Danish OpenSolaris User Group meeting 2007/11/27

by Mads
November 27, 2007 at 14:24 | categories: solaris

First meeting

2007/11/27 at 7pm
Datalogisk Institut Københavns Universitet (DIKU)
Universitetsparken 1, 2100 København Ø

OpenSolaris Overview

Sun SPOT and Project Looking Glass

by Mads
October 21, 2007 at 21:22 | categories: hardware, sun, solaris

Usually graphical noise such as Project Looking Glass really doesn't interest me one bit. And the first time I looked at it, I did find it rather pointless as it tends to make things rather confusing for something as simple as showing a couple of terms and a browser.

Sun SPOT or Sun Programmable Object Technology. A really cool programmable toy that I've often been wanting to buy (but can't because they don't ship outside .us). The downside of course being that programming them you have to use java, but I suppose it would be worth the pain to get access to the range of sensors such as accelerometers that Sun SPOTs have.

So, how does the two relate? (via).
The videos below show a demo of just how to put the two together:

If I wanted a Sun SPOT before, I really want one now!

Solaris 10 7/07 ^W 8/07 is out

by Mads
September 04, 2007 at 23:31 | categories: solaris

Today Sun released the long awaited Update 4 or 8/07 release of Solaris 10. It must have been at least a couple of months since the beta ended, so it has been a very long wait.
You can grab your own copy here.

There's quite a few new features in that I'm very happy to finally get:
  • Live Upgrade is now possible with non-global zones
  • rcapd can now be used from the global zone to cap memory for non-global zones
  • IP Instances allows LAN and VLAN Separation for non-global zones
  • Dtrace support for non-global zones
  • many X86 related improvements including fault and power management and improvements to some of the SATA drivers
See What's New in the Solaris 10 8/07 Release for full details.

Of course this landed right after me setting up a couple of new boxes on 11/06 and only a couple of weeks after ending my part in a large migration project that really could have used the memory capping bits.
As it is, I expect all the solaris based boxes at ASF will be moving to 8/07 as time permits.

Out with the old and in with the new.

by Mads
August 05, 2007 at 23:20 | categories: hardware, sun, solaris, asf, httpd

For quite some time, the infrastructure team at the ASF has been running our websites, mail-archives and wiki on a Sun Fire T2000 Server kindly donated by Sun. Along with the T2000 there's also a Dell SATA raid donated by ask.
Naturally, the machine is running Solaris 10 and that along with dtrace has already allowed us to find and correct pretty serious performance issue. Our load was hitting 500 and beyond and was close to knocking the machine over. Some digging around with DTRACE showd us an insane number of syscalls and almost all of them being reads.
More digging around with the following one-liner by Brendan Gregg:

# Read bytes by process,
dtrace -n 'sysinfo:::readch { @bytes[execname] = sum(arg0); }'

It gave a very clear picture that almost all reads were of 1k size and that allowed Joe Schaefer to create a patch for apr to Use buffered I/O with SDBM..
The current look of things is a lot better:

           value  ------------- Distribution ------------- count    
              -1 |                                         0        
               0 |                                         987      
               1 |                                         0        
               2 |                                         6        
               4 |                                         296      
               8 |                                         30       
              16 |                                         147      
              32 |                                         130      
              64 |                                         47       
             128 |                                         140      
             256 |                                         460      
             512 |                                         118      
            1024 |                                         19       
            2048 |                                         72       
            4096 |@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 336511   
            8192 |                                         11       
           16384 |                                         3        
           32768 |                                         0        
           65536 |                                         8        
          131072 |                                         0        

With the change, our load has dropped from over 500 to somewhere between 5 and 10.

For a long time we've also been wanting to add some redundancy by placing a similar setup at our European site. The board approved our request to go shopping and after lots of hassle trying to buy the machine from Sun (being a small customer at Sun is rarely much fun and I think we were even more unlucky than usual). Eventually we got there and Sander along with Colm got the machines racked.

The pictures are by Colm


The upper picture show the old Itanic and a broken X-serve. Below is the "after" picture, showing Aurora which is now the European mirror of Eos. The machine above Aurora is a Sun Fire X2200 M2 Server that will serve as a mail frontend.

and so ends the tale of how the rising Sun replaced the sinking Itanic :)


by Mads
February 14, 2007 at 21:32 | categories: httpd, solaris, linux

This year I'll be speaking at LinuxForum (Don't let the name fool you, a more appropriate name would be Unix or Opensource Forum). My presentation will introduce some of the more interesting bits of OpenSolaris. The idea is to show how to use features like ZFS, zones, SMF, dtrace and least privileges while showing how they can be used with Apache httpd. This is a refinement on the talk that was rejected for ApacheCon.
Doing this talk is all part of a greater plan to generate some more interest in OpenSolaris and can hopefully be used to start up OpenSolaris User Group Denmark (see also Opensolaris user groups).
The video from my marathon session (3 hours in danish) is now available.


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