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Upgrading to Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 using Solaris 11.1

Jeff Savit
Product Management Senior Manager
The previous blog entry described new features
in Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1, and I commented that it was "really easy" to upgrade. In this blog I'll show the actual steps used to do the upgrade.

The Plan

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 is delivered in Solaris 11.1 SRU 10.5, and includes device driver improvements used in service domains and guests, so the primary task is to update each domain to the new SRU.

Additionally, the domain setting ldm set-domain extended-mapin-space=on needs to be set for service and guest domains.
The command improves performance by enlarging a shared I/O buffer and reducing buffer copying during network I/O. This option requires rebooting the domain being changed, so it should be scheduled with the reboot needed to implement the updated Solaris version.

Check the current version

First thing I did was simply check which version of Solaris 11 was already running on each domain. On the control
domain, I also displayed the version of the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 logical domains manager.

# pkg info entire
Name: entire
Summary: entire incorporation including Support Repository Update (Oracle Solaris 11.1.8.4.0).
Description: This package constrains system package versions to the same
build. WARNING: Proper system update and correct package
selection depend on the presence of this incorporation.
Removing this package will result in an unsupported system. For
more information see https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article
?cmd=show&type=NOT&doctype=REFERENCE&id=1501435.1.
Category: Meta Packages/Incorporations
State: Installed
Publisher: solaris
Version: 0.5.11 (Oracle Solaris 11.1.8.4.0)
Build Release: 5.11
Branch: 0.175.1.8.0.4.0
Packaging Date: May 31, 2013 08:34:15 PM
Size: 5.46 kB
FMRI: pkg://solaris/entire@0.5.11,5.11-0.175.1.8.0.4.0:20130531T203415Z
# ldm -V
Logical Domains Manager (v 3.0.0.3)
Hypervisor control protocol v 1.7
Using Hypervisor MD v 1.4
System PROM:
Hypervisor v. 1.10.7 @(#)Hypervisor 1.10.7 2012/03/14 09:27\015
OpenBoot v. 4.33.6 @(#)OpenBoot 4.33.6 2012/03/14 08:07

Upgrading


The nest step is to update Solaris. You should be pointing to the Oracle support repository or a local mirror you
may have inside your company (this is common for systems that don't have external Internet access). The pkg publisher command
shows which publishers are in use. Installing the software into a new boot environment takes just one command:
# pkg update
Packages to remove: 1
Packages to update: 161
Mediators to change: 1
Create boot environment: Yes
Create backup boot environment: No
DOWNLOAD PKGS FILES XFER (MB) SPEED
Completed 162/162 6214/6214 327.6/327.6 2.6M/s
PHASE ITEMS
Removing old actions 1022/1022
Installing new actions 2374/2374
Updating modified actions 6895/6895
Updating package state database Done
Updating package cache 162/162
Updating image state Done
Creating fast lookup database Done
A clone of solaris-1 exists and has been updated and activated.
On the next boot the Boot Environment solaris-2 will be
mounted on '/'. Reboot when ready to switch to this updated BE.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Please review release notes posted at:
http://www.oracle.com/pls/topic/lookup?ctx=E26502&id=SERNS
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


The update process mades the new OS boot environment active on the next boot.
In the listing below, N indicates the boot environment in use now,
and R indicates the one that will be used after a reboot.
After reboot, we can easily revert to the previous environment by
issuing beadm activate solaris-3 followed by a reboot.

# beadm list
BE Active Mountpoint Space Policy Created
-- ------ ---------- ----- ------ -------
solaris-1 - - 35.94M static 2012-10-31 10:52
solaris-2 - - 6.08M static 2013-04-02 13:41
solaris-3 N / 2.79M static 2013-06-27 13:16
solaris-4 R - 11.49G static 2013-08-15 13:52

