New Release of Sun Management Center

What's New in Sun MC 4.0

Sun MC 4.0 software provides comprehensive monitoring and managing capabilities for Sun hardware
and software products in an enterprise. This release is focused around providing better
user experience, an improved and simplified installation experience, removing the dependency on proprietary
databases, a seamless experience on SPARC and x86 hardware, and detailed hardware monitoring of x86/x64 flagship Sun hardware.

This article explores some of these new features and enhancements available in the
Sun MC 4.0 release relating to administrative ease and flexibility.

The features and enhancements introduced in Sun MC 4.0 are:


  • Generic Config Reader for x86/x64

  • Sun MC console using Java Web Start

  • x86 server layer support and installer enhancements

  • Service tags

  • New integrated browser interface

  • Solaris Container Management enhancements

  • Database migration


Generic Config Reader for x86/x64

Sun MC 4.0 release contains a new standards-oriented configuration reader for Sun x86/x64
hardware. This feature provides monitoring and threshold support for a large number of
Sun x86/x64 servers. The Config Reader is an independent Sun MC agent module
that helps in monitoring power and chassis status, and sensor information such as
temperature, voltage, fan rpm, and LED status.

This module is dependent on the availability of the IPMI tool, which must
have the right interfaces implemented. In the absence of the required interfaces, the
x86 Config Reader add-on output provides the older version output that was released
with Sun MC 3.6.1.


Sun MC Console Using Java Web Start

The Sun MC 4.0 Java Console is launched with Java Web Start through web
browsers. The Java Web Start console is enabled through a script that is
invoked during the current web console setup.

To use the Java Web Start based Sun MC Java console, type
the following address in the browser:

http://server-name:http-port/smconsole.jnlp

where server-name is the name of the server and http-port is the port number.


x86 Server Layer Support and Installer Enhancements

The enhanced installer installs the Sun MC server layer on x86 hardware as
well as the SPARC platform. It facilitates migration from Sun MC 3.6
and Sun MC 3.6.1 to Sun MC 4.0 through a handsfree installation. Installation also
validates the database version, Sun Web Start console version, and Java version.

The x86 server layer is available on the Solaris 10 11/06 release. The Agent
layer is available beginning with the Solaris 8 release.


Service Tags

Sun MC 4.0 supports the service tags utility. Service tags provide a common
network-based discovery capability to their products. Sun MC server implements Service Tag Registration
interfaces that enable Sun Connection to retrieve the field deployment information about the
Sun MC server and agents and send it back to Sun. These service
tags encapsulate information such as the types of agent, add-ons deployed, server instance,
and the like.


New Integrated Browser Interface

The user interface for Sun MC 4.0 is integrated with the new
Solaris Container Manager 4.0 through a common Sun web console user interface. As a
result, the Container Manager user interface is not available as a separate web
console. This functionality is available as the Manage Solaris Containers tab in the
Sun MC integrated web application. This integration enables smoother integration between the Container
Manager and the Sun MC software.


Solaris Container Manager Enhancements

The Solaris Container Manager 4.0 release delivers a host of new enhancements and
features in the areas of zone management and user interface. Solaris Container Manager
4.0 extends the Solaris Container Manager 3.6.1 framework to support the new zone
management additions in the Solaris 10 OS. The new zone management enhancements for this release
are:


  • Branded Zone (BrandZ) lifecycle management.

    Solaris Container Manager 4.0 enables users to manage branded zones.
    A branded zone is a special zone that can host operating systems other
    than the Solaris OS. Currently, Solaris Container Manager 4.0 supports
    Linux as its guest operating system. All brand management is performed
    through extensions to the current zones structure.

  • Capped memory resource configuration management.

    Solaris Container Manager enables system administrators to control
    the resident set size for a zone. You can configure the following
    resources:


    • The maximum resident set size for a zone

    • The maximum system swap memory that can be reversed by a zone

    • The maximum locked memory that can be used by processes in a zone


  • Dedicated CPU resource management.

    Solaris Container Manager 4.0 enables you to specify the number of
    CPUs to be dedicated to the zone. This option appears during zone
    creation. Users can specify dedicated CPUs in terms of a specific
    range. For example, for a range of 1-3, 1 and 3 indicate the minimum
    and maximum number of dedicated CPUs. If a dedicated CPU resource is
    configured for the zone, once the zone boots, the zoneadmd command enables
    pools if necessary and creates a temporary pool dedicated for the
    zone's use. The specified number of CPUs are acquired dynamically when
    the zone is booted up and are relinquished when the zone is shut down.
    Once the dedicated CPUs are specified, the user is not allowed to
    specify the CPU shares.

  • Managing other resources such as shared memory limit and scheduling class for zone.

    Solaris Container Manager 4.0 enables the user to select a
    scheduling class during zone creation on the Solaris 10 8/07 OS. If the
    CPU shares are specified, the class is automatically set to FSS in the
    wizard. If dedicated CPUs have been specified, the user is not allowed
    to specify the CPU shares.

    The user can also specify a limit during zone creation as well as while changing the zone configuration.

    The zone creation wizard in Solaris Container Manager 4.0 has also
    been enhanced to accept generic attributes that were not available in
    earlier releases.

  • Persistent zone configuration for the global zone.

    In Solaris Container Manager 4.0, various zone resources can be
    assigned to the global zone that persist across reboots. Container
    Manager enables the users to perform the following tasks:


    • Specify CPU shares for the global zone

    • Specify dedicated CPUs for the global zone

    • Specify capped memory resource configurator for the global zone

    • Specify maximum shared memory

    • Change the pool for the global zone



Database Migration

The Sun MC server layer requires extensive database usage of persistent data for
operational and reporting purposes. Sun MC 4.0 now supports the Postgres database system,
replacing the ORACLE 8.1 database that was supported by all previous Sun MC
products.

Using the Postgres database improves query performance because the partitioning feature is in
the form of inherited tables. Because the Performance Reporting Manager requires the database
to efficiently store and manage large tables, Postgres is an ideal option. Other
benefits of using Postgres as a database are:


  • New command for bulk uploads.

    The Postgres COPY command enables bulk uploads from a text or csv
    file. Performance Reporting Manager requires this feature to
    efficiently insert multiple rows into a database. In earlier releases,
    PRO-C code was used to perform similar operations, which was more
    difficult to maintain.

  • Autovacuum feature.

    The Postgres autovacuum feature enables automated clean-up of blocks
    belonging to deleted data. This feature also analyzes the tables so
    that the latest table and index statistics are available for the
    database optimizer. This feature improves query performance.

  • Allows soft links.

    Postgres uses soft links for tablespace management, which enables
    tablespaces to span across filesystems. Also, moving a tablespace does
    not require complex database operations because the soft link points to
    the right location.

  • Archive mode.

    Postgres supports archive logging, which is a Sun MC supported feature.

References

For additional information, refer to the following documentation:


Also, refer to the following resources:



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