Thursday, December 24, 2009

Security Summit November 2009: ZFS Crypto

Security Summit November 2009: ZFS Crypto

Discussed was security in large system installations with speakers from CTO, technical leaders, customers and community members.

Kicking off the 4th session was a presentation on ZFS Crypto: Data encryption for local, NAS and SAN. The presentation slides are in PDF format.

ZFS Theme

The original overall theme behind the creation of ZFS had been "to create a reliable storage system from inherently unreliable components". This theme is now changing "to create a secured reliable storage system from inherently unreliable components". Universal encryption in conjunction with data integrity had traditionally been considered "too expensive"... the implementation of ZFS helps to demonstrate that this may not be the case any longer.

ZFS Data Integrity

All data in ZFS is written via Copy on Write algorithm, meaning old data is not overwritten, providing for guaranteed data integrity (as long as the underlying hardware does not "lie" when something says it was written.) No RAID write hole in ZFS and no journaling required.

End to end checksums are used for user data as well as meta-data which describes the user data layout, protecting data end-to-end - from disks on remote storage all the way to the host.

ZFS Commands

The ZFS command structure is centered around two basic commands:
  • zpool - controls storage pools
  • zfs - administer file systems, zvols, and dataset properties
ZFS Crypto Requirements

The requirements driving cryptography extensions to ZFS includes:
  • Retain Copy-on-Write semantics
  • Integrate into ZFS admin model
  • Backward compatibility to existing ZFS pools
  • NIST 800-57 Key management recommendations
  • Key management delegation to: users, virtualized, and multi-level security environments
  • Flexible software encryption policy
  • Separate key use vs key change
  • Support software only solution 
  • Support single disk laptop use cases
  • SPARC, Intel, and AMD hardware support
  • Support hardware crypto (OpenSPARC T2, Sun PCI-Express CA-6000 cards)
  • Local and Remote Key Management
ZFS Encryption Policy

The encryption policy is on the ZFS Data Set (looks like a file system) level.
  • Encryption policy set on creation time of the data set
  • AES-128, AES-192, or AES-256 available initially
  • Encryption sets are to be extensible
  • Encryption and Key Management policies are both inherited and delegatable
  • Encryption Key is randomly generated
  • ZFS checksum is forced to 256SHA for encrypted datasets
Key Management

The key management process is flexible
  • Wrapping keys can be done by user or admin via: passphrase, raw or hex key, or hardware like smart card
  • Weapping key is inherited by child datasets
  • Clones share original dataset key, but can have new keys
Key Change or ReKey

U.S. Government NIST 800-57 regulation require a key change every 2 years.
  • Wrapping Key change does not re-encrypt old data
  • Changes just Wrapping Key users/admins provide
  • New data encryption key from change time forward
  • New property "rekeyed" to show time of last change
  • Key Change or ReKey is an on-line operation
  • Internal "libzfs"  C API and scriptable "zfs" interface for external key management
Where's the decrypted data?

Data in DRAM memory (primary cache) is decrypted, data in SSD (secondary cache) or on disk is encrypted.
  • ZFS Intent Log is always encrypted 
  • ZFS ARC cache holds large amounts of decrypted data (/dev/kmem privileges required to see it)
  • Control of decrypted data in caches are controllable by dataset (or filesystem)
  • The "Primarycache" (DRAM) and "Secondarycache" (SSD) can be tuned to none, metadata, or all
Use Cases

Various "use cases" are listed in the presentation slides.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Itanium: The Death of Red Hat Linux Support

Itanium: The Death of Red Hat Linux Support


As reported on The Register, Red Hat quietly announced RHEL 5 as the "end of the line" for Intel Itanium.

The History
The processor market as basically split between two comodity CISC (Completed Instruction Set Computing) chip makers, Intel (x86) and Motorola (68K) where high-end workstation & server vendors consolidated in Motorola (68K) with PC makers leveraging Intel (x86).

Motorola indicated an end to their 68K line was coming, x86 appeared to be running out of steam. A new concept called RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) was appearing on the scenes. Wholesale migration from Motorola was on, many vendors creating their own very high performance chips based upon this architecture. Various RISC chips were born, created by vendors, adopted by manufacturers, each with their own operating system based upon various open standards.
  • SUN/Fujitsu/Ross/(various others) SPARC
  • DEC Alpha
  • MIPS MIPS (adopted by SGI, Tandem, and various others)
  • Motorola 88K (adopted by Data General, Northern Telecom, and various others)
  • Motorola/IBM PowerPC (adopted by Apple, IBM, Motorola, and various others)
There was reletively small volume shipments to most vendors of full fledge processors, although the computing prices allowed for continued investment to create increasingly smaller chips to enhance performance. Many of these architectures were cooperative efforts, with cross licensing, to increase volume, and create a viable vendor base. The move to 64 occurred in most of these high-end vendors. As the costs for investment continued to rise, in order to shrink the silicon chip dies, a massive consolidation started to occur, in order to save costs and continue to be profitable.

The desktop market continued to tick away with 32 bit computing at a lower cost, with 2 primary vendors: Intel and AMD.

A massive move to consolidate 64 bit RISC processors from the minority market shareholders from their smaller shares to a common, larger, Intel based 64 bit Itanium VLIW (Very Long Intruction Word) processors. This was a very risky move, since VLIW was a new architecture, and performance was unproven. The consideration by the vendors was Intel had deep enough pockets to fund a new processor. Some of the vendors, who consolidated their architectures into Itanium included:

  • HP - PA-RISC
  • DEC, purchased by Compaq, Purchased by HP - Alpha
  • DEC, purchased by Compaq, Purchased by HP - VAX
  • Tandem, purchased by Compaq, Purchased by HP - MIPS
  • SGI -> MIPS
Many of the RISC processors did not go away, they just moved to embedded environments, where many of the more complex features of the chips could continue to be dropped, so development would be less costly.
[Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC 2]

[Fujitsu SPARC64 VII]
[IBM Power]
Majority RISC architecture market share holds in the desktop & server arena seemed to consolidate during the fist decade of 2000 around RISC architectures of an open consortium driven by specifications called SPARC (predominately SUN and Fujitsu) and proprietary final proprietary single vendor drive POWER (predominately IBM)

[AMD Athlon FX 64 Bit]
AMD later released 64 bit extensions to the aging Intel x86 instructions (which all vendors, including Intel, had basically written off as a dead-end architecture) - creating what the market referred to as "x64". Intel was later forced into releasing a similar processor, competing internally with their Itanium. Much market focus started, consolidating servers onto this proprietary x64 based systems, sapping vitality and market share from RISC and VLIW vendors.

