Monday May 18, 2009

Auto Service Request (ASR) : a new video.

Here is a 3mn video in English showing the advantages of ASR, without diving into the technical details.
Watch the video.

Monday May 11, 2009

ASR System on YouTube

Here is a video showing a clear overview of what is ASR and how it works.



Wednesday May 06, 2009

STF and ASR 2.x on the same server

SFT and ASR are both free of charge.

SFT, Secure File Transfer

Secure File Transfer (SFT) allows you to send the explorers from your network to Sun, using a secure protocol (SSL).
You'll install SFT on a dedicated server, making the link between the enterprise network and Sun via the Internet.
The other systems will save their explorers in a directory used as a spool, and SFT will send them following the site policy.
Along with the confidentiality, SFT avoids to overload the network channels by spreading the traffic in time.
This article talks about the version 2.0 of SFT.

ASR 2.x, Auto Service Request

Auto Service Request (ASR) opens support calls after hardware failure detections.
ASR in included in warranty and support contracts.
you will install ASR 2.x on a dedicated system making the link between the enterprise network and Sun via the Internet.
ASR is built on the same secure transport layer than SFT.

SFT and ASR on the same server

ASR and SFT are both based on Sun Automated Service Manager (SASM).
By installing them on the same server, you are saving 1 system to be dedicated.
You simplify the firewall configuration because you will have only one system to grant Internet access to.

Thursday Apr 30, 2009

ASR 2.x : for an easy start ...

ASR 2.x offers for free the opening of service requests upon hardware failure self-detection, on a list of qualified systems, as long as they are covered by a support contract or under warranty.

1. Understanding the architecture

Here is a schema of the relationships between the ASR components :

(Source : Sun Auto Service Request for Systems User Guide)

  • A system will have a role of relay between the enterprise network and the Sun secure transport server ( You can read more details about security in this white paper.

  • The other systems on the enterprise network side will send their failure notifications to this relay, named the HOST, via SNMP traps (port 162).

2. Prerequisites

  • ASR Qualified systems : as mentioned above, check the List of qualified systems and verify that yours are in this product range.

  • SOA : you must have a Sun Online Account. The creation of an SOA is straightforward and immediate : go to Sun.COM, menu Log In, and follow the instructions. You can use the same SOA as for SunSolve of MSC, no need for an ASR dedicated one. Ensure that the company name and the country are right.

  • Sun Inventory : the registration in Sun Inventory of all your systems is mandatory for ASR. And the servicetags must be in version 1.1.4. It is recommended that you use the last version of Service Tools Bundle (STB) in case you need to upgrade.

  • Install Base/Contract : You have to check that the systems are recognized under contract or warranty. You'll access MSC to proceed. If you do not have an access to MSC, you can contact me by email and I'll forward your request or I'll give you your Primary User email.

  • Technical Contact : again with MSC, you must assign a technical contact, primary and preferred : this information will be used when a service request will be open.


Thursday Apr 23, 2009

Auto Service Request : ASR 2.x

Here is a brief overview of ASR :

What is ASR ?

Simply, ASR is going to open support tickets for parts, automatically, when an hardware failure has been detected.

Who can use ASR ?

There are few conditions, all of them clearly presented in these pages here, on Sun.COM.
Here are the main ones :
  • The product itself is free,
  • Each registered system must be covered by a support contract or under warranty.
    There are also some technical requirements :
  • The systems must be on the qualified list (see the full list here),
  • All information fields of your Sun Online Account aka SOA must be filled,
  • All systems must appear in your inventory on Sun Inventory and registered using the version 1.1.4 of service tags,
  • The systems must run Solaris 10 u5 or newer.

    How do you intall ASR ?

    It's a 2 steps process :
    1. Setup a relay system, which will collect the hardware failure notifications and will send them back to Sun on a secure server,
    2. Configure the other systems on your network so they will send their alarms to the ASR relay.
  • Sunday Mar 23, 2008

    2 Things Good to Know about STB 1.0

    In order to get the maximum out of the tools in STB 1.0, ServiceTags and Explorer, it's highly recommended to install Sneep prior to STB, on these platforms where the Serial Number is not electronically available.
    Sneep store the SN in the EEPROM, making it persistent form one OS install to another.
    Another detail I wanted to mention is about Explorer : the way STB 1.0 replace the older version removes the crontab entry if any. You will have to run explorer -g post-install, or save the line pre-isntall and put it back post-install. Better to be aware of this side effect than understand that explorers are not automatically sent back to Sun.

