Q. Is there an easy way to trunk four bge interfaces on a V240?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 27 November, 2006 | Published in

Two options here:
  • If you are on Solaris 10 01/06 or later, you can use the built-in OS network aggregation. This is implemented using the dladm command -- which allows you to configure data-link interfaces. You can find details on how to use dladm in the following PDF document: http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-4554?q=dladm&a=load

Q. Is there an easy way to get NFS stats with DTrace?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 21 November, 2006 | Published in

I love simplicity and in this instance, the answer is yes.

There's a DTrace NFSv3 statistics generator by Prefecth Tecchnologies, that does exactly that. It's a Perl script that will provide you with information similar to this:
$ nfsclientstats.pl
process read write readdir getattr setattr lookup access create remove rename mkdir rmdir
mkdir 0 0 0 380 0 190 0 0 0 0 190 0
mv 0 0 0 189 0 1890 2079 0 0 189 0 0
orca 3328 194 0 5496 6 6882 8246 12 0 0 0 0
rm 0 0 760 950 0 2850 5320 0 190 0 0 190
touch 0 0 0 378 189 1512 1323 189 0 0 0 0
[Source: Prefetch Technologies]
» Download nfsclientstats.pl

DTrace resources also available from Prefecth Technologies, include:

Q. I have Solaris 10 on a laptop. Is there a command I can type to check screen resolution and color depth?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 17 November, 2006 | Published in

Two options...

In a Terminal window, you can either type:

# xdpyinfo

'xpdyinfo' is a utility for displaying information about an X server, including the types of screens available, their resolution and color depth.

screen #0:
dimensions: 1280x1024 pixels (361x289 millimeters)
resolution: 90x90 dots per inch
depths (3): 1, 24, 32

Or use the 'xwininfo' utility with the added '-root' option:

# xwininfo -root

xwininfo: Window id: 0x60000f

Absolute upper-left X: 0
Absolute upper-left Y: 0
Relative upper-left X: 0
Relative upper-left Y: 0
Width: 1280
Height: 1024
Depth: 24
Visual Class: TrueColor
Border width: 0

Hope it helps.

One giant step for Java... One giant leap for Developers worldwide...

Posted by : Dr. Root | 16 November, 2006 | Published in

Earlier this week, when Sun announced it was releasing its implementations of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version two, I thought about the existing five million Java developers who have been using the Technology for the past 11 years and made it a success. Thanks to them, Java is EVERYWHERE. Consider this, Java is used in:
  • 800 Million Desktops
  • 1.5 Billion Mobile Phones
  • 1.65 Billion Smart Cards
  • 6 Million Set-Top Boxes
  • 180 Telecom Providers
  • And somewhere on Mars...
More applications and devices use Java today than the total number of devices running Windows, Linux and Solaris -- COMBINED. Now that's what I call impressive...

And with Sun's annoucement of open sourcing Java, developers around the world are now given the opportunity to take the technology to new horizons.

So what is Sun releasing exactly?

Available immediately are the first pieces of source code for Sun's implementation of the Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and a buildable implementation of the Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). In addition, Sun is adding the GPLv2 license to the Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), which has been available for over a year through Project GlassFish.

There are three communities you can join if you're interested to learn more and if you would like to start downloading the available source codes:

Java SE -- OpenJDK Community:

From the OpenJDK website, you can get two significant components of the JDK:
  • The HotSpot Virtual Machine
  • And the Java programming-language compiler (javac) with complete NetBeans project metadata

Java ME -- Mobile & Embedded Community:

You can download the source code for Sun's feature phone Java ME implementation, which is the next-gen version of the platform that currently enables rich mobile data services in more than 1.5 billion handsets.

And you can also grab Sun's Java ME implementation for the emerging advanced phone segment, as well as the Java ME testing and compatibility kit framework -- the foundation for Sun's Java ME compatibility tests.

Sun is expected to release additional source code including the framework for the Java Device Test Suite later this year.

Java EE -- GlassFish Community:

GlassFish is the name for the open source development project for building a Java EE 5 application server. It's a robust, commercial, production quality, compatible application server that is free for development, deployment and redistribution.

