Friday Jul 11, 2014

What Can You Do With Data Link Multipathing (DLMP)?

When I first learned about high availability, it was something you provided by creating one or more copies of the operating environment on separate servers. Sometimes on different continents. If the server in Canada failed, the server in Ireland would take over.

Then I found out about Real Application Clusters. Wait, I asked myself, weren't applications invented for the sole purpose of field-testing the OS? Why do test programs need high availability? Haven't these people heard of Oracle Solaris Cluster?

Well, to my great disappointment there are plenty of different approaches to high availability. Just like there are plenty of different approaches to virtualization. And, as you might imagine, you can combine the two.

For instance, if you're going to build a cloud infrastructure using the virtualization capabilities in Oracle Solaris 11, you might as well allocate your network resources to the virtualized environment, as well. And so, you'd probably find yourself creating virtual switches, routers, cards, and what not. Well, what happens if all those virtual networks, which are really just one physical network, go down?

Bjoern Rost, Oracle ACE, provides a nice explanation of a Solaris feature that didn't get a lot of attention when it was released: Data Link Multipathing (DLMP) and DLMP aggregation. DLMP aggregation allows you to combine virtual network interfaces from different physical network interfaces into high availability clusters. You can also use these clusters to improve load balancing, as Bjoern explains in his blog post.

Orgad likes DLMP, too. So much, in fact, that he took a break from reconfiguring the International Space Station so his kids could control it from their XBox, and wrote an article explaining how to apply DLMP to a virtual network. Two articles, in fact.

Tech Article: Using DLMP to Add High Availability to Your Network in Oracle Solaris 11.1

by Orgad Kimchi

How to combine virtual NICs from different physical NICS into a DLMP aggregation assigned to a zone, and configure the aggregation to provide failover for the zone, using Oracle Solaris 11.

Tech Article: Doing More with DLMP

by Orgad Kimchi

You can give an Oracle Solaris 11 zone exclusive access to a physical NIC. Although that approach can ensure that particular zone has full access the entire bandwidth of the NIC, it does leave NIC and the entire network exposed to security breaches. Unless you use DLMP's Link Protection capability. Orgad explains how to do that, as well as enabling resource management for your Oracle Solaris 11 virtual network, improving the availability of an NFS server, and more.

About the Photograph

Lou Ordorica and I took off early a few weeks ago to get in some twisties before the crowds showed up. We stopped at The Last Shot on the Peak to Peak highway to grab a late breakfast/early lunch. While we were there a few more bikes showed up.

- Rick
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Friday May 16, 2014

Orgad Strikes Again

"And while you're at it, use the Unified Archive to deploy a cloud in a box."

Orgad is too smart. Or maybe, he does what Einstein claims to do:

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
- Albert Einstein

How to Set Up a Hadoop 2.2 Cluster on Oracle Solaris 11.2

Technical Article by Orgad Kimchi

Figuring out how to set up a Hadoop 2.2 Cluster helps keep Orgad challenged on those late nights when, after a few too many shots of Joov, he strikes up a casual game of chess with Deep Blue. As he explains,

"Setting up a Hadoop cluster on Oracle Solaris 11.2 gives you fast provisioning via zone cloning, best I/O performance from ZFS compression, and rapid provisioning with the Unified Archive."

But setting up a Hadoop cluster and configuring its failover capabilities (yawn) is just not enough to keep Orgad interested. Nope. To stay awake he has to toss in a neat little trick at the end of his article: how to use the Unified Archive in Oracle Solaris 11.2 to create a cloud-in-a-box that you can deploy in a variety of environments.

I don't know what Orgad does between midnight and 2:00 am, but in case you want to take a guess, here are more gems from Orgad:

About the Photograph

Photograph of plant killed by Mrs. Ramsey taken by Rick Ramsey in Colorado

- Rick
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Monday Oct 29, 2012

Is This Your Idea of Disaster Recovery?

Don't just make do with less.

Protect what you've got.

By, for instance, deploying Oracle Solaris 10 inside a zone cluster.

"Wait," you say, "what is a zone cluster?"

It is a zone deployed across different physical servers.

"Who would do that!" you ask in a mild panic.

Why, an upstanding sysadmin citizen interested in protecting his or her employer's investment with appropriate high availability and disaster recovery. If one server gets wiped out by Hurricane Sandy along with pretty much the entire East Coast of the USA, your zone continues to run on the other server(s). Provided you set them up in Edinburgh. This white paper (pdf) explains what a zone cluster is and how to use it. If a white paper reminds you of having to read War and Peace in school, just use this Oracle RAC and Solaris Cluster Cheat Sheet, instead.

"But wait!" you exclaim. "I didn't realize Solaris 10 offered zone clusters!"

I didn't, either! And in an earlier version of this blog post I said that zone clusters were only available with Oracle Solaris 11. But Karoly Vegh pointed me to the documentation for Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3, which explains how to manage zone clusters in Oracle Solaris 10. Bite my fist!

So, the point I was trying to make is not just that you can run Oracle Solaris 10 zone clusters, but that you can run them in an Oracle Solaris 11 environment. Now let's return to our conversation and pick up where we left off ...

"Oh no! Whatever shall I do?"

Fear not. Remember how Oracle Solaris 11 lets you create a Solaris 10 branded zone inside a system running Oracle Solaris 11? Well, the Solaris Cluster engineers thought that was a bang-up idea, and decided to extend Oracle Solaris Cluster so that you could run your Solaris 10 applications inside the protective cocoon of an Oracle Solaris 11 zone cluster. Take advantage of the installation improvements and network virtualization capabilities of Oracle Solaris 11 while still running your application on Oracle Solaris 10. You Luddite, you.

That capability is in the latest release of Oracle Solaris Cluster, version 4.1, which became available last Friday.

"Last Friday! Is it too late to get a copy?"

You can still get a free copy from our download center (see below). And, if you'd like to know what other goodies the 4.1 release of Oracle Solaris Cluster provides, see:

As always, you can get the latest information about Oracle Solaris Cluster, plus technical how-to articles, documentation, and more from Oracle Solaris Cluster Resource Page for Sysadmins and Developers.

And don't forget about the online launch of Oracle Solaris 11.1 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1, scheduled for Nov 7.

"I feel so much better, now!"

Think nothing of it. That's what we're here for.

- Rick
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Kemer Thomson
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