Thursday Aug 29, 2013

Oracle Solaris 11 Zone support

I got a question about Oracle Solaris 11 Zones:

"I manually created an Oracle Solaris 11 Zone. I can discover it and bring it into Ops Center, but the Migrate Zone action is greyed out, whereas other zones created through Ops Center have all of their actions enabled. What's the difference? I thought that all zones were supposed to be equal in 12c."

All zones are equal in 12c, but sometimes it seems like some zones are more equal than others.

What's going on here is that, with a manually created zone, the zone metadata is stored locally and the zone storage isn't fully managed. To enable the Migrate Zone action, you need to use the Move Storage action to move the zone metadata and storage. Once you've done that, the storage will be managed and, as long as another global zone is available, the Migrate Zone action should be enabled.

Thursday Aug 22, 2013

Ops Center CLI functions

I see questions from time to time about the Ops Center CLI and what you can do with it, so I thought I'd mention a couple of resources.

The Ops Center CLI lets you connect to an Enterprise Controller and perform many tasks from the command line. These tables from the CLI chapter show the features that can be accessed through the CLI; many but not all of the product's features are CLI-accessible.

That same chapter also explains how to log in, how to use the different CLI modes, and how to run scripted jobs through the CLI.

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Database locations

I got a question about customer-managed database locations:

"We are preparing to install Ops Center with ECHA. The install docs say that ECHA uses a customer-managed database on a separate system. What if I partitioned a system, and had the EC node and DB node on separate partitions? Could that work?"

Theoretically yes, although I don't think we've tested that kind of setup.

The reason we say that the database should be on a separate system is because an Enterprise Controller failover doesn't include failover for the database. We assume that, with a customer-managed database, you'll have your own methods for protecting the DB from system failures. ECHA, then, just focuses on the Enterprise Controller, and assumes that the database will still be accessible when the new EC node comes up.

Thursday Aug 08, 2013

Upgrade question

I got a question about upgrading to 12.1.4:

"I'm trying to do a manual upgrade from 12.1.3 to 12.1.4. I've upgraded the Enterprise Controller, but now I can't find the Proxy Controller upgrade bundle. Where is that?"

This depends on how you're downloading the upgrade bundles.

If you're getting them through the UI, they're put in the /var/opt/sun/xvm/images/productUpdate directory. You can copy them from there to the Proxy Controller systems and do a manual upgrade (or upgrade through the UI if you're so inclined.)

You can also get the Proxy Controller bundles from either the OTN or e-Delivery, and then copy them to the Proxy Controller system.

However you do the download, we recommend that once you've started upgrading your environment, you upgrade the whole thing as soon as you can.

Thursday Aug 01, 2013

LDoms and Maintenance Mode

 I got a few questions about how maintenance mode works with LDoms.

"I have a Control Domain that I need to do maintenance on. What does being put in maintenance mode actually do for a Control Domain?"

Maintenance mode is what you use when you're going to be shutting a system down, or otherwise tinkering with it, and you don't want Ops Center to generate incidents and notification of incidents. Maintenance mode stops new incidents from being generated, but it doesn't stop polling, or monitoring, the system and it doesn't prevent alerts.

"What does maintenance mode do with the guests on a Control Domain?"

If you have auto recovery set and the Control Domain is a member of a server pool of eligible systems, putting the Control Domain in maintenance mode automatically migrates guests to an available Control Domain.  When a Control Domain is in maintenance mode, it is not eligible to receive guests and the placement policies for guest creation and for automatic recovery won't select this server as a possible destination. If there isn't a server pool or there aren't any eligible systems in the pool, the guests are shut down.

You can select a logical domain from the Assets section to view the Dashboard for the virtual machine and the Automatic Recovery status, either Enabled or Disabled.

To change the status, click the action in the Actions pane.

"If I have to do maintenance on a system and I do not want to initiate auto-recovery, what do I have to do so that I can manually bring down the Control Domain (and all its Guest domains)?"

