Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

Upgrading OpenSolaris with a few clicks

One of the
significant enhancements of OpenSolaris 2008.11 is the IPS, image package
system. Several critical bugs have been fixed. IPS now becomes a good friend of us to
manage the system. E.g., I’m using the May release of OpenSolaris. After updating
the SUNWipkg to the latest version(0.5.11-0.101), I upgraded the entire OS to
2008.11, easily. The process went smoothly either on bare metal or VirtualBox.
One of the virtues of IPS is, it creates a new boot environment for the November
release automatically. You can boot back to you old May release any time if you
want.


Here are the
simple steps about how to upgrade from 2008.05. You can also find the
procedure on OpenSolaris.org
.


$ pfexec pkg refresh
$ pfexec pkg install entire@0.5.11-0.86
$ pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg@0.5.11-0.86
$ pfexec pkg install SUNWinstall-libs
$ pfexec pkg image-update


That's it. After 2008.11,
the process gets even easier that we can use the GUI based package manager to do the OS upgrading.  Here's a demo.


BTW,
VirtualBox 2.1 is just released. I feel it’s faster than v2.0.2. This is really
a good news, even better than the new features.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 released today, what’s cool

You know, inside Sun we think this is the most exiting release after Solaris 10. We all know OpenSolaris is the future of Solaris. By this release, we're closer to this target.

This release incorporates a lot of solid work done by the Sun-Intel joint team. I heard the team setup an ambitious goal, "make Xeon the best platform for OpenSolaris". You might be smiling about this slogan, nonetheless, we can see the commitment from both Intel and Sun. In the past 2 years, the team really made a lot of progress. FMA, Fault Management support on Intel CPUs is one example. This is an important step to enable OpenSolaris being deployed on Intel platform in a mission critical environment. BTW, FMA is also supported on latest AMD CPUs, and of course SPARC CPUs. VT-x support is another one. I believe the xVM server(coming soon, now it's open for early access enrollment) will work fine with VT-x to deliver high performance virtualization. I'm often asked by ISVs about "when should I prepare for the Solaris Next?" Now, I would suggest everyone who seriously thinks about using Solaris Next in production to start to plan your test on this release of OpenSolaris.


There are a great number of new features(here's a good article about "What's new in OpenSolaris 2008.11" ). One particular interesting feature among them is called "time slider". In my opinion, it provides a way to make filesystem backup and restore as easy as never before. Every desktop user will like this cool feature, well, at least I am. This feature is powered by ZFS automatic snapshot, so you cannot find this feature on any other OS. Here's an demo.


PS, you can download the bits here.

Thursday Nov 27, 2008

OpenSolaris on HPC top 500

It's no doubt that Linux is strong in High performance computing. One of the reasons of that fact is because of the open source nature of Linux. Without OSS, it's hard to imagine nowadays development of HPC. So, you may ask "what about OpenSolaris in HPC? Ain't it an OSS too?" OK, here you go, JAXA, the first OpenSolaris site in HPC top 500 sites. This site appeared on the HPC top 500 list just announced this month. It's the first time I saw OpenSolaris on this list. The rank is 221, not bad. The system is built on Fujitsu server powered by quadcore SPARC64 VII.


Considering the huge share of Sun's Lustre file system in HPC Top 100(7 of top 10 systems use Lustre), I believe we will see more HPC sites install OpenSolaris.


BTW, JAXA is not a cousin of Java. It stands for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

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Jie Shen

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