Reboot to activate the update


Now, perform an init 6, and after reboot:
# pkg info entire
Name: entire
Summary: entire incorporation including Support Repository Update (Oracle Solaris 11.1.10.5.0).
Description: This package constrains system package versions to the same
build. WARNING: Proper system update and correct package
selection depend on the presence of this incorporation.
Removing this package will result in an unsupported system. For
more information see https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article
?cmd=show&type=NOT&doctype=REFERENCE&id=1501435.1.
Category: Meta Packages/Incorporations
State: Installed
Publisher: solaris
Version: 0.5.11 (Oracle Solaris 11.1.10.5.0)
Build Release: 5.11
Branch: 0.175.1.10.0.5.0
Packaging Date: August 5, 2013 04:03:17 PM
Size: 5.46 kB
FMRI: pkg://solaris/entire@0.5.11,5.11-0.175.1.10.0.5.0:20130805T160317Z
# ldm -V
Logical Domains Manager (v 3.1.0.0.24)
Hypervisor control protocol v 1.7
Using Hypervisor MD v 1.4
System PROM:
Hypervisor v. 1.10.7 @(#)Hypervisor 1.10.7 2012/03/14 09:27\015
OpenBoot v. 4.33.6 @(#)OpenBoot 4.33.6 2012/03/14 08:07

This took only a few minutes, and I only had to issue a few commands, and we're on Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.

Set extended-mapin-space option

There is another step. What if I have existing domains with extended-mapin-space set to "off"?
Turning this on is important for performance.
The default is now on for new domains, but may have to be set for existing ones - which includes the primary domain.
Note: this option was available in previous releases of Oracle VM Server for SPARC, so it might have been turned on already.

# ldm list -l primary
NAME STATE FLAGS CONS VCPU MEMORY UTIL UPTIME
primary active -n-cv- SP 16 8G 0.5% 6d 4h 22m
SOFTSTATE
Solaris running
UUID
c80395bf-d12b-65ac-a871-b91b2fcd1335
MAC
00:21:28:15:fb:ee
HOSTID
0x8515fbee
CONTROL
failure-policy=ignoreextended-mapin-space=off
cpu-arch=native
rc-add-policy=
shutdown-group=0
... snip ...

On this system this option remains turned off.
My fault for not having planned ahead, as I could have done this before the previous reboot, but I'll do it now:
# ldm set-domain extended-mapin-space=on primary
Initiating a delayed reconfiguration operation on the primary domain.
All configuration changes for other domains are disabled until the primary
domain reboots, at which time the new configuration for the primary domain
will also take effect.
# init 6

When we return, the system is running the current version of Solaris 11.1, the latest version of Oracle VM Server for SPARC,
and we've turned on the one setting we needed. It only cost me a few minutes, but I won't make that mistake on the other servers.

To complete the job, just repeat the Solaris update, set extended-mapin-space, and reboot, on each of your domains.
Note how Solaris 11 makes it so easy to upgrade to the latest update level.

With Oracle VM Manager


I run some servers under Oracle VM Manager. The update procedure is identical, but the manager provides
a nice operational advantage. Before I reboot the control domain, I place the server
in "maintenance mode" in the Oracle VM Manager user interface.
That causes guests to be live migrated to another server in the same pool.
The Manager migrates them without any further intervention on my part.
When the server is evacuated I reboot the control domain.
When the control domain is up again, I take the server out of maintenance mode so the Manager
can freely use it for deploying guests. With very little effort I repeated this process for each lab server I work with.

Summary


Updating to Oracle Solaris 11.1 to include Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 takes little effort - it only requires a few commands and a few minutes per server.
The commands needed to do this can be as few as three commands per domain:

Issued from control domain for every domain, including primary - if not already turned on, of course
# ldm set-domain extended-mapin-space=on domainname
Issued within each domain
# pkg update
# init 6

After the upgrade is complete, Oracle VM Server provides
improved performance and flexibility. A similar update will be provided as a patch for Solaris 10. This will provide
the same benefits, using a slightly different procedure for Solaris update.

Note: If we've configured for availability with a second service domain
as illustrate in this blog post,
we can perform the upgrade with continuous availabilty to guest domains. They continue operation while the control domain is rebooting.
You can then update each service domain in turn for a "rolling upgrade" that lets you update your system without any outages.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 1 )
  • guest Friday, September 20, 2013

    What is the impact on the running LDOMs while performing this update?

    Do they need to come down, migrate to another CDOM?


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