Thursday, September 29, 2005

Link-based IPMP on Solaris 10

I have been setting up IPMP on a Solaris 10 server today and as it has been a while since I'd done this I thought I should have a look over the IPMP documentation and see what has changed.

Previously in an active-standby configuration you would use probe-based detection which required the setup of a test address for the standby interface and the failover detection would be performed by in.mpathd sending icmp traffic using the test address.

I have never liked having to assign an extra address just for the failure detection as you end up wasting a lot of addresses if you have a lot of servers with IPMP on a subnet. Also as they usually aren't put in DNS there is a risk of someone assigning a new server with the same address. The configuration for probe-based detection is pretty messy with lines like the following being inserted into the hostname files.

addif netmask + broadcast + -failover deprecated up

However if you are running Solaris 10 and you have a NIC that supports it you can use link-based IPMP. Link-based failure detection works by the NIC driver monitoring the link state and notifying the network subsystem in case of a failure.

The great thing about this is it does not need a test address and the setup of IPMP is very simple. For example if I have two interfaces (qfe0 and qfe4) that I want to operate in a active-standby configuration, all that would need to be done is create the two files below in /etc.

hostname group groupname up

group groupname up

That's it! Now you have failover for all IP addresses, including virtual, on qfe0. Also if you have zones set up with qfe0 as a physical interface the zone's IP addresses will now also failover.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Growing Solaris on x86

Jim Grisanzio has blogged on the potential for OpenSolaris to help with Solaris on x86 here

It certainatly does look like Sun is showing commitment to x86 and the OpenSolaris program will help with one of the main problems at the moment, drivers and hardware support.

Technically Solaris is a great OS and I would love to deploy it on every server in my environment. There is one big blocker here though and that is ISV support. I have talked to, and heard of, many ISVs that currently do not plan to support Solaris on x86. This is really an area that Sun needs to tackle big time! Generally the business or the developers will dictate the application and if there is no support for Solaris the System Admin has no choice but to deploy an inferior OS.

I would be interested to hear peoples views on this problem as it plagues me often.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Xorg Configuration Problems?

If your having problems getting your xorg.conf right on your brand new Solaris 10 system there is a growing repository here.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Solaris 10 is here!

Solaris 10 FCS has been released! get it here.


Eweek has a self contradicting article here. Which Jim Grizanzio has also blogged.

The article starts with a nice heading.

The emergence of stacks of open-source infrastructure software will spawn new opportunities for companies to enter and succeed in the open-source space, according to a panel of experts at a recent conference

and goes on to give examples of this. It then makes the following comment about Open Source business models.

There are a few basic business models for open-source software. One is the dual-license model, where companies offer their ware for free under the GNU GPL (General Public License) and then charge a fee to customers who want a commercial license. Another model is the support model, where companies provide the software for free but charge for support. A third model is to offer a basic version of the software for free and then charge for an upgrade.

So far the article is making valid points, although nothing new really. But then makes the following statement.

I think Sun's in trouble. They have a very serious problem of a business model that can change, but when it does change it'll be hard for their shareholders. It's Intel economics. Sun has to become an Intel seller; they not only have to lose the Solaris and Sun hardware edge, but they have to compete with Dell [Inc.].

WOW. Ok less address some points here. First of all The business model Sun is using for Solaris is the very same model as is stated above. They provide the software (and very soon the source) for free and charge for support. So the article is first stating the valid Open Source business models but attacking Sun for using one of them! Secondly Sun already sells intel (and AMD) servers with Solaris or Linux. Maybe they should do a couple of minutes of fact checking before posting the article.

Now with respect to the last comment about dropping Solaris and SPARC hardware I would first like to quote the following.

Skok pointed to IBM as a major company that has harnessed open source to great benefit. "They've managed to capitalize on Linux. Their major competitor on hardware used to be Sun [Microsystems Inc.], but since Linux, IBM has been able to thrive and sell a bunch of services and hardware."

OK. First of all IBM has its own UNIX (AIX) and hardware (Power) which they are continuing to sell as well as offer a Linux alternative. Why does Sun need to drop Solaris and SPARC in order to be successful but IBM does not?

Dropping Solaris would be one of the WORST moves Sun could do. Solaris is the benchmark for Enterprise UNIX operating systems and it offers several features over both Linux and the other commercial UNIXs for this area.

Instead they are doing some of the BEST moves they could do. They are embracing AMD64 and x86 architectures and open sourcing Solaris to allow the "already existing" Solaris community to extend the current feature set and extend Solaris to other architectures.

There does not have to be only one open source operating system. In fact there are already MANY open source operating systems. Sun is providing another which offers many features that are not covered by the current operating systems. Choice is a good thing.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Live Upgrade with Sun Cluster

I recently received a SunSolve new documents notification which had a link to a document on using Live Upgrade with Sun Cluster.

It looks like the only additions to the normal live upgrade procedure is editing /etc/vfstab and updating /etc/cluster/ccr on the replicated environment. Unfortunately Sun will not support this method of upgrading YET.

Also does anyone else feel that live upgrade and jump start should be integrated? I would love it if you could specify live upgrade as the install_type in a profile, specify which filesystems should be replicated and flag whether to reboot after replication or not. Then Upgrading and patching of multiple systems could be done easily with minimal downtime.

Won't it be cool when we can contribute modifications like this through the OpenSolaris project!!!


Well it looks like this will be my new home on the internet until I can get my web page all set up.

I expect most of my posts to be on my two main interests Solaris (especially the OpenSolaris Pilot program of which I am a member) and Biomedical systems.