Monday Jun 01, 2009

Announcing Open HA Cluster 2009.06

We are pleased to announce the release of High Availability Cluster software for OpenSolaris 2009.06! If you've been following along, this release is the fruit of project Colorado. Open HA Cluster 2009.06 is based on Solaris Cluster 3.2, including many of the features from the most recent update. Additionally, Open HA Cluster 2009.06 contains the following new features:

  • The ability to use Crossbow VNICs as endpoints for the cluster private interconnects. You can even send the cluster traffic over the public network and secure it with IPsec.
  • Support for exporting locally attached storage as iSCSI targets with COMSTAR iSCSI. You can obtain redundant “shared storage” without true shared storage by creating a mirrored zpool out of iSCSI-accessible local disks on two different nodes of the cluster.

Taken together, these features contribute to “hardware minimization,” allowing you to form a cluster with fewer physical hardware requirements.

This release runs on both SPARC and x86/x64 systems and includes the following agents:

  • Apache Webserver
  • Apache Tomcat
  • MySQL
  • GlassFish
  • NFS
  • DHCP
  • NFS
  • Kerberos
  • Samba
  • Solaris Containers (for ipkg Zones)

Open HA Cluster 2009.06 is distributed as IPS packages from the https://pkg.sun.com/opensolaris/ha-cluster repository. In order to obtain access, accept the license agreement at https://pkg.sun.com to obtain a certificate and key. Follow the instructions given at registration to configure your system's access to the ha-cluster publisher.

To install the complete cluster, including agents, install the “ha-cluster-full” package. To install a minimal cluster, without agents and other optional components, install the “ha-cluster-minimal” package instead. You can then install the individual agents and other optional components.

Open HA Cluster 2009.06 is free to use, with production level support offerings available for two-node clusters. This release runs on OpenSolaris 2009.06 only.

For more information, see the documentation landing page and the OpenSolaris Availability page. If you don't have physical hardware available to create a cluster, try it out on VirtualBox! (PDF link).

Please direct your questions and comments to ha-clusters-discuss@opensolaris.org

The Colorado Team

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Open HA Cluster at CommunityOne West June 1-2

In addition to the Cluster Summit on May 31, Open HA Cluster will be well represented at the CommunityOne West conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

We'll have an Open HA Cluster demo running the whole week. Come visit us in the Sun Pavillion to see Open HA Cluster running on OpenSolaris.

I'll also be giving a talk, "High Availability with OpenSolaris", as part of the Deploying OpenSolaris in your DataCenter deep dive track on Tuesday, June 2. Contrary to the "official" CommunityOne information you might find elsewhere, this deep dive track is completely free. Just register with the "OSDDT" registration code. The other talks in this track, on ZFS and Zones, should be quite interesting as well.

You can see the entire lineup of the OpenSolaris presence at CommunityOne here, and even more details here. I hope to see you in San Francisco in a couple weeks!

Nick Solter
Tech lead, Open HA Cluster 2009.06

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Announcing Availability of SCX 09/08

We are pleased to announce the availability of the latest Solaris Cluster Express (SCX)!  You can download the software here.

There are some major milestones reached in this release: It incorporates the first contribution from a community member!   And coming from a student, it is doubly delightful!!  It also provides early access to some of the new and exciting features that are being developed by the team.

What is new?

\* This release is runs on SXCE build 97. The version of Sun Management Center and other shared components are upgraded to be compatible with the Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) version.

\* The fencing mechanisms have been enhanced with the introduction of optional  fencing.  This provides a mechanism for the administrator to change the fencing mechanism either at global or at an individual disk level.

\* This release also has a new feature called zone clusters.  This feature makes it possible to form a virtual cluster based on the zones of a cluster.  This is made possible by the introduction of a new brand of zone called "cluster".  Needless to say, most of the code is available under a CDDL license like the rest of the software.  This feature is sure to make you reconsider your views about Open HA Cluster and Solaris Cluster!  Please refer to the clzonecluster(1CL)  man page for more details. You can find a cheat sheet for configuring a zone cluster here.

\* Use of Loopback File Driver (lofi) device for global-devices name space is introduced with this release.  A dedicated partition for the exclusive use of global-devices name space (i.e /globaldevices) is no longer the requirement.

\* As usual, there are the mandatory bug fixes and you can find them from the change log.

This release is a major milestone in the Open Source journey. For the list of all the exciting projects that the community is working on, please visit Open HA Cluster community.  This release of Solaris Cluster Express (SCX) will not work on OpenSolaris binary distribution (OpenSolaris 05.08).  For  the planned move to OpenSolaris binary distribution, visit Project Colorado.

Munish Ahuja

Madhan Kumar B

Jonathan Mellors

Venugopal N.S

Thursday May 29, 2008

HA For Grid Engine at osgc2008


Last week i presented Open HA Cluster at Open Source Grid Cluster Conference in Oakland California. The conference had three different tracks, dedicated to Globus (GlobusWorld), Grid Engine (Grid Engine Workshop), and Rocks (Rocks Cluster Workshop).
My presentation about making Sun Grid Engine highly available using Open HA Cluster (OHAC) was part of the Grid Engine Workshop.

I noticed that the term Cluster was a bit overused at this conference with different products and technologies using it in slightly different ways. So i started with clarifying the term "HA Cluster" to refer to the technology which OHAC brings to the arena, which is about high availability, in spite of failures. A quick show of hands revealed that about 25% of the participants were aware of the concept of "HA Clusters" in general, with about 15% actually being aware of OHAC itself. Given that, i spent a larger portion of my talk on the concept of single points of failure, redundancy, failover and how OHAC recovers from system failures. Towards the end of my talk, i also talked about using OHAC to make Sun Grid Engine highly available and what are the key advantages of the HA solution based on OHAC. These points and the slides are curtsy of Thorsten Frueauf . The key points about how OHAC helps in improving the availability of Sun Grid Engine are noted in this blog entry .

The presentation did generate a couple questions from the audience, i remember one question was about how does OHAC takes care of MAC address change when it fails over a HA ipaddress from one node to another. I explained that OHAC uses gratuitous ARPs to update the ARP cache of any routers on the network and that works with all but a very few exceptions. Another question was about data recovery during disk/mirror failures and whether the end application needs to worry about it, i explained that typically that recovery is performed by a volume manager and the end application is blissfully unaware of it. The OHAC framework makes sure that the end application has the data available when and where (on the node where the app is) the application is started. Another question was about the speed of failover (how fast is the recovery upon various failures). I turned that question into an advantage where i explained how OHAC is tightly integrated with Solaris and thus can detect failures quickly and recover from the failures quickly. I then invited folks to view the failover demo on my laptop on the next day, in the "Grill the Gurus" portion of the conference.

I was somewhat curious about the audience mix as well about whether the larger percentage was from academic community or the commercial community. A quick show of hands revealed that the commercial users were well represented, roughly in the same numbers as the academic/research users. After the talk, i did speak to a couple of people during the coffee/lunch breaks and met a variety of people. Here are some folks i remember: A sysadmin at an European Oil company interested in using Grid Engine for optimizing/minimizing application license for a commercial software he uses for geological data analysis, a IT manager for a Medical Software startup based in San Francisco who was interested in Open Source software as a way to minimize costs, a deployment architect for a IT consultancy company who was interested in geographical data replication and content based routing of incoming jobs, a lab manager from an ivy league university who wanted to figure out an easy way for his students to be effective at managing his compute lab environment, a IT admin for a storage manufacturer who was interested in learning about techniques for efficient monitoring of workloads.

For the demo next day, i had Sun Grid Engine configured as a HA server across two zones on my laptop. I was able to demo the very quick restart of the Grid Engine qmaster and scheduler daemons. People seemed to be somewhat interested to learn as to how that is happening, which led me to explain how Solaris Contracts are used by the process monitoring implementation in OHAC, which leads to quick detection and recovery from application failures. Most people were simply interested in chatting about the general concept of clusters itself and discussing their own "Grid and Cluster" scenarios.

I you are interested in the actual slides i used for the talk, you can check them out here . If you missed this conference, you would have an opportunity to learn more about Open HA Cluster and OpenSolaris at the upcoming LinuxTag conference in Berlin, Germany from May 28th till 31th of May 2008.

The picture at the top is taken during a coffee break in the conference. Check out this link for other photos i took at the conference. Also, Deirdré Straughan made a video of my talk, complete with neat fading in and out of the presentation slides. Click in the embedded window below to watch the presentation in flash.

If you'd like, you can watch the video in iPod format and watch it on your video iPod . Beware that the file is rather big though.

This conference was a nice experience for me to talk to lot of people and make them aware of Open HA Cluster , and also learn about what is going on in other Open Source communities such as Grid. Hope you found some of the things in this blog useful and interesting.

Regards,
Ashutosh Tripathi
Solaris Cluster Engineering

Two Million Lines of Code

One year ago, we announced that we would open source the entire Solaris Cluster product suite. Today, we are delivering on that promise six months ahead of schedule by releasing over two million lines of source code for the Solaris Cluster framework!


Read the official press release and listen to a podcast with Meenakshi Kaul-Basu, Director of Availability Products at Sun.


This third, and final, source code release follows the initial open sourcing of the Solaris Cluster agents in June, 2007 and Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition in December, 2007. As with the previous releases, the source code is available under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) under the auspices of the HA Clusters community group on OpenSolaris.org.


The open source version of Solaris Cluster is called Open High Availability Cluster. Although some encumbered parts of Solaris Cluster have not been open sourced, with this release, you can now build a fully functional HA Cluster purely from source.


In addition to the source code for the product itself, Open HA Cluster includes source for the Sun Cluster Automated Test Environment (SCATE), man pages, and globalization.


Consider getting involved in the HA Clusters community group:




Nick Solter, Open HA Cluster tech lead and HA Clusters community group facilitator

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