Wednesday Sep 12, 2012

Reaping the Benefits of the Image Packaging System

source

One of the promises made about Oracle Solaris 11 was easier installation. Remember?

Do you also remember how involved installing Oracle Solaris Cluster used to be? It was so involved, in fact, that we (when we were Sun Microsystems) wouldn't even let you do it yourself.

How times have changed.

New - How to Automate The Installation of Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0

Thanks to the new image packaging architecture in Oracle Solaris 11, you can now automate the installation of Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0. Why is that such a big deal? As Lucia Lai explains it:

"Without the AI, you would have to manually install the cluster components on the cluster nodes, and then run the scinstall tool to add the nodes to the cluster. If, instead, you use the AI, both the Oracle Solaris 11 and the Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 packages are installed onto the cluster nodes directly from Image Packaging System (IPS) repositories, and the nodes are booted into a new cluster with minimum user intervention."

Lucia goes on to explain how to set up and configure the AI server, how to plan your cluster configuration for the automated installation, how to use the scinstall utility, how to set up the DHCP server, and more. A thorough, well-written article.

- Rick

Website Newsletter Facebook Twitter

Thursday May 24, 2012

Overcoming Your Fear of Repositories

One of the best features of Oracle Solaris 11 is its software update model. As you have probably heard many times by now, the Image Packaging System (IPS) handles package dependencies automatically, so you no longer have to check them manually or create scripts that assemble the correct set of packages .

If you don't have a support contract, you have to wait until the next release of Oracle Solaris 11 to get the latest updates. But if you do have a support contract, you can keep your system updated with the latest security updates and bug fixes by downloading updates from the Oracle Support Repository. We recently published two articles that describe how, plus one more that shows you how to create multiple internal repositories.

How to Update Oracle Solaris 11 Systems from the Oracle Support Repository, by Glynn Foster

You may already know that you don't have to worry about manually tracking and validating patch dependencies when you update a version of Oracle Solaris 11. But did you also realize you can apply the updates to an alternate boot environment, and then schedule the switchover to happen automatically at a later time? Glynn Foster explains how, and how to make sure everything went well.

More Tips for Updating Oracle Solaris 11 Systems from the Oracle Support Repository, by Peter Dennis

The Oracle Support Repository contains bug fixes and critical security fixes that can be applied to existing Oracle Solaris 11 installations between major releases. The repository is updated monthly. Peter Dennis describes how to access those updates and apply them to your systems.

How to Create Multiple Internal Repositories for Oracle Solaris 11, by Albert White

Even though you may get all your software updates to Oracle Solaris 11 from an external repository, you may still want to create different internal repositories to serve different versions of Oracle Solaris 11 to different types of systems. Albert White shows you how to create and manage internal repositories for release, development, and support versions of Solaris 11.

There's plenty more where these came from. Be sure to bookmark our Installation Spotlight page, maintained by the kind and prolific folks who bring you Oracle Solaris 11.

About the picture ...
Laird Hamilton is a god.
Teahupoo is a killer wave.
Laird owned it.
Be like Laird.

- Rick

Website Newsletter Facebook Twitter

Thursday May 10, 2012

Adventures in Flopping

Click an image to expand it.

Flopping in the NBA:

Flopping in soccer:

Flopping in the the NFL:

Flopping in the Data Center:










Next time your boss brushes aside the Chitos wrappers strewn among the coaxial cables with a dismissive swipe of his Wingtips so he can make his way into your office and demand that you install the latest version of Oracle Solaris 11 on 3,000 clients by Monday, you won't have to resort to flopping.

Just tell him that it'll take you all weekend, and then read Isaac Rozenfeld's explanation of:

How to Set Up Automated Installation Services in Oracle Oracle Solaris 11

The Automated Installer in Oracle Solaris 11 is kinda sorta the replacement for JumpStart and a very cool tool. You should learn how to use it. Steps are:

  1. Use the command-line to set up a an Oracle Solaris 11 system to act as an Automated Installer server.
  2. Create an installation service that will be automatically installed on clients.
  3. Test the installation service on the client, using default settings.
  4. Run the installation service again, but with custom settings.

Isaac strolls through them in grand style:

For more information about the Automated Installer and other installation tools in Oracle Solaris 11, see the Oracle Solaris 11 Installation Resources Page on OTN.

- Rick

Website

Newsletter

Facebook

Twitter

Tuesday Aug 16, 2011

Ginny Had A Bright Idea

image courtesy of Twenty Words

In the Olden Days before most of us were born, if a woman got a bright idea she got an immediate spanking from John Wayne. Thank goodness John Wayne has stopped doing that, or we wouldn't get to reap the benefits of the research Ginny Henningsen did with Oracle Solaris 11.

When Ginny read about all the different ways to download, install, patch, and manage updates in Solaris 11, she wasn't sure where to start. So she drew on her personal experience, the experience of other sysadmins and systems engineers, the documentation, and the related technical articles posted on OTN.

The result? These three very practical articles.