The GlassFish development community is just getting started, but it has already over 100 contributors signed up. And the number of Sun and Oracle engineers working on this product is comparable in size to other application server developer communities today.

These are truly exciting times, don't you think?

Q. I've lost the 'root' password on my machine. What should I do?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 08 November, 2006 | Published in

First, don't panic...

What you need to do is to bring your machine to the 'OK' prompt. So press [Stop] and [A] on your keyboard -- if one is attached -- or send break from a terminal session (normally ~# )

Next, you need to use the Solaris Installation Media CD 1 (Solaris 9) or DVD (Solaris 10) and type:

# boot cdrom -s

Now mount the root parition of the disk onto the /mnt partition by typing:

# mount /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 /mnt

(This assumes that /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 is the / partition of your server or desktop)

Remove the existing password from the shadow file by editing it in 'vi':

# vi /mnt/etc/shadow

In the example below, the root password in its encrypted format is $1$8Nr$rT.INHxDBW5gjGzi/.Simply delete it and save the file.


The content of your shadow file should look like this when finished:


When you reboot your system, you will find that root has no password and you will be prompted for a password, so just press [enter] to continue.

Lastly, to change password from null to new password, simply type:

# passwd

Now enter the new password and you're done!

Q. I've heard of a network auditing program called "Nexus", but I can't find any information on it. Can you help?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 02 November, 2006 | Published in

The network vulnerability scanning tool you're referring to is called "Nessus" -- after a famous centaur in Greek mythology (but let's keep that for another time :-)).

The open-source Nessus project was started by Renaud Deraison in 1998 and aimed at providing the community with a free, powerful and easy-to-use automated network-based security scanner.

Nessus basically consists of nessusd, the Nessus daemon, which will scan the networks and hosts looking for vulnerabilities, and nessus, the client that will let you configure the scanning run and then provide an interface to the results, once the scan is complete.

Nessus lets you save the results in a number of formats and these results can also be saved in a knowledge base for reference against future vulnerability scans -- which is handy.

You can download Nessus for Solaris 9 & 10 from the Nessus website at: www.nessus.org/download/
(Note: Nessus is also available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X)
One last thing... If you're going to use Nessus, check the plugin section on the Nessus website. Every security check in Nessus is coded as a plugin. And as new vulnerabilities appear all the time, plugins are regularly added to the site, so make sure you keep up-to-date.

Q. My laptop isn't listed in Sun's Hardware Compatibility list. Can I still install Solaris 10?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 01 November, 2006 | Published in

Sun has released a Java technology-based Device Detection Tool that lets you check whether the Solaris OS supports the devices that are detected in your x86 system -- Whether you're running Windows or Linux.

There are some prerequisites to running the Sun Device Detection Tool:
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • Linux (2.6 kernel) distributions:
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
    • Fedora Linux Core 5
    • Ubuntu 6.06
    • SUSE Linux 10.0
(If you're running Linux, make sure you're running a Linux distribution that includes PCI Utilities. To verify that you have PCI Utilities installed, check whether the lspci command is available and executable)

Your system must also have Java Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.5 or later installed. The JRE lets you run Java applications.

JRE Free Download – Scroll down to "Java Runtime Environment (JRE)"

Download Sun Device Detection Tool

So how does it work?

Well, the Sun Device Detection Tool will basically probe the devices on your system and compare them with a database of devices that are supported in the Solaris OS.

If the Solaris OS comes with a built-in driver that supports the device, then the Sun Device Detection Tool will tell you which release of the Solaris OS includes that driver.

If a third-party Solaris driver is available for that device, then the table shows where you can get that third-party driver.

Lastly, if no Solaris driver is known to exist to support that device, then a message will be displayed.

You can copy and paste the driver data from the Sun Device Detection Tool window into a text file for later use.

