Consolidation Tool Release Info

CoolThreads Consolidation: The Easy Way

Solaris 10 and a CoolThreads server make a potent combination. Along with the raw horsepower, the low wattage, and the miserly rack requirements of the CoolThreads server, you get the robust, feature-rich, open source Solaris 10 operating system.

So far so good, but if you're new to Solaris 10 there's a lot to learn. Solaris Containers and Resource Management make a big difference for consolidation, but they take some getting used to. And then you need to figure out the implications of having four threads per core, for example, when configuring the Sun Fire T1000 or T2000. Is there a way of easing the transition for sysadmins who already have too much to think about?

Enter the Consolidation Tool for Sun Fire Servers V1.0, Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 Edition! This GUI tool is designed to simplify the task of consolidating applications onto CoolThreads servers. It also provides a friendly introduction to Solaris Containers, including Zones, resource pools, psets, and the FSS (FairShare) scheduling class.

Consolidation Tool Introduction

The Consolidation Tool is free (it's open source under the GPL), unsupported, and light-weight, and focused on Solaris 10 and the Sun Fire T1000/T2000. It's ideal for the systems administrator who is considering migrating applications from multiple Xeon boxes running Linux to a T2000 running Solaris 10. The tool can also be used to offer the technically-minded sysadmin a simple introduction to the command line syntax needed to build zones/pools/psets (via the commands script it creates). Note that the Consolidation Tool expects to work with a new Solaris installation - it does not attempt to manage systems that are already using containers.

Consolidation Tool Overview

The tool provides a simple, easy-to-use interface with context sensitive help. The user can choose between a Basic and an Expert mode, with the latter providing more control over the final configuration at the cost of greater complexity. Intelligent defaults are provided in both modes. The tool eases the user into defining and creating Solaris Containers without assuming any previous knowledge of that technology. It will deploy applications into processor sets where appropriate, and allocate "CPUs" (i.e. hardware threads) in a way that ensures all of a core's threads end up in the same processor set. The tool asks a series of user-friendly questions to determine whether to use full-root Zones, sparse Zones, or no Zones at all. The tool also optionally installs versions of key public domain software into the newly-established Zones on the target CoolThreads system.

The tool prepares a report summarizing the planned deployment, a commands script that is used to create the Zones, pools, and psets and install any specified public domain applications, and a file that stores the configuration data. This approach means that it isn't necessary to run the tool on the target CoolThreads system. Instead you can configure the consolidation environment in advance on a client of your choice. The final step is to run the commands script on the target Sun Fire T1000/T2000 system. Note that if you have elected within the tool to install public domain applications, you will need to put the full distribution onto the target system so that the script can find the public domain applications when you run it.

The tool can be run on any of the following client operating systems:

  • Solaris on SPARC
  • Solaris on x64/x86
  • Linux on Intel/AMD
  • MacOS X on PowerPC

Where Can I Get It?

You can find the tool on BigAdmin and also under Cool Tools at OpenSPARC.net. Both locations will let you download a presentation introducing the tool, and point you to the tool download location at the Sun Download Center. Download options include:
  • A 20MB tar.gz file, which provides the tool plus the necessary libraries for all clients, but none of the public domain packages
  • A 130MB tar.gz file with the full distribution, which includes the tool, its dependent libraries, and several public domain applications.
You can find it at the following locations: While you're at it, take the time to check out the OpenSPARC.net Cool Tools page, which also features other useful tools.

Feedback and Discussion

If you'd like to offer feedback on the Consolidation Tool, you can do so at consol-tool-feedback@sun.com. This is an auto-responder alias, so don't expect a reply (other than confirmation that your email has been received). If you would like to discuss the tool with other users, check out the Cool Tools Forum.

Thanks, Allan

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I'm a Principal Engineer in the Performance Technologies group at Sun. My current role is team lead for the MySQL Performance & Scalability Project.

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