Article 1
Best Way To Update Software Using IPS in Oracle Solaris 11

The SVR4 packaging and patching systems in earlier versions of Solaris were designed by the Chosen for the Faithful. If you loved SunOS you could recite package nomenclature in your sleep and you always, always used the command line. Alas, nobody loves software for its own sake any more. At least, not enough of us do. And so, the latest version of Solaris does away with the mystery, the animal sacrifice, the practice of witchcraft, and the other requirements for mastery of earlier versions. Read how Ginny put away her potions and figured out the best way to use the new tools.

Article 2
Best Way to Automate ZFS Snapshots and Track Software Updates in Oracle Solaris 11

Boot environments in Solaris 11 perform a function similar to Live Upgrade environments in Oracle Solaris 10. Except that they're implemented with ZFS. Which means you can generate snapshots of your boot environments at every point you'd like to record. And the beauty of that is, of course, that you can return to any snapshot of the boot environment that you want to use. In this article, Ginny introduces TimeSlider, shows you how to configure it to take automatic snapshots, and explains how to keep a record of the software updates that have been made to the current boot environment.

Article 3
Best Way to Update Software in Oracle Solaris 11 Zones

Before the Zone there was the Container. And before the Container, the Zone. This is The Way of Software. In her third "Best Way" article, Ginny figures out the best way to manage software updates in Solaris 11 zones which, as you might expect, are different from Solaris 10 zones. After showing you those differences, she shows you how to create, configure, install, and clone a Solaris 11 zone, then how to upgrade both the global and non-global zones. As a bonus, you get to find out what to do if something goes wrong.

We're expecting more "Best Way" articles from Ginny down the road. So read these, try out their recommendations yourself, and tell us what you think.

And don't forget to save the lemur!

- Rick
Website
Newsletter
Facebook
Twitter

Wednesday Mar 30, 2011

Spotlight On Image Packaging System


Not getting enough technical specificity out of "record-breaking?"

How about "industry-leading?"

Not even "performance-enhancing?"

No?


The kind folks in Oracle Solaris marketing have decided to dig a little deeper and unearth the kind of information sysadmins and developers look for. They've put together three technology Spotlights.

Each spotlight provides solid technical info such as podcasts with engineers, how-to guides, quick-reference cards ("one-liners"), technical articles, documentation, training, and more. They're designed to make sure you have all the info you need to start actually using these technologies right now.

These are the current spotlights we have:

Keep an eye out for future Solaris 11 spotlights here. And, of course, on the front page of the OTN Systems Community.

- Rick
System Admin and Developer Community of the Oracle Technology Network

Monday Dec 20, 2010

Content Cluster: Understanding the Local Boot Option of the Automated Installer in Oracle Solaris 11 Express

I really don't care that the Chevy Volt won several Car of the Year awards. I'd rather stare at cool cars that are impossible to live with, like the flat-painted Bonnie above.

When it comes to installing Solaris 11 Express, you have lots of choices. Here's a few resources to help you understand one of the installation options: the bootable automated installer.

What's Cool About a Bootable Automated Installer

Scott Dickson explains how a bootable automated installer helps you boot Solaris from your location of choice without having to set up an install server.

Chapter 1 - Automated Installer Overview

First chapter in the Solaris 11 Express Automated Installer Guide. Describes what the automated installer is and what it does, and provides guidance for using it.

Chapter 8 - Automated Installations That Boot From Media

Chapter 8 of the Solaris 11 Express Automated Installer Guide. Describes how the automated installer can boot from media instead of the install server. Provides system requirements and detailed instructions.

How to Configure a Bootable Automated Installer

In his latest blog, Scott Dickson explains how he configured the automated installer so he could boot Solaris 11 Express directly from a repository without having to go to the trouble of setting up the install server on the net.

Enjoy tonight's rare lunar eclipse. Go pagan.

Rick - System Admin and Developer Community of the Oracle Technology Network

Monday Jun 07, 2010

Beginners Aren't Dummies







If you'd rather spend less of your time doing this ...







... and more of it in the comfort of your own understanding, then check out the Solaris 10 Admin Essentials book from InformIT:

This is not a book for numbskulls. Although it covers the essentials of system administration, it deals with them thoroughly.  For instance, in the chapter on filesystems, it doesn't just talk about how great ZFS is.  (Though we all know it's great.)  It talks about all the filesystems in Solaris, including PCFS, HSFS, distributed filesystems, and pseudo filesystems.  Trivial Pursuit?  Bring it.

Of course it also describes how to mount and unmount a filesystem, how to determine the type of a filesystem, and how to monitor your filesystems.  

Because it was written by Sun (now Oracle) systems engineers, it goes beyond theory to provide real-world tips and techniques for getting the job done better and faster.

A peek at the contents:

  1. Installing the Solaris OS
  2. Boot, Service Management, and Shutdown
  3. Software Management: Packages
  4. Software Management: Patches
  5. Solaris Filesystems
  6. Managing System Processes
  7. Fault Management
  8. Managing Disks
  9. Managing Devices
  10. Solaris Networking
  11. Solaris User Management
  12. Solaris Zones
  13. Using Naming Services
  14. Solaris Print Administration

You can find lots of books about Unix or Solaris system administration out there, but this one is the real deal.

 - Rick


About

Contributors:
Rick Ramsey
Kemer Thomson
and members of the OTN community

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
12
13
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today
Blogs We Like