    Saturday Mar 15, 2008

    A Great Discovery : Now, we know where are going the registrations from install wizards of Glassfish, SDK and Netbeans !

    Where are going all these registrations has been an open question for a long time !
    Only little time ago, some scientists, after days and days spent on advanced investigation tools like Google and others, finally found out the answer to this question that existentialists, in their time of glory, could have enjoy discuss in their passionate manifests !
    And then you'll understand that my emotion is great while I'm going to tell you this story, one of these rare things that could save system administrator lives and by extension, all Sun Microsystems product users, world wide !
    Of course, the apparent simplicity of the solution, once you know it, could make doubtful people doubt even more. I'll encourage them to try it by themselves, because as man knows : "seeing is believing !".
    So, Dear visitor of this modest blog, now is the time of the revelation that you're waiting for : the registrations from these Sun products install wizard are going to ...

    Sun Inventory,

    the famous asset management portal, free and easy to use !
    In the notes coming together with the scientific release, people who validated it write that one rule is important, to use the same login and password to access the portal than when registering the product, simply !
    Now, you can use it without moderation, no known side effects, and larger will be your inventory, more organized and calm you'll feel yourself !

    Monday Mar 10, 2008

    Eco-Responsibility Initiative in France

    Finally, the theme of this blog became meaningful : GREEN as ecology, as eco-responibility.

    Here is my first post in the Eco-Resp category, beginning my participation into an eco-responsibility initiative driven by employees.

    Unfortunately, I cannot say much at this moment, just I'll be more involved in projects around innovation and development of general use solutions.

    Technology is there, but real usage is still confidential : we want to propose new concepts and lead changes.

    I'll be back soon on this topic, source of big challenges !

    Tuesday Mar 04, 2008

    Sun Inventory as a Collaboration Tool and Multi-Company Asset Management Portal

    Sun Inventory, the portal offering a free asset management tool for your Sun products, can be used as a collaborative platform between customers and service providers.
    Let's talk about a company named A [original, isn't it ?] giving the maintenance of its servers to a service provider named SP [inspired !].
    An employee of A will create a first team in Sun Inventory then will invite a sysadmin from SP.
    SP has another customer named B [surprise !!!] where the inventory is also managed through a common team of B and SP :

    From SP point of view, being member of 2 teams, Sun Inventory gives a unique access to A and B assets and will make easy by example the reporting on software versions installed on the servers :

    For A and B, Sun Inventory allow smooth and accurate communication and improve the collaboration with SP regarding the status of their respective assets.
    Both teams are well separated and A will never be able to see B's.

    I think that this is a very good point for Sun Inventory.

    Sunday Feb 24, 2008

    Sun Inventory and the Serial Numbers

    Sun Inventory keeps track of your system serial numbers.
    Here is how to take advantage of this functionality in 3 screenshots.
    The serial numbers are gathered by the servicetags agents either directly from the platform resources, either from SNEEP, a tool storing the SN in the EEPROM and retrieving it with a simple command.
    After the registration in your inventory, you visualize the informations after a click on the triangle at the left of a given gear :

    If it's not fitting your needs, you can enter your own value on the following dialog box, poping up after a click on More Information :

    Finally, with the reports, you can load a CSV file in a spreadsheet :


    Saturday Feb 23, 2008

    EIS-DVD in Sun Inventory

    Sun Inventory takes in account progressively all software aspects of the management of your assets.
    Sun developped a standard installation process named EIS, for Sun engineers and partners at customer site, which one comes as a scripts, tools and patches repository on a dvd, the EIS-DVD.
    The last version of this dvd, the 3.5.1, makes easy and straightforward the deployment of servicetags packages, the Explorer last version, the 5.11, and some other useful tools.
    Of course, as all the recent Sun software, the EIS-DVD registers its own ServiceTag.
    Thanks to Sun Inventory, you are able to track EIS version on your servers :


    Friday Feb 22, 2008

    Services Tools Bundle 1.0 download now available

    Service Tools Bundle 1.0 is now available for download.
    Also known as STB 1.0, Services Tools Bundle is an install script and contains ServiceTags and Explorer.
    ServiceTags version is 1.1.2 and the script takes care of the Solaris version : roll out has been simplified and you will address Solaris 8, Solaris 9 or Solaris 10 the same way.
    Some options :
  • -help displays all available options
  • -runmode auto will proceed and replace systematically all existing packages.

  • The Explorer bundled in STB 1.0 is a new version, the 5.11, which one will create its own servicetag at first launch time. Then you'll keep explorer version under control in Sun Inventory reports.

    Green English Version


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