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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