Tuesday, December 16, 2008

End of an era

A year ago, the dominant computing platform in the Tribble household was the Sun workstation.

OK, so only one - my W2100z - was anything like modern, with an old Sun Blade 1500 and a couple of antiquated Sun Blade 150s used by the children.

Over the summer, the Sun Blade 150s got retired - one replaced by the Blade 1500, the other by a new laptop.

Then I was fortunate enough to get a decent enough PC free, which has replaced the Sun Blade 1500.

(And don't worry, it's set up to dual boot Windows and OpenSolaris).

So I finally sold the Sun Blade 1500 today, and the house no longer has any Sparc workstations.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Solaris Link Aggregation

Setting up link aggregation in Solaris is pretty simple. First make sure you have a recent version (I'm using update 5 aka 5/08 and update 6 aka 10/08).

Then make sure your switch is configured. For example, on one of my Summit switches where I'm going to aggregate ports 7 and 8:

enable sharing 7 grouping 7 8 lacp

You can see the state of the network interfaces on the host using dladm, for example:

# dladm show-dev
nxge0 link: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full
nxge1 link: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full
nxge2 link: unknown speed: 0 Mbps duplex: unknown
nxge3 link: unknown speed: 0 Mbps duplex: unknown

Then on the host (connected to the console - trying to do this over the network is obviously going to be difficult), take down the existing interface:

ifconfig nxge0 down unplumb

Create an aggregate out of nxge0 and nxge1, with index 1 (why normal interfaces start out with index 0 and aggregations start out at 1 is one of those oddities):

dladm create-aggr -P L2 -l passive -d nxge0 -d nxge1 1

And then bring the interface up:

ifconfig aggr1 plumb
ifconfig aggr1 inet netmask broadcast up
and then rename /etc/hostname.nxge0 to /etc/hostname.aggr1 so the right thing happens next boot.

Here I've enabled LACP (the '-l passive' flag). I'm not absolutely sure how vital this is, but I think the switch and the host need to be set compatibly.

I had a little play with the policy. In the command above it's set to 'L2'. This didn't work well for me - all the traffic went down one of the links. Same with 'L3'. Setting to to use both L2 and L3 seemed to work better

dladm modify-aggr -P L2,L3 1
and I got traffic using both links, and an aggregate throughput obviously in excess of a single gigabit.

Monitoring the aggregate can again be done using dladm. For example, you can watch the traffic and how much goes down each link with 'dladm show-aggr -s -i 1'.

T5140 trouble

Had a bit of fun and games with a T5140 last week.

This was a new machine (although when I say new, we purchased it a little while ago).

Powered on, and the preinstalled Solaris just panics. Not necessarily a problem, as I reinstall anyway. But I have seen this a few times - the preinstalled system should at least boot.

So I boot using Solaris 10 10/08, and it dies on me:

Fast Data Access MMU Miss

Not good.

What I has to do was install Solaris 10 5/08, update the system firmware, and then install the version of Solaris I wanted.

(Which explains why my other machines are fine - they were first installed a little while ago, so has S10 5/08 on them initially. But it looks as though updating to reasonably current firmware is a really good idea.)