Hot-Adding Nehalem Sockets on Solaris

In a Nehalem whitepapter dated roughly to mid-2008, there's a bullet point on Page 7 under the Intel® QuickPath Architecture Performance that while brief speaks volumes. It reads:

Intel® QuickPath Architecture Performance
...
- Hot plug capability to support hot plugging of nodes, such as processor cards.

The implication here is far-reaching. Systems will be designed that allow for dynamically adding processor nodes (and assumedly the memory and IOH that go with the socket, too). I can see such a feature being used for dynamically growing capacity as application demands rise. Or as a RAS feature, bringing in new hardware to backfill for components that have been faulted and/or isolated (e.g. via Solaris FMA's CPU retire functions).

As Intel's engagement in the OpenSolaris community has continued, the first step toward readying Solaris for the hot-add capabilities of Nehalem hits build 123. This first round of changes lay down the ACPI infrastructure future phases of support will rely upon. Kudos out to Gerry Liu at Intel for getting the code into OpenSolaris. Places to get more details:

  • PSARC/2009/104 Hot-Plug Support for ACPI-based Systems
  • 6846944Device tree creation and acpi virtual nexus driver for acpi based x86 systems
  • 6849408 Device matching rule in ppm.conf is not flexible enough

And of course me in my FMA world will get more excited as Solaris continues to be able to fault manage newly added resources. More to come on that I'm sure...

:wq

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