Network Management Implications

HP really drove the market to Itanium, after acquiring many companies. There was a large number of operating systems, which needed to be supported internally, so the move to consolidate those operating systems and reduce costs became important.

HP OpenView is one of those key suites of Network Management tools, which people don't get fired for purchasing. HP made announcements of their proprietary operating system HP-UX, Microsoft proprietary Windows, and open source Linux support for Intel Itanium. HP was never able to get OpenView traction with it under Linux under Itanium or Windows under Itanium, although they were able to provide support for their own proprietary HP-UX platform, as well as Linux under x86 architecture.

With Open Source Red Hat Linux going away on Itanium. Itanium as a 64 bit architecture is clearly taking a severe downturn in the viable 3rd party architectures, and Network Management from OpenView will obviously never become a player in a market that will no longer exist.
The IBM POWER architecture, even though it is one of the last two substantial RISC vendors left, has never really been a substantial vendor in Network Managment arena, even with IBM selling Tivoli Network Management suite. Network Management will most likely never be a substantial power under POWER.

"Mom & Pop" shops run various Network Management systems under Windows, but the number of managed nodes is typically vastly inferior to the larger Enterprise and Managed Services markets. The software just does not scale as well.

Sun SPARC Solaris (with massive vertical and horizontal scalibility) and Red Hat Linux x68 (typically limited to horizontal scalibility) are really the only two substantial multi-vendor Network Management platform players for large Managed Services installations left. Red Hat abandoning HP's Itanium Linux only continues to solidify this position.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oracle - Sun Update

Oracle boss Larry Ellison

Oracle - Sun Update

The News

The New York Post reported today that the Oracle-Sun merger may be getting the approval of the European Commissioner.
Neelie Kroes approved the deal after Oracle agreed to fund the open database software, dubbed MySQL, for the next three years at more than $24 million annually.

At the same time, Oracle will form an advisory group of MySQL customers.
The Facts 

The facts in the Oracle acquisition of Sun (who formerly acquired MySQL) are pretty clear:
  • No company can control an kill an Open Source project: if there is a problem, the project will just fork using other available developers - so there was little reason for the European Commission to express concern over the acquisition using the basis of MySQL.
  • It does not take a genius to figure out that Sun invested $1 Billion US$ into MySQL and Oracle would need to fund MySQL from dying in order to make a return on that investment, when they purchase Sun. Oracle already funds InnoDB annually, so this is no surprise.
  • There is little confirmation that Oracle would be able to raise $1 Billion US$ by selling them off, since the true monetary value of the (free & open source) MySQL is with the assets & service that are sold around it (i.e. servers, support, integration, etc.) Of course, any other company willing to buy MySQL would come under the same EC scrutiny, deterring other buyers.
  • It also does not take a genius to figure out that MySQL is no competitor to Oracle, since Oracle already owns InnoDB, which is the main transactional heart of MySQL. The acquisition of MySQL by Oracle will allow for closer integration and higher transactional performance.
  • It only takes a primary school education (i.e. the ability to read) to understand that the vast majority of applications which use Oracle do not offer MySQL as an alternative.
The European Commission Position

In short, this seems like a reasonable way out, for the European Commission, of the position they placed themselves in, by making an attempt to stop a merger on baseless grounds and a misunderstanding of Open Source software.

While some people ignorant of Open Source Software felt uncomfortable with the acquisition, the facts in the case did not merit concern.

The EC found a way to save face - good for them!

The Network Management Position

This is very good news for the world of Network Management. Why is that?

Network Management, especially from a Managed Services perspective, is a very costly ordeal. When a Managed Services company wants to provide a view of their network from a Network Management tool to a customer, if a database is required (always required for large installations), then databases like Oracle require a Service Bureau License - which is very costly.

Many Open Source Network Management tools, in an attempt to scale to the sizes from commercial vendors, need an database. An Open Source database like MySQL, with tight ties to Enterprise Databases like Oracle, is a huge benefit to all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Network Management: IBM "In The Cloud'

Network Management: IBM "InThe Cloud"

Server Management can normally be done with or more recently, without a piece of software deployed on the remotely managed server. The hardware and software performing the management is normally referred to as server management system while the software deployed on the managed servers are normally called "agents".
There are two two traditional options: (1) do it yourself by investing into the hardware, software, and human infrastructure or (2) outsource it with a good analyst interfacing back to the service provider and gague performance through metrics. IBM recently talked up an option based upon the second option.

Option 1: Do It Yourself
Much of the content of this site discusses what is required to "do it yourself". The nuts and bolts of hardware, software, performance, acceleration, software, etc. are all involved. There is a level of knowledge

Option 2: Outsource It
Traditionally, a service provider will provide monitoring by containing management hardware and software in a data center with secure connections to a customer's data center. Pricing is sometimes difficult to gauge when going into a request for proposal.

Virtualize It
Take the management station and stick it in the internet somewhere. Seems to be related to Option #2, since most outsourcers  already provide web interfaces into their management systems and reporting, but we have yet to see the specifics on it. Here is IBM's latest offer with Tivoli "in the cloud".

The web-based Tivoli Live supports monitoring of 25 to 500 nodes...

A "Touchless" option monitors devices and operating systems (Windows, Linux, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX) using an agent-less Tivoli Monitoring 6.2.1. That goes for $44 per month per node.

Meanwhile, An agent-based OS and application monitoring option uses IBM Tivoli 6.2.1 and IBM Composite Application Manager for Applications, costing $58 per month per node.