Q. Is there a way to monitor generic system activity and save the output?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 20 October, 2006 | Published in

There is a freeware tool, DExplorer, developed by Brendan Gregg, that will examine various areas of your system, place the output in a meaningful directory structure and is as a .tar.gz file:

Download DExplorer

Below is an example of what DExplorer does [source: opensolaris.org] :
# dexplorer
Output dir will be the current dir (/export/home/root/DTrace/Dexplorer).
Hit enter for yes, or type path:
Starting dexplorer ver 0.70.
Sample interval is 5 seconds. Total run is > 100 seconds.
0% Interrupts by CPU...
5% Interrupt counts...
10% Dispatcher queue length by CPU...
15% Sdt counts...
20% Pages paged in by process name...
25% Files opened count...
30% Disk I/O size distribution by process name...
35% Minor faults by process name...
40% Vminfo data by process name...
45% Mib data by mib statistic...
50% TCP write bytes by process...
55% Sample process @ 1000 Hz...
60% Syscall count by process name...
65% Syscall count by syscall...
70% Read bytes by process name...
75% Write bytes by process name...
80% Sysinfo counts by process name...
85% New process counts with arguments...
90% Signal counts...
95% Syscall error counts...
100% Done.
File is de_jupiter_200506271803.tar.gz

Q. What is GRUB?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 18 October, 2006 | Published in

GRUB is the new bootloader for the Solaris OS on x86 platforms. It's based on the popular open source GNU GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) project.

A bootloader is a software program that runs when a machine is first powered up. Its function is to load the operating system kernel into memory and then transfer control to that kernel.

Solaris users can benefit from using GRUB:
  • With GRUB, it's very easy to specify kernel and boot options in the boot menu.
  • For end users, booting and installing from USB DVD drives is now supported.
  • It's also easier for the Solaris OS to coexist with other operating systems on the same machine -- for example, Solaris can share the same GRUB bootloader with Linux.
  • Deploying Solaris via the network is simplified, particularly in the area of DHCP server setup. Vendor-specific options are no longer required in the DHCP server setup.
  • If you're a developer, you no longer need to deal with realmode drivers, which were part of the bootloader required for previous Solaris releases.
  • Lastly, Independent Hardware Vendors can now deliver drivers at install time via CD/DVD in addition to floppies.

Q. Are Solaris Zones a better technology than Xen?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 17 October, 2006 | Published in

Xen and Solaris Zones aren't competing technologies. You should consider using them in a complementary fashion, because they actually operate at different levels in the software stack.

Xen technology virtualises the hardware to allow multiple operating system kernels to run simultaneously on an entire machine, while Solaris Zones virtualises the operating system to allow multiple operating system environments to coexist on a single Solaris kernel.

So depending on the problem at hand, you might decide to use these two technologies either independently or in combination.

Q. Can I run Linux applications on Solaris 10?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 12 October, 2006 | Published in

Well, at present yes and no...

If you are running Solaris 10 on an x86 system, there is a freely downloadable utility called "lxrun" that allows you to run Linux applications on the Solaris Operating Environment, Intel platform edition. Applications you can run with lxrun range from browsers and office productivity tools to graphic-intensive applications and games -- e.g. Applix, GIMP, GNOME, Netscape Communicator, Myth II and WordPerfect.

lxrun is available from:

- http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~steven/lxrun/
- http://www.sunfreeware.com

The next version of Solaris 10 is expected to include Solaris Containers for Linux Applications (SCLA). which will allow Linux applications to run unmodified on Solaris 10.

SCLA uses BrandZ (or Brand Zones) technology -- the underlying framework that allows to create Linux zones, as well as other non-native zones, on a machine running the Solaris Operating System. You could have a Red Hat zone, a Debian zone and a SuSE zone all running on the same Solaris 10 system.

But BrandZ technology is not limited to running Linux zones. It could also be used to develop brands that support a FreeBSD zone, a Darwin x86 zone, or Solaris zones that contain non-standard software collections.

BrandZ is the engineering project behind Solaris Containers for Linux Applications and it is already available today in the form of a development preview via OpenSolaris. You can download the latest source code and binaries to test-drive this technology from opensolaris.org.

The BrandZ infrastructure will eventually be available for both x86/x64 and SPARC systems, but SCLA is only expected to run on x86/x64-based systems running Solaris 10 in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode.

