Wednesday Nov 26, 2008

Hyperic HQ on OpenSolaris and MySQL

Internetnews ran this article on how the open source system management space is heating up. It discusses Groundwork, Zenoss and Hyperic, three examples in a growing field of players that also includes Nagios and Ganglia. As these tools expand their capabilities from basic system monitoring into application management, they are increasing the pressure on well established vendors.

Hyperic, for example, has plugins for Glassfish and MySQL, among many others. I downloaded the Hyperic HQ Open Source Edition 4.0.1 (the no-JRE, platform independent tarball) and tried it on OpenSolaris.

Robert Lor has already documented how to install the Hyperic Server on PostgreSQL, so I decided to use it with MySQL instead. Pretty simple to set up. I used MySQL 5.0, via the SUNWmysql5 package from the OpenSolaris repository (if you want step-by-step instructions on how to get MySQL on OpenSolaris, see here).

The database configuration for Hyperic is well documented here. Once the database part is done, set JAVA_HOME to the location of your Java runtime (for example, to the default of /usr/java), and run -mysql. If you only want to deploy the agent component, just download the corresponding tarball and run start. I have included the full output of these commands at the end of this blog entry.

As the agent was started, it detected the system information automatically, and updated the inventory at the server. Here's a screen shot of the web management console, on port 7080 by default:

I was able to drill down into charts for network and cpu utilization as well. Very nice. It's good to know that, if you use Hyperic, you can add OpenSolaris to your infrastructure and manage it the same way. Now, if we can only get it to report "OpenSolaris" instead of "Solaris 11". Time to file and RFE!

Here's the output of HQ Server installation. I only installed the Server in this step. The tarball (hyperic-hq-installer-4.0.1-905-noJRE.tgz) was uncompressed and untared in the /Apps/Hyperic directory.

hugo@hugo_osol:/Apps/Hyperic/hyperic-hq-installer$ ./ -mysql
Initializing Hyperic HQ 4.0.1 Installation...
Loading taskdefs...
Taskdefs loaded
Choose which software to install:
1: Hyperic HQ Server
2: Hyperic HQ Agent
You may enter multiple choices, separated by commas.
HQ server installation path [default '/home/hyperic']:
Enter the JDBC connection URL for the MySQL 5.x database [default 'jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/HQ']:

Enter the username to use to connect to the database:
Enter the password to use to connect to the database:
Loading install configuration...
Install configuration loaded.
Preparing to install...
Validating server install configuration...
Checking server webapp port...
Checking server secure webapp port...
Checking server JRMP port...
Checking server JNP port...
Checking database permissions...
Verifying admin user properties
Validating server DB configuration...
Installing the server...
Unpacking server to: /Apps/Hyperic/server-4.0.1...
Creating server configuration files...
Copying binaries and libraries to server installation...
Copying server configuration file...
Copying server control file...
Copying server binaries...
Copying server libs...
Setting up server database...
Setting permissions on server binaries...
Fixing line endings on text files...
Installation Complete:
Server successfully installed to: /Apps/Hyperic/server-4.0.1

You can now start your HQ server by running this command:

/Apps/Hyperic/server-4.0.1/bin/ start

Note that the first time the HQ server starts up it may take several minutes
to initialize. Subsequent startups will be much faster.

Once the HQ server reports that it has successfully started, you can log in
to your HQ server at:

username: hqadmin
password: hqadmin

To change your password, log in to the HQ server, click the "Administration"
link, choose "List Users", then click on the "hqadmin" user.

