Solaris/SPARC Tip for April: Making Existing Software Licenses Work

Many ISVs license their software based on the number of CPU cores. In many instances, these licenses allow a particular instance of the software to be moved between systems as needed. In this age of massively-multicore CPUs, some customers find themselves unable to move said software to newer systems with larger core counts. "We have a license for at most 8 CPU cores, but are moving to a SPARC T4-4." What to do? 

Customers can, of course, make use of one or more of Oracle virtualization technologies, to create Solaris environments with the requisite CPU cores, but that is sometimes not possible or practical for some IT shops.

There is, however, a relatively simple solution, which makes use of Oracle VM for SPARC (aka LDom) software to disable CPU resources in the existing operating environment:

a) [Solaris 10] Download and install Oracle VM for SPARC (latest version is 3.1)

b) Limit the CPU resources of your system (no Guest LDoms needed, just restrict the current system (the Primary LDom)

No virtualized resource management needed. Just set it and forget it (or change it later).

The following checklist table details the required steps to implement this scheme on Solaris 10 and Solaris 11, using Oracle VM for SPARC 3.1, and assuming the software in question is licensed for 8 cores:

1) (Solaris 10) Download OVM for SPARC 3.1 (instructions here)

2) (Solaris 10) Install OVM for SPARC 3.1 (instructions here)

3) Enable OVM for SPARC: 
# svcadm enable ldmd

4) Set CPU resources current system:
# ldm list -o core
NAME             
primary

CORE
    CID    CPUSET

    0      (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    1      (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
    2      (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
    3      (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)
    4      (32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39)
    5      (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47)
    6      (48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55)
    7      (56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63)
    8      (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71)
    9      (72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79)
    10      (80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87)
    11      (88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95)
    12      (96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103)
    13      (104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111)
    14      (112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119)
    15      (120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127)
    16      (128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135)
    17      (136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143)
    18      (144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151)
    19      (152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159)
    20      (160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167)
    21      (168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175)
    22      (176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183)
    23      (184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191)
    24      (192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199)
    25      (200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207)
    26      (208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215)
    27      (216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223)
    28      (224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231)
    29      (232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239)
    30      (240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247)
    31      (248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255)

# ldm set-core 8 primary
# ldm list -o core
NAME             
primary

CORE
    CID    CPUSET

    0      (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    1      (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
    2      (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
    3      (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)
    4      (32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39)
    5      (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47)
    6      (48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55)
    7      (56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63)
    8      (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71)

It's just that easy!

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