Q. Are there any good Open Source sofware for 3D Modeling, Texturing and Video Editing that I could run on Solaris?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 10 October, 2006 | Published in

Yes! There are many Solaris open-source applications you can install on your workstation, but let's take a look at a number of them to get you started:

3D Modeling:

Blender 3D: It's THE open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback; and a Solaris version of Blender 3D is available. The learning curve is a bit steep, but help is at hand from the online knowledge base, the forums and thriving user community on the web. Once you understand how Blender works, you will achieve spectacular results with it -- to get an idea, watch "Elephants Dream", a critically-acclaimed animated short movie that was produced with open source tools only.


GIMP: If you have Solaris 10 installed and if you're running the Java Desktop System, you can find the often over-looked GIMP under Launch > Applications > Graphics. This little gem is an image manipulation program with an arsenal of features that will remind you of Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. Adobe Photoshop users often say that GIMP is a bit difficult to learn, but the truth is that once you know where to find the features you're looking for, it's a very user-friendly and feature-packed image manipulation program.

Realtime Video Editing And Effects Software:

Jahshaka: A Solaris version is expected soon, and when it's available, you'll want to give this software a try.... If you're looking for a professional video editing software, you won't need to look any further. Jahshaka comes packed with professional features: editing and adding special effect is done in real time; the animation module is a true 3D compositing and effects system; and you can paint and design on moving videos, create music with all the tools the pros use and work in any format at any resolution -- All this while sharing files, projects and clips with users on your network or around the world. Very handy!

Have a go at Blender and GIMP and let me know your progress with them.

Q. Which Sun technology would you say is the coolest?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 25 July, 2006 | Published in

The UltraSPARC T1 processor could certainly qualify as the coolest - Literally! As it's drawing about as much power as a light bulb...

But to me, the recently-launched Sun Fire X4500 server, code-named "Thumper", is definitely Sun's coolest product at the moment. For the first time, we get server and storage technologies together in the same box. The X4500 has been branded as the industry's first data server or 'hybrid' server, and that's a very good definition for it. Let's have a look at the specs of the X4500 - in short: It's powered by 2 dual-core AMD Opteron processors, has 4 built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports and offers RAID-Z in Solaris ZFS. But what makes this 4U server so groundbreaking (or so cool) is that it can take up to 48 * 500GB SATA II hard disks. That's a massive 24 Terabytes of storage in one server!

So what can you do with so much storage and high data throughput?

Well, other than asking your sys admin to turn off quotas, you can use the X4500 server as NFS server, HPC/Grid storage, data warehouse system, iSCSI SAN, digital media storage, web storage and more!

To quote Marc Hamilton, Sun's Director of Technology for the Global Education and Research Group, "Thumper does it all. It is one hot box."

I couldn't agree more.

(If you'd like to find out more about the specs of the Sun Fire X4500, check out our website at www.hos.horizon.ie/x64)

Q. I'm a sysadmin/webmaster. How can I display my company logo as an icon in the location bar and bookmark menu of a browser?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 10 July, 2006 | Published in

What you're referring to is a favicon (favorites icon). They're easy to generate and display.

First, you need to generate a standard Windows icon file of your company logo. The .ico file needs to be in standard Windows icon file format, or it may not work. There are many ways to create a .ico file from scratch, but the easiest way is to use one of the free favicon generators available online - e.g. Dynamic Drive's FavIcon Generator.

Simply upload a GIF, JPEG, PNG or BMP version of your logo and FavIcon Generator will instantly create the necessary 16x16 favicon.ico file.

Once downloaded, place this favicon.ico file in the 'root' directory on your web server - i.e. where your main index page is located. And voila!

Whenever your site is bookmarked, the icon will subsequently show up on the user's Favorites list. And when users visit your site, the icon will also be displayed in the location bar.