Setup completed.
A copy of the output shown above has been saved to:

And here's the output of the Agent installation, from the hyperic-hq-agent-4.0.1-905-noJRE.tgz tarball. Also placed in the /Apps/Hyperic directory:

hugo@hugo_osol:/Apps/Hyperic/hyperic-hq-agent-4.0.1/bin$ ./ start
-n Starting HQ Agent...
Removed stale pid file: /Apps/Hyperic/hyperic-hq-agent-4.0.1/wrapper/sbin/../../ wrapper/

[ Running agent setup ]
What is the HQ server IP address:
Should Agent communications to HQ always be secure [default=no]:
What is the HQ server port [default=7080]:
- Testing insecure connection ... Success
What is your HQ login [default=hqadmin]:
What is your HQ password:
What IP should HQ use to contact the agent [default=]:
What port should HQ use to contact the agent [default=2144]:
- Received temporary auth token from agent
- Registering agent with HQ
- HQ gave us the following agent token
- Informing agent of new HQ server
- Validating
- Successfully setup agent

Friday Nov 07, 2008

OpenSolaris shows up at SPEC

Industry standard benchmarks play an important role. And not just as product marketing tools. With a multitude of hardware and software combinations, most customers cannot allocate time and resources to do a thorough comparison of all the choices, and appreciate the contribution of standard bodies that define relevant workloads and consolidate performance results. SPEC (Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation) is a prime example. With its strict run rules and review process, it forces vendors to always put their best foot forward. Which makes the publication of a couple of OpenSolaris SPEC results a significant milestone.

The first one is SPECfp2006, often considered the leading indicator of a system's performance for HPC applications. It is a cpu-intensive benchmark, where the OS and compiler play a key role in extracting every ounce of performance from the underlying hardware. To get a good feel for how OpenSolaris and Sun Studio compare to other OS/Compiler stacks, I looked at all results using Intel's quad-core Xeon X5482 at 3.2GHz, all seven of them run on dual-socket systems. Here's the summary (click on the score to see the full report):

Operating System



Result (SPECfp2006)

OpenSolaris 2008.05

Sun Fire X2250

Sun Studio Express 11/08


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

HP ProLiant DL160 G5p

Intel C++ and Fortran Compiler 10.1


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

Intel Supermicro X7DWN

Intel C++ and Fortran Compiler 11.0


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

IBM System x3450

Intel C++ and Fortran Compiler 11.0


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

ASUSTeK DSEB-DG Motherboard

Intel C++ and Fortran Compiler 10.1


Windows XP Professional

Dell Precision T7400

Intel C++ Compiler 10.1, Intel Visual Fortran 10.0


Windows Vista Ultimate

Dell Precision T7400

Intel C++ Compiler 10.1, Intel Visual Fortran 10.0


The combination of OpenSolaris and Sun Studio gives other more entrenched solutions a run for their money. They are free to use, and Sun Studio comes with a nifty Performance Analyzer tool. Why not give them a try? If you're on OpenSolaris, run pkg install sunstudioexpress to get started.

The second benchmark is SPECjAppServer2004, which tests the performance of a multi-tier Web stack, including application server and database. It is quite active, with over 70 results from all major hardware and software players in the Enterprise Java space. What makes this result significant? That the OS (OpenSolaris 2008.05), the database (MySQL 5.0) and the Application Server (GlassFish Enterprise Server v2) are all open source. In fact, Sun is the only vendor that has published a result that doesn't rely on proprietary software.

Beyond getting kudos from FOSS advocates, there is a strong reason why this SPECjAppServer result is very relevant: customers are asking not for performance at any price, but performance at the right price. And the price/performance numbers speak for themselves, showing a 10x advantage over proprietary solutions. Take a look at Tom Daly's blog or BM Seer's blog for in-depth analysis. This more cost-efficient, open-source-based stack does not mean customers have to endure higher risk. All of the components, while free to download and use, can be covered by a 24x7 support contract, in compliance with the benchmark rules.

Disclosure Statement:
SPEC, SPECfp and SPECjAppServer are trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Results from as of 10/15/08. SPECfp2006 comparison based on results with a Processor type "Intel Xeon X5482". For the latest SPECfp2006 results visit For the latest SPECjAppServer2004 results visit


I am a member of Sun's ISV Engineering organization, collaborating with ISVs and Open Source communities to advance the Solaris platform.


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