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16

I would say two of the big advantages to Solaris are ZFS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS) which is a 128-bit filesystem who's awesomeness I could not begin to describe in a few paragraphs, and DTrace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTrace), which allows for kernel level troubleshooting/tuning of production systems in realtime. Edit: Sun has a "benefits of ...


16

Because svccfg(1M) is broken, and I broke it. Back in 2007, I added a feature to SMF that allowed for property groups that could contain sensitive information, readable only by users with appropriate privileges. The idea was that you could add a "read_authorization" property to a property group, and anyone who was neither privileged (basically, root) nor ...


14

Offline drive #1. Replace the old drive with the newer, high-capacity drive. zpool replace the drive. Wait for the replacement to be rebuilt. Goto step 1 and repeat for each successive drive in the array. You may need to export and then import the zpool once this procedure is complete; the pool will then show the increased size. No downtime is required, ...


14

ZFS, DTrace and SMF are hardly hidden features since anyone who has ever heard of Solaris also has heard of them. If you'd really like to get to know some hidden/less known features of Solaris, I recommend you read the Less known Solaris Features ebook by Jörg Möllenkamp.


13

Live Upgrade, which uses ZFS, creates writable snapshots of the operating system boot environment. With Live Upgrade, you can apply patches to a snapshot boot environment, then make that snapshot bootable. Upon the next reboot you get a patched OS environment. If you discover an issue with a patch, you can make the old snapshot bootable, reboot and you've ...


13

This has been solved. They key is that deduplicated volumes need to have the dedup flag turned off before deletion. This should be done at the pool level as well as the zvol or filesystem level. Otherwise, the deletion is essentially being deduplicated. The process takes time because the ZFS deduplication table is being referenced. In this case, RAM helps. I ...


12

I'd really recommend you take a look at ZFS, but to get decent performance, you're going to need to pick up a dedicated device as a ZFS Intent Log (ZIL). Basically this is a small device (a few GB) that can write extremely fast (20-100K IOPS) which lets ZFS immediately confirm that writes have been synced to storage, but wait up to 30secs to actually commit ...


11

I use the Rosetta Stone for Unix as my resource for looking up commands on an OS when I know what I want to do but I only know the command on another OS. It's absolutely brilliant. Select the OSes that you're interested in and click 'Draw table'. It'll cut down the table so all you see is, say, Linux and Solaris.


11

If your swap device is in use, then you might not be able to delete it. Check to see if the swap area is in use. For example: $ swap -l swapfile dev swaplo blocks free /dev/zvol/dsk/rpool/swap 182,2 8 4194296 4194296 In the above output, blocks == free, so the swap device is not actually being used. If the swap area is ...


11

RAID-Z eliminates most of the write penalty and the data integrity issues that RAID 5/6 volumes suffer from, at the cost of some CPU time. Typically, systems have CPU cycles to spare, so spending CPU time to improve IO performance and data integrity is a good compromise vs. mirroring. Here is a detailed explanation of RAID-Z that may answer other questions. ...


11

Solaris 11 Express (aka build 151a) is technically what could have been called OpenSolaris 2010.11. It is freely downloadable http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/downloads/index.html but not redistributable and its license has changed (see the OTN license agreement on the download page, especially about usage restrictions). If you do ...


10

I recommend a (almost) any SAS/RAID controller that uses the LSI 1068E SAS chip (PCI-E) and supports Initiator-Target mode (JBOD mode). This does not include MegaRAID controllers. I use the a 3442E and Dell 6/iR. LSI SAS 3442E (4 internal - SFF-8484, 4 external - SFF-8470) LSI SAS 3081E (8 internal - SFF-8087) LSI SAS 3041E (4 internal - SATA) LSI SAS ...


9

Yes, many. Just to name a few : DTrace, which allows you to display detailled and precise statistics about ressource usage using one line scripts SMF, which allows a clean and streamlined management of services. For example, it restarts services that crash and display short explanations about services refusing to stard. the included firewall is very simple ...


8

Definitely go with OpenSolaris for your NAS. Lots of options there, and ZFS can't be beat. For virtualization, I can think of two options off the top of my head: Use VirtualBox on OpenSolaris. It's come a long way, and I recall seeing something about a web based management utility for managing headless guests. Ah, found it: VBoxWeb If you must use ...


