Monday Jan 19, 2009

Performance considerations when upgrading Solaris

The biggest piece of advice I can give you about those of you about to upgrade with lots of custom tunables in /etc/system........read the manual (FTFM if you're feeling particularly vocal), no seriously, I mean it! :) You only have to read the Solaris tunables reference manual as it actually discusses upgrading to newer releases with older /etc/system tunables:

"We recommend that you start with an empty /etc/system file when moving to a new Solaris
release. As a first step, add only those tunables that are required by in-house or third-party
applications. Any tunables that involve System V IPC (semaphores, shared memory, and
message queues) have been modified in the Solaris 10 release and should be changed in your
environment. For more information, see “System V IPC Configuration” on page 21. After
baseline testing has been established, evaluate system performance to determine if additional
tunable settings are required."


So, that's a move it out of the way and start from scratch. :) Obviously speak to your application vendors about anything that is required to run the application but other than that, see how things go and only change when and where necessary otherwise you could run into other problems.

The only application which I'll make specific points about is Oracle as with Solaris 10 we've introduced resource controls so the shared memory / semaphore settings no longer need to be defined in /etc/system. See the Oracle installation guide  or  Solution  208623 :   Solaris[TM] 10 Operating System: System V Inter-Process Communication (IPC) resource controls for further details.
About

I'm an RPE (Revenue Product Engineering) Engineer supporting Solaris on Exadata, Exalogic and Super Cluster. I attempt to diagnose and resolve any problems with Solaris on any of the Engineered Systems.

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