Friday Feb 28, 2014

[Solaris] Changing hostname, Parallel Compression, pNFS, Upgrading SRUs and Clearing Faults

[1] Solaris 11+ : changing hostname

Starting with Solaris 11, a system's identify (nodename) is configured through the config/nodename service property of the svc:/system/identity:node SMF service. Solaris 10 and prior versions have this information in /etc/nodename configuration file.

The following example demonstrates the commands to change the hostname from "ihcm-db-01" to "ehcm-db-01".

eg.,
# hostname
ihcm-db-01

# svccfg -s system/identity:node listprop config
config                       application        
config/enable_mapping       boolean     true
config/ignore_dhcp_hostname boolean     false
config/nodename             astring     ihcm-db-01
config/loopback             astring     ihcm-db-01
#

# svccfg -s system/identity:node setprop config/nodename="ehcm-db-01"

# svccfg -s system/identity:node refresh  -OR- 
	# svcadm refresh svc:/system/identity:node
# svcadm restart system/identity:node

# svccfg -s system/identity:node listprop config
config                       application        
config/enable_mapping       boolean     true
config/ignore_dhcp_hostname boolean     false
config/nodename             astring     ehcm-db-01
config/loopback             astring     ehcm-db-01

# hostname
ehcm-db-01

[2] Parallel Compression

This topic is not Solaris specific, but certainly helps Solaris users who are frustrated with the single threaded implementation of all officially supported compression tools such as compress, gzip, zip.

pigz (pig-zee) is a parallel implementation of gzip that suits well for the latest multi-processor, multi-core machines. By default, pigz breaks up the input into multiple chunks of size 128 KB, and compress each chunk in parallel with the help of light-weight threads. The number of compress threads is set by default to the number of online processors. The chunk size and the number of threads are configurable.

Compressed files can be restored to their original form using -d option of pigz or gzip tools. As per the man page, decompression is not parallelized out of the box, but may show some improvement compared to the existing old tools.

The following example demonstrates the advantage of using pigz over gzip in compressing and decompressing a large file.

eg.,

Original file, and the target hardware.

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

$ psrinfo -pv
The physical processor has 8 cores and 64 virtual processors (0-63)
  The core has 8 virtual processors (0-7)
	...
  The core has 8 virtual processors (56-63)
    SPARC-T5 (chipid 0, clock 3600 MHz)

gzip compression.

$ time gzip --fast PT8.53.04.tar 

real    3m40.125s
user    3m27.105s
sys     0m13.008s

$ ls -lh PT8.53*
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         3.1G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar.gz

/* the following prstat, vmstat outputs show that gzip is compressing the 
	tar file using a single thread - hence low CPU utilization. */

$ prstat -p 42510

   PID USERNAME  SIZE   RSS STATE   PRI NICE      TIME  CPU PROCESS/NLWP      
 42510 psft     2616K 2200K cpu16    10    0   0:01:00 1.5% gzip/1

$ prstat -m -p 42510

   PID USERNAME USR SYS TRP TFL DFL LCK SLP LAT VCX ICX SCL SIG PROCESS/NLWP  
 42510 psft      95 4.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0   0  35  7K   0 gzip/1

$ vmstat 2

 r b w   swap  free  re  mf pi po fr de sr s0 s1 s2 s3   in   sy   cs us sy id
 0 0 0 776242104 917016008 0 7 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 52 52 3286 2606 2178  2  0 98
 1 0 0 776242104 916987888 0 14 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0 3851 3359 2978  2  1 97
 0 0 0 776242104 916962440 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 3184 1687 2023  1  0 98
 0 0 0 775971768 916930720 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 39 37 3392 1819 2210  2  0 98
 0 0 0 775971768 916898016 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 3452 1861 2106  2  0 98

pigz compression.

$ time ./pigz PT8.53.04.tar 

real    0m25.111s	<== wall clock time is 25s compared to gzip's 3m 27s
user    17m18.398s
sys     0m37.718s

/* the following prstat, vmstat outputs show that pigz is compressing the 
        tar file using many threads - hence busy system with high CPU utilization. */

$ prstat -p 49734

   PID USERNAME  SIZE   RSS STATE   PRI NICE      TIME  CPU PROCESS/NLWP      
49734 psft       59M   58M sleep    11    0   0:12:58  38% pigz/66

$ vmstat 2

 kthr      memory            page            disk          faults      cpu
 r b w   swap  free  re  mf pi po fr de sr s0 s1 s2 s3   in   sy   cs us sy id
 0 0 0 778097840 919076008 6 113 0 0 0 0 0  0  0 40 36 39330 45797 74148 61 4 35
 0 0 0 777956280 918841720 0 1 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 38752 43292 71411 64 4 32
 0 0 0 777490336 918334176 0 3 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 17 15 46553 53350 86840 60 4 35
 1 0 0 777274072 918141936 0 1 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 39 34 16122 20202 28319 88 4 9
 1 0 0 777138800 917917376 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  3  3 46597 51005 86673 56 5 39

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar.gz 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         3.0G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar.gz

$ gunzip PT8.53.04.tar.gz 	<== shows that the pigz compressed file is 
                                         compatible with gzip/gunzip

$ ls -lh PT8.53*
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

Decompression.

