Here is a little press review mostly around Oracle technologies and Solaris in particular, and a little lot more:

Best Practices for Building a Virtualized SPARC Computing Environment

This best practices guide provides a solution for a SPARC virtualized environment that hosts general computing workloads.

The Role of Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers in a Virtualization Strategy

In the previous two articles of this series, we covered Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle VM Server for x86, which provide hypervisor-based hardware virtualization. Now, we will cover the operating system level of virtualization, which is one type of software virtualization, by looking at Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers.

Using rrdtool to graph vmstat output - a worked example

rrdtool is a fantastically brilliant command to have in your toolbox. Up there with awk, grep, sed, Apache, ksh, and nmon (of course). It is used to save data in a fixed size "database", does cascade summation of older data to keep the data volume down, it can extract the data across any period and then it can quickly generate impressive .gif file graphs from the data - which are perfect for displaying on a webserver.

Compiling for T4

I've recently had quite a few queries about compiling for T4 based systems. So it's probably a good time to review what I consider to be the best practices.

Solaris 11 pkg fix is my new friend

While putting together some examples of the Solaris 11 Automated Installer (AI), I managed to really mess up my system, to the point where AI was completely unusable. This was my fault as a combination of unfortunate incidents left some remnants that were causing problems, so I tried to clean things up. Unsuccessfully. Perhaps that was a bad idea (OK, it was a terrible idea), but this is Solaris 11 and there are a few more tricks in the sysadmin toolbox.

ZFS fundamentals: transaction groups

I’ve continued to explore ZFS as I try to understand performance pathologies, and improve performance. A particular point of interest has been the ZFS write throttle, the mechanism ZFS uses to avoid filling all of system memory with modified data.

Local, Near, Far part 12 - I have a 10 core POWER7 chip, eh!

Previously I said the POWER Hypervisor decides where to put a Virtual Machine (VM/LPAR) based on the Virtual Processor number (spreading factor). Well, apart from it nearly being right ... I was actually wrong! I got talking to one of these very impressive Hypervisor developers in Germany and he put me right.

USENIX LISA 2012: Performance Analysis Methodology

At USENIX LISA 2012, I gave a talk titled Performance Analysis Methodology. This covered ten performance analysis anti-methodologies and methodologies, including the USE Method. I wrote about these in the ACMQ article Thinking Methodically about Performance, which is worth reading for more detail. I’ve also posted USE Method-derived checklists for Solaris- and Linux-based systems.

Shared Storage Pools 3 and Systems Director 6.3.2

The new VIOS Shared Storage Pools 3 (SSP3) arrived a month ago and I have all my VIOS updated now to VIOS 2.2.2.1 plus fixes. This brings with it the regular VIOS improvements but also new features for SSP3 including...

Oracle affiche de forts bénéfices et loue l'apport de Sun Microsystems

Concernant Sun Microsystems, racheté par Oracle il y a trois ans pour 7,4 milliards de dollars, Larry Ellison, le PDG d'Oracle, estime que « Sun s'est avéré être l'une des acquisitions les plus stratégiques et rentables que nous n'ayons jamais fait ». Une affirmation basée sur la forte rentabilité d'Oracle sur les systèmes d'ingénierie et sur l'impact de Sun sur la croissance de ses activités matérielles, qui perdent pourtant en chiffre d'affaires.

Ops Center Solaris 11 IPS Repository Management: Using ISO Images

With Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c, you can provision, patch, monitor and manage Oracle Solaris 11 instances. To do this, Ops Center creates and maintains a Solaris 11 Image Packaging System (IPS) repository on the Enterprise Controller. During the Enterprise Controller configuration, you can load repository content directly from Oracle's Support Web site and subsequently synchronize the repository as new content becomes available.

Of course, you can also use Solaris 11 ISO images to create and update your Ops Center repository.

Using Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center to Update Solaris via Live Upgrade

This Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center blog entry provides tips for using Ops Center to update Solaris using Live Upgrade on Solaris 10 and Boot Environments on Solaris 11.

Locating WWPNs on Linux servers

I do a lot of storage-related work, and often times need to grab WWPNs to zone hosts and to mask storage. To gather the WWPNs I would often times use the following script on my RHEL and CentOS servers...

The USE Method: SmartOS Performance Checklist

The USE Method provides a strategy for performing a complete check of system health, identifying common bottlenecks and errors. For each system resource, metrics for utilization, saturation and errors are identified and checked. Any issues discovered are then investigated using further strategies.

In this post, I’ll provide an example of a USE-based metric list for use within a SmartOS SmartMachine (Zone), such as those provided by the Joyent Public Cloud.

Resolving Duplicate disk/device entries in “vxdisk list” or vxdisksetup

One fine morning I had a undertaking to replace the disk which was part of VxVM. Easy enough – just another routine stuff [...] Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk !!!

Weird issue with VERITAS after replacing the disk

When performing a disk replacement in VxVM 4.1 and VxVM 5.0, the disk being replaced does not show up in the output of a "vxdisk list" command. Instead a "NONAMEs2" entry is seen...

Announcement: DTrace for Oracle Linux General Availability

Today we are announcing the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux. It is available to download from ULN for Oracle Linux Support customers.

"getent hosts" on IPv4/IPv6. Linux vs. Solaris

"getent hosts (server name)" is typically run when one wants to check whether /etc/nsswitch.conf is correctly set up. I recently found differences between Linux and Solaris when it tries to find IPv4/IPv6 addresses.

What's up with LDoms: Part 6 - Sizing the IO Domain

By now, we've seen how to create the basic setup, create a simple domain and configure networking and disk IO. We know that for typical virtual IO, we use vswitches and virtual disk services to provide virtual network and disk services to the guests. The question to address here is: How much CPU and memory is required in the Control and IO-domain (or in any additional IO domain) to provide these services without being a bottleneck?

zfsday: ZFS Performance Analysis and Tools

At zfsday 2012, I gave a talk on ZFS performance analysis and tools, discussing the role of old and new observability tools for investigating ZFS, including many based on DTrace. This was a fun talk – probably my best so far – spanning performance analysis from the application level down through the kernel and to the storage device level.

My background with ZFS includes leading various performance work for the world’s first ZFS-based storage appliance at Sun Microsystems and later Oracle, and now further analysis and tuning as Joyent’s lead performance engineer where we run a public cloud on ZFS. Given the risk of other tenants (noisy neighbors) interfering with your performance, I can’t imagine running a cloud on anything else. This talk includes the tools and tuning we use to make sure ZFS runs smoothly.