8

The simple answer is that to mirror something takes almost no processing power - it just writes to the disk a second time. For RAID-Z2, you have to compute an entirely new parity block, which although small CAN bog down the CPU when you have to write large amounts of data quickly. Mirroring is always the preferred solution for high-speed data, if it's just ...


8

Not sure why you're seeing the behavior you're seeing, but I can tell you why they don't necessarily signal terrible real world ZFS performance. Bonnie is designed to measure performance of the actual disks and intentionally tries to not leverage disk/memory cache. You're trying to use it to measure disk cache. It can take hours for an L2ARC device to ...


8

A customer just asked me for this, so I compiled a short list of links I have found useful over the years. Not necessarily in the best order, and by no means complete, but thought it might make a good addition for anyone hitting this question: http://www.nex7.com/readme1st (work in progress, can PM me if you have questions) ...


7

OpenSolaris is being forked to OpenIndiana, and I would highly recommend using the later, as Oracle has a tendency to close up previously-open projects. Otherwise, OpenIndiana/Solaris Pros: ZFS filesystem; automatic deduping and snapshots (Linux is working on these capabilities, both by porting ZFS and in building btrfs Virtualization Zones Dtrace - a ...


7

Besides the marquee features (ZFS, Zones, DTrace) people mentioned above, (Open)Solaris also has great observability and management tools. Some things that I like: prstat - sort of like top but can view tons of stats based on per-process or per thread including breakdown of CPU time by many different categories (sleeping, locks, waiting on CPU, etc) ...


7

Don't forget SMF (Service Management). I have yet to see something comparable for linux (any pointers gratefully accepted). It did save me (and colleagues) a lot of ticket handling :)


7

There's a ZFS web based interface, but it doesn't provide any analytical insight into system. What you're probably seeing up there in the demo is DTrace data being plotted in real time. You could even do that on your own with a dtrace and gnuplot script.


7

The recommened controller is anything using the LSI SAS 1068E chipset. It's what Sun uses, so has the best support. As phresus mentions, the ASOC-USAS-L8i is a good cheap card that uses it. Battery-backed write cache helps performance, particularly for NFS. Another alternative is to use an SSD for the ZFS Intent Log, but only some have capacitors to ensure ...


6

You definitely want a 64bit capable CPU. Raw speed is less of an issue, more cores helps. A CPU/chipset with ECC RAM support is also a good idea if you care about your data, which limits you to Phenoms and a motherboard that supports ECC RAM, or a Xeon. It depends if your working set fits into memory, and what else is running on the server at the same time. ...


6

I'd go for Linux on the Desktop and run Solaris x86 in a Sun Virtual Box environment. Its basically VMWare Workstation, but its free and has good support for Linux/Solaris. In my experience, OpenSolaris has poor hardware support. I wasn't able to get it installed on my Dell P490 or T5400. You can learn about Virtual Box at www.virtualbox.org.


6

There are a number of features that Solaris has that Linux people wish they had. These include: ZFS: a filesystem that provides extreme flexibility, more than anything now available. Dynamic growth and reduction, snapshots, clones, and more - all available for free. DTrace: a debugger that can present you with details on how the kernel is working. ...


6

ZFS rocks. The more disks you have in your systems, the more it rocks. Personally I'm a fan of JumpStart for building up servers. One touch (boot from network) installation & configuration so that your machine is production ready is fantastic. Obviously there's a fair bit of work in getting it automated, but in a configuration controlled environment it ...


6

The way ZFS works is that inside the pool it has raid sets or groups. To expand capacity you have to add additional groups at the same raid level to the pool. IO is then stripped across all the groups inside the zpool that have free blocks. So a zpool with a large number of small disk sets is fast and highly available. So I would suggest that you put all ...


6

You want the -N option to OpenSSH. For example: ssh -N -L 3350:localhost:3306 user@server &


6

The only time you should need to use something like scanpci is if there is no driver available for your NIC and you are trying to figure out what 3rd party driver to add. NIC naming on OpenSolaris is device specific by default, so it might be e1000g0 on one machine (using a common Intel chip) or bge0 (using a common Broadcomm chip). While ifconfig -a will ...



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