Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Installing the Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 3 Stack


Looking to Create a UCS 7.3 POC Deployment? Stack it All on a Single Host.

If you need to create a Comms deployment, for say, evaluation or proof-of-concept purposes, the best place to go is the Single Host Deployment Example.

This doc "describes how to install Communications Suite 7 Update 3 software on one computer for a functioning deployment. This document is intended for any evaluator, system administrator, or installation technician who wants to install and evaluate the services delivered by these components."

It really takes all the guesswork out of deciding what configuration parameters to configure across the component products to get everything working. However, take note: This example deployment is not intended  for production purposes, and should be used for evaluation and for training purposes only.

Nevertheless, if you are new to the product, this is definitely the place I would recommend to start.

Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

Messaging Server: Installing Multiple Instances

With the continued move towards using Solaris Zones for creating a Messaging Server installation of multiple instances, another approach to this situation might be getting lost in the mix. New in the Communications Suite installer (available with Messaging Server 6.3p1 and 7.0) is an "altroot" power user feature that enables you to install multiple instances of Messaging Server on the same host.

For more information, see the following document:

Performing Multiple Installations with an Alternate Root

A few caveats with this approach:

  • This feature gets limited operational testing, so we recommend field testing before deployment in your environment.
  • You have to configure the different instances to use different interfaces (for all the components) to prevent conflicts.
  • There are a few Messaging Server features that just won't work (for example, SNMP), and others that might require hand-editing to work (for example, SMF startup).
  • You need to understand the implications of altroot patching as well (it creates a SVR4 package/patch datastore separate from the main OS datastore for that information).

Hat tip CN

Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Communications Suite: Distributed Installs Just Got a Bit Easier

Installing a full Communications Suite deployment may still not be for the faint of heart, but things just got a bit easier thanks to the availability of the Enterprise Messaging Reference Architecture (EMRA) Toolkit. For more information, check out the Communications Suite Tools and Contributions page, where you can get the EMRA Toolkit software, Getting Started Guide, and other helpful information.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

Comm Suite 6: Installation is Better

One of the major complaints against Communications Suite has been the difficulty with the initial install/configure process. And that frankly, new customers who want to evaluate the product are often left holding the bits, literally, trying to find their way out of a fun-house tunnel.

One of our goals in Comms is to simplify installation. And I think what we need is an installer that provides the option of a quick evaluation mode. Okay, while we're waiting for that, I have to say that the Comms 6 installer is a real improvement over past releases. I just went through the Single Host Deployment Example and though the process is somewhat time-consuming, I successfully had all components running smoothly, installed and configured as documented.

Second improvement: If you don't have half a day or so to run through this deployment example, then consider downloading the Comms VMware image, which will enable you to evaluate Comms 6 without the installation and configuration required of a production deployment. (The VMware image runs on Linux and Windows platforms.) Running the VMware image is described here.

In either case, I think you'll find we're making improvements and lowering the barriers to evaluating and learning about a Comms Suite deployment.

Wednesday Apr 11, 2007

Communications Software Summit, Part Deux: Comms Suite & Zones

Per my previous post, I described how the Comms practice recently held a Communications Suite Softwware Summit, and how I was going to summarize some of the talks that took place. So, here's our second installment, titled "Deploying Communications Suite in Solaris OS 10 Zones." (And a big thanks to Jhawk, from whom I am stealing this info outright.)


This summary covers:

  • Review of Solaris Zones
  • Using Zones with Communications Suite
  • Backing up and restoring Zones
  • Patching Zones
Review of Solaris Zones

A typical installation of the global zone resembles the following, consisting of two resources (NIC and file systems), and the Solaris packages:

Your data, including configuration and user/groups info, lives on the file system.

Sidebar: All systems that run Solaris 10 contain a master zone, called the global zone. The global zone is the original Solaris OS instance. It has access to the physical hardware and can control all processes. It also has the authority to create and control new zones, called non-global zones, in which applications run. Non-global zones do not run inside the global zone—they run along side it—yet the global zone can look inside non-global zones to see how they are configured, monitor, and control them.

Next comes the sparse zone:

This figure shows that the sparse zone is actually a sub-instance of Solaris, on Solaris. The sparse zone shares the same physical devices but contains a logical NIC (NIC:0). The sparse zone also shares some packages with the global zone (/usr, /platform, /sbin), and contains local copies of other packages (/opt, /var/opt, /etc). In the sparse zone, users and groups are unique but have global IDs.

After the sparse zone comes the non-sparse zone (also called the whole root zone), as shown below:

Here, all the Solaris packages are copied to the zone and not shared.

The advantage to the sparse zone is that it has a better security model. Also, some applications, such as Communications Suite, have problems with writing to a shared /usr. For such applications, you should use a non-sparse zone.

Sidebar: The non-sparse zone model provides maximum flexibility. All file systems are private to the zone. The advantages of this model include the capability for global administrators to customize their zones file system layout. This would be done, for example, to add arbitrary unbundled or third-party packages.

Why Use Zones?

Reasons include:

  • Easier installations and recovery. Have a problem that requires an OS reload? Just 'blow away' the zone and continue (rather than having to do it the old fashioned way of reloading the entire OS).
  • Provides better security on production systems.
  • Well suited for Communications Express and MMP/MTA installs.
  • Better control over Resource Pools . BTW, define a Resource Pool, even if you're not going to use it. Why? Enables better management of CPU and memory resources.

Where Not to Use Zones

  • Only available on SPARC/x86, so sorry Linux users, you're out of luck.
  • If you're requiring HA, it's possible, but requires special handling, so for now, for Comms, we're saying don't.
  • Systems with small disk space aren't going to work.
  • Best practice so far: don't use in your data centers.

Installing Communications Suite with Zones

Okay, now we're into the good stuff. In a nut shell, here's what we are recommending for Comms Suite and Zones:

  • Use the non-sparse zone for Java ES 2005Q4. In Comms 5, officially, we support sparse zones, though there are bugs (and workarounds).
  • First step on your Solaris-installed host: Run the Comms installer to install the shared components on the global zone, because there is a set of packages in /usr key to the rest of the installation. THIS IS THE KEY STEP.
  • Create your non-global zone.
  • From the created zone, run the Comms installer and install Comms Suite.
  • Lastly, you patch the installation with MS/CS/etc. patches. You need to patch shared components in the global zone (pkgadd -G) and individual components in the non-global zone (pkgadd).

Helpful Hint: Create your runtime users with unique UIDs. This enables you to track users from the global zone.

Backing up the Zone

Here I will cheat and let the preso do the talking:

For More Information

Deploying Sun Java Enterprise System 2005Q4 on the Sun Fire T2000 Server Using Solaris Containers

Solaris 10 Zones, Communications Suite 5 Installation Guide

Solaris Container Trick #1 : Monitoring Users Processes


Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.


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