A 7 Year Old's To Do List......

My wife found this note under our son's pillow a few months ago, it is a little gem.

It is the last bullet that really counts....

Do Fun Things... 

 Let's all "do fun things" this weekend !



Love it! Sign me up.

Posted by Skrocki on January 11, 2008 at 09:18 AM GMT #

Thats wisdom. I'm adding it to my list too. :)

Posted by benr on January 11, 2008 at 12:27 PM GMT #

Excellent advice.

I really need to thank you - because I was about to have a horrible weekend trying to set up Samba on Solaris 10 8/07 when I googled precisely that and it pointed me to your blog instead.

I managed to get Samba configured like always, but because the way how you start it and stop it has changed; and Sun search doesn't tell you HOW it changed - I spent the last like 2 hours trying to figure it out, almost ready to revert back to Solaris 10 11/06. But, thanks to your blog posts; I can now actually do something fun with my weekend.

You have NO idea how much time you saved! Thank you.

Posted by Ewen on January 11, 2008 at 11:39 PM GMT #

[Trackback] Check out this entry by Tim Tomas . It's a neat example of someone who found technical answers and levity through a single Sun blog -- see Ewen's comment. As a side note, bonus points to the list author for: 1. Proactive planning (notice th...

Posted by Skrocki's Blog on January 12, 2008 at 08:57 AM GMT #

With this, I still would like to drive a number of points across though:

a) Sun's documentation and website need to catch up with it's development and advances - at one point I had four tabs open just for Sun's website trying to find the same answer.
b) OpenSource and other programs that are NOT developed by Sun, but that Sun has changed in some way, shape, or form, needs to be documented as such because even Samba's webpage doesn't mention using svcadm (not as far as I'm aware of at least, not for basic (presumably non-SMF) implementation of Samba. That is particularly important for people who might be migrating (with a clean install) from an older version of Solaris 10 to the latest and "greatest".
c) While I do admit that using svcadm made it really easy, if you didn't know that that had changed (especially external to Sun), you would have spent close to 3 hours (like I did, I didn't get to bed until 3 this morning) trying to find/figure that out.
d) Sun search didn't pick up on your blog post. Google did. Google: 1 Sun Search: 0.

P.S. Suggestion for Tim - if you have more like little tips and tricks like that laced all over your blog, might I suggest that you consolidate them because I am DEFINITELY very interested in finding out what else you have done and what other tips and tricks that might not be apparent.

P.S.#2 - You can probably write and entire tutorial on setting up a home server for the "average Joe/Jane".

P.S#3 - Windows Home Server sucks. Nice concept. Poor execution. Biggest killer: their dynamic storage balancing. (literally)

Sidenote question: How does the X4500 concat all 48 drives if the recommended practice for ZFS is single-digit drives? (I am presuming you can't ZFS ZFS pools (i.e. zpool create drives1 zpool1, zpool create drives2 zpool2, zpool create zpool1 zpool2).)

In any case, like I said - Thank you for your help!

Posted by Ewen on January 12, 2008 at 02:03 PM GMT #

Hi Ewen. Well, there are a lot of points here! I will take the side note first.

A ZFS storage pool can contain "simple disks", but in a large configuration it would be made up of stripes. In my X4500 examples the pool is made up of multiple RAID-1 or RAID-Z protected stripes. Looking at the RAID-Z example I provided here: http://blogs.sun.com/timthomas/entry/sun_fire_x4500_raid_z, each RAID-Z stripe has 5 disks in it and the stripe built across the controllers to spread I/O. The pool contains multiple stripes built like this. ZFS will stripe data written to the pool across the stripes dynamically. You effectively have ZFS doing RAID-0 across multiple RAID-Z stripes. This is a well proven technique that has been used with hardware RAID and Volume Managers for years, and is known as "Thin Wide Striping", "RAID-on-RAID" or "Plaiding", there is a nice explanation of this here: http://storageadvisors.adaptec.com/2006/12/18/raid-on-raid-plaiding/

So, to the other points....

I post as many tech tips as I can and I encourage others to do so, but many Engineers are reticent to do so: in some cases this is because they don't feel that they have time; they are worried about being wrong in a public forum; they don't want to start taking support questions via a blog; and some just don't like communicating with people! In this increasingly collaborative age, support via blogs and open email discussions is becoming more and more common so we all have to get used to this. One thing you might wish to do is join some of the discussion groups on opensolaris.org, many Sun Engineers are on these aliases.

I learn a lot in the course of my work with ISVs and I spent a lot of time working with SAMBA on a project last year, hence my interest in it and blog entries about it. That said, my knowledge is bounded by what I needed to learn to do my job. For example, the complex area of SAMBA Active Directory integration is beyond my experience as none of the ISV work I did required me to learn it.

I am going to do a little digging on how Sun expects to support the increasing amount of Open Source Software that we are including in Solaris. My belief is that it is in /usr/sfw we support it, if it is in /opt/sfw we do not: SAMBA is in /usr/sfw. It may be that the expectation is that we provide the software thinking that experienced people will use it and won't need much support...but in the case of SAMBA at least, that is NOT what I am seeing. Even if that expectation were a reasonable one, when we make a change as big as moving control into svcadm, that should be well flagged as it is hardly intuitive! I know that the change was made late in the Solaris 10 8/07 development cycle and it did not make it into the release notes. I was lucky, I could just email the team in Sun that own our SAMBA build and get a quick resolution.

So, Ewen, I hope this helps a little. Best Rgds, Tim.

Posted by Tim Thomas on January 14, 2008 at 02:32 AM GMT #

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