Tuesday Jun 30, 2009

Communications Suite: Cutting Your Storage Costs

Just published: a white paper on designing tiered storage with Messaging Server, with the eye on cutting storage costs. Abstract:

Service providers face unrelenting pressure to increase storage for user mailboxes. This paper explains how using production products, such as Sun Communications Suite software, the Solaris ZFS file system, and a Sun Storage array, can cut storage costs by half, while performance (measured by messages per second) can be increased by more than 50 percent in environments with millions of users. Extensive load testing has shown that this single-rack solution provides a cost-effective message store for two million users. It is easily replicated and highly modular.

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

ZFS and Communications Suite Products

A Comms deployment gives a big thumbs up to ZFS. And if you missed the ZFS announcement for Messaging Server 6.3, here it is again.

Tuesday Sep 11, 2007

Breaking News: Messaging Server 6.3 and ZFS

It's official! Messaging Server 6.3 now supports the ZFS file system, with the following caveats:

  • You must patch Messaging Server 6.3 to 6.3p3 (6.3-4.01)). This patch has been released to SunSolve and should show up the week of September 10. See below for patch IDs.
  • You must be running a minimum of Solaris OS 10 U3 for Messaging Server 6.3 to support ZFS.
  • ZFS support does not apply to Linux platforms.

Other requirements:

  • Do not perform a ZFS snapshot when the message store database snapshot is running. Schedule ZFS snapshot to run 30 minutes after a message store database snapshot is run. This will allow the database snapshot to complete before the ZFS snapshot. Message store database snapshot frequency is controlled by local.snapshot.interval.
  • Before restoring a ZFS snapshot make sure all Messaging Server processes are stopped.

Patch Information

Platform
32 Bit
64 Bit
SPARC
120228-23
126479-04
x86
120229-23
126480-04

More Details

If you want to backup your Message Store for disaster recovery, you can use a file system snapshot tool such as ZFS snapshot to capture a snapshot of the file system. The file system snapshot must be an atomic point-in-time snapshot (as is the case of ZFS), otherwise, the backup can have inconsistent data.

It is best to capture all message store data (message store partitions and database files) with the same file system snapshot instance. However, if this cannot be done, then capture the data in separate file system snapshots at the same time. And if this can't be done, capture the message store data in separate file system snapshots in the following order:

  1. Message store database snapshots. Note that database snapshots (configured with local.store.snapshotpath) are different from file system snapshots.
  2. Database files (data-root/store/mboxlist)
  3. Message store partition paths (store.partition.\*.path)
  4. Message store partition message paths (store.partition.\*.messagepath)
  5. Configuration data (data-root/config)

If the partitions and the database files are not backed up with the same point-in-time snapshot, run reconstruct -m after restoring the file system snapshots. This will synchronize the database and store partitions. Again, it is best to capture all message store data with the same file system snapshot instance to avoid doing a reconstruct.

If the message store database snapshot (db snapshot) is running when the file system snapshot is taken, the file system snapshot can contain an incomplete db snapshot. Although an incomplete db snapshot is harmless, it is best to schedule the file system snapshot to run 30 minutes after the db snapshot. This will ensure that a complete db snapshot is included in the file system snapshot.

Monday Jun 25, 2007

Messaging Server, Message Store, and ZFS: Hang On...

I've been trying to get an answer on whether the lastest version of Messaging Server, 6.3, supports ZFS yet. Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is to hang on for the next release.

In the meantime, for more information, I found this thread on the Messaging Server software forum to be about as informative as anything else we've said publically on the matter.

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

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