UltraSPARC T2 & LDoms 1.0.1

Sun is officially announcing the first products in its UltraSPARC T2 (US T2) based platform lineup today, the T5x20 series. You can read all about the details here and here. There are two big stories here related to our Logical Domains technology. For those of you who are new to my blog, Logical Domains (LDoms for short) is the name of Sun's virtualization technology for our SPARC CMT platforms that allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a single system.

These products represent the first of our CMT based platforms that are shipping with LDoms technology pre-installed from the factory. All future CMT servers from Sun will ship with the ability to run Logical Domains out of the box. This includes the LDoms-enabled hypervisor (our LDoms hypervisor runs on bare metal, and is embedded in the firmware of the platform), all the necessary Solaris components, and the LDoms Manager package (which is what my team works on).

This further represents the introduction of version 1.0.1 of LDoms technology. Besides support for the new US T2 based platforms (and a slew of bug fixes), this release supports the ability to reset any domain, even one which owns physical I/O devices, while all other domains continue to run. Even the control domain, i.e. the one on which the LDoms Manager runs, can reboot while all other domains stay up. This represents a major step forward in terms of RAS capability for LDoms.

As of today, LDoms version 1.0.1 is only available pre-installed on our newly announced US T2 based servers. Stay tuned here for information on the impending availability of this upgrade on our existing US T1 based platforms!

UPDATE: LDoms version 1.0.1 is now available for download here. This includes the firmware updates for US T1 platforms.

WARNING: There are two important caveats when upgrading from LDoms 1.0 to LDoms 1.0.1:

  • Configurations saved to the service processor under 1.0 are not usable under 1.0.1. The LDoms 1.0.1 Administration Guide describes the upgrade procedure that needs to be applied to work around this. Part of this procedure needs to be carried out BEFORE performing the actual upgrade!
  • You must upgrade both the firmware and LDom Manager components at the same time.
Comments:

Hello Eric,

Quick question, When is Windows going to be a certified domain guest?

I already read that Solaris Containers with VMWare is suggested for Windows. And I know OpenSolaris currently allows Window's domain creation, but I need to know when the Enterprise version's certification will happen ala xVM on the bare metal.

Any date/period range would be helpful.
Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Posted by Allan Darrell on October 16, 2007 at 07:57 PM EDT #

Hi Allan. While we talk about xVM across all our platforms, Logical Domains is a SPARC/sun4v only technology.

Since Microsoft is not likely to port Windows to sun4v anytime soon, you will not see Windows running as a guest on our SPARC-based systems. And since I'm only familiar with the LDoms technology, I cannot comment on plans for Windows being certified as a guest OS on our x86/x64 platforms.

Posted by Eric on October 17, 2007 at 12:56 AM EDT #

Hi Eric,

How many I/O domain can i have on T5220?

Thanks

Posted by JD Lopes on October 22, 2007 at 06:16 PM EDT #

Hi JD,

Unlike the T1000 & T2000, the T5120 & T5220 systems only contain a single, integrated PCI-E bus. However, these systems also include the on-chip 10GE network device. So while you can currently\* only have one I/O domain that owns the PCI-E devices, you can create a second I/O domain containing the on-chip 10GE port.

\*PCI-E hybrid I/O support is on our roadmap, which will permit individual PCI-E leaf devices to be assigned to different domains. This will enable many more I/O domains to be created.

Posted by Eric Sharakan on October 23, 2007 at 01:53 AM EDT #

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I work on the Oracle VM Server for SPARC (nee LDoms) team.

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