Wednesday Nov 07, 2007

Announcing the Sun Cluster Wiki

The new Sun Cluster Wiki is open for business!

The Sun Cluster Wiki will serve as a free information community center for Sun Cluster people everywhere. It'll be a place where Sun Cluster fanatics and users alike can share and find unique and useful information that isn't found anywhere else in the world.

And it'll be a place where we can all have a good time.

Information you can find right now on the Sun Cluster Wiki includes:

  • Announcements about Sun Cluster and related software
  • Frequently answered questions
  • How to Use the Sun Cluster Wiki
  • Release Notes Information, including Release Notes for future releases and past and present Release Notes Supplements
  • Pages that re-organize official Sun Cluster 3.2 documentation (on and elsewhere) into handy crib sheets
  • Sun Alerts that affect Sun Cluster
  • Voodoo Documentation (the “documentation” you've handwritten on Post-it® Notes stuck to your console's monitor)

Information that you will very soon find on the Sun Cluster Wiki includes:

  • Hardware qualifications
  • Patches that affect Sun Cluster
  • Information about N1 Service Provisioning System (SPS) plug-ins for Sun Cluster
  • Anything else you want to contribute

Please let me know what you'd like to see on the Sun Cluster Wiki. I'd like to hear from you.
Sun Cluster Wiki administrator

Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

New and improved

Congratulations to

At last ... this much maligned website has undergone some impressive improvements. The Engineering team announced the following changes:

  1. Improved performance.
  2. Improved reliability and sustainability.
  3. Improved search.

Sun writers were invited to test the pilot version of before it was released. I was pleasantly surprised at the speed of my search. I was also delighted with the results of my search. The new and improved search method is more in line with other search engines and provides more accurate results. For an example of search results, see Tech Dogg's Dox Tox.

Search Tips:

The search now provides a list of all of the books in
that match your search criteria. This can be frustrating if your search parameters are not precise enough. Here are some search tips:

The new is fast, reliable, and accurate. Take it out for a test drive on the Solaris Cluster/Sun Cluster 3.2 documentation.

Rita McKissick
Sun Cluster Documentation

Friday Aug 10, 2007

Sun Cluster 3.2 Patch 2 Version Manager Requirement

Sun Cluster 3.2 Patch 2 requires the version manager command to commit patch changes after you apply any patch that contains a new protocol or changes a protocol. As a result, you must use the scversions command to apply Sun Cluster 3.2 Patch 2 and any subsequent patches. The scversions command determines if the new patch contains protocol changes that require a commit.

To download patches, go to

Complete the following steps after you have applied a patch to all of your cluster nodes using any of the patch methods provided in the Patching Sun Cluster Software and Firmware chapter in the System Administration Guide.

  1. Check to see if you need to commit the patch software by using the scversions command.

    # /usr/cluster/bin/scversions

    You will see one of the following results:

    Upgrade commit is needed.
    Upgrade commit is NOT needed. All versions match.

  2. If a commit is needed, commit the patch software.

    # /usr/cluster/bin/scversions -c

    The -c option causes the cluster to commit to and run the new patched software.

Note: Running scversions will cause one or more Cluster Membership Monitor (CMM) reconfigurations, depending on the situation.

Rita McKissick
Sun Cluster Documentation

Monday Jul 30, 2007

Introducing: The Intro(1CL) Man Page

John Cumming's blog A New Command Set for Solaris Cluster 3.2 provides a great tour of the new object-oriented command line that was introduced in the Sun Cluster 3.2 release. Another aid to understanding this new command set is the Intro(1CL) man page. This man page gives you the following information about the new command set:

  • A description of the structure of the new command set and some shortcuts you can use.
  • A list of all the new command names with their descriptions.
  • A mapping of some of the more commonly used original commands to the new commands. For example, it tells you what new commands you can use instead of scrgadm.
  • A list and explanation of all exit codes used within the new command set.
There is one gotcha: Because the Solaris Intro(1) man page also exists, when you use the man command to display the Sun Cluster Intro(1CL) man page, you have to specify the man-page section number (otherwise, the Intro(1) man page is displayed instead):
% man -s 1CL intro

You can also view Intro(1CL) in the Sun Cluster Refence Manual on, where it serves as the Introduction.

Take a look at this man page for ways to get the most out of the new command set.

Lisa Shepherd
Sun Cluster Technical Publications
"We're the M in RTFM"

Friday Jun 08, 2007

Sun Cluster 3.2 Doc Responses to VOC Survey - Part 2

This blog continues my discussion of the improvements that we have made to the Sun Cluster 3.2 documentation in response to a Voice of the Customer survey.

We identified four major customer requests in the VOC survey. For information on our response to the first two VOC requests, see Sun Cluster3.2 Documentation Responses to Voice-of-the-Customer Feedback.

Third Request: Provide Task-based Information

This VOC survey was designed to cover several Sun products. Fortunately, Sun Cluster procedural documentation is already task based, so this was an easy request for us. Sun Cluster introductory information and conceptual information that is not relevant to a specific task is provided in an introductory chapter or the Overview document. This separation of procedural and introductory information makes the procedures shorter and more concise.

Let me know if you think this separation in our documentation works well for you.

Fourth Request: Provide More Information for the Novice User

The original Sun Cluster documentation was targeted toward a sophisticated, well-trained, UNIX-savvy system administrator. Sun Cluster required that the customer receive extensive training before using the Sun Cluster product. As a result, our documentation tended to assume a high level of knowledge and some of our customers started to complain. Customers, it seemed, did not want to be required to hire senior system administrators to manage their clustered environment. And even the senior system administators did not always have the UNIX experience we required. Customers also told us that the person trained on Sun Cluster might not be the person who administers the cluster. As a result, we've added several documents to help the new cluster system administrator to quickly ramp up and get started with Sun Cluster.

Here are some examples of our new and improved documentation:

  1. Sun Cluster Documentation Center

    This topic-based document helps novice users to find information more quickly in our Sun Cluster doc set. The documentation center begins with a Getting Started group of links specifically targeted for novice users.

  2. Sun Cluster Overview

    This guide provides information on the Sun Cluster product along with an introduction to key concepts and the Sun Cluster architecture.

  3. Quick Start Guide
    The Quick Start Guide provides detailed, easy-to-follow steps to install Sun Cluster in a configuration used by approximately 80% of our Sun Cluster customers.
  4. (how-to) How To Install and Configure a Two-Node Cluster

    This "How To" provides simple task-based instructions for installing a two-node cluster.

  5. Quick Reference Card

    The Quick Reference card provides simplified steps to perform the most commonly used Sun Cluster tasks. This card is available in a customized format to make printing easier.

  6. Intro(1CL) man page

    This man page describes the new object-oriented command set for Sun Cluster 3.2. This man page also defines each of the new commands, provides short versions of the commands, and provides links to the command man pages.

  7. Object-Oriented Commands appendix

    This appendix is included in each of our procedural docs and provides a quick reference to the new object-oriented commands in Sun Cluster 3.2. The appendix lists the command short forms, and their subcommands.

If you have any suggestions for other documentation that will help novice users, feel free to comment.

Rita McKissick
Sun Cluster Documentation


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