Thursday, September 30, 2010

FishWorks 2010.Q3 release

A new major update to the FishWork appliance software have been released, 2010.Q3. This is the first release to support the new S7000 appliances released at Open World. It also contains bug fixes and a few enhancement, nothing exiting but it includes new Infiniband administration, better AD support, NDMP stream support and routing enhancements.

These are areas with bug fixes according to the release notes:
  • device resilvering following failure and replacement
  • snapshot management and deletion
  • remote replication
  • upgrade, factory reset, and rollback
  • Active Directory interoperability
  • shadow migration
ak-2010. Release Notes
FishWorks software updates

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another bright mind leaves Oracle

I can't say it comes as a surprise but another great mind is leaving Oracle. This time it's Jeff Bonwick, the man behind the slab kernel memory allocator in Solaris and more recently (together with others) ZFS. It is indeed disturbing to see that so many of the innovators from Sun, who stayed with the company thought terrible financial times are now leaving.

This means that most high profile persons behind Fishworks (S7000 appliance), DTrace and ZFS have left the red ship. Jeff Bonwick, Adam Leventhal, Bryan Cantrill and Bill Moore. There are of course many good people still at Oracle, but the people I have been following seem to be on the move.

Best of luck Jeff, I'm sure you will continue to break new ground somewhere else.

Free Your Mind,How a Small, Persistent Team Created a Revolutionary File System
Sun Engineer Jeff Bonwick is New Sun Fellow
Now it can be told (Slab allocator)

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Solaris 11 Express information

The first release of Oracle Solaris 11 Express will be later this year with a full release of Solaris 11 in 2011. There is not much more information on what this release will contain but it is probably a later build of OpenSolaris rebranded for Oracle/Solaris 11.

A interesting note is that Solaris 11 will be powering the new Exadata X2-8 and in the new cloud-in-a-box Exalogic .

Oracle Outlines Next Major Release of Oracle Solaris

New Fishworks release at OpenWorld

Server new products in the S7000 line of the ZFS based OpenStorage products from Oracle was released today. The smallest is the 7120 that comes with configuration from 12TB. The most interesting addition is the 7420 which comes in configurations up over 1PB with optional clustering and caches up to 1TB of RAM and 4TB of Flash. The X4470 or something similar is the Sun server what fits the specification of both the 7420 and the 7720 (which seems to be a in rack cluster version). It features 512GB of memory per controller and can support up to 32 cores just as the 7420. This makes my 7310 feel very even smaller. I guess this is the "Sun T4" I have been referencing earlier.

This is just various hardware configurations running the same OpenStorage software as before, we will see if there is some new features coming in an update to the software.

Oracle Unveils Next-Generation Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Product Line
Sun ZFS Storage 7720 Appliance

LDOM 2.0 released at Open World

Oracle today released LDOM 2.0 as Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0. This new released features better resource and power management but most importantly it now finally supports dynamic reconfiguration of memory. It should also support more flexible migration of domains in cooperation with Solaris (Cooperative guest migration) but it does not, as expected, seem to be the full live migration that we are eagerly awaiting. Oracle Solaris 11 Express is also mentioned as a possible OS for a guest domain, no news that it will work but interesting that it's mentioned. An the new SPARC T3 processor is of course supported in this new release.

Oracle Unveils Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0

SPARC T3 released at Open World

Oracle today released the SPARC T3 processor and four new systems ranging from the SPARC T3-1 with 1 CPU, 16 cores, 64 threads to the SPARC T3-4 with 4 CPUs 64 cores, 512 threads. No surprises, it the 16 core successor to the UltraSPARC T2(+) which we have been expecting since at least year, enhancements to the built-in crypto support and more cores but the same frequency and single-thread performance.

The minimal supported release of Solaris 10 is 10/09 which is good, I was afraid they would require the latest 9/10 update.

The minimal supported release seems to have changed in all documentation change to "Solaris 10 09/10", by wihch i assume they mean 9/10. This new way of writing the release name with a leading zero in the month part of the name makes it even harder to decode the name than just having two releaes named 9/10 and 10/09 and it does not match the name in /etc/release:

Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 s10s_u9wos_14a SPARC

SPARC T3 Processor
Oracle Unveils SPARC T3 Processor and SPARC T3 Systems
SPARC T3-4 SERVER Datasheet(PDF)
It's a UNIX system! New and Improved CPU support

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oracle Open World 2010

The first Open World since Oracles acquisition of Sun is here. Oracle likes focus their releases around Open World and we have already seen a new version of Solaris 10, 9/10. I guess that they will release SPARC T3, LDOM 2.0 (Or Oracle VM Server for SPARC) and hardware/software updates to the S7000(FishWorks) the next few days. If we are lucky we might also get some more information on Solaris 11 Express.