IBM charges $14 per month per service extra for historical trend analysis, plus performance and capability reporting.

The service also requires a rather steep one-time $6,500 setup fee per customer for "on-boarding costs." Service contracts are a minimum of 90 days and run from one to three years.
This looks like a fine example of the outsourcer outsourcing their infrastructure to provide a service to a customer.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Solaris 10: Measuring Performance Historically

Solaris 10: Measuring Performance Historically

Computing systems have traditionally provided way to metric the health of the system. UNIX System V systems have depended upon "System Activity Reporting" or "sar" tool. The "sar" tools can be set up for automatic collection.

Reporting in Real Time:
The "sar" can be used, without scheduling, to pull data in near-real-time from the kernel by specifying an interval and an average time. One can poll the run queue statistics 5 times on 2 second intervals using "sar" with the "-q" option:
Ultra60/root# sar -q 2 5
SunOS Ultra60 5.10 Generic_141444-09 sun4u 12/06/2009
22:36:04 runq-sz %runocc swpq-sz %swpocc
22:36:06 . . 0.0 . . 0 . . . 0.0 . . . 0
22:36:08 . . 1.0 . . 50 .. . 0.0 . . . 0
22:36:10 . . 0.0 . . 0 . . . 0.0 . . . 0
22:36:12 . . 0.0 . . 0 . . . 0.0 . . . 0
22:36:14 . . 0.0 . . 0 . . . 0.0 . . . 0
Average. . . 1.0 . . 10 .. . 0.0 . . . 0
Scheduling in Solaris is done using the "crontab" facility. The "cron" daemon wakes up on a regular basis and runs scheduled tasks for individual users. To see the scheduler running, it appears in the process table.
Ultra60/root# ps -elf | grep cron
0 S root 307 1 0 40 20 ? 693 ? 13:44:11 ? 0:00 /usr/sbin/cron
The task lists scheduled by users can be browsed.
Ultra2/root$ cd /var/spool/cron/crontabs
Ultra2/root$ ls -al *
-rw------- 1 root sys. 190 Sep 3 14:22 adm
-r-------- 1 root root 452 Sep 3 14:22 lp
-rw------- 1 root root 531 Dec 6 01:13 root
-rw------- 1 root sys. 308 Sep 3 14:22 sys
-r-------- 1 root sys. 404 Dec 5 06:26 uucp
Scheduling System Activity Reporting:
The "sar" is typically scheduled by the "sys" user. The default is to not run it, by commenting out sample entries.
Ultra2/root$ cd /var/spool/cron/crontabs
Ultra2/root$ cat sys
#ident "@(#)sys 1.5 92/07/14 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.2 */
# The sys crontab should be used to do performance collection. See cron
# and performance manual pages for details on startup.
# 0 * * * 0-6 /usr/lib/sa/sa1
# 20,40 8-17 * * 1-5 /usr/lib/sa/sa1
# 5 18 * * 1-5 /usr/lib/sa/sa2 -s 8:00 -e 18:01 -i 1200 -A
The following "sys" "crontab" entry will schedule 15 minute collections of performance metrics.
00,15,30,45 * * * * /usr/lib/sa/sa1
Viewing Scheduling by User:
The correct way to list your scheduling information by user is to use the "cron" with "-l" option.
Ultra60/root# crontab -l sys
#ident "@(#)sys 1.5 92/07/14 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.2 */
# The sys crontab should be used to do performance collection. See cron
# and performance manual pages for details on startup.
# 0 * * * 0-6 /usr/lib/sa/sa1
# 20,40 8-17 * * 1-5 /usr/lib/sa/sa1
# 5 18 * * 1-5 /usr/lib/sa/sa2 -s 8:00 -e 18:01 -i 1200 -A
00,15,30,45 * * * * /usr/lib/sa/sa1

Historic Data:
The historic data is held in a file system directory. They are stored by numeric day number for a total of one month.
Ultra60/root# cd /var/adm/sa
Ultra60/root# ls -al
total 67068
drwxrwxr-x 2 adm. sys. ....512 Dec 6 00:00 .
drwxrwxr-x 9 root sys. ....512 Dec 5 03:10 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1290144 Dec 1 23:45 sa01
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1177344 Dec 2 23:45 sa02
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1177344 Dec 3 23:45 sa03
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1177344 Dec 4 23:45 sa04
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1177344 Dec 5 23:45 sa05
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1091496 Dec 6 22:00 sa06
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root ..12024 Nov 7 03:15 sa07
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. .429984 Nov 8 23:45 sa08
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 9 23:45 sa09
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 10 23:45 sa10
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 11 23:45 sa11
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 12 23:45 sa12
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 13 23:45 sa13
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 14 23:45 sa14
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 15 23:45 sa15
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 16 23:45 sa16
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 17 23:45 sa17
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 18 23:45 sa18
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 19 23:45 sa19
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1154304 Nov 20 23:45 sa20
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1142280 Nov 21 23:45 sa21
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1173672 Nov 22 23:45 sa22
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 23 23:45 sa23
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 24 23:45 sa24
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 25 23:45 sa25
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 26 23:45 sa26
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 27 23:45 sa27
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 28 23:45 sa28
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 29 23:45 sa29
-rw-r--r-- 1 sys. sys. 1292544 Nov 30 23:45 sa30
Reviewing Scheduled Data:
There are dozens of reports which can be viewed.