Q. Are there any scripts out there for DTrace? To monitor the I/O subsystem in particular.

Posted by : Dr. Root | 26 June, 2006 | Published in

That's an excellent question. The OpenSolaris community has been developing monitoring scripts for DTrace, using the scripting language "D" which comes bundled with this application, since its release. Around 100 useful documented scripts have already been compiled into a DTraceToolkit, which is available from the OpenSolaris website at: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/dtrace/dtracetoolkit/

You should definitely be able to find what you're looking for in the DTraceToolkit.

The DTraceToolkit is updated as new scripts are developed, so regularly check for newer versions too.

Q. Where can I find free software packages for Solaris 10?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 22 June, 2006 | Published in

I would recommend you first check whether the software package you're looking for, isn't already included in Solaris 10. The latest version of Solaris ships with 188 leading open source packages -- pre-compiled and ready for use. You can view the list of software packages included in Solaris 10 at: http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/freeware/

If what you're looking for, isn't available in Solaris 10, then I recommend you visit Steve Christensen's excellent website, Sunfreeware.com. Steve's site is the #1 resource for free software packages for Solaris, from version 2.5 to 10, for both SPARC and x86 architectures.

With over 30 gigabytes of free resources on offer, there's a good chance you will find what you need.

Q. Consolidation Tool for Sun Fire Servers (Sun Fire T1000/T2000 Edition)

Posted by : Dr. Root | 16 June, 2006 | Published in

The Consolidation Tool for Sun Fire Servers V1.0, Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 Edition, is now available from sun.com.

The tool is designed to simplify the task of consolidating multiple applications onto the Sun Fire T1000 or T2000 platform.

In particular, it allows the easy definition and creation of Solaris Containers, deploys applications into processor sets where appropriate, and allocates CPUs into processor sets in a way that optimises performance. The software also takes full advantage of Solaris Containers (including Solaris Zones partitioning technology, pools, psets, and scheduling classes), making intelligent choices between full-root and sparse zones.

In addition, the tool installs versions of key public domain software on the target Sun Fire T1000 or T2000 system.

The functionality is achieved using a simple, easy-to-use interface with context-sensitive help. Configuration details are saved to allow the configuration to be reused easily on other Sun Fire T1000 or T2000 systems.

The tool is being made available as an open source, unsupported application.

For more information and to download this tool, visit:

Q. Solaris 10: How-To Guides

Posted by : Dr. Root | 15 June, 2006 | Published in

Sun has published a series of How-To Guides for Solaris 10. Topics include:
  • Managing ZFS in Solaris 10 Containers:
    Highlights the capabilities of ZFS when coupled with Solaris Containers
  • How to Quickly Install the Solaris 10 1/06 OS:
    Instructs users how to install the Solaris 10 OS on a Sun supported x64 or x86 system
  • Consolidating Servers and Applications:
    Instructs users, system admins, and developers on how to consolidate applications onto a single server
  • How to use DTrace from a Solaris 10 System:
    Helps a new user learn how to use DTrace for gathering and using system and application information
  • Eliminating Web Page Hijacking:
    Instructs system admins and security professionals in the process of securing common Web servers.
To view these guides, go to www.hos.horizon.ie/solaris.

Q. LDAP - How do I spot unindexed searches and what are they?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 16 May, 2006 | Published in

Unindexed searches can be seen in the directory server access log. The unindexed search indicator, notes=U, indicates that the search performed was unindexed, which means that the database itself had to be directly searched instead of the index file. Unindexed searches occur either when the All IDs Threshold was reached within the index file used for the search, when no index file existed, or when the index file was not configured in the way required by the search. Unindexed searches add a big overhead to the directory server and recurring unindexed searches should not be ignored.

The following command could be used to check for unindexed searches on the directory server:

grep notes=U access

[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=10728 op=7 msgId=8 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=5 etime=4 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:08:43 +0100] conn=10728 op=8 msgId=9 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=3 etime=5 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:08:48 +0100] conn=10728 op=9 msgId=10 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=1 etime=4 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:08:53 +0100] conn=10728 op=10 msgId=11 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=3 etime=4 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:08:58 +0100] conn=10728 op=11 msgId=12 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=0 etime=5 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:09:03 +0100] conn=10728 op=12 msgId=13 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=1 etime=4 notes=U
[15/May/2006:15:08:09 +0100] conn=10728 op=13 msgId=14 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=0 etime=4 notes=U

As is demonstrated above, high etimes usually accompany unindexed searches.

Note: Access logs contain much more information than is outlined here & this is only meant as a quick "how to" for spotting performance issues.

To have your directory server's performance evaluated professionaly contact Horizon.

Q. LDAP - What is etime?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

etime means Elapsed time, in this case etime=0, indicates the amount of time (in seconds) that it took Directory Server to perform the LDAP operation. An etime value of 0 means that the operation actually took milliseconds to perform.

In general etimes of 0 & 1 are quite common and would indicate correct operation of the directory server. Continuous high etimes would indicate that further investigation is required.

The following command could be used to extract the etime values from a directory server access log:

grep etime access| awk '{print $3, $11}'

conn=12861 etime=0
conn=12861 etime=0
conn=12862 etime=0
conn=12862 etime=0
conn=12862 etime=0
conn=12862 etime=1

As is demonstrated above, this displays the connection numbers & etime values. If you noticed high etime values, you could use the connection number to investigate what operation on the directory took so long and pin-point the reason why.

Q. LDAP - What should I be looking for here?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

From a performance point of view, you should be looking at etime values and checking for un-indexed searches.

Q. LDAP - Why should i pay attention to my directory server access logs?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

By examining your directory server access logs you can get an overview as to how the directory server is performing.

By default the directory server's access log is in the following location




The Directory Server access log contains detailed information about client connections to the directory. A connection is a sequence of requests from the same client with the following structure:

  • Connection record that gives the connection index and the IP address of the client
  • Bind record
  • Bind result record
  • Sequence of operation request / operation result pairs of records (or individual records in the case of connection, closed, and abandon records)
  • Unbind record
  • Closed record

A typical access log entry, with default access logging level, looks like the following:

[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=-1 msgId=-1 - fd=70 slot=70 LDAP connection from to[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=0 msgId=1 - BIND dn="cn=directory manager" method=128 version=3
[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=0 msgId=1 - RESULT err=0 tag=97 nentries=0 etime=0 dn="cn=directory manager"
[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=1 msgId=2 - SRCH base="o=internet" scope=2 filter="(uid=askdrroot)" attrs=ALL
[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=1 msgId=2 - RESULT err=0 tag=101 nentries=1 etime=0
[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=2 msgId=3 - UNBIND
[15/May/2006:15:08:38 +0100] conn=13404 op=2 msgId=-1 - closing - U1
[15/May/2006:15:08:39 +0100] conn=13404 op=-1 msgId=-1 - closed.

Q. I have Solaris 10 on my laptop. How can I set up the wireless network interface and provide an encryption key to allow access to my router?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 02 May, 2006 | Published in

The latest builds of Solaris available through Solaris Express include the wificonfig utility. This is used to configure wireless networking in Solaris. The utility is also available as part of the SUNWwlanu package from the opensolaris.org site.

The wificonfig man page can be viewed at:

Q. Where can I find information on how to integrate my application into the Sun Cluster framework?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 27 April, 2006 | Published in

A Sun Cluster agent provides the integration between an application and the cluster framework. Sun provide pretested agents for many of the popular applications eg Oracle, SAP etc.

For applications that do not have an agent, you can develop your own. The best place to start is with the online documentation at: http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-3385

Q. Is it possible to automate file system checks for low disk space?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 11 April, 2006 | Published in

Yes, and Sun has published a small script that can be run from cron to periodically check file systems for low disk space. The script will also send an email if a file system is above the defined threshold. To view and save this script, go to: http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/scripts/submittedScripts/fscheck.ksh.txt

Q. Is the T2000 a good candidate for a SunRay server? It seems to me the MultiThreading of the T2000 CPU would be ideal for this, do you agree?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 22 March, 2006 | Published in

The SunFire T2000 server uses the revolutionary UltraSPARC T1 processor. This processor is ideal for environments with:-

a) Multi-threaded applications or multiple (smallish) single threaded applications ie. an environment that results in lots of threads

b) Low requirement for floating point

So, would be suit a SunRay environment? Well, YES. But, and of course there is a 'but', not if you also use the Sun Ray server to serve up/run applications that are floating point intensive. That's just a small caveat - in the main the SunFire T2000 with UltraSPARC T1 is ideal as a SunRay server.