I will post as soon as something interesting surfaces.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The evolution of Solaris 10 zones

Solaris zones or Solaris containers dependent on where you work and how you use it have been available in since the initial release of Solaris 10 in 2005. It has worked well for isolating workloads and creating virtual execution environments inside a single kernel with minimal overhead. There have however been a few bumps along the way, especially when it comes to patches and upgrades. With the new Solaris 10 9/10 I feel that most of the problems have been solved so here is a summary of the road behind us.

The upgrade scenario for zones was all but forgotten at the time of the first Solaris 10 release and the first update only supported upgrades when booting from DVD and no live upgrade support.

Sun however realized that this was quite a problem for both them and their customers, so project ZULU was created to solve the problem (Zones Upgrade Live Upgrade, PSARC/2006/167).

ZULU was delivered with Solaris 10 update 4 which was the first release to support real upgrades of zones including live upgrade, but ZFS was still not supported as underlying filesystem for zones and live upgrade did not know how to handle such zones.

ZFS is a key component for easy live upgrade of zones. With zones on ZFS there is no need to copy all OS/Zone instances to a separate filesystem, possible requiring additional disks and overhead of administration. Live upgrade creates a ZFS clone of the needed filesystems and uses them for the upgrade. The support for Zones on ZFS was delivered with Solaris 10 10/08 (Update 6).

Live upgrade was only part of the solution, if you where unable to use live upgrade or if you where forced to have customer applications down even with live upgrade you where still in trouble. The largest problem was the time it took to update a system with many zones, it could take days(!) to update a system with, lets say 30 zones on it. The upgrade/patching process was sequential and on top of that is was very time consuming. This has today been fixed by a couple of enhancements, we now have zones parallel patching that enables several zones to be patched in parallel. The package system have also been updated with "Turbo charged SVR4 packages" making it faster, especially for zone installations and upgrades.

Lastly there is the "update on attach" function making it possible to move zones to a updated machine (or detach the zones and upgrade the current host) then have them updated in parallel when attached to the system with the new OS/patch level. The "update on attach" functionality was delivered in two steps, the first one made sure the zone was in the minimum supported state for running on the host. The second step which came with the latest update of Solaris delivers something more like what most customers would want, all packages are updated which makes it more like an upgrade.

In short, you are implementing zones today, use Solaris 10 9/10, put all zones on ZFS and use Live Upgrade/Update on attach. This will make it easy to upgrade while minimize both the time for the upgrade and the downtime.

Short history of Zone features in Solaris updates:

Solaris 10 11/06 (Update 3)
Zone renaming
Zone move and clone
zone attach/detach
Privileges in zone configuration

Solaris 10 8/07 (Update 4)
Upgrades, Live upgrades (ZULU)
IP Instances (dedicated NIC/separate TCP/IP stack)
Resource setting for memory/CPU

Solaris 10 5/08 (Update 5)
Dry run of zone migration (zoneadm -n)
CPU caps for zones

Solaris 10 10/08 (Update 6)
Update on attach
Default router in shared stack
Full ZFS support for zones

Solaris 10 10/09 (Update 8)
Turbo-Charged SVR4 Packaging
Zones Parallel Patching

Solaris 10 9/10 (Update 9)
Zones P2V (Physical to Virtual)
Host ID Emulation
"Upgrade on attach"

Jerry's blog Zones P2V
Patching zones goes zoom
PSARC/2009/173 Turbo-charging SVr4 package install

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

OpenIndiana announced

Today project OpenIndiana was announced, it is continuation of OpenSolaris created by the community. It's currently pretty much OpenSolaris build 147 but in the near future it will be based on the illumos gate.

It's nice to see a distribution that is similar to OpenSolaris not everyone wants to go the illumos/debian way like Nexenta and OpenIndiana aims to be a free drop-in replacement for Solaris 11/Oracle Solaris Express. It can be used for free in production unlike the new Solaris 10/Solaris 11 licensing from Oracle. OpenSolaris installation should also be able to upgrade to OpenIndiana.

The slides from the announcement are available here:

Iso Images are also available, but this is the first bits they ever release and they call this release a bit "messy" so use it with caution:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Solaris 10 9/10 released

I have had several posts about Solaris 9/10 this year and today it was finally released. I'm happy to report that my predictions regarding the content was very accurate. I'we included links to my earlier post, but in short it contains a large ZFS update, several new features for Solaris zones, JDK 1.6 and along overdue update to several desktop tools such as Firefox and Thunderbird.

Oracle also released Solaris Cluster 3.3 and Solaris Studio 12.2 today.

My earlier post on the release: