Friday Oct 16, 2009

New White Paper: Practicing Solaris Cluster using VirtualBox

For developers it is often convenient to have all tools necessary for their work in one place, ideally on a laptop for maximum mobility.

For system administrators, it is often critical to have a test system on which to try out things and learn about new features. Of course the system needs to be low cost and transportable to anywhere they need to be.

HA Clusters are often perceived as complex to setup and resource hungry in terms of hardware requirements.

This white paper explains how to setup a single x86 based system (like a laptop) with OpenSolaris, configuring a training and development environment for Solaris 10 / Solaris Cluster 3.2 and using VirtualBox to setup a two node cluster. The configuration can then be used to practice various technologies:

OpenSolaris technologies like Crossbow (to create virtual networking adapters), COMSTAR (to export iSCSI targets from the host being used as iSCSI initiators by the Solaris Cluster nodes as shared storage and quorum device), ZFS (to  export a ZFS volume as iSCSI targets and as failover file system within the cluster) and IPsec (to secure the cluster private interconnect traffic) are used for the host system and VirtualBox guests to configure Solaris 10 / Solaris Cluster 3.2.

Solaris Cluster technologies like software quorum and zone clusters are getting used to setup HA MySQL and HA Tomcat as failover services running in one virtual cluster. A second virtual cluster is being used to show how to setup Apache as a scalable service.

The instructions can be used as a step-by-step guide to setup any x86 64bit based system that is capable to run OpenSolaris. A CPU which supports hardware virtualization is recommended as well as at least 3GB of main memory. In order to try out if your system works, simply boot the OpenSolaris live CD-ROM and confirm with the Device Driver Utility (DDU) that all required components are able to run. The hardware compatibility list can be found at The role model for such a system is the Toshiba Tecra M10 with 4GB main memory.

If you ever had missed a possibility to just try out things with Solaris 10 and Solaris Cluster 3.2 and exploring new features - this is your chance :-)

Monday Oct 05, 2009

Sicherheitsaspekte bei Hochverfügbarkeitsclustern

Vor kurzem bekam ich die Gelegenheit, einen Artikel für den Newsletter zur IT-Security-Messe it-sa beizutragen.

Der Artikel gibt einen Überblick über Methoden zur Härtung (security hardening) und Minimierung von Solaris und Solaris Cluster basierenden HA Systemen.

Friday Mar 06, 2009

Zone Clusters Blueprint available - How to deploy virtual clusters and why

If you have read the introducing blog about the new Zone Clusters feature, which got released with Solaris Cluster 3.2 01/09, then you might be also interested that a new blueprint has been published: Zone Clusters - How to deploy virtual clusters and why, again written by the techlead himself: Dr. Ellard Roush.

Note that you need to login with your Sun Online Account.

The following topics are getting covered:

  • Some background on virtualization technologies
  • High level overview of Zone Cluster
  • Zone Cluster customer use cases
  • Zone Cluster design overview
  • Creation of an example Zone Cluster
  • Detailed examples for the many clzonecluster commands

Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

Unsung features of the Solaris Cluster 3.2 1/09 (U2) release

By now I am sure you have seen that Solaris Cluster 3.2 1/09 got released yesterday. The set of new features is impressive, where the Solaris Containers Cluster for Oracle RAC clearly stands out. Read the Release Notes and the new set of product documentation for more details.

But I also want to mention the additional agent qualifications part of this new update release:

  • Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) version 9.4, 10, 11 and 11.5 on Solaris 10 (SPARC and x64) - this is a new agent which got developed within a project of the HA Clusters Community Group for Open HA Cluster
  • PostgreSQL agent support for PostgreSQL WAL shipping - again developed within the corresponding project for Open HA Cluster
  • SAP version 7.1
  • MaxDB version 7.7
  • WebLogic Server version 9.2, 10.0 and 10.2 in Solaris Container
  • SwiftAlliance Access version 6.2
  • SwiftAlliance Gateway version 6.1
  • Sun Java System Message Queue version 4.1 and 4.2
  • Sun Java System Application Server version 9.1UR2, Glassfish V2 UR2
  • Sun Java System Web Server version 7.0u4
  • MySQL version 5.1 - have also a look at the corresponding project page for Open HA Cluster
  • Apache Proxy Server version 2.2.5 and versions bundled with Solaris 10 10/08 and 5/08
  • Apache Web Server version 2.2.5 and versions bundled with Solaris 10 10/08 and 5/08
  • Agfa IMPAX version 6.3
  • IBM Websphere MQ version 7
  • Solaris 9 Container support within the HA Containers agent - again developed as part of the corresponding project for Open HA Cluster

Clearly anyone deploying Solaris Cluster wants to achieve high availability for an application, or set of applications. Therefor I believe we can be proud on our rich data services portfolio for various standard applications!

Monday Jan 12, 2009

White paper on implementing Oracle 11g RAC with Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition and EMC

EMC2 did publish a white paper about "Implementing Oracle 11g RAC on Sun Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition Integrated with EMC SRDF". The abstract reads like:

 "This white paper  documents a proof of concept for running Oracle 11g RAC in a Sun Solaris Cluster Geographic Edition (SCGE) framework. The paper outlines the steps in configuring the test environment and also describes the system's functionality and corresponding administrative task."

