Wednesday Dec 08, 2010

Oracle Solaris Express 151a and VNC

Configuring VNC to run under Oracle Solaris Express build 151a.[Read More]

Monday Jun 09, 2008

xVM performance counters

It's possible to access performance counters through the xen console and I wonder whether it would be a good idea to have these enabled by default in the shipping xVM product? I've opened an RFE to track this idea and if anyone reading this is a user of xVM, I would be interested in hearing your opinion about this.

If the runtime overhead of maintaining the counters is sufficiently low, I'm in favour. I found them to be very useful in diagnosing a problem in 64 bit HVM guest performance and I'm sure there's a lot more information they can tell us that will help improve xVM performance.

Take a look at:

6699320 xvm/hypervisor performance slow on HVM guests

6704764 Enable performance counters by default

for more details.

Friday Nov 16, 2007

Almost, but not quite, a whole year with nothing to say

Actually, I probably had loads to say, but I just haven't said it here...

I changed projects back in June and I'm now the performance lead on the xVM project. This is proving to be both fun and challenging, so I think I'd say it was the right move.

I'm at the Xen Summit in Santa Clara, California this week and I'm enjoying myself. It's good to meet members of the team in real life, rather than over the phone, and I've heard many interesting presentation about Xen.

Friday Dec 08, 2006

Threadbare gimmick

I'm short of things to say. In the absence of any real content, I've updated my page so that you can see what music I'm listening to.

The chart is courtesy of

Friday Sep 22, 2006

EuroOSCON - I'm done

That's that for another year.[Read More]

Wednesday Sep 20, 2006

EuroOSCON - Day 2

What I did on Wednesday[Read More]

Tuesday Sep 19, 2006

EuroOSCON - Day 1

What I did on Tuesday[Read More]

EuroOSCON 2006

Initial Impressions[Read More]

Monday Jan 16, 2006

Interesting Websites

I've been really impressed today by two websites which a friend (thanks Nichole!) led me to.

Firstly, she told me about StumbleUpon. Basically, this is a way of finding websites that are useful in categories that you are interested in. Doesn't sound very special, but it's actually really good. I find the hardest think about using the web is summoning up the enthusiasm to work through all the dreck that's out there in search of the good stuff. Basically, StumbleUpon does a lot of that work for you and the more you use it, the more useful it gets. I'm impressed.

I'm even more impressed by one of the sites that I found using StumbleUpon, Pandora. This is (possibly) the best designed website I've ever seen. I love it. It's functional and minimalist. The purpose of the site is to help you find more music that you might like. It takes it's direction from a seed band or song that you provide. The only drawback is that to use it you must live in the USA. However, this is only validated by providing a valid US Zip Code, so I don't think that will deter too many international users. I'm listenting to some great tunes as I write this. If you like music, you must try this site out.

I think the best thing about both these sites is that, although they undoubtedly are using some fairly crafty technology to achieve their goal, both sites have put a lot of effort into presentation and ease of use. That's what helps them stand out.

Could it be that I'm finally beginning to see the point of social networking sites? I mean, both these sites seem to be a lot more useful and appealing to me than the likes of flikr, delicious, orkut, friendster, etc...

Wednesday Dec 07, 2005

Resource Pools will be SMF services

Before I left Sun I had started work on enhancements to Resource Pools to integrate them with SMF. I haven't had much time to work on this since I re-joined Sun, mainly because I now work on the OpenSolaris project and Resource Management is not my main focus. However, I was keen to complete the work as I thought it would be a very worthwhile enhancement for Solaris.

I integrated the changes yesterday and when the code becomes available you'll be able to manage Resource Pools and Dynamic Resource Pools as separate SMF services.


bash-3.00# uname -a
SunOS trolls-b8 5.11 onnv-gate:2005-12-07 i86pc i386 i86pc
bash-3.00# svcs 'system/pool\*'
STATE          STIME    FMRI
online          1:58:20 svc:/system/pools:default
online          1:58:21 svc:/system/pools/dynamic:default
bash-3.00# svcadm disable pools
bash-3.00# svcs 'system/pool\*'
STATE          STIME    FMRI
disabled        2:12:34 svc:/system/pools:default
offline         2:12:36 svc:/system/pools/dynamic:default
bash-3.00# svcadm enable pools
bash-3.00# svcs 'system/pool\*'
STATE          STIME    FMRI
online          2:12:48 svc:/system/pools:default
online          2:12:48 svc:/system/pools/dynamic:default

I hope it's useful

Thursday Oct 13, 2005

Solaris 10 Talk

Last night I gave a talk\* at the West Yorkshire BCS group about Solaris 10.

About 50 people attended the talk, which was more than I expected and came as a bit of a surprise. I took a quick poll before I started to talk and learned that:

  • 20(ish) used Solaris on a daily basis
  • 0 used Solaris 10
  • 5 used Solaris 9
  • (The rest) used Solaris 7/8
  • 1 used Solaris 2.6

It looks like we need to do some active encouragement of our user base to upgrade!

The talk was about an hour long and seemed to be well received. It wasn't terribly technical, as I didn't think that would be appropriate for the audience, but I concentrated on introducing four main areas of Solaris 10: Resource Management (including zones), DTrace, Predictive Self Healing, Privileges. I also briefly covered other areas and quickly plugged OpenSolaris. Questions centered on: Dtrace/Resource Management performance impact, wireless drivers, installation problems and the availability of the next release.

The BCS committee told me that they thought the talk had gone well and I was personally satisfied that I'd managed to generate some interest in Solaris. I was a little disappointed that there were so few detailed technical questions. Also disappointing was the realisation that hardly anyone, even in the BCS, used a version of Solaris newer than five years old!

\*Thanks to Jim Mauro for providing the bulk of the slides that I used for the talk and to Bryan Cantrill whose DTrace slides I stole and re-hashed mercilessly.

Wednesday Oct 05, 2005

Solaris 10 in West Yorkshire

I'll be giving a talk on Solaris 10 next Wednesday (12th October) at my local British Computer Society (BCS) branch meeting. If you are in the area and want to talk about Solaris, then drop by and say hello.

You can get more details on the talk here

Update: I've managed to wangle some free t-shirts out of Sun Marketing and will be giving them away to attendees according to some arbitrary and as yet undefined criteria. Suggestions for said criteria are encouraged.

Thursday Aug 11, 2005

I'm back

Oh yes. I am.

Sunday May 01, 2005

Goodbye Sun

I've left Sun, so if you would like to continue to read my ramblings then you should look at my personal blog. I'm not sure that there will be much on it of interest, so no change there!

Thursday Jan 27, 2005

Zones + Resource Management

I was perusing the Solaris Zones forum the other day and found a useful link to this document which provides examples of using various Resource Management features with Zones.

I think it's a useful document and sheds light on some of the decisions you need to make when using Zones with Resource Management.




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