Wednesday Apr 01, 2009

BigAdmin Only Available by Command Line

In brotherhood and sisterhood with sysadmins across the world, as of April 1st, BigAdmin will only be available from the command line of a terminal window.Here is a partial summary of BigAdmin's CLI:

bigadmin -hm - BigAdmin Home Page
bigadmin -mtd - Message of the Day
bigadmin -hcl - Hardware Compatibility List
bigadmin -nwslttr - BigAdmin Newsletter
bigadmin -rtcls - Feature Articles
bigadmin -ttfq - Tech Tips and FAQ's
bigadmin -blprnts - Sun BluePrints
bigadmin -xprts - BigAdmin Experts
bigadmin -drvrs - Devices and Drivers
bigadmin -tpcs - Resources by Sysadmin Topics
For a complete list of BigAdmin terminal window commands, enter:
bigadmin -h

Through the technical wizardry of BigAdmin's engineering department, we have found a way to include BigAdmin content and resources into every build of every software environment on every computer. AND keep it updated.

You no longer need an internet connection. Nope. So you've got wireless? Big whup. We have the command line.

Even if you haven't downloaded a new version of software, your terminal window will display our latest content. And you thought Web 2.0 was cool.

If for some odd reason your particular terminal window doesn't display BigAdmin content, then someone has taken specific measures to disallow this functionality. Go directly to your manager, shake your fist, and shout "Why did you take BigAdmin out of my terminal window!"

If this does not have the intended effect, take advantage of the resume posting feature on our jobs board:

Sysadmin Jobs

Bill Petro's History of April Fools Day

Monday Mar 30, 2009

Videos on Solaris for the New Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Systems

Check out the new videos about Solaris optimizations for Intel, e.g. the Power Aware Dispatcher that automatically monitors and optimizes your system to maximize performance while minimizing power consumption. Also, Intel's PowerTOP technology works with Solaris DTrace to let you monitor in real time how a system is taking advantage of new processor power-management features like Intel Turbo Boost. See Inside Engineering for more info.

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Yo, Students - You Could Save 95% on Sun Certification

Is that a typo? No, I checked, and it's a 95% off deal: student discount on Solaris & Java Certification. These two packages can help you get entry-level certified on Sun Solaris and Java technologies. Student price is US$40.00 (or 95% off country list price), until June 30, 2009, for Sun Certified Solaris Associate (SCSAS) or Sun Certified Java Associate(SCJA).

Oh and BTW, if you are a coder, too: SunLabs is having a JavaFX Contest. First prize will be $25,000 and there is a student category. Up to 100 honorable mention prizes with a $25 Amazon Gift certificate.

Friday Mar 20, 2009

Working With Gear From Sun and IBM or Other Tech Companies?

We have info for sys admins to help you run the Solaris OS on servers from IBM and other manufacturers.

IBM-specific resources include:

\* Installing Solaris 10 5/08 OS on the IBM LS42 Blade Server
\* Installing Solaris 10 5/08 OS on IBM x3850 M2 Server
\* 6668806: Xorg Server Fails to Start on IBM x3850 M2 Server

Wondering which servers from other companies work with the Solaris OS? Go the Hardware Compatibility List for Solaris OS (the HCL), find the Search feature, and just enter the manufacturer's name.

Also, the BigAdmin Interoperability collection includes info from Sun as well as useful links submitted by the community. (And remember to submit your own links if you find good stuff to share.)


Thursday Mar 19, 2009

As the Old Song Said, "I Really Don't Know Clouds At All..."

I know that Joni Mitchell song well, but that's the extent of my cloud expertise. If you, too, are looking for more info, here you go:

- A Guide to Getting Started with Cloud Computing (Free but requires login)
- Sun Cloud Open API project for Developers
- Sign up to receive updates on new cloud computing offerings and to join the community of future Sun Cloud beta testers.
- Sun's main cloud computing page also has a video of the recent Cloud announcement.

Wednesday Mar 11, 2009

New: Solid-State Drives Across Sun Systems Portfolio

Sun is integrating SSDs across the Systems portfolio: Blades, CMT, x64 servers, etc. Try the Sun Flash Analyzer to see how SSDs can accelerate system performance. For more info on improving power and space efficiencies with Sun SSDs, see the Sun Flash Storage page. Or watch Ray Austin, Group Marketing Manager of Open Storage, explain the benefits of SSDs in a Sun Servers video on the Tech Resources page.

Thursday Feb 12, 2009

Sun Guys Updated the Sun System Firmware Release Hub

The Firmware Release hub on BigAdmin has FAQs, information about available releases, and other resources to help you manage Sun systems. Sun engineers recently expanded the FAQ and updated the release history with the 7.2.x patch for Sun Blade T6340 Server Module and XCP 1081 releases (see SPARC64 Enterprise Systems). Thanks, Bruce!

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Updated Sun Device Detection Tool for Solaris 10 & OpenSolaris

With this tool, you can check to see whether the Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris OS can be installed on your x86/x64 systems. (If your devices are already shown on the Solaris OS Hardware Compatibility List or HCL, then you do not need to use this tool.)

The current version of Sun Device Detection Tool is designed to detect and run in the default language on your system. The GUI of the tool and the reports are generated in the corresponding language. The supported languages are English, simplified Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Italian, traditional Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The informational web pages on the tool have been translated into Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and simplified Chinese (see language icons).

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Follow Us on Twitter, Become a Fan on Facebook

You can now follow BigAdmin on Twitter and become a fan of BigAdmin on Facebook.

Personally, I objected to Twitter on principle when I first heard of it. I thought our attention span --hang on a sec the phone's ringing-- was already being --wow, that was a deer standing on the hood of my car-- splintered enough already by the incessant --damn, I forgot to update my wiki-- multi-tasking that has become a way of life for anybody in high tech.

But Constance our Content Manager/Editor, convinced me to look into it. She loves it, and twitters almost every day. I was surprised by the amount of good information that gets passed around. If you have any partitions left in your brain, check it out.

I only recently jumped on Facebook. I think my kids got me into it. Now I hang out there a few evenings a week. It's pretty cool. If you don't mind mixing some business in with your personal life, become a fan of BigAdmin. (I did.) So far we're just posting links to the new content on BiAdmin as we publish it, but you never know. If you'd like to see more, let us know.

You'll notice two small glyphs at the top right of the MOTD box on the BigAdmin home page, one for Twitter and one for Facebook.

So if you don't want to join us now, you can join us later.


Monday Jan 05, 2009

Technical Info in Japanese and Other Languages

Our thanks to the team that updates our multilingual hub with useful resources in various languages. Many articles in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, and Spanish. And we have a few articles in Italian and German now.

And thank you to Yutaka Suzuki for updating the blog on Japanese documentation. For example:

木曜日 12 25, 2008 Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 管理ガイド に関する訂正2件

火曜日 11 25, 2008 Messaging Server の configutil パラメータの変更が自動的に有効になる件

金曜日 11 21, 2008 Directory Server の注意事項:6526792 の回避策について

We appreciate all the help from Sun's multilingual team in 2008.

Cheers, and best wishes for 2009 from the BigAdmin team.

Wednesday Dec 24, 2008

Community Article on Upgrading to Solaris 10 10/08 OS and ZFS Boot

This article shows how to upgrade from Solaris 10 5/08 to the Solaris 10 10/08 release for SPARC platforms using Solaris Live Upgrade. The writers also describe manually creating a ZFS root pool, copying the UFS root file system into the ZFS root pool, and activating ZFS mirroring.

Thanks to the authors, Haim Tzadok and Cyril Plisko (who participate in the OpenSolaris community).

p.s. BigAdmin will be on winter break until January 5, 2009. Best wishes to all our readers for a happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday Dec 22, 2008

Solaris Cluster Express in OpenSolaris (SXCE)

You can now get Sun Cluster on Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) build 101a. Many bug fixes for happy clustering. Download SCX 12/08. Docs here. More info in this blog.

Friday Dec 19, 2008

Sun's Hardware Certification Test Suite Now Supports OpenSolaris

New features in the HCTS 4.2 release include support for OpenSolaris and support for hard drives with more than one terabyte capacity. Lots of good info has been updated: FAQ, Getting Started Guide (in HTML or PDF), Release Notes, README, and more.

The HCTS program is offered free so that independent hardware vendors (IHVs), system manufacturers, system integrators, and end users can certify their systems and components for the Solaris OS on x86 and x64 platforms. Certification tests for x86 and x64 products cover both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Certification tests cover both the Solaris 10 OS and update releases and the OpenSolaris OS and updated releases. For testing, use the latest release; after March 19, 2009, HCTS 4.1 test results will no longer be accepted.

All hardware that passes certification testing is eligible for the Solaris OS Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). The HCL shows systems and peripherals that are compatible with the Solaris OS. Currently, there are 1114 systems (1012 x86/x64 systems, 102 SPARC systems) and 1655 components listed. As of today, 3743 systems are listed for OpenSolaris.

Web 2.0 Resources for System Administrators

As a sys admin, does Web 2.0 really affect you and the way you do your job? Find out more about Web 2.0 technologies and trends for sys admins. This new resource center has lots of good links, such as Sun customer case studies, or blogs like this one: "There is No Web 3.0, There is No Web 2.0 - There is Just the Web."

Thursday Dec 18, 2008

Continue Getting Support for Solaris 8 With Vintage Patch Service

You can continue to run your business or favorite applications on the Solaris 8 OS, even though it will enter End of Service Life (EOSL) Phase 2 on April 1, 2009. EOSL Phase 2 means that all Solaris customers will continue to receive telephone support and access to patches developed before April 1, 2009, but they will not receive patches developed on April 1, 2009 or after. Even security patches. However, for those of you who want to continue running Solaris 8, Sun provides options -- see here for more info.

New and Updated Articles by Sun Engineers

Here's some new information from Sun writers on BigAdmin:

Understanding PCI Express Maximum Payload Size on OpenSolaris: When PCI Express fabrics are configured properly, PCIe protocol efficiency and performance can be improved in OpenSolaris. Consider a device's payload capabilities as one of the performance parameters when configuring each fabric.

Simple Demo for Ruby on Rails With the Solaris 10 OS: This step-by-step guide shows how to set up a Ruby on Rails environment on the Solaris 10 OS and create a demo in about 10 minutes.

Updated: Observability Using Java Platform, Standard Edition 6, and Solaris OS: Recently updated to include the Java VisualVM tool. Find out about Java SE 6 platform observability improvements specific to the Solaris OS.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

Useful Links for OpenSolaris 2008.11 OS

The official launch is today -- you can get it here. Find out if OpenSolaris or Solaris can run on your x86 system. See the 3708 systems listed for OpenSolaris so far on the HCL (on BigAdmin).

Here are some great resources:

Running Trusted Extensions in OpenSolaris 2008.11

Understanding Role Based Access Control or RBAC (The Observatory blog)

OpenSolaris 2008.11 Installation FAQ

Screencasts for upgrading to OpenSolaris 2008.11 OS:

For more info, see the OpenSolaris Ignite newsletter.

Tuesday Dec 09, 2008

Thanks for Reader Feedback

We're happy to see a lot of reader comments in November and December (about 25 reader comments or author replies). The What's New and Recently Updated page on the BigAdmin wiki shows some recent changes made in response to feedback.

For example, Bernd Schemmer updated the Which files are in the boot_archive? script for various file formats (plain and compressed). See the comment dialog at bottom.

We also get valuable reader feedback on articles posted on the main BigAdmin web site. Feedback pages for those articles are listed on the wiki here: Comment on BigAdmin Hub Content.

For example, reader comments inspired updates to this article: Automating a System Performance Check Using the checkperf Utility. See the comments dialog at bottom of the Feedback page.

Monday Dec 08, 2008

Updated Scripts for Gathering Debugging Data on BigAdmin

Take a look at our updated Sun Gathering Debug Data (GDD) scripts. Gather your debug data before calling Sun Support to solve problems faster. Here are some examples, or you can check the complete list.
  • Pkgapp v 3.0 Solaris: This scripts collects libraries of any software that is useful for debugging core/gcores.
  • Sun GDD - Calendar Server - cscapture version 1.1: This collects all parts of Sun Java System Calendar Server environment that are useful for debugging, such as log files, database, host environment, config and more. Also gathers core files and debugger data for core analysis. Available for Solaris 8, 9 and 10 (SPARC and x86 platforms).
  • Sun-GDD-N1SPS: This command-line tool is used to collect debugging data needed to troubleshoot problems and crashes of Sun N1 Service Provisioning System (N1SPS). The tool collects logs, process listings, thread dumps, and other useful information that can greatly help while troubleshooting N1SPS problems.
For more info, see Sun GDD.

Friday Dec 05, 2008

Share your wisdom and get rewards (not to mention good karma)

Send us your scripts and tech tips, or submit useful links you have found, and you can earn BigAdmin Bucks. Use the Bucks for a 2GB USB memory stick, a nifty all-in-one tool, or other gifts. If you write something for us, you'll even be kind of famous -- it will show up in our newsletter (lots of readers), "BigAdmn" Twitter, the BigAdmin Collections, RSS, Facebook, etc.

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