Sun have a T2000 Try and Buy Program which would allow you to try out a T2000 server and return it if it doesn't live up to your expectations: http://www.sun.com/emrkt/trycoolthreads/index.html

Dr. Root

Q. Is one Jumpstart server enough to upgrade servers to Solaris 10 or is there still a limitation to one Jumpstart server per sub-net or VLAN?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 13 February, 2006 | Published in

Yes, you can use one single server to provision all your systems. Jumpstart has now the capability to cross bridges and routers. However, you should measure the size of your server with the amount of provisioning you will be doing, just to avoid shortfalls, poor performance or unnecessary network traffic.

Q. We have a number of NAS filers and we are thinking of consolidating all of them. What's the best way to do it?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 31 January, 2006 | Published in

You will need to build a linear scaleable NAS storage node. Solaris 10, with its completely re-written IP stack, and Sun's QFS file system, which allows multiple servers to ALL share and access the same data, will let you build a horizontally scaleable single-image IP platform. Additionally, SAM-FS will allow you to implement a multi-tiered backend where data can be transparently moved to different storage tiers (FC disk, SATA, Tape etc.) to reduce TCO.

You should also check Sun's Content Infrastructure System solution: www.sun.com/storage/solutions/content_infrastructure/

Q. Is there a safe way to upgrade from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10, using Live Upgrade if the Root disk is encapsulated (vsfs) and mirrored?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 23 January, 2006 | Published in

It depends on the method of upgrading. You are mentioning Live Upgrade and this is possible if the target disk for the upgrade is not encapsulated, as the vxfs driver is not part of Sun's distribution. If you want a mirrored environment, you should use Solaris Volume Manager. It will produce the same result.

You should check the documentation regarding Solaris 10 upgrades at http://docs.sun.com.

Q. Does Sun offer support for Windows or is this the domain of the distribution vendors?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 17 January, 2006 | Published in

Sun offers support for Windows, Solaris and Linux.

For example - if you choose to run Windows on a Sun Fire X2100, X4100 or X4200 server, or on a Sun Ultra 20 workstation, you can opt for a Sun System Service Plan for Windows to get integrated hardware maintenance and OS support. The plan's four levels of coverage/response combinations will help you get the support that best matches your needs.

If you need more information on each System Service Plan, visit the Sun website at:
- Service Plans for Windows OS: http://www.sun.com/service/serviceplans/windows
- Service Plans for the Solaris OS: http://www.sun.com/service/serviceplans/solaris
- Service Plans for Linux OS: http://www.sun.com/service/serviceplans/linux

Or if you'd like to discuss your requirements, contact Horizon Open Systems.

Q. What Sun storage products can aid in consolidation?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 13 January, 2006 | Published in

In Sun's storage range, the Sun StorEdge 6920 and 9990 storage systems are powerful consolidation systems with virtualisation capabilities. The Sun StorEdge 6920 system offers the most cost-effective solution and is ideal for consolidating business-critical data in revenue-generating and business-sustaining operations. The Sun StorEdge 9990 system is designed for mission-critical, life-critical and tier 1 financial data. To consolidate at the file level, Sun StorEdge QFS and ZFS files systems handle massive amounts of data. QFS scales to 2 petabytes and ZFS, like its name suggests, scales to zetabytes.

Q. Can I write programs for Solaris 10 with Borland Kylix?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 11 January, 2006 | Published in

Solaris 10 runs Linux applications unchanged. So, it *should* work. HOWEVER — You should contact Borland directly to insure that they have tested this functionality out.

Q. What technologies are Containers made of?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 09 January, 2006 | Published in

Well, Solaris Containers are made up of two major components: Solaris Resource Manager (SRM) and Solaris Zones.