The historic CPU report can be seen with no option or "-u" with "sar", for the same day.
Ultra60/root# sar
SunOS Ultra60 5.10 Generic_141444-09 sun4u 12/06/2009
00:00:00 %usr %sys %wio %idle
00:15:01 0 2 0 98
00:30:00 0 2 0 98
00:45:00 0 2 0 98
01:00:00 0 2 0 98
01:15:00 0 2 0 98
21:15:00 0 1 0 99
21:30:01 0 1 0 99
21:45:00 0 1 0 99
22:00:00 0 1 0 99
Average 33 33 0 33
Historic memory usage can also be seen via "sar", using the "-r" flag.
Ultra60/root# sar -r
SunOS Ultra60 5.10 Generic_141444-09 sun4u 12/06/2009
00:00:00 freemem freeswap
00:15:01 163651 10451488
00:30:00 163651 10451488
00:45:00 163651 10451485
01:00:00 163651 10451485
01:15:00 163385 10443984
21:00:00 190656 19398416
21:15:00 190656 19398416
21:30:01 190656 19398415
21:45:00 190656 19398416
22:00:00 190656 19398416
Average. 177153 14924952

The "sar" command will also accept a file specifying a historic database, from a previous day in the month.
Ultra60/root# sar -k -f /var/adm/sa/sa02
SunOS Ultra60 5.10 Generic_141444-09 sun4u 12/02/2009
00:00:00 sml_mem. alloc. fail lg_mem... alloc fail ovsz_alloc fail
00:15:00 16646400 12855551 0 118005760 92904032 0 37765120 0
00:30:00 16646400 12858815 0 118005760 92904344 0 37765120 0
00:45:00 16646400 12855735 0 118013952 92900872 0 37765120 0
23:00:01 17096960 13002143 0 118767616 93431584 0 37765120 0
23:15:00 17096960 13004855 0 118767616 93433176 0 37765120 0
23:30:00 17096960 13011279 0 118775808 93434304 0 37765120 0
23:45:00 17096960 13005679 0 118775808 93428696 0 37765120 0
Average. 17031338 12977818 0 118666032 93366984 0 37765120 0
There are many other performance data sets which can be extracted once retained automatically from solaris, these are only starting examples.

Sun Ray Server Software 5 (4.2) Solaris Installation

SunRay Server Software 5 (4.2) Solaris Installation


SUN, whose stock ticker was called "SUNW" had traditionally been a desktop company. In 1982, SUN started marketing "W"orkstations, which were full fledged UNIX systems on the desktop, where those desktops ran everything from desktop applications to mail servers. Sun gradually become more server oriented during the 1990's with the expansion of the Internet, moving toward thin clients with the original SunRay1 in 1998. When Sun's computers were moving to UltraSPARC processors, their desktop solution was sensibly called "Ultra-Thin" clients (hence, the commands start with "ut" mnemonic) because very little processing was required on the desktop and most processing occurred on the server. A SPARC server can support multiple "Utra-Thin", or now called "Sun Ray" clients, using a simple modern Solaris OS in conjunction with SRSS 5 or Sun Ray Server Software.


This document describes the use of Sun Ray Services under SPARC Solaris. Ensure the following has been done:
  • The srss_4.2 software has been unzipped to /tmp
  • The 64 bit upgrade to the 32 bit version of jdk1.6 is installed.
  • Apache Tomcat has been un-gtar-ed into /opt

Verify the version of Java on the platform is sufficient and upgrade if not.
V100/root$ java -version
java version "1.5.0_20"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_20-b02)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.5.0_20-b02, mixed mode, sharing)

cd /usr/jdk
sh /var/spool/pkg/
Do you agree to the above license terms? [yes or no]
Press Enter to continue.....

cd /usr/jdk
sh /var/spool/pkg/
Do you agree to the above license terms? [yes or no]
Press Enter to continue.....

/usr/jdk/jdk1.6.0_18/bin/java -version
java version "1.6.0_18-ea"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_18-ea-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 16.0-b11, mixed mode, sharing)
Unzip the Sun Ray Server Software in preparation for installation.
V100/root$ cd /tmp
ls -al
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 148595750 Jun 3 09:13
inflating: srss_4.2/.install/admin_default
Add the appropriate services to the /etc/services file.
V100/root$ cd /tmp
ls -al
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 148595750 Jun 3 09:13
inflating: srss_4.2/.install/admin_default
Decompress & burst the tomcat archive using GNU tar to help the administrator manage the Sun Ray Server Software via a GUI configuration tool.
V100/root$ cd /tmp/srss_4.2/Supplemental/Apache_Tomcat
V100/root$ gunzip apache-tomcat-5.5.20.tar.gz
V100/root$ cd /opt
V100/root$ /usr/sfw/bin/gtar -xf /var/spool/pkg/srss_4_2/Supplemental/Apache_Tomcat/apache-tomcat-5.5.20.tar
V100/root$ ln -s apache-tomcat-5.5.20 apache-tomcat

Perform the Sun Ray Server Software installation.
V100/root$ cd /tmp/srss_4.2
Sun Microsystems, Inc. ("Sun")
Accept (Y/N):
Installation of was successful.
# utinstall Version: 4.2 Thu Jun 3 10:51:17 EDT 2010
Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 not installed
Sun Ray Data Store 3.2 not installed
Do you want to install Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 French Admin GUI (Y/[N]): N
Do you want to install Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 Japanese Admin GUI (Y/[N]): N
Do you want to install Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 Simplified Chinese Admin GUI (Y/[N]): N
Kiosk Mode 4.2 not installed

Enter Java v1.6 (or later) location [/usr/java]: /usr/jdk/jdk1.6.0_18

About to carry out the following operations:
Install [ Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 ]
Install [ Sun Ray Data Store 3.2 ]
Install [ Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 ]
Install [ Kiosk Mode 4.2 ]
Install [ Kiosk Mode 4.2 localized files ]
Install [ data for utslaunch ]
Install [ Sun Ray Server Software 4.2 modules for utsunmc ]
Install [ Service Tags 1.1 ]

Continue? ([Y]/N): Y

Installing Sun Ray Server Software version 4.2 ...
+++ Done.

Prepare environment and Reboot server in order to enable the Sun Ray Server Software.
V100/root$ cat >>/etc/profile \
V100/root$ cd / ; sync ; sync ; init 6
Configuring a Shared LAN

Configuring SunRay Services on a shared LAN allow for Ultra-Thin clients to be used on a non-dedicated interconnect. This is helpful in a DHCP environment where the server hosting the Sun Ray Server Software is receiving its configuration through DHCP.

