It's so Easy to Manage SUN Systems via Ops Center

Recently I had an opportunity to setup and demonstrate manageability of SUN's Chip-MultiThreaded Systems (T-Series) via Ops Center to a customer in India.

Customer was impressed with the product feature and easy to use functionality.

The whole purpose of this demonstration was to show how efficiently and easily customer can manage the CMT systems which will be many in number's for their requirement and each hosting atleast 5 to 6 virtual environments. This needs heavy system admin resources and with this demonstration they had a comfort that Ops Center can not only manage / provision the CMT system's better including LDoms and Solaris Zones, but also reduce administration burden and can also have system patched up as well as have performance data available for capacity planning and analysis.

T5220 was used as a client where I initially gave a System Controller IP to have it discovered with Ops Center. Once this was done, I provisioned the Control Domain after creating Control Domain Profile with Solaris 10 Update 7 image. The Control Domain Profile was created with a few threads and some RAM.

Once Control domain was setup via Ops Center, next step was of creating Guest LDoms and Zones profile's. Ops Center was used to further provision Guest LDoms and Zones using their specific profiles which also mentioned the system configuration like threads/memory for each virtualized environment including crypto engines which is one / core on T2/T2+ based processor's.

One way of setting up the LDoms is by selecting Provision Guest from the Actions Section which will create a logical domain, install OS, install/configure the Ops Center Client and manage the virtual environment in Ops Center without any manual intervention.

If you just want to create Guest LDoms but do not want to provision it with O.S, just select Create Guest from the Actions Section and this will get you OK prompt for the Guest LDoms after which you can install OpenSolaris / BSD Linux / Solaris.

One of the LDoms was used to create multiple zones using Create Zone functionality and selecting the Zone Profile created earlier.

The Guest LDom provisioning took just little over an hour whereas Zones provision took around 15 to 18 mints. First Zone was created via Create Zone functionality of Ops Center and to demonstrate the cloning functionality I created the 2nd Zone with Replicate Zone functionality which was just a click away from creating another zone.

I couldn't demo migrate LDoms functionality due to resource constraint (another system was required). Core dynamic reconfiguration from one logical domain to another was done via command line by grabbing the console of the control domain via Ops Center.

ldm set-vcpu 8 'guest-domain' - command can be used on control domain to modify the virtual cpu's of a guest domain on the fly which immediately gets reflected on the Ops Center Guest Domain Configuration.

A screen snapshot of the Ops Center with CMT system (ldom1 - Control Domain, Guest Domains with one of the Guest LDoms (Ldoms-Guest3-Zone) being configured with 2 Zones) for reference.


Apart from bare metal CMT system provisioning along with Guest LDoms / Zones provisioning, Asset discovery of an M3000 , x86 system and live system performance charts were demonstrated. The Ops Center chart also demonstrated system power consumption which can be very useful for electricity/chiller capacity/operating cost planning.

Customer was very happy with the live demo of the product actually working and were amazed to see the ease in using the same with the kind of feature and benefits the software demonstrates. Since LDoms and Solaris Zones are bundled free with CMT systems and customer getting more into consolidation mode, management software's like Ops Center will definitely play a great role in Managing Datacenter systems. 

Ops Center 2.5 is the current version available which can be used to manage to manage all SUN systems including CMT/M-Series and X86.

(Ops Center 2.5 version was used for the demonstration purpose. Ops Center Server was installed on a X2200 running Solaris x86 which acted as Enterprise Server and Proxy Server. The client was a SUN Enterprise T5220 system which is an 8 core (64 hardware threads) system) 

There are other operating systems like Windows / RedHat / SuSE which can be provisioned / managed on x86 systems via Ops Center, so pls. refer to the below links for more information.

References :

Ops Center Official WebPage

Ops Center Blogs

CMT SPARC Systems

Summary 

Ops Center is a great product with ease of use for administrator's who have to manage 100's of virtual hosts, provision, migrate, clone, patch and do capacity planning.It helps customer understand the trend and can perform capacity planning based on the performance data of individual hosts. Ops Center helps avoid mistakes while patching and can be used to compare hosts with system catalog and can also identify differences between two systems / O.S.

Ops Center also gives better representation of real life power utilization of the system which can help customer plan for power/cooling requirements.

Overall its a Great Value Proposition for Customer to consider and Ease of Management for Sys Admin's with faster way to deploy and roll out Operating Environment's for newer business/app requirements.
Comments:

Great entry! Glad you're customers are seeing the value in the product.

Posted by Steve Wilson on January 04, 2010 at 06:27 PM IST #

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This blog is more to do with SUN technologies, especially on CMT / SPARC Systems / Solaris and related subject.

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