Q. Where can I get Solaris support ?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 21 November, 2005 | Published in

If you have a support contract, you can log a support call in Ireland by calling 0818 365 333, or on the web at the Online Support Centre

If you have a development query, try one of the free Developer Forums at http://forum.sun.com/index.jspa

Q. How do Solaris Containers compare with VMware ?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Consolidating with Solaris Containers:

Solaris Containers combine operating system partitioning with fine-grained resource controls to allow servers to be partitioned at sub-CPU granularity without having to replicate the operating system image itself. They provide a virtualised Solaris 10 Operating System image including a unique root file system, a shared read-only set of system executables and libraries, and whatever resources the root administrator assigns to the container at creation time. Solaris containers can be booted and shut down just like any instance of the Solaris 10 OS, and rebooted in seconds if the need arises. Unlike virtual machines, which must intercept every single interrupt and allocate it to the right instance, Solaris Containers support mainframe-level partitioning capabilities with almost zero overhead.

Consolidating using VMware ESX Server :

When an IT organization wishes to consolidate multiple Linux applications, multiple Microsoft Windows applications, Solaris OS applications, or a combination of them all, ESX Server is the consolidation option of choice. Not only can its virtual machine technology support all operating systems, it can support multiple versions of each one as well. IT organizations consolidating onto Sun x64 servers running ESX Server have the additional benefit of migration software that helps to package up an entire environment so that it can be installed in its own virtual machine.

For a more detailed description of the consolidation options available, please see the brief paper Consolidation through Virtualization

Q. What is eco-responsible computing ?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

In an era, where most processors use 150 watts, each SPARC-based CoolThread processor uses less than half the energy of Intel Xeon or IBM Power processors at just 70 watts - consumption closer to that of many household light bulbs. This new processor offers unparalleled transactional throughput and is designed to save customers millions of dollars on skyrocketing datacentre power, cooling and space costs.

The impact on our environment is real: If half of the entry servers sold in the last three years were replaced with UltraSPARC T1 processors, over 11 million tons of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of that emitted by about 1,000,000 SUVs, would be eliminated each year.

Q. How do I use the RAID controller on a SunFire V440?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 18 November, 2005 | Published in

The SunFire V440 server has an onboard RAID controller that supports RAID 1 (mirroring) for the internal disks. If you want to do anything other than mirroring then take a look at Solaris Volume Manager (aka DiskSuite).

To use the RAID controller, use the command raidctl command.

raidctl -c disk1 disk2
raidctl -d disk1
raidctl [-f] -F filenamecontroller
raidctl -l [controller…]

Q. What is CMT?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

We know that a doubling of processor speed (frequency) does not result in a doubling of system performance. Why? Beacause improvements in memory latency have not kept pace with improvements in processor speed - in fact processor speeds are doubling every 2 years but memory speeds are doubling only every 6 years or so.

Throughput is impacted by both processor and memory speed; Sun recognised that having multiple threads in a processor could allow for greater throughput - as one thread is waiting for RAM, a second thread could execute and thus the waiting for RAM downtime is productive.

CMT - Chip Multi Threading allows for thread level parallelism to achiece unparalled scalability... within a chip.

Sun's CoolThreads technology, just announed this month, combines chip multi-processing (upto 8 cores per processor) and hardware muti-threading (upto 4 threads per core) . This is SMP on a single chip.

For more on this, please read this whitepaper - it's good!

Q. How can I get the price of a Sun system or component ?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

We have a number of ways of providing pricing information to you:-

o Old fashioned telephone - call us on +353-1-8055600 and ask for Sales
o Email - send your request to sales@hos.horizon.ie
o Online

To check a price online, please visit the Sun Catalogue - prices are available in Euro and Sterling. The online catalogue allows you to check prices, build configurations and request formal quotations.

Q. How can I locate files without using 'find' ?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 17 November, 2005 | Published in

Good question. Using the Solaris find utility is a great way to find a file - it is however quite resource intensive in that it checks through your filesystem.

A quicker, and less resource intensive, way to locate system files is to grep the filename is /var/sadm/install/contents. The /var/sadm/install/contents file contains a list of all files that are installed on the system by way of pkgadd. So it's a good start but not necessarily everything.

What you can do is use cron to create an entire system index each night and then grep that index when you're looking for a file. So, your cron entry could be as simple as

00 01 * * * /usr/bin/find / -print > /var/SystemIndex.contents 2>/dev/null

When you want to locate a file, grep the file name (using regexp). So, if you wanted to find files that called hosts then you would use:-

# grep -i hosts /var/SystemIndex.contents

Q. I've heard that Solaris x86 is now free. Where can I get a list of compatible hardware platforms?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 09 November, 2005 | Published in

Yes, Solaris 10 is available for free download for SPARC, x86 and x64 platforms! The Hardware Compatibility List for Solaris is available from the Sun bigadmin website here.

Did you also know that Sun offer the fastest, coolest, best price/performance 1U x64 servers available ? See here for further details.

Q. What's the difference between StarOffice and OpenOffice?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

StarOffice 8 software is a commercial product built on OpenOffice.org’s open source code to provide the best value, multi-platform Microsoft compatible office suite aimed at organizations and consumers. OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the leading open-source project aimed at users of free software, independent developers and the open source community. StarOffice includes licensed-in, third-party technology such as:
  • Spellchecker and thesaurus
  • Mail Merge Wizard
  • Select fonts including Windows metrically equivalent fonts and Asian language fonts
  • Select filters, including Asian word processor filters
  • Integration of additional templates and extensive clipart gallery
  • Migration Tools and Macro Migration Wizard.
  • Sun Java System Configuration Manager for Solaris, Linux and Windows

    In addition to product differences, StarOffice offers:
    • Updates/upgrades on CD
    • Sun installation and user documentation
    • 24x7 Web based support for enterprises and consumers
    • Help desk support
    • Warranties and indemnification guarantee Training
    • Professional services for migration and deployment
Further information is available from the links below:

Q. How do I become a Sun Certified Administrator?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 08 November, 2005 | Published in

Certification can be a significant benefit to both the individual and to his/her employer. Certification signifies a certain, known and established, standard has been attained. Sun offer certification paths for Solaris Administrators, Solaris Network Administrators and of course Java Programmers / Developers and architects. Follow these links for more detailed info:-

What's available for Solaris, for Java
How to book

As always, Dr. Root.

Q. What happened to the 'top' utility?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 04 November, 2005 | Published in

Back in the good old days, 'top' was used by all well intentioned Sysadmins to see what was going on in their system. Useful as it was, it's been superceded now by:-

  • prstat - for quick and easy analysis
  • dtrace - for more complex and detailed analysis

Good luck.

Q. How can I tell if my OS is running in 32bit or 64bit mode?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 03 November, 2005 | Published in

Solaris supports both 32bit and 64bit. To check which is running, use the command below:-

# isainfo -bv

You should get output something like:

64-bit sparcv9 applications

For more information lookup the man page on isainfo. To switch between 32 and 64 bit modes requires a reboot. For more on this, please look here.

Q. What's new in Solaris 10

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Solaris 10 has tons of new features. To review the full list please visit Horizon's Solaris 10 website. There you can read about:-
  • Predictive self-healing
  • Solaris zones/containers
  • Dtrace
  • ...tons more
Sun also have a pretty good Solaris 10 website :)

Dr. Root

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Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

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