To enable shared LAN connections:
# utadm -L on

Restart server:
# utrestart
The Sun Ray terminals, configured to use DHCP by default, should automatically receive a prompt. The Sun Ray Ultra Thin terminals will locate the Sun Ray Server via multicast. If any terminals are not receiving a prompt, they can be reset via a CNTRL-A.

Configuring a Private Interconnect

A private interconnect is preferred to ensure that the Ultra Thin terminals are receiving the proper quality of service over the network. For systems with a large number of terminals, this (more complex) configuration is preferable.

If the server will have a dedicated interconnect, select a network such as "", and a new physical port to serve DHCP such as "hme1".
# utadm -a hme1

Selected values for interface "hme1"

host address:
net mask:
net address:
host name: Ultra2-hme1
net name: SunRay-hme1
first unit address:
last unit address:
auth server list:
firmware server:

DHCP running on HME1? (Y)
Configuring the Sunray Server GUI Admin Software
V100/root# utconfig
Continue ([y]/n)? y
Enter Sun Ray admin password:
Re-enter Sun Ray admin password:
Enter Apache Tomcat installation directory [/opt/apache-tomcat]:
Enter HTTP port number [1660]:
Enable secure connections? ([y]/n)?
Enter HTTPS port number [1661]:
Enter Tomcat process username [utwww]:
Enable remote server administration? (y/[n])? y
Configure Sun Ray Kiosk Mode? (y/[n])?
Configure this server for a failover group? (y/[n])?

About to configure the following software products:

Sun Ray Data Store 3.2
Hostname: V100
Sun Ray root entry: o=utdata
Sun Ray root name: utdata
Sun Ray utdata admin password: (not shown)
SRDS 'rootdn': cn=admin,o=utdata

Sun Ray Web Administration hosted at Apache Tomcat/5.5.20
Apache Tomcat installation directory: /opt/apache-tomcat
HTTP port number: 1660
HTTPS port number: 1661
Tomcat process username: utwww
Remote server administration: Enabled

Sun Ray Server Software 4.2
Failover group: no
Sun Ray Kiosk Mode: no

Continue ([y]/n)? y

Updating Sun Ray Data Store schema ...
Updating Sun Ray Data Store ACL's ...
Creating Sun Ray Data Store ...

Restarting Sun Ray Data Store ...
Starting Sun Ray Data Store daemon .Jun 3 13:52:54 V100 utdsd[3537]: utdsd starting

Thu Jun 3 13:52 : utdsd starting

Loading Sun Ray Data Store ...

Executing '/usr/bin/ldapadd -p 7012 -D cn=admin,o=utdata' ...
adding new entry o=utdata
adding new entry o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=desktops,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=users,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=logicalTokens,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=rawTokens,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=multihead,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=container,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=properties,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry cn=utadmin,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=smartCards,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utordername=probeorder,utname=smartCards,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=policy,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=resDefs,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utname=prefs,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utPrefType=resolution,utname=prefs,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata
adding new entry utPrefClass=advisory,utPrefType=resolution,utname=prefs,utname=V100,o=v1,o=utdata

Added 18 new LDAP entries.

Creating Sun Ray Server Software Configuration ...
Adding user account for 'utwww' (ut admin web server user) ...done
Adding user account for 'utwww' (ut admin web server user) ...done
Starting Sun Ray Web Administration...
See /var/opt/SUNWut/log/utwebadmin.log for server logging information.

Unique "/etc/opt/SUNWut/gmSignature" has been generated.

Restarting Sun Ray Data Store ...
Stopping Sun Ray Data Store daemon
Jun 3 13:53:20 V100 utdsd[3537]: utdsd got shutdown signal
Sun Ray Data Store daemon stopped
Starting Sun Ray Data Store daemon .Jun 3 13:53:23 V100 utdsd[4144]: utdsd starting

Thu Jun 3 13:53 : utdsd starting
Adding user admin ...
User(s) added successfully!

The current policy has been modified. You must restart the
authentication manager to activate the changes.

Configuration of Sun Ray Server Software has completed. Please check
the log file, /var/adm/log/utconfig.2010_06_03_13:48:03.log, for errors.

SunRay Firmware Upgrade

To use a SunRay Ultra-Thin client on the WAN,
follow these instructions to update to WAN firmware on an individual sunray.

To upgrade the firmware on individual units to the most recent LAN firmware:
# utfwadm -A -f /opt/SUNWut/lib/firmware_gui -e {unit MAC address}
# utquery -d {unit IP address}
Troubleshooting X Windows Configuration

If odd X Windows issues are observed, there are some checks to ensure installed files weren't corrupted:
# diff /usr/dt/config/Xconfig /etc/dt/config/Xconfig

this is outside of the limits given in the installation guide and will require re-installation
# diff /usr/dt/config/Xservers /etc/dt/config/Xservers
the results for the Xservers test is within acceptable limits, re-installation is only necessary for Xconfig
shutting down all Sunray units
# /etc/init.d/utsvc stop

reinstalling Xconfig
# /bin/cp -p /usr/dt/config/Xconfig /etc/dt/config/Xconfig

reinitializing Sunray units
# /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utrestart -c
Other Steps

Test your access to the SunRay Administration GUI. Enable SDAC access, if the soft-client is planned to be used.
Access Sunray administration GUI
  • enable SDAC access
  • warm reboot server (through GUI)

The process for installation of the Sun Ray Server Software is fairly simple, many of the steps are not needed if a DHCP server and command line administration are sufficient.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

UPDATED - 2010-06-16

Added more detail to the installation instructions and abstract.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Solaris 10: Patching

Solaris 10: Patching

When any vendor releases a piece of software, there is a schedule to keep. If a piece of software must be perfect before being released, it will never be released, because no one is perfect. After any software install, patching should be conducted. Patching on the local Solaris target machine with direct access to the internet is the most straight forward process and this document will describe this scenario.

The first step in this process is to ensure that Solaris 10 Operating System is installed, followed by the installation of any optional Solaris 10 Contributed Software.

