants to have. This is Chris' Script Depot.

7000 documentation and training guide :
Sorry, this is another Oracle-internal website

7000 Simulator download -
This is really not a simulator, but the actual, real software for a 7000, just like you bought the real box. The only thing being simulated in VirtualBox (free) is the hardware that the software is running on. It thinks it's a real 7000, it's just running on your PC so it's slow. It can do anything the real box can, even replicate to another 7000. The only parts you won't be able to play with will be clustering and the Hybrid storage pool, as I doubt your laptop has a mix of Readzillas, Logzillas, and SAS2 drives. After you install and set this up, be sure to go get the latest software upgrade and upgrade it, just like its a real box. Because remember, it thinks it is.



This blog is a way for Steve to send out his tips, ideas, links, and general sarcasm. Almost all related to the Oracle 7000, code named ZFSSA, or Amber Road, or Open Storage, or Unified Storage. You are welcome to contact with any comments or questions


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