Saturday Oct 13, 2007

Solaris Reviews


For this week, the standout review is by Tom Yager of InfoWorld, who focuses on Solaris as the "next best thing to OS X." Keeping in mind that Tom is a staunch OS X and Mac follower, this post is a solid endorsement of Solaris. In essence, Tom writes that Solaris is the best operating system to run on x64 systems. He feels in particular that AMD-powered systems are the best and since they do not support OS X, Solaris is the OS that does best. The reasons he cites are that it is "legitimate Unix and legitimate open source," "has free developer tools, and impressive ones at that," has "boundless" communities with great knowledge, and includes "baked in" virtualization.

Other blog review posts include the following:

Solaris on a Laptop -- The Trouble with Tribbles, 10/10
In this blog, Solaris admin Peter Tribble explains his positive experience with trying Solaris on a Dell D600. The first requirement for Peter was to have something looking like a production Unix environment, followed by installing a BCME driver that allowed access to the network. Next, Peter installed the ndis wrapper that allowed wireless to be accessed with the Broadcom 4320 wireless chip.

Jumpstart Profile Builder -- The Trouble with Tribbles, 9/27
This post by Peter is a great example how administrators are using tools with Solaris to solve specific problems -- in this case using the jumpstart profile builder to nicely organize packages and clusters. He includes a screen shot of what he has built for his environment.

Isolating Network Traffic with IP Instances -- Blog O' Matty, 10/09
Matty offers his impressions of Nevada build 57 and the impact that it has on the Solaris IP stack to support IP instances. He identifies a way to create an IP instance and how to assign it to a Solaris zone, and lists the process in a step-by-step format.

Getting Core Files When a Solaris Hosts Gets Confused -- Blog O' Matty, 10/07
This blog post discusses some problems with Solaris hosts that Matty has had in the past. He explains that to mediate the problem, he generates a core file from the running kernel to help isolate the problem.

Saturday Jul 28, 2007

My favorite ones from last week...


1. Trying to clarify the Sun Ray difference - ZDNet, 7/17
Paul discusses the differences between the Sun Ray, PC and X-terminal. He writes, "What makes the Sun Ray different (than an X-terminal) is that it interfaces a remote user to an application, including graphics display, running on a server." In contrast to the PC, he feels Sun Ray allows users to share resources and information independently of IT, instead of putting rackmounts of PC cards under IT’s direct control and needing virtualization to minimize hardware. He goes on to detail seven advantages, including portability, reliability, flexibility, security, processing power, cost and user freedom.

2. Logging su attempts and failed logins - Blog O' Matty, 7/22
Matty explains as a conscientious Solaris administrator, he make every attempt possible to protect his servers from malicious users, including configuring system auditing and system logging. He illustrates how when he configures system logging, he configures the syslogd daemon to log everything to a centralized location.

3. Configuring MySQL Database Replication using Solaris and ZFS - Martello, 7/19
James highlights his notes taken during an exercise to configure MySQL database replication across two SunFire T2000 servers running Solaris 10, each of which also has a single ZFS file system mounted in /storage/xxxx.

4. Sun's Project Indiana: turning OpenSolaris into a practical platform - ars technica, 7/17
Ryan discusses the forwarding of OpenSolaris and the challenges that the nascent community will face along the way.

Thursday Apr 26, 2007

Three great reviews in April issue of Sys Admin magazine


In the April issue of Sys Admin magazine, we received three positive pieces of coverage including a detailed review of the Sun Grid Engine, a technical review of Solaris 10 and a how-to article that explains how to set up process accounting on Solaris 10.

In a positive detailed review of Sun Grid Engine, Rayson Ho of Sys Admin Magazine provides a brief history of the Sun Grid Engine and discusses how, with each release, the open source community contributes new features. Rayson describes the architecture of Grid engine clusters, system requirements and installation steps, and provides an overview basic Grid commands. He concludes by highlighting the growing number of useful features with each release of Grid Engine and says, "It is impossible to document all the useful features in Grid Engine in one article."

In a very technical and positive in-depth review of Solaris 10 Resource Management, the Sun product is positioned as a "significant enhancement of the facilities in previous versions." The reviewer, Scott Cromar, takes a step-by-step look at Solaris 10's task and process-level management capabilities, omitting a focus on Zones to discuss the function in a different article.

In third and final review, Marco Marongiu describes how to set up process accounting on Solaris 10, based on Aileen Frisch's Essential System Administration book, the Sun System Administration Guide as well as his own personal experience. Marco states process accounting as the capability of the operating system to track system activities by recording statistics. The article goes on to describe various commands and scripts to set up process accounting, and how the system administrators can leverage them.

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