Command Line or GUI Patching:
The patching under Solaris 10 can be conducted via the "smpatch" command or the Java X Windows GUI "updatemanager'.

CLI (Command Line Interface) Patching:
The patching can be done via the "smpatch" at the command line. If you have not registered the new installation for the Update Manager, the system will inform you of this requirement.
Ultra2/root$ smpatch analyze
Failure: Cannot connect to retrieve detectors.jar: This system is currently unregistered and is unable to retrieve patches from the Sun Update Connection. Please register your system using the Update Manager, /usr/bin/updatemanager or provide valid Sun Online Account(SOA) credentials.

X Windows GUI Registration:
The process for registering a system on the Update Manager can be done via a GUI.
Ultra2/root$ echo $DISPLAY

Ultra2/root$ updatemanager
Java Accessibility Bridge for GNOME loaded.
From the JAVA GUI, first time users will be prompted for a username and password.
User Name: {registered username}
Password: {registered password}
Number: {service plan number} OR [x] Continue without providing a service plan number
[x] I have read the agreement and accepted it

[x] Enable Auto Registration
[x] Sun may contact me...

If you have not formerly registered, you will need to register on-line, to get an ID, in order to get your patches.

X Windows GUI Patching

Once the Update Manager has finished the registration process of the server, either the X Windows GUI or Command Line Interface can be used to continue patching.

Since the Update Manager is already running, it makes sense to use the GUI to install the outstanding patches after an initial install.
Select the [Updates] tab
Select the double checkmark box [xx] to select all available patches
select [Install ### Patches] button in the lower left hand corner

The "Installing" popup box appears, providing an indication of the progress.

CLI Patching Continued

Patching can be conducted using the lighter weight "smpatch" command line. The "analyze" command will display all patches outstanding while the "update" command will query, download, and apply all the patches automatically.
Ultra60/root# smpatch analyze
125215-03 SunOS 5.10: wget patch

Ultra60/root# smpatch update
125215-03 has been validated.
Installing patches from /var/sadm/spool...
125215-03 has been applied.
Post-Install Instructions

Once the patching is completed, the X Windows GUI can be quit
File -> Quit
If patches were installed which requires the system to restart, the best commands to engage those patches are the "init" or "shutdown" commands - the "reboot" command will not engage those patches.
Ultra2/root$ cd / ; sync ; sync ; init 6
The "init" process will take some time to complete, but the system will come down and restart.

Solaris 10: Adding Contributed Software

Solaris 10: Adding Contributed Software

Solaris 10 is an operating system based upon open source software and AT&T System V software. Other open sourced software has traditionally been available. Sun had started the process of bundling open software on a separate companion disk with their operating system.


The first step of this series, is to install the Solaris 10 operating system.

Insert the Companion CD into the CD-ROM drive on the server, the Volume Manager (vold) will automatically mount the CD-ROM.
Ultra2/root# df -h
Filesystem size used avail capacity Mounted on
649M 649M 0K 100% /cdrom/s10_1009_software_companion

The Companion CD bundles the source code, proprietary Intel object code, and open SPARC object code packages.

Ultra2/root# cd /cdrom/s10_1009_software_companion/Solaris_Software_Companion
Ultra2/root$ ls -alid Solaris*/Packages
36096 drwxr-xr-x 110 root sys 16384 Aug 27 18:16 Solaris_i386/Packages
4352 drwxr-xr-x 110 root sys 16384 Aug 27 18:16 Solaris_sparc/Packages

The instructions for automatically installing all of the Companion packages are located in the following README file

Ultra2/root# cd /cdrom/s10_1009_software_companion
Ultra2/root# ls -al README
-rw-r--r-- 1 root sys 2619 Aug 27 18:16 README
To install all the packages, use AT&T System V packaging command "pkgadd" for the architecture the system which is being installed under (i.e. sun4u is sparc).

One can pick the packages they want to install, but since there are many prerequisites, this is probably not the wisest way. One should always sit there, the first time they do this in their lives, and press "y" about 100 times, during the install process, reading everything that goes by, so they understand what they are installing.
Ultra2/root# cd /cdrom/s10_1009_software_companion/Solaris_Software_Companion
Ultra2/root# pkgadd -d Solaris_sparc/Packages all
Do you want to continue with the installation of <various package> [y,n,?] y

After doing several installs, one should automate the process. The README file describes a process to build some install defaults in "/var/tmp/admin" and allow "pkgadd" to just perform the installs automatically. The instructions below use a "here document" in shell, in order to remove the requirement of a user typing this information in manually.
Ultra2/root# cat >/var/tmp/admin <<!

Ultra2/root# cd /cdrom/s10_1009_software_companion/Solaris_Software_Companion

Ultra2/root# pkgadd -a /var/tmp/admin -d $PWD 

After adding the packages, one should patch Solaris with the latest fixes.

Solaris 10: Installation on a Sun SPARC Server

Solaris 10: Installation on a SPARC Server


This is a description of a fresh Solaris 10 SPARC installation on a Sun server which includes everything except OEM packages.


Solaris 10 is available under DVD or CD-ROM for free from the Sun Solaris downloads web site. Most Sun servers come with a DVD or a CD-ROM drive. Installation from a CD-ROM is a time intensive process - it is vastly easier to buy a DVD-ROM drive from eBay than it is to go through the CD-ROM install with a half-dozen disks of media.

Pre-Installation Instructions:

First, the SPARC Solaris 10 DVD should be inserted into the DVD drive. The system should be brought down to firmware mode, at the "ok>" prompt.

{0} ok boot cdrom

Installation Instructions:

As the system installer provides prompts, answer the questions. Please note, this installation is assuming the ISP designates a default router of and a hardware firewall is designated as in the network topology. These parameters may be different for your network!

- select a language
# 0 (english)

- terminal used?
# 13 (CDE terminal emulator dtterm)

- initial splash screen: continue
- setup screen: continue

- system is networked?
# yes

- network interfaces detected: hme0, hme1; selected for setup:
# hme0

- use DHCP for hme0?
# no

- host name for hme0?
# Ultra2

- IP address for hme0?