It is a result of collaboration from Sun and EMC2 at Oracle Open World 2008.

Monday Nov 24, 2008

Some Blueprints and Whitepaper for Solaris Cluster

Recently there have been some Blueprints and Whitepaper made available, which also cover Solaris Cluster within the various topics:

  1. Blueprint: Deploying MySQL Database in Solaris Cluster Environments for Increased High Availability
  2. Whitepaper: High Availability in the Datacenter with the Sun SPARC Enterprise Server Line
  3. Community-Submitted Article on BigAdmin: Installing HA Containers With ZFS Using the Solaris 10 5/08 OS and Solaris Cluster 3.2 Software
Hope you find them useful!

Thursday Oct 16, 2008

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Webcast

In the past months I talked in various presentations about Open HA Cluster and Solaris Cluster. The emphasis has been set to give an introduction into the Solaris Cluster architecture and the fact that this product is now fully Open Source, describing the various possibilities to contribute and giving an overview about already existing projects.

Most talks started with a note that in order to achieve high availability for a given service, it is not just enough to deploy a product like Solaris Cluster. The same is true if you look for business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. Besides the service stack in the backend, it is not only necessary to analyze the infrastructure end-to-end to identify and eliminate single points of failure (SPOF), but also to have a close look at people (education), processes, policies and clearly defined service level agreements.

Thus I am happy to see a webcast hosted by Hal Stern about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, which gives a nice introduction about this holistic topic. More information can be found at a dedicated page about Sun Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Services.

Start with a Plan Not a Disaster! :-)

Monday Jun 23, 2008

Solaris8 and 9 Container on Solaris Cluster

If you are still running applications on Solaris 8 using SPARC hardware and maybe even using Sun Cluster 3.0, then you should get a plan ready to upgrade to a more recent releases like Solaris 10 and Solaris Cluster 3.2 02/08.

As you might know the last ship date for Solaris 8 was 02/16/07, the end of Phase 1 support is scheduled for 3/31/09.

Sun Cluster 3.0 is also reaching its end of life as announced within the Sun Cluster 3.2 Release Notes for Solaris OS.

In case you can not immediately upgrade to a newer Solaris release, Sun recently announced the Solaris 8 Container, which introduces the solaris8 brand type for non-global zones on Solaris 10. The packages can be freely downloaded for evaluation and would require subscription for the RTU and support.

While the solaris8 brand type is NOT extending the support life for Solaris 8, it allows you a phased approach for migrating to Solaris 10 and leveraging new hardware platforms while the application still runs within a Solaris 8 runtime environment.

The Sun Cluster Data Service for Solaris Containers does support the solaris8 brand type for Sun Cluster 3.1 08/05 with Patch 120590-06 and for Solaris Cluster 3.2 with Patch 126020-02 and newer.

Before going through the virtual to physical (p2v) migration, the existing Sun Cluster 3.0 configuration and packages need to get removed. See the Sun Cluster 3.0 System Administration Guide for more details on how to achieve that. This also means that there is no cluster framework running within the solaris8 brand type zone. Therefore existing standard agents can not be used. However, the sczsh component of the HA Container agent can be used to manage an application running within that solaris8 branded zone.

Of course any migration should get carefully planned.

The same works and is true for the recent announced Solaris 9 Containers. Patch 126020-03 introduces support for the solaris9 brand type for the HA Container agent on Solaris Cluster 3.2.

Tuesday May 13, 2008

Einladung zum Linuxtag 2008

Vom 28. bis 31. Mai 2008 findet die 14. Auflage Europas führender Veranstaltung zu Linux und Open Source auf dem Berliner Messegelände unter dem Funkturm statt. Der LinuxTag 2008 zieht rund 10000 Messebesucher an, darunter IT Entscheider, Anwender, Entwickler und diverse Open Source Projekte und Gemeinschaften aus über 30 Ländern.

Mit über 80 Aussteller von freien Projekten gehört der LinuxTag zu den weltweit größten Messen für Open Source Software, und bietet Gelegenheit direkt mit den Entwicklern in Kontakt zu treten um aktuelle Trends zu diskutieren.

Sun Microsystems wird auf dem LinuxTag einen Stand mit mehreren Arbeitsplätzen zu diversen Open Source Projekten ausstellen. Darunter wird auch das Open High Availability Cluster Projekt sein. Dort gibt es Gelegenheit einen Überblick zu aktuellen Cluster Projekten zu bekommen, über jedes erdenkliche Cluster Thema von Interesse zu diskutieren, bis hin zu Live Demonstrationen oder Quelltext Analysen.

Hartmut Streppel und ich halten am Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2008, ein ganztägiges Tutorium über Open HA Cluster und Flying Containers.

Am Samstag, 31. Mai 2008, werde ich eine Präsentation zum Thema "Hochverfügbarkeit mit Open HA Cluster" innerhalb des OpenSolaris Themenblocks geben. Details findet man in der Agenda.

Hier ist eine persönliche Einladung von mir (vielen Dank an Deirdré Straughan für Ihre Geduld bei der Aufnahme):

Freue mich möglichst viele von Euch in Berlin zu sehen!


This Blog is about my work at Availability Engineering: Wine, Cluster and Song :-) The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sun and/or Oracle.


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