Wednesday, January 11, 2006

This can't be serious...

I've often wondered why Solaris patches take so long to apply.

I'm still wondering, after updating the Java patch (118668, for the technically minded). OK, so it's a big patch, but I've got a high-spec dual Opteron W2100z so it should be done in the blink of an eye.

Or maybe not. I decided to back out the old revision (this is one of those foibles I have - I tend to apply patches regularly on test boxes, so they get every revision, so I have a habit of backing out old revisions to keep things clean). The backout took 10 minutes, adding the new version 5. That's 15 minutes on one of the fastest machines around. Ouch!

One thing I did notice is that the patch backout was writing at an average of 30Mbytes/s for most of that 10 minutes. Overall, I reckon that I had about 15Gbytes of disk writes. Why on earth?????

Clearly it's up to something very clever here.

(For comparison, simply installing that version of java - which is about 135M - generated about 200Mbytes of disk writes and took about 20 seconds. And some of that is accepting the license, unpacking and verifying the archive, and building the jars. Clearly there's some scope for improvement.)

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