Use the Disable Automatic Recovery action.

"If I put a Control Domain into maintenance mode, does that also put the OS into maintenance mode?"

No, just the Control Domain server. You have to put the OS into maintenance mode separately.

"Also, is there an easy way to see what assets are in maintenance mode? Can we put assets into, or take them out of, maintenance mode on some sort of group level?"

You can create a user-defined group that will automatically include assets in maintenance mode. The docs here explain how to set up these groups. You'll use a group rule that looks like this:

Thursday Jul 25, 2013

Management access point authentication failure

Some users of Ops Center 12.1.4 are seeing an issue where, after upgrading or doing a new install, their assets are getting dozens of warning incidents that say "Management access point failed authentication during login to asset." Eventually, the severity increases as the warnings pile up, and communication with the asset can be disrupted.

You can prevent this issue, or halt it if you've already hit it, by logging in to the Enterprise Controller and creating a /var/tmp/no_os_selfhealing file if it doesn't exist. For example:

touch /var/tmp/no_os_selfhealing

You can use this fix before you do the upgrade or installation, to prevent the issue from occurring at all.

If you have assets that are already having communication trouble because of the issue, then once you've added the file as described above, you can solve the issue by deleting and rediscovering the asset deleting the Access Point for the Service Processor, and then rediscovering just the hardware. If you have a Proxy Controller or Enterprise Controller that's been affected, you should restart them after applying this fix.

Edit: You can also fix the issue by downloading the latest version of the OCDoctor (4.24) and running it with the --troubleshoot option. Take a look at this bulletin for more info.

Edit 2: Updated to use a less destructive fix for affected assets.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

Provisioning Different Versions of Oracle Solaris 11

I got a couple of questions about the new support for multiple Automated Installer (AI) releases in 12.1.4:

"How do I set up different versions of Oracle Solaris 11 in the Solaris 11 Software Library? For example, I want to use these versions for OSP:

  • Solaris 11/11 SRU 5.5
  • Solaris 11.1 SRU 8.4

So how do I get both of them into my library and ready for OSP use?"

There are a couple of ways. The first is to configure the parent repository to use a source with both of those releases. If you haven't initialized your library, configuring the parent repository is part of the library creation; otherwise it's a separate job, which you can set to repeat according to a schedule.

The other way is to use the Add Content wizard to add a specific S11 release to your library. This action doesn't save the parent repository location, but it works well if you're adding a specific version.

Once your S11 library has the content for both releases, you'll be able to create OSP profiles for either one. There's a dropdown option that lets you pick which version of S11 you want to use:

"I have my library using a valid repository, but the new versions aren't showing up in the OSP wizard. Do I need to restart the Enterprise Controller to make them show up?"

If the new versions aren't showing up, re-running the library sync job should make them appear. You shouldn't have to restart the EC.

Once you've done these steps, you can provision these versions of S11 from any of your Proxy Controllers.

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

DHCP and OS Provisioning

I got a question about an OS provisioning error:

"When I create an Oracle Solaris 10 OSP profile, I get a "DHCP is not configured" error on the Select Networks step. What do I do about this?"

Well, it depends on what role you have. If you're an Ops Center Admin, you can go into Administration, select a Proxy Controller, and set DHCP up. There are two ways that you can do this - you can either configure DHCP on your Proxy Controllers:

Or, alternatively, if you have an existing DHCP server that you'd prefer to use, you can configure Ops Center to use it:

These tasks both require admin privileges, so you might need to bug your admin if you don't have that role yourself. But, either way, once you have DHCP set up you'll be able to do OS provisioning.

Tuesday Jul 09, 2013

Limits on LDom numbers

I got a question - or a few linked questions - about installing LDoms in a Server Pool through Ops Center.

I have some T5240s (2x SPARC T2+) and some T5440s (4x SPARC T2+) running as standalone Control Domains with some LDoms each.

