Monday, March 29, 2010

Solaris upgrade on attach, sort of

Over a year ago when "update on attach" became available for zones in Solaris 10 I suggested an enhancement for this feature. Update on attach today only updates packages that _must_ be in sync between the global and local zones, all others are left untouched. A nice use of this feature would be to first upgrade a global zone, then move local zones one by one and have them updated as they attached, but doing this now will leave many packages in an older state, and the global and local zones would be out of sync, if yet in a supported state.

Now for the good news: zone update on attach all suggests something very similar, all attached zones will be in the same state as a newly installed zone, not only updating packages with "SUNW_PKG_ALL_ZONES" set to true in the package. I have no idea when this will be implemented and/or available in S10, but it's something that could make life easier for people with large zone deployments. If it only could be released as a patch for the current Solaris update release, and not a patch as in you must patch your way to a whole new update.

From PSARC/2010/082:
"The current behavior of zones "update on attach" [1] with the "native"
brand using SVr4 packaging is to update the minimal set of packages
needed to make the zone usable. This is specified with the -u option.
We have heard from many users that this is not meeting their needs
or expectations. Instead, what they want is to update the maximal
set of SVr4 packages. That is, they want to update the same set of
packages as would be installed in a newly created zone so that they
can compare an updated zone to a new zone and see that they are
the same [2]. This case adds a new attach option, -U, to the "native"
SVr4 branded zone so that users can use "update on attach" to update
all of the packages as would be installed into a new zone."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New OpenSolaris IP administration

The overall objective for the Brussels project is to provide standard interfaces for network administration. Phase I of the project brought a unified way of administering datalinks including aggregations in OpenSolaris/Solaris 10 with the dladm(1M) command. Now phase II of the project have integrated doing the same for IP administration with ipadm(1M).

Besides making it easier to set up and manage interfaces by using ipadm instead of ifconfig and/or editing various files in /etc it will also make it much easier to get a overview of all addresses and interfaces on a host. A think that directly strikes me is that it will now be possible (without complicated regular expressions) to easy parse parse addresses and other information from active IP interfaces. Ifconfig does not provide the best output for parsing. All this will soon be available for testing in a development build (b137).

Set up an persistent new persistent address on e1000g0 and viewing it:
# ipadm create-addr -i e1000g0
# ipadm show-addr

e1000g0 static ok global U-p
PSARC 2009/306 Brussels II - ipadm and libipadm
PSARC 2010/080 Brussels II addendum
6827318 Brussels Phase II aka ipadm(1m)

Friday, March 26, 2010

OpenSolaris CPU Hot-plug for X86

I've always said that a real computer must be able to replace CPU/memory during operation. This has been possible for quite some time with a subset of the SPARC systems available from Sun and Fujitsu. Intel has this hardware feature available with their QuickPath architecture and AMD have had it since the introduction of HyperTransport 3.0.

Today Hot-plug support for CPU and memory for the Xeon 7500 platform was added to the OpenSolaris source.

It will certainly be of good use as X86 systems gets larger and more powerfull, one day they might even be used as mission critical enterprise servers. I sure hope that the current type of BIOS has been replaced by that day so that they can be managed directly over RS-232 or ethernet without the need for a graphical console. I know some X86 servers are managed over ethernet, but the still use graphics as the console, only sending it over the network.

PSARC/2009/104 Hot-Plug Support for ACPI-based Systems
6862510 provide support for cpu hot add on x86

HyperTransport 3.0 Press Release
Whitepaper Intel Nehalem

The heads-up is here:
"Introduces support for hot-adding cpus and memory to a running Xeon 7500
platform. See your OEM platform documentation to determine whether your
system supports this functionality."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Expanding rpool

Today I switched to a bigger disk in my OpenSolaris laptop, it was fairly easy to have rpool expand on the new disk without reinstallation. Here is the general procedure for resizing an existing rpool or migrating the pool to a larger disk:
  • Create a new Solaris partition with fdisk on the new disk (or resize the existing one) covering the same space as the old but with extra space in the end.
  • If switching to a new disk, copy all blocks from the old partition into the new (dd if=c1d0p1 of=c2d0p1 bs=131072).
  • Switch disks, remove the original and rebooted to verify that the transfer worked.
$ zpool list                                           
rpool 40G 27.8G 12.2G 69% 1.00x ONLINE -
  • Use format and resize the slice used by ZFS to cover additional cylinders.
  • Use zpool online -e rpool c1d0s0 to make rpool use added space.
$ zpool list                                           
rpool 264G 28.0G 236G 10% 1.00x ONLINE -

As a reader pointed out, this could and probably should have been done with zpool attach/detach given that only OpenSolaris on ZFS was present on the disk. I did not mention that I also had another partition that I needed to transfer. If using attach/detach you need to use installgrub afterwards to make it bootable. All information on how to perform the mirroring with attach/detach is here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's new for OpenSolaris 2010.03

There is a draft version of the "Whats new" document for the OpenSolaris 2010.03 release available online. It lists the major new features thats available with the upcoming release. It will probably make you eager to update once it's released unless you are already using the development repositories.

