Monday Mar 29, 2010

LDOMS is Now Called....

(drumroll photo courtesy of E-How).

...Oracle VM Server for SPARC

BigAdmin will be publishing new content on Oracle VM Server for SPARC (LDOMS) soon, including an update of our Virtualization Hub.

In the meantime, if you want to use some cool graphics tools to analyze the performance of Zones, Containers, and Oracle VM Server for SPARC (LDOMS), check out....

Halcyon's Neuron Agent

What We've Been Working On

That's a picture of my boxer, Penny, after she finished raising Buster, my other boxer.

Buster, pictured below, is much younger.

After last week I felt more like Penny than like Buster.

Lots of work going on inside Oracle to design the section of the Oracle Technology Network that our BigAdmin content will migrate to.

In fact, content from these three sites will be combined into one section on OTN:

That way developers, students, and admins can find general content about Solaris and related technologies in one place, plus how-to articles and resources specific to their roles.

I'm also sifting through BigAdmin's 3500+ content resources (not counting the HCL, which has over 10,000 entries) to see what migrates to the Oracle Technology Network and what doesn't. I'm making that decision both by the popularity of the content and the relevance to Oracle's technology offerings. Naturally most of our Solaris 10-related content will migrate, but most of our Solaris 9 and Solaris 8 content will migrate, as well.

Wicked sorry that I'm not keeping the MOTD as updated as Robert used to, or the MOTD Archive populated. Things will settle down a bit once we complete the migration to the Oracle Technology Network.

- Rick

Thursday Feb 18, 2010

High Availability for Virtualized Environments

Used to be availability was a big deal.

The product formerly known as Solaris Cluster (then called Sun cluster and now called Solaris Cluster again) was the answer to many a midnight prayer because it did such a great job of keeping your Solaris operating environment available even across geographical boundaries.

(BigAdmin's resource center for Sun Cluster administrators is in serious need of updating, but you can still find some useful links about Solaris Cluster there.)

Over the last few years virtualization eclipsed availability. Everyone's focus was on hardware consolidation. Solaris server? Linux server? Windows server? Who cares. We can run all the software we want on whichever server we like the most. And hardware salesmen can pound sand.

Well, guess what? If in the past you were running Need for Speed on one server and that server went down, you only lost one business critical application. But with Need for Speed running on Windows, Quake 4 running on Linux, and DOOM hosted on Solaris (with voodoo and black magic the way Sun engineers at Rocky Mountain Technology Center used to do it after hours), all part of a virtualized environment created on a Sun Oracle Database Machine without the IT manager's knowledge, you're talking serious unrest in the corner office if anything goes wrong.

So availability is a big deal again. In fact, an even bigger deal than it used to be.

We're working on an update to BigAdmin's virtualization resources for admins that will point you to resources that will help you figure out not only the best virtualization solution, but the best way to make that solution highly available.

In the meantime, you can take a look at how to solve one small part of the availability puzzle by reading this BigAdmin Feature Article by J. Randriam:

Configuring Sun Cluster Software With Oracle RAC/CRS and Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems

It describes how to configure a 3-node Solaris Cluster to run Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) / Cluster Ready Services (CRS) on a Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System. What you get with that is high availability for the database, the OS, and the storage system. Main sections include:

  • How to configure an NFS filesystem from the Storage System GUI.
  • How to mount the new filesystem from the cluster nodes.
  • How to create an iSCSI LUN for each node.
  • How to connect each node to its LUN.
  • How to disable fencing.
  • How to create a quorum device.
  • How to configure the Oracle RAC/CRS device to run on the storage system while taking advantage of the high availability services provided by Sun Cluster.

BigAdmin has some basic publication support, now, so we'll start to publish more content in the next few days.

Thanks for hanging in there with us.

- Rick

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

Are you bored with the BigAdmin HCL?

Are you bored with the HCL? No longer impressed with the 1277 systems (as in servers, desktops, laptops, and motherboards from Sun and OEM vendors) and nearly 1700 components that run Solaris 10?

Can you barely muster the enthusiasm to raise an eyebrow at the more than 6000 systems and components that run OpenSolaris?

Never fear. We've just added about a hundred (that's 097 for you guys in the camo fatigues) entries for virtualization platforms that run Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris:

Virtualization Platforms That Run Solaris

The virtualization HCL has tabs for:

You can sort the contents of every tab by:

Pretty cool, huh? Now you can go back to being your regular old exuberant sysadmin self.

- Rick

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

What Have Sun and Intel Been Up To?


Intel has been developing hardware that takes advantage of the capabilities of Solaris, and Solaris has been optimizing its features to run on Intel platforms. Specifically, on the next-generation Intel Xeon processor.

Why should a sysadmin care? Because the capabilities that resulted from this collaboration will let you do get more work out of fewer resources while increasing reliability and saving energy.


  • Performance: the combination of Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology and the Solaris multi-threading capabilities work together to increase the performance of multi-threaded workloads while reducing power consumption.
  • Reliability: Intel's Machine Architecture Recovery feature works with the Solaris Fault Manager to detect memory and cache errors and correct them before they cause a fault.
  • Power Efficiency: Intel's Intelligent Power Technology allows system administrators to set policies for the optimal mix of processing power and energy use, or Solaris to optimize it automatically.
  • Flexible Virtualization: the OpenSolaris xVM hypervisor supports the virtualization capabilities of Intel's next generation Xeon processor, including network virtualization.

Details here:

- Rick

Friday Feb 01, 2008

New Virtualization Resource Center for Sysadmins

If you search through BigAdmin for virtualization topics, you get 5 pages of hits with 64 entries:
Virtualization search results on BigAdmin
Most of the articles published in, or linked to, from BigAdmin focus on Solaris containers, with some mentions of zones and logical domains (LDOMS). This one, published back in the day (2006), is one of my favorites:
The Sun Blueprints Guide to Solaris Containers
For those of us who have been living on the beach in Fiji for the last couple of years, the guide starts with the benefits and basic concepts of virtualization. Then it takes an old-fashioned deep dive into the topic. If you need to understand the whys and hows of virtualization before you make some important decisions, this blueprint is an excellent place to start.

A deep dive is good, really good, but sometimes you need a walk around the pool first, just to make sure the water's warm. So the BigAdmin crew decided to put together a virtualization resource center for our favorite people:
BigAdmin's Most Excellent Virtualization Resource Center for Sysadmins
Best of all, it's got four (4) tabs: Of course we left out Microsoft's virtualization page. Because we're just plain mean. Actually, it's because we heard about it after we were done. We feel terrible. So here it is:
Microsoft's Virtualization Resource Center
LOL. OK. Here's the real one. Honest. I swear:
Microsoft's Real Virtualization Resource Center

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