1. Is there any limit to the number of CDoms per Server Pool within Ops Center?

No, there is not.

2. What about the number of LDoms per Server Pool, per CDom, or per server?

The only limitation on the number of LDoms is that a server or physical domain can't have more LDoms than it has threads, or have more than 128. If you get close to that limit and start having LDoms with one thread, performance will start to suffer.

3. Is it possible to mix them within the same server pool?

Yep. Depending on your LDom version and the hardware, live migration might not be possible, but you can have server pools with different hardware types, and automatic failover will work fine.

If you're also looking at setting up Server Pools through Ops Center, we put together a how-to about setting up a Server Pool which could be helpful. There's also a white paper on the OTN with best practices for setting up a virtualized SPARC environment.

Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

Migrating an LDOM from a T4 to a T5

I got a question about LDoms:

"Is there any restriction against migrating LDoms between the T4 and T5 platforms?"

The only restriction is that, at present, you can't do a live migration. However, with Ops Center 12.1.4, you can put T4 and T5s together in a Server Pool and either manually migrate the LDoms to a new host or configure them for automated cold-migration failover.

Take a look at the Server Pool and Oracle VM Server for SPARC chapters for more information.

Friday Jun 28, 2013

Ops Center 12.1.4 Released

Ops Center version, an update for 12c, has just been released. There are a few new features. The biggest one is support for multiple Automated Installer install services, which means that you can provision any version of Oracle Solaris 11, rather than just one. We've also added support for multi-file VM templates, and enhanced the network configuration support for vServers. You can take a look at the What's New document for more information about the new features.

If you're already using Ops Center, you can download the 12.1.4 upgrade through the UI, or get it from the Oracle Tech Network or from e-delivery. The Upgrade chapter in the Admin Guide explains how to perform the upgrade.

Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

Japanese Documentation

Part of the Oracle team in Japan has just completed a translation of the Ops Center documentation site into Japanese. I recognize that this is only relevant for a certain number of bilingual readers, but if you are one of that select few, you can head over and take a look.

Friday Jun 21, 2013

FAQ: Creating a new LDOM domain

I got a question about creating LDOM domains:

"I have a Server Pool set up, and I need to create a secondary LDom domain on a machine in the pool. When I click on the machine, though, the 'create logical domain' command is grayed out. The machine still has available CPU threads and free RAM. What's going on?"

This one has an easy answer. In a Server Pool, the Create Logical Domain action is under the pool's actions, rather than the individual machine's actions. This is because the Server Pool decides where to put the new domain based on the Server Pool's placement policy. So, in this case, you need to select the Server Pool in the Assets section, and then create the new domain from there.

Thursday Jun 13, 2013

Management Credentials

I got a question about the Management Credentials that are used for managing assets in Ops Center:

"If I change a set of credentials, does Ops Center propagate the changed credentials to all of the assets that use that set?"

The answer is yes.

To provide some additional explanation: each managed asset is linked to Management Credentials that are used to access it. You can have separate Management Credentials for every asset, or share one set for a group of assets that all have the same login credentials. If you change the credentials on the systems, you can edit the Management Credentials to make sure they match the new system creds. Any asset that's using that set of credentials will then automatically start using the new set.

The Feature Reference Guide has a section about Management Credentials that explains how to perform these procedures.

Friday Jun 07, 2013

How To: Configure RAID Controllers

Configuring RAID Controllers in a secure and consistent manner is one of the tasks that you might face in your data center. Ops Center simplifies this process using profiles and plans - you can create a profile and a plan for a RAID Controller that matches your needs, then deploy the plan on the target hardware.

We've put together a How-To that takes you through this process step-by-step, explaining the requirements, showing the profile and plan creation, and the deployment. If you're looking for more information about plans and profiles, there's a larger chapter about them in the Feature Reference Guide.


This blog discusses issues encountered in Ops Center and highlights the ways in which the documentation can help you


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