- system part of a subnet?
# yes

- netmask:

- enable IPv6 for hme0?
# no

- confirmation screen:
# yes

- enable kerberos security?
# no

- confirmation screen:
# yes

- name service information:

- domain name of where this server resides:

- IP address of DNS servers:

- search domain: (none) default route for hme0?
# describe one

- router address for hme0?

- DNS search list:
# none

- confirmation screen:
# yes

- "Unable to find an address entry for Ultra2 within the specified DNS configuration. Enter new name configuration?
# no

- NFSv4 configuration: use the NFSv4 domain automatically derived by the system confirmation:
# yes

- Time zone selection:
# Americas
# - United States
# - - Eastern

- Accept suggested date-time-year?
# yes

- confirmation
# yes

- root password:
# (unspecified)

- remote services enabled?
# yes

- type of installation?
# standard

- automatically eject DVD?
# yes

- auto-reboot?
# yes

- upgrade or initial?
# initial

- accept license?
# yes

- languages to install?
# all of them. /* All of them?!? # YES ALL OF THEM COMPUTER, NO TALKING BACK */

- Initial language locale:
# U.S.A. (UTF-8)
/*It's about 3/4 of the way down the huge list of languages, located under the "North America" heading.*/

- Scan for additional software?
# no

- filesystem?

- which distribution?
# entire (no OEM support)

- disk:
# c0t0d0
# esc-4 (to edit slices)

- root slice:
# c0t0d0s0

- update eprom to boot from disk 0?
# yes

- preserve existing data?
# no

- auto or manual slice layout?
# manual
# /root 20604
# /swap 2430
# overlap
# /home 12031

- mount remote file systems?
# yes

- begin installation?
# yes

/* Installation begins, coffee break! Installation finishes.*/

- Power saving mode?
# no

Post Installation Instructions:

Log in as "root", reboot the machine and eject the DVD to completely test the install. Please note, in a real installation, a root password should be set.

Login: root

Ultra2# cd / ; sync ; sync ; init 6

After the machine comes back up, the installation of the Contributed Software should occur. If no additional software is required, patching Solaris is the next step.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Register: Woefully Behind...

The Register: Woefully Behind

Sun xVM Hypervisor

Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in The Register, "Considering that VirtualBox came from a German company (Innotek) that Sun bought in February 2008 because its own Xen-based virtualization efforts were woefully behind..."

That statement is categorically untrue... personal pet speculations should never be conveyed as fact by a reasonable writer.

There has never been any published statement from Sun confirming this writers opinion. To make a truthful statement , one would need to have a reference from Sun, none has been presented, and I have personally never seen such a statement from Sun.

Let the reader try to understand this odd line of thinking - VirtualBox was purchased last year, Sun VirtualBox just gets Live Migration, and Sun xVM Hypervisor had live migration for some time... Sun xVM Hypervisor is not "woefully behind".

Sun xVM Hypervisor, is bundled with OpenSolaris, paid production support is available, and Sun xVM Hypervisor has been able to do live migration for some time, and Sun xvM Hypervisor hosts Solaris 10 x64 operating systems... Live Migration is even available with the Xen volume sitting on top of an NFS file share on top of ZFS - that is certainly not "woefully behind"!

Sun announced development is continuing on xVM Hypervisor under x64 servers with more features due... OpenSolaris will continue to be the place to get it.

Sun VirtualBox runs under MacOSX, Linux, and Windows - the OpenSolaris or Solaris Operating System support teams is the wrong place to put this product development. Is Sun VirtualBox "woefully behind" because VirtualBox was not bundled in Solaris 10? Doubtfully...

Contrast this to Hardware Domains, Logical Domains, and xVM Hypervisor all being consistently supported at the OS level. Since these features are not offered under MacOSX, Linux, or Windows - this is the right place to put this product development. is Sun xVM Hypervisor "woefully behind" because it was not released as a separate product? Doubtfully...

If a company is thinking about deploying Linux with an x86 Xen hypervisor to run Solaris 10, there is far less risk with considering Xen under OpenSolaris with Sun xVM Hypervisor - paid production support are available directly from Sun for OpenSolaris.

Clearly, Sun xVM Hypervisor is out, is being developed, and offers very nice features that Type 2 Hypervisors like Sun VirtualBox are starting to include. The xVM Hypervisor for x64 was never billed as a Solaris 10 feature. Contrast this to ZFS, which did not make the first cut of Solaris 10. Clearly, Sun xVM Hypervisor is not "woefully behind" if it was never scheduled to be in Solaris 10.

The Sun xVM Hypervisor for x64 was merged into the OpenSolaris source code base. One would logically conclude the xVM Hypervisor is being groomed as a feature in the next major release of Solaris (i.e. perhaps Solaris 11?) for those companies who don't want to mess with pure Open Source operating systems like OpenSolaris.

Let's watch vitualization progress!

Friday, November 13, 2009

OpenSolaris NEXT

OpenSolaris NEXT

So, what is next for OpenSolaris???

Glynn Foster, OpenSolaris product manager at Sun, speaks at Oracle Open World 2009.
  • March 2010 Release
  • Installation & Package Management Enhancements
  • New packages in the network repository
  • Interactive text install for SPARC & x64
  • Virtualization upgrades for Crossbow
  • Xen upgrades for xVM Server under x64
  • packaging updates for Solaris Containers
Interactive SPARC installation and xVM Server updates for x64 look like the big winners in March 2010!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Solaris 10: Configuring a Stock Apache Server

Solaris 10: Configuring a Stock Apache Server


Sun had been a tremendous advocate of Open Standards for decades. One of the most influential standards advocated by Sun had been Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, or "http". This protocol is most often served by a server program, called a "daemon". Many people and organizations create "httpd" servers, one such group is the "Apache Software Foundation", where employees from Sun had been elected to the board, and members of the board had served in authoritative positions on other Sun open source projects. The "httpd" daemon from "Apache", one of the most popular http servers in the world today, is bundled into Sun's Solaris Operating System.

