Apr 24
I recently found myself with an interesting problem to solve while jumpstarting some very large SPARC machines. Aside from some of the neat functionality that has been stuck in there since I last looked at it in detail, there's absolutely nothing new about jumpstarting machines, and although I've jumpstarted dozens/hundreds of machines of varying sizes over the years, there was significant expectation (and risk) to upgrading these particular machines and I wanted to make sure that I got it right first time, every time.

Continue reading "Jumpstarting large machines"

Posted by Mike Scott

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Aug 28

The controls for IPC settings such as shared memory and semaphores have changes somewhat in Solaris 10. This seems to be a cause of regular confusion, and recently a friend asked me to clarify how they ought to be configured.

Continue reading "Shared memory controls in Solaris 10"

Posted by Mike Scott

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Aug 7

Anybody else noticed that the Solaris 'crypt' command isn't in common use in the Linux community?

Continue reading "'crypt'ing in Linux.."

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jul 25

After a bit of healthy debate in the office about the merits and
implications of using adaptive copy mode (ACp) with EMC's SRDF, I wanted to clarify my own
thoughts on how it operates, and the benefits of using it.

Continue reading "Demystifiying ACp.."

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jul 25

I've been debating whether or not to post this here, as it's not strictly a unixy thing, but what the hell.. I'm ethused enough to be boring enough people locally about it, so a few more isn't going to harm the world.

Continue reading "Back in Blighty.."

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jun 21

We recently purchased a few drives to fit into one of our servers. I'll not say who supplied the drives, or even what kind of server, suffice to say it's not Sun, and it runs Solaris.

What arrived was a bit disturbing.


Continue reading "What do you do with your decommissioned hardware?"

Posted by Mike Scott

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May 20

Working a particularly troublesome problem this week reminded me of two things: I realised (not for the first time in my career) that sometimes the unlikliest root cause will be there to bite you in the ass.

It also reminded me of a phrase once used by the late John Peel:

I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.

Continue reading "Expect the unexpected"

Posted by Mike Scott

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May 18

Good grief - I've only just heard about this

Continue reading "Vx Storage Foundation Free!"

Posted by Mike Scott

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May 18

As requested, I've put the Clones, Failovers and Migrations article online here. As always - feedback is appreciated, in fact.. consider it mandatory if you find it useful ;-)

Posted by Mike Scott

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Mar 4

Installing a replacement drive and being unable to shrink a filesystem to fit to the smaller replacement drive