Tuesday Jun 21, 2016

Oracle VM Server for SPARC - virtual HBA (vHBA) enhancements

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.4 was released in May. This blog entry describes enhancements to the virtual HBA (vHBA) feature, and (bonus!) describes how NPIV can be used to control LUN assignments.[Read More]

Wednesday Jun 01, 2016

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.4 - scalability improvements

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.4 has been released, with improved capabilities for scale, security, availability, and advanced networking support. This blog entry describes some of the enhancements that increase scalability.
[Read More]

Thursday May 07, 2015

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2 now available for Solaris 10 control domains

Oracle has released Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2 packages for Solaris 10 control domains. The package can be downloaded from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/vm/downloads/index.html#OVMSPARC

Not all of the performance and functional enhancements of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2 are available when used with Solaris 10. Oracle recommends that customers use Solaris 11, especially for the control domain, service and I/O domains. Note that future Oracle VM Server for SPARC releases will no longer support the running of the Oracle Solaris 10 OS in control domains. You can continue to run the Oracle Solaris 10 OS in guest domains, root domains, and I/O domains when using future releases. Solaris 10 guest domains can be used with Solaris 11 control domains, allowing interoperability while moving to Solaris 11. For additional details, please see the Release Notes.

Thursday Apr 09, 2015

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2 - Enhanced Virtual Disk Multipathing

Last month, Oracle released Oracle VM Server for SPARC release 3.2 which includes numerous enhancements. One of these is improvement for virtual disk multipathing, which provides redundant paths to virtual disk so that disk access continues even if a path or service domain fails.

Multipath groups are arranged in an active/standby pair of connections to the same physical media. In case of a path or service domain failure, I/O activity continues on a surviving path. This is also helpful for rolling upgrades: a service domain can be rebooted for an upgrade, and virtual disk I/O continues without interruption. That's important for continuous availability while upgrading system software.

A previous limitation was that you could not determine by commands which path was active, and you couldn't force activity onto a selected path. That meant that all the I/O for multiple virtual disks went (typically) to the primary path instead of being load balanced across service domains and HBAs. You could deduce which service domains were actively doing disk I/O by using commands like iostat, but there was no visibility, and no way to spread the load. Oracle VM Server for SPARC addresses this by adding command output that shows which path is active, and let you switch the active path to one of the available paths. Now, the command 'ldm list-bindings' shows which path is active, and the command 'ldm set-vdisk' lets you set which path is active. For further details and syntax, please see the documentation at Configuring Virtual Disk Multipathing

Friday Oct 17, 2014

Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices White Paper

I'm very pleased to announce a new white paper has been published: Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices.

This paper shows how to configure to meet demanding performance and availability requirements. Topics include:

  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC definitions, concepts and deployment options.
  • Software, hardware, and firmware requirements.
  • Best Practices for optimal performance.
  • Best Practices for resiliency and availability.

The paper includes specific recommendations, describes the reasons behind them, and illustrates them with examples taken from actual systems.

Wednesday Jul 02, 2014

Announcing Oracle VM 3.3

Oracle VM 3.3.1 was announced today, with many product improvements. This article highlights some of those, in particular the ones most of interest to SPARC customers. Bonus - a video![Read More]

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Virtual Disk Performance Improvement for Oracle VM Server for SPARC

A new Solaris update dramatically improves performance for virtual disks on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, providing near-native I/O performance. With this change, virtual I/O is suitable for the most demanding I/O intensive applications under Oracle VM Server for SPARC. Read the full article to see more details.[Read More]

Friday Mar 28, 2014

Best Practices - Top Ten Tuning Tips Updated

Oracle VM Server for SPARC can be configured to provide optimal CPU and I/O performance - this blog entry updates a previous version to reflect improvements and new capabilities introduced into the product.[Read More]

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Disk dynamic reconfiguration in Oracle VM Server for SPARC

Oracle VM Server for SPARC lets you add and remove I/O devices in guest domains (virtual machines) while they are running. This blog entry shows a simple example of adding and removing a disk while the guest runs.[Read More]

Thursday Oct 24, 2013

Best Practices - updated: which domain types should be used to run applications

Continued enhancements to SPARC servers and Oracle VM Server for SPARC open up options for deploying applications with the highest performance requirements. This blog updates an article originally published in October 2012, and reviews domain roles and describes how to choose when to use guest domains with virtual I/O, and I/O domains that use physical I/O.[Read More]

Sunday Oct 13, 2013

Availability Best Practices - using a mirrored ZFS pool with virtual disks

Previous Availability Best Practices blog entries emphasized service domain and path resiliency, rather than redundancy for disk media. This blog shows how to configure a mirrored ZFS pool with virtual disks from different service domains and virtual disk timeouts to provide media and service domain resiliency.[Read More]

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1

A new version of Oracle VM Server for SPARC has been released, with significant performance and improved flexibility - read here for the news![Read More]

Friday Jul 19, 2013

Availability Best Practices - Example configuring a T5-8

This post gives a detailed example of configuring Oracle VM Server for SPARC for redundancy, illustrated on a T5-8.[Read More]

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

Availability Best Practices - Availability Using Multiple Service Domains

Oracle VM Server for SPARC lets you configure multiple service and I/O domains in order to provide resilient I/O services to guests. This article shows how to configure I/O resources and set up a redundant I/O domain to provide virtual I/O services[Read More]

Monday Jul 08, 2013

Availability Best Practices - Avoiding Single Points of Failure

In this article we will discuss avoiding single points of failure by configuring resilient network and disk I/O in Oracle VM Server for SPARC environments. [Read More]
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