Identifying the Apache Service:

Solaris 10 comes shipped with an HTTP server, but it is disabled by default. The services infrastructure shows the server, even if you are uncertain how to identify the service.
Ultra2/root$ svcs apache2
disabled 17:01:42 svc:/network/http:apache2

Ultra2/root$ svcs http
disabled 17:01:42 svc:/network/http:apache2

Configuring the Apache Service

The Apache "httpd" server uses a configuration file, which must be minimally configured, before it will operate.
Ultra2/root$ cp /etc/apache2/httpd.conf-example /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

vi /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
ServerAdmin user@fully.qualified.domain
ServerName fully.qualified.domain

Enabling the Apache Service

The service can be enabled in Solaris 10 via the Service Administration command.
Ultra2/root$ svcadm enable svc:/network/http:apache2

Ultra2/root$ svcs apache2
online 1:07:55 svc:/network/http:apache2

Document Location

Documents are located in the following UNIX directory tree:
Ultra2/root$ ls -al /var/apache2/htdocs/index.html* | head
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bin 1663 Nov 21 2004 /var/apache2/htdocs/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bin 1583 Nov 21 2004 /var/apache2/htdocs/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bin 2202 Nov 21 2004 /var/apache2/htdocs/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bin 1508 Nov 21 2004 /var/apache2/htdocs/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root bin 1828 Nov 21 2004 /var/apache2/htdocs/

Thin Clients: Sun Ray WAN Firmware

Ultra Thin Clients: Sun Ray WAN Firmware


Sun Microsystems had started as a UNIX workstation vendor based upon BSD UNIX. Most of these workstations were based upon diskless or dataless environments, where user data was stored on centralized servers. After an investment from AT&T, Sun has moved from predominantly a workstation vendor to a server, using AT&T SVR4 UNIX multi-processor scalable source code. In the process of moving it's core business to servers, Sun refocused their efforts on even lower costing thin clients. The SunRay line of ultra-thin clients provides virtually all processing on the server, with virtually all the data on the server, with merely providing the display, keyboard, mouse, and local ports through a multiplexed network connection. Sun recently provided Wide Area Network capability to the SunRay clients.

Finding a Sun Ray on a Dedicated Network

When a Sun Ray is attached to a dedicated network, the Solaris platform will provide for it an IP Address via DHCP. The physical address is written on the DTU, so the IP can be correlated via the "arp" command.
Ultra2/root$ arp -a
Net to Media Table: IPv4
Device IP Address . . Mask . . . . . Flags Phys Addr
------ --------------- --------------- ----- -----------------
hme0 . . . 01:00:5e:65:65:65
hme1 . . . 01:00:5e:65:65:65
hme1 IGMP.MCAST.NET. . . . 01:00:5e:00:00:16
hme1 . o . .
hme1 Ultra2-hme1 . . SPLA. 08:00:20:89:ed:d3
hme0 Ultra2. . . . . SPLA. 08:00:20:89:ed:d3
hme1 BASE-ADDRESS. . . . . SM. . 01:00:5e:00:00:00

Determining the Firmware

Once can query the Sun Ray (by IP address) to determine the firmware level. Note, there is no WAN firmware on this unit, since there was no "GUI" prefix on the firmware identification.
Ultra2/root$ utquery -d

Upgrading Sun Ray Firmware

The firmware must be upgraded to the GUI version. This is done using the user teriminal firmware administration tool, by the hardware address.
Ultra2/root$ utfwadm -A -f /opt/SUNWut/lib/firmware_gui -e 00:03:ba:26:9f:92 Unit "0803BA269F92" will be upgraded at its next power-on if it is served by host "Ultra2" and is connected to the network and is not already running firmware version "GUI4.2_77_2009.". ### stopped DHCP daemon ### started DHCP daemon ### reinitialized DHCP daemon

Validating the Sun Ray Firmware

After booting the desktop unit, a second query will reveal the new firmware with the GUI prefix.
Ultra2/root$ utquery -d
The desktop unit is now ready to be leveraged across a WAN.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Yell in Your Data Center

Don't Yell In Your Data Center

Yes, loud noise in your data center causes vibration which can increase latency.

Only Analytics by Sun have been able to demonstrate this in real-time.

Network Management Connection

Network Management is all about Fault, Performance, and Configuration Management.

Why has no one else shipped performance management software for their storage units on the par that Sun has?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sun Takes #1 Spot in TPC-C Benchmarks!

Sun Takes #1 Spot in TPC-C Benchmarks!

Sun has long participated in benchmarks. Some benchmarks have been left idle by Sun for may years. Sun has released a new TPC-C benchmark, using a cluster of T2+, earlier than advertised.
An interesting blog on the topic
Interesting Observations
  • Order of magnitude fewer racks to produce a faster solution
  • Order of magnitude fewer watts per 1000 tpmC
  • Sun's 36 sockets to IBM's 32 sockets
  • 10 GigE & FC instead of InfiniBand
  • Intel based OpenSolaris storage servers, instead of AMD "Thumper " based servers
Some thoughts:
  • The order of magnitude improvements in space and power consumption was obviously more compelling to someone than shooting for an order of magnitude improvement in performance
  • The performance could have been faster by adding more hosts to the RAC configuration, but the order of magnitude comparisons would be lost
  • The cost savings for superior performing SPARC cluster is dramatic: fewer hardware components for maintenance , lower HVAC costs, lower UPS costs, lower generator costs, lower cabling costs, lower data center square footage costs
  • The pricing per SPARC core is still to high for the T2 and T2+ processors, in comparison to the performance with competing sockets
  • The negative hammering by a few internet posters about the Sun OpenSPARC CoolThreads processors not being capable of running large databases is finally put to rest
It would have been nice to see:
  • a more scalable SMP solution, but this solution will expand better in an IBM horse race
  • a full Sun QDR InfiniBand configuration
  • a full end-to-end 10GigE configuration
  • Ithe T2 with embedded 10GigE clustered instead of the T2+ with the 10GigE card