Tuesday Aug 18, 2009

Discussing High Availability with a Puppet

Last month at OSCON I had the pleasure of discussing High Availability and Open HA Cluster with "Jack Adams." Here's the video for your viewing pleasure:

Nick Solter
Solaris Cluster / Open HA Cluster developer and author of OpenSolaris Bible

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

Friday Mar 06, 2009

Cluster Chapter in OpenSolaris Bible

In addition to my day job as an engineer on the Sun Cluster team, I spent most of my nights and weekends last year writing a tutorial and reference book on OpenSolaris. OpenSolaris Bible, as it's titled, was released by Wiley last month and is available from amazon.com and all other major booksellers. At almost 1000 pages, my co-authors Dave, Jerry, and I were able to be fairly comprehensive, covering topics from the bash shell to the xVM Hypervisor, and most everything in between. You can examine the table of contents and index on the book website.

Of particular interest to readers of this blog will be Chapter 16, “Clustering OpenSolaris for High Availability.” (After working on Sun Cluster for more than 8 years, I couldn't write a book like this without a Chapter on HA clusters!) Coming at the end of Part IV, “OpenSolaris Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability”, this chapter is a 70 page tutorial in using Sun Cluster / Open HA Cluster. After the requisite introduction to HA Clustering, the chapter jumps in with instructions for configuring a cluster. Next, it goes through two detailed examples. The first shows how to make Apache highly available in failover mode using a ZFS failover file system. The second demonstrates how to configure Apache in scalable mode using the global file system. Following the two examples, the chapter covers the details of resources, resource types, and resource groups, shows how to use zones as logical nodes, and goes into more detail on network load balancing. After a section on writing your own agents using the SMF Proxy or the GDS, the chapter concludes with an introduction to Geographic Edition.

This chapter should be useful both as a tutorial for novices as well as a reference for more advanced users. I enjoyed writing it (and even learned a thing or two in the process), and hope you find it helpful. Please don't hesitate to give me your feedback!

Nicholas Solter

Thursday May 29, 2008

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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