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 http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/. 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 :-)

Friday Jun 19, 2009

Running Open HA Cluster with VirtualBox

My presentation at the Open HA Cluster Summit 2009 in San Francisco explained how to setup a system with OpenSolaris, serving as a host for at least two VirtualBox OpenSolaris guests, and shows how to setup a two node Open HA Cluster with them by using technologies like Crossbow and COMSTAR. Such a system can be used to build, develop and test Open HA Cluster, which got demonstrated live during the session.

The video recording for this presentation is now available (thanks to Deirdré Straughan):

You can also download the slides in order to follow the video better. Additionally I created a white paper with the following abstract:

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 step-by-step how to setup a single x86 based system (like a Toshiba M10 laptop) with OpenSolaris, configuring a build environment for Open HA Cluster and using VirtualBox to setup a two node cluster.

OpenSolaris technologies like Crossbow (to create virtual networking adapters), COMSTAR (to setup non-shared storage as iSCSI targets and using them as iSCSI initiators), ZFS (to mirror the iSCSI targets), Clearview (the new architecture for IPMP), and IPsec (to secure the cluster private interconnect traffic) are used for the host system and VirtualBox guests to configure Open HA Cluster. The image packaging system (IPS) is being used to deploy the build packages into the guests. Open HA Cluster technologies like weak membership (to not require an extra quorum device) and the integration into OpenSolaris technologies are leveraged to setup three typical FOSS applications: HA MySQL, HA Tomcat and scalable Apache webserver.

Enjoy watching, reading and trying it out!

About

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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