Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lots of new solaris

Oracle Solaris 11.1

First off, we will start with Oracle's new Solaris: Solaris 11.1

So, OK, it is not a brand spanking new OS, but it is an update.

According to Oracle, the new key features are:
  • 8x faster database startup and shutdown and online resizing of the database SGA 
  • Kernel Mode Acceleration for Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC)
  • 4x faster Oracle Solaris Zones updates
  • Oracle Solaris Zones on Shared Storage

Also, some other new features:

New Logging Daemon

rsyslog, the popular daemon for message logging, has been included in Oracle Solaris 11.1. It is not enabled by default, but administrators can switch to this new logging daemon by disabling svc:/system/system-log:default and enabling svc:/system/system-log:rsyslog using SMF administrative utilities.

Simple SMF Manifest Creation Tool

The svcbundle(1M) command makes it easier to generate SMF manifests and profiles. By providing a few options on the command line, the user can generate a wide variety of manifests and profiles. This relieves the user from the burden of writing XML files.

File System Statistics for Oracle Solaris Zones

Until now, global zone administrators had no way of monitoring activity in a particular zone, nor could non-global zone administrators monitor fstype activity in their own zones. This update provides a per-fstype kstat (kernel statistic) for each zone. The global zone also has a kstat exclusively reporting its activity.

But most of the new features of interest are in the networking stack:

Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB)

EVB extends network virtualization features into the physical network infrastructure allowing users to manage bandwidth and to increase utilization of network resources. EVB is an IEEE standard that defines new protocols and mechanisms for exchanging information about virtual
links between hosts/stations and a switch/bridge. Support for the EVB Virtual Station Interface (VSI) Discovery and Configuration Protocol (VDP) and the Edge Control Protocol (ECP) are new in this release.

Using EVB, properties (such as the bandwidth limit) of the Oracle Solaris Virtual NIC (VNIC) can be exchanged with the switch so that the switch can be configured accordingly for the VNIC.

The standard is defined in the IEEE 802.1Qbg specification. Additional information can be obtained from evb(7P), vdpd(1M), and dladm(1M).

Data Center Bridging (DCB)

DCB allows the same network fabric to be used for both Ethernet and storage traffic reducing overall infrastructure costs in a datacenter. Support for enhanced transmission selection (ETS) based on IEEE 802.1Qaz has been added to the DCB functionality introduced in Oracle Solaris 11 11/11. This will provide guaranteed bandwidth and lossless Ethernet transport for
converged network environments where storage protocols share the same fabric as regular network traffic.

Oracle Solaris Link Aggregation to Span Across Multiple Switches

Link aggregation support in Oracle Solaris 11, being 802.3ad–compliant, does not allow aggregations to span across multiple switches. Thus, an administrator can either work with a single switch configuration (availability might suffer since the switch becomes a single point of failure) or use vendor-specific mechanisms to explicitly configure switches. This feature extends Oracle Solaris link aggregation to provide for a solution that is
independent of the switch vendor to span aggregations across multiple switches.

VNIC Migration

Associations between Physical NICs (PNICs) and Virtual NICs (VNICs) can now be changed without an outage in the network configuration. For example, if a PNIC becomes saturated, a VNIC associated with one key application can be migrated across to another PNIC (one with available bandwidth) without taking an outage.

But, I'm not here to just talk about the now closed source Solaris. There is a lot going on in the open source front too. The next two articles will demonstrate that clearly.

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