Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Cross-CPU migration in LDoms 3.1

Oracle VM Server for SPARC (aka LDoms) 3.1 is now available. You can read all about it over at the Virtualization Blog. I want to focus on the enhancements we've made to cross-CPU migration.

Cross-CPU migration is the ability to migrate a running virtual machine (VM) from a SPARC server with one type of CPU chip to another of a different type. Prior to LDoms 3.1, the only way to perform such a migration was to specify a "cpu-arch" property of "generic" when first defining the VM. Doing so allowed VMs to be migrated between systems based on the T2, T2+, T3 and T4 processors. However, specifying this property results in the VM running without taking advantage of all the features of the underlying CPU, negatively impacting performance. The most serious impact was loss of hardware-based crypto acceleration on the T4 processors. This was unfortunately necessary, due to major changes in HW crypto acceleration introduced in T4.

With the release of our T5 and M5 processors and systems, we didn't want our customers to continue to suffer this penalty when performing cross-cpu migrations amongst these newer platforms. In order to accomplish that, we have defined a new migration "class" (i.e. another value for the "cpu-arch" property), named "migration-class1". With LDoms 3.1, you can now specify "cpu-arch=migration-class1" on your T4, T5, and M5 based systems, allowing those VMs to be migrated across systems based on those 3 processor families. And most important of all, your VMs will run with full HW crypto capabilities (not to mention supporting the larger page sizes available in these processors)!

Ideally we would have provided this new migration class at the time T5 and M5 were first made available, but for various reasons that was not feasible. It is only available now, with LDoms 3.1. And as with any new LDoms release, there are minimum Solaris and firmware versions required to get all the features of the release; please consult the relevant documentation for details.

Note that the "migration-class1" family does _not_ include the T2, T2+ or T3 processors. To perform cross-CPU migration between those processor families (or between them and T4), you must continue to use the "generic" migration class. In addition, live migrations from T2/T2+/T3 systems to T5/M5 systems (and vice-versa) are not supported. Now, you probably noticed that T4 is in both the "generic" and "migration-class1" families, so you might be tempted to migrate from (say) T2 to T5 in 2 hops, T2->T4 then T4->T5. The problem with that approach is that you'll need to switch the migration class of the VM after it is migrated to the T4 platform. Doing so requires the VM to be restarted, negating the benefit of live migration. For this reason, we recommend cold migration in this scenario.

Update: In a comment below, I state that "it is not possible to migrate from an M5 or T5 platform to an M10 platform (migrating the other way does work)." I am happy to report that live migration from T5/M5 to M10 is supported with M10 firmware XCP2210 or later.

Monday Feb 07, 2011

New security white paper for Oracle VM Server for SPARC

A new technical white paper entitled Secure Deployment of Oracle VM Server for SPARC has just been published and is available on the Oracle Technology Network.

You can also read more about it on Oracle's Virtualization Blog. The specific article is here.

BTW, both the Oracle Technology Network and Oracle's Virtualization Blog are very useful resources for learning more about all of Oracle's virtualization offerings.

Thursday Nov 18, 2010

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 available on T2 & T2 Plus Servers

As I mentioned last month, Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 was initially qualified on only a limited number of T3-based systems. I'm happy to announce that we've now completed qualification of this latest release on our UltraSPARC T2 and T2 Plus platforms.

In order to upgrade, you will need to download firmware updates for your particular system model. In addition, there is a required patch for the LDoms Manager component (patch ID 145880-02). The latest version of the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 Release Notes contains information on the required & minimum software and firmware levels for each platform to take full advantage of all the features in 2.0.

The firmware patches can be downloaded from the Oracle Technology Network. The Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 software can be downloaded from the Oracle Virtualization site. Finally, the LDoms Manager patch is available on SunSolve and My Oracle Support.

Saturday Jul 04, 2009

LDoms 1.2 is out!

LDoms 1.2 is now available. I've included a snippet of the initial marketing announcement below. There will be more official marketing activity in the coming weeks (including the updating of http://www.sun.com/ldoms), but the bits are available now.

The LDoms team is pleased to announce the availability of LDoms v1.2.

In this new release you will find the following features:

  • Support for CPU power management
  • Support for jumbo frames
  • Restriction of delayed reconfiguration operations to the control domain
  • Support for configuring domain dependencies
  • Support for autorecovery of configurations
  • Support for physical-to-virtual migration tool
  • Support for configuration assistant tools.
We look forward to you downloading LDoms Manager v1.2 now from here. The full documentation set for LDoms 1.2 can be found here.

In addition, as I mention here, this release fully enables the enhanced FMA IO fault diagnosis changes introduced into the Solaris 10 5/09 release (aka s10u7).

UPDATE: One important thing I forgot to mention is that this release supports OpenSolaris 2009.06 for SPARC. OpenSolaris can be run either as the control/io/service domain or within a guest domain. In addition, the LDoms 1.2 LDom Manager & related files are available as an IPS package in the /dev repository under SUNWldom.
CORRECTION: I jumped the gun: the IPS package with LDoms 1.2 is not quite ready yet, but should be available very soon. When it is, it'll be under "ldomsmanager".


UPDATE 2: LDoms 1.2 is now available via IPS. Details here.


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

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