SRM controls "how much" physical system resources every Container gets, while Solaris Zones control the "namespace" (IP addresses, user names, etc). The sum of the two make the Container complete.

Q. Any New Year Resolutions Dr. Root?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 06 January, 2006 | Published in

Of course I have New Year resolutions - everyone should. I read recently though that 75% of resolutions have fallen by the wayside by the end of January - here's a few you'll really want to keep.

1. I will not run my critical applications on an end-of-life Operating System.

Solaris 2.6 will finally go End Of Support Life this year - a great OS but time to move on. Solaris 10 is the way to go.

2. I will do my bit for the environment.

Everyone is talking 'green' and eco-responsibility... Sun too have done their bit by developing a new range of Chips and Servers that use less power, produce less heat and are RoHS compliant. Time to move with the times and look at performance-per-watt efficiency. No surprise, UltraSPARC T1 is the clear winner.

3. I won't spend more than I have to on software.

There's freeware and shareware and then there's software that's free. Quite remarkably, Sun are making much of their software available for free. You already know that Solaris is a) free and b) open source; coupled with that we now have JES and JDS available for free download. And, it's the real McCoy software that's free - not some inferior version. Hurray!

4. I will further myself this year and achieve my goals.

Everyone wants recognition and there's no better way than passing an exam and getting a certificate for your wall. Make this year the year that you sit and pass the Sun certification exams in Solaris and Java. Apart from anything else, it looks great on your CV/resume.

5. I will lead a more healthy life.

A tricky one for me this but of course, I have an angle! Stress is very bad for your health so cutting out stress is a good thing. Keep resolutions 1-4 and you'll have less stress. Tada!

Happy New Year everyone - make it a good one.

Q. We are having trouble in getting IP connection between Zones and the global Zone when they are running different subnets. What can we do to fix it?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

There could be multiple reasons.

If the non-global Zone and global Zone are not on the same subnet, you have to make sure that your traffic is leaving the box and that the routers know how to get it back.

It's much easier to plumb a global Zone IP address on the same subnet, everything then goes through loopback.

Q. In building processor sets on the new T2000 server, will a 4-core (16 threads) T1 chip give me 4 "processors" to build sets against?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

On a Sun Fire T2000 server, every thread is exposed as a (virtual) CPU. So the Solaris Resource Manager can create sets on an individual thread basis (16 threads in your example).

Q. Does zoning under Solaris differ a lot when compared to micropartition in aix5.3 on IBM p5 series servers?

Posted by : Dr. Root | 05 January, 2006 | Published in

Yes. In the case of micropartitions there is a type of Virtual Machine technology with a hypervisor, and every environment has its own OS with all the associated freedoms and overheads.

Solaris Containers (with Zones) are a type of OS Virtualization, where there is only one OS with multiple environments within the one OS.

Both of them can be used for consolidation but have different advantages.

Q. Does NFS work across Containers?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Yes, a Container can be an NFS client. However, it cannot be an NFS Server.

Q. Is there a minimum server size requirement for starting to use Containers? Would it be feasible on a low-end server such as a SunFire 280R?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Containers can be installed on any class system that supports Solaris 10, from laptops to high end servers.

Q. What are the differences between Zones, domains and Containers?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Domains are a type of Hardware Partitioning where the partitioning is done in the hardware.

Solaris Zones are part of the Solaris Containers technology and address the namespace isolation (separate IP addresses, users, root, ...).

Solaris Containers (and Zones) are a type of OS virtualization where the partitioning is not done in hardware but in the OS.

Q. In Solaris 10, what does global Zone mean? Are there any "local" Zones?

Posted by : Dr. Root | | Published in

Two types of Zone exist: global Zone and non-global Zone.

A global Zone contains a fully functional installation of the Solaris OS that is bootable by the system hardware. An installation of the Solaris OS becomes the global Zone when it is booted by the system hardware. Only one global Zone runs on a system.

The global Zone administrator creates non-global Zones with Zonecfg(1M) and Zoneadm(1M). The global Zone controls the installation, maintenance, operation, and destruction of all non-global Zones. The official name for "local" Zone is non-global Zone.

Dr Root
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