Sun Open Storage and the Sun Fire x4240

We announced a whole set of new servers this week, including one of my favorites, the Sun Fire X4240 Server. I only like to talk about things I've touched and played with so I figured I'd show you a little about how I'm using my x4240s.

I'm a storage guy, so what I immediately like about this particular system (and the Sun Fire x4150s I talked about before, as well as the related 8 and 16 disk offerings with SPARC chips), is the disk density I get along with the raw horsepower sitting right next to the disk drives.

The Sun Fire x4240s I'm using right now have 2 x Dual-Core AMD Opteron 2222s that run at 3.0 GHz, but you can have a couple of Quad-Cores in this thing as well! As for storage, I have a set with 146 GB, 10k RPM SAS Drives that are pumping about 66 MB/sec through a single NIC port with our Open Storage CIFS Server that integrates nicely with ZFS.

Watch me share 15 drives through CIFS so those poor Windows folks can attach to my box for their storage (and get the benefits of ZFS snapshot and capacity):


$ zpool create sharepool raidz2 c1t1d0 c1t2d0 c1t3d0 c1t4d0 c1t5d0 raidz2 c1t6d0 c1t7d0 c1t8d0 c1t9d0 c1t10d0 raidz2 c1t11d0 c1t12d0 c1t13d0 c1t14d0 c1t15d0
$ zfs create sharepool/share1
$ zfs set sharesmb=on sharepool/share1
$ zfs set sharesmb=name=share1 sharepool/share1

(You also have to configure the PAM module appropriately, but this is a one time thing, try this:

1. Add the below line to the end of /etc/pam.conf:

other password required pam_smb_passwd.so.1 nowarn

2. Set/Change the Passwords for any Solaris User That Will be Used to Authenticate when Connecting to a CIFS share, like this:

$ passwd pmonday
New Password:
Re-enter new Password:
passwd: password successfully changed for pmonday

With the SMB PAM module installed, passwords are generated that can be used by Windows as well as Solaris (you have to do this). There are, of course, differences from your normal Samba installation but with everything, figure out the tool that is best for you and go with it ;-) One thing you notice with Sun's CIFS Server is there is no anonymous access to shares (this can be a good thing)!

Sun's CIFS Server and the Sun Fire X4240 are just one example of how the Open Storage initiative pays off. You can turn this capacity / performance rich server into an iSCSI target, NFS target, or even keep the storage to yourself and load applications directly on the box that can make use of the fast SAS spindles. Don't want to use Solaris or OpenSolaris...heck, load Red Hat or Windows on these things, we do it all the time...in fact, we'll even pre-load a Linux-variant for you (check the options page).

Cool stuff, nice job System's Group! Oh yeah, and the iLOM in the x4240 works GREAT (better than the x4150 even).

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