What's New in OpenSolaris 2010.03 (DRAFT)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Solaris 10 9/10 and second ZFS refresh

It looks like the currently planned name for the next update of Solaris 10 will be Solaris 10 9/10, which gives us a good indication on when the new masters of Solaris plan to release the update. A release in September would make it the longest interval between updates since update 1, which was released around a year after the original Solaris 10 release. This longer release cycle is probably only for the better, one update per year is probably more than enough for most larger deployments.

Java version 1.6 will be added to this release and it will be the default JDK for new installations.

There have also been a second refresh of the ZFS code for this update, it's now something similar to ZFS in b132 but with deduplication disabled. This will bring features such as zpool split and zpool recover Solaris 10. Bug fixes and performance enhancements will of course also be included, such as 6869229, read more here about how this fix drastically enhanced OLTP performance for fishworks. Could we please have dynamic LUN expansion backported also?

These changes are in addition to the ones I've already mentioned my earlier posts:
First hints on Solaris 10 upate 9
Desktop updates for Solaris 10 update 9

Back with some lagging news

I'm back from my vacation and my first post will probably include lots of thinks you already know, but I want to list some interesting things that have happened.

Build 134 of OpenSolaris in now available as images and in the development repository. A new preview release of the text based installer is also available for this build. All the image is as usual available at At least one respin will be done before the final 2010.03 release, build 134a.

The 2010.Q1 release of the Fishworks software is available for download and works for the Storage 7000 appliance as well as the simulator. There are also a few good blog posts from members of the Fishworks team, concerning this release:
Turing the Corner, Multiple pools in 2010.Q1, Replication

A friend also sent me a link to Jonathans new blog outside Sun where he has a interesting entry about the importance of patents for defensive purposes: Good artist copy, great artists steal

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Enjoy the Silence

I will try to keep from posting for a couple of weeks. I know i will probably miss several announcement from Oracle regarding the future of the Sun products and the first tests of the Fishworks 2010.03 release, but i will be far away from home and behind the larges firewall you can imagine.

When I'm back there is will only be about a week to the OpenSolaris 2010.03 release, so I have included a few of my older post regarding this release:

OpenSolaris Software Table
OSOL 20010.03 the story so far
Solaris 10 Containers integrated
zpool recovery support integrated
ZFS Deduplication!
Text based install with OSOL B132
XVM sync with XEN 3.4 integrated

Thursday, March 4, 2010

S7000 2010Q1 release notes

While the software is yet to be published, the release notes for the new fishworks update is available online.

Besides bug fixes it have several new features such as:
  • Deduplication
  • Fibre Channel support
  • Kerberized NFS
  • iSer/SRP
  • Multiple pool support
  • Replication enhancements
Update: It seems like bug 6924824 (destroying a dedup-enabled dataset bricks system) has been fixed for this release, but it has not made it back to OpenSolaris, or they have failed to mention this in the known issues. Let's hope for the former and that it will be fixed in OpenSolaris real soon, maybe even before this software update is available.

Here are the Release notes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Desktop updates for Solaris 10 update 9

Besides the more server oriented features which i've mentioned earlier there are a few desktop enhancement also coming with the next update of Solaris 10.

Both Firefox and Thunderbird will be updated to the latest, or close to latest releases. Firefox will be of the 3.5.x branch and Thunderbird of the 3.0.x branch. The bundled StarOffice 8 is replaced with an OpenOffice launcher that if not installed explains this and points the user in the OpenOffice direction.

LSARC/2009/446 Firefox 3.5.x on S10
LSARC/2009/085 Thunderbird 3.0.x
LSARC/2010/070 Thunderbird 3.0.1 on S10
LSARC/2010/017 EOF Bundled StarOffice 8
LSARC/2010/018 Mechanism for facilitating the installation of on Solaris