$ time ./pigz -d PT8.53.04.tar.gz 

real    0m18.068s
user    0m22.437s
sys     0m12.857s

$ time gzip -d PT8.53.04.tar.gz 

real    0m52.806s <== compare gzip's 52s decompression time with pigz's 18s
user    0m42.068s
sys     0m10.736s

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

Of course, there are other tools such as Parallel BZIP2 (PBZIP2), which is a parallel implementation of the bzip2 tool are worth a try too. The idea here is to highlight the fact that there are better tools out there to get the job done in a quick manner compared to the existing/old tools that are bundled with the operating system distribution.


[3] Solaris 11+ : Upgrading SRU

Assuming the package repository is set up already to do the network updates on a Solaris 11+ system, the following commands are helpful in upgrading a SRU.

  • List all available SRUs in the repository.

    # pkg list -af entire
  • Upgrade to the latest and greatest.

    # pkg update

    To find out what changes will be made to the system, try a dry run of the system update.

    # pkg update -nv
  • Upgrade to a specific SRU.

    # pkg update entire@<FMRI>

    Find the Fault Managed Resource Identifier (FMRI) string by running pkg list -af entire command.

Note that it is not so easy to downgrade SRU to a lower version as it may break the system. Should there be a need to downgrade or switch between different SRUs, relying on Boot Environments (BE) might be a good idea. Check Creating and Administering Oracle Solaris 11 Boot Environments document for details.


[4] Parallel NFS (pNFS)

Just a quick note — RFC 5661, Network File System (NFS) Version 4.1 introduced a new feature called "Parallel NFS" or pNFS, which allows NFS clients to access storage devices containing file data directly. When file data for a single NFS v4 server is stored on multiple and/or higher-throughput storage devices, using pNFS can result in significant improvement in file access performance. However Parallel NFS is an optional feature in NFS v4.1. Though there was a prototype made available few years ago when OpenSolaris was still alive, as of today, Solaris has no support for pNFS. Stay tuned for any updates from Oracle Solaris teams.

Here is an interesting write-up from one of our colleagues at Oracle|Sun (dated 2007) -- NFSv4.1's pNFS for Solaris.

(Credit to Rob Schneider and Tom Gould for initiating this topic)


[5] SPARC hardware : Check for and clear faults from ILOM

Couple of ways to check the faults using ILOM command line interface.

By running:

  1. show faulty command from ILOM command prompt, or
  2. fmadm faulty command from within the ILOM faultmgmt shell

Once found, use the clear_fault_action property with the set command to clear the fault for a FRU.

The following example checks for the faulty FRUs from ILOM faultmgmt shell, then clears it out.

eg.,

-> start /SP/faultmgmt/shell
Are you sure you want to start /SP/faultmgmt/shell (y/n)? y

faultmgmtsp> fmadm faulty

------------------- ------------------------------------ -------------- --------
Time                UUID                                 msgid          Severity
------------------- ------------------------------------ -------------- --------
2014-02-26/16:17:11 18c62051-c81d-c569-a4e6-e418db2f84b4 PCIEX-8000-SQ  Critical
        ...
        ...
Suspect 1 of 1
   Fault class  : fault.io.pciex.rc.generic-ue
   Certainty    : 100%
   Affects      : hc:///chassis=0/motherboard=0/cpuboard=1/chip=2/hostbridge=4
   Status       : faulted

   FRU
      Status            : faulty
      Location          : /SYS/PM1
      Manufacturer      : Oracle Corporation
      Name              : TLA,PM,T5-4,T5-8
        ...

Description : A fault has been diagnosed by the Host Operating System.

Response    : The service required LED on the chassis and on the affected
              FRU may be illuminated.

        ...

faultmgmtsp> exit

-> set /SYS/PM1 clear_fault_action=True
Are you sure you want to clear /SYS/PM1 (y/n)? y
Set 'clear_fault_action' to 'True'

Note that this procedure clears the fault from the SP but not from the host.

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