> I am new to Solaris system administration. I have just been
> given a SunFire v240 with 2 GB RAM and a pair of 36 GB SCSI
> drives. I want to have maximum flexibility and uptime (no
> surprise!) After reading a bunch of Solaris 9 manuals, I came up
> with the following:
> Disk layout:
> slice 0: most of the disk--break into SVM soft partitions as needed
> slice 1: swap (2 GB)
> slice 3: dedicated crash dump (2 GB) partition
I think you *must* have at least one small slice for / otherwise the boot
loader seems to have problems finding the kernel, putting an abrupt end to
what would have been otherwise a successful boot. ;) At least, this was
true for Solaris 8. No idea if this is still a requirement for Solaris 9.
We recently went through this whole exercise with a 280R and soft
partitions with a similar setup as you proposed.
Quote:> I would also use Solaris Volume Manger (SVM) to mirror slices 0
> and 1 to the second disk. Then, I could create soft partitions
> on slice 1 for /, /var, /export, etc. If needed, I could also
> grow those soft partitions and filesystems as the need arises.
Quote:> To do routine patches, I would use Live Upgrade to create one
> or more alternate boot environments on additional soft
> partitions. Once I reboot the system into its new environment
> after patching and check that everything works, I could remove
> the soft partitions that contained the earlier system
> filesystems. For routine backups, I would use fssnap to make
> online filesystem backups.
Sounds good to me.
Quote:> But, older, wiser Solaris system administrators do not agree with
Well, there are some older, wiser Solaris system administrators that agrees
with you. Some will, some won't. Such is the nature and variety of human
The important part is that you must have well-grounded reasons for the
various procedures and configurations that you want, and make sure you
aren't busting some limit or rule... or creating a difficult to support
situation in the long term.
From what you've described so far, sounds good to me with exception of
missing / on its own slice.
Quote:> me. They would rather I put all the system filesystems (/, /var,
> /usr, etc) on slices (no soft partitions) and deal with 7 slice
> limit. They also do think live upgrade is overkill for patches
> (but almost every Sun patch I have seen wants you to go to single
> user mode and reboot after it is done?)
Well, it depends... some places have complex software setups that are
*really* sensitive to changes in OS or application behavior, like these
introduced by patches sometimes, and may have higher availability
requirements. For these setups, rolling back to a known good setup simply
by booting off the original drive then re-mirroring or re-doing patches
after determining the culprit, is a hard requirement at some sites.
At other sites, they can back out the patches and reboot if they had
installed patches that saved the previous version (for easy backout).
Sometimes some sites prefer to apply minor patches with a save option (for
easy backout if necessary), and to do the break mirror, patch one drive if
it's a major or significant patch.
It just depends on your needs and requirements, really.
Quote:> I wonder why SVM and soft partitions are not integrated into the
> Solaris OE install CD--when I tried it, the only option I was
> given was to everything onto disk slices.
That's a good question. Perhaps Sun wanted to preserve expected behavior
since there are a large base of existing Solaris system admins (including
certified ones) that "knows" slice x has y, or existing homemade (eg
Jumpstart) install scripts that makes these assumptions and would need to
be overhauled to use a SVM+soft partition environment properly?
Don't know the reason... can only speculate. Perhaps someone from Sun will
be able to give a more definitive answer.
Quote:> So, is their any consensus or "best practices" when it comes to
> using SVM/soft partitions and Solaris OE system filesystems?
In general, I see use of SVM and soft partitions as being a big win for
system administration in the long term and strongly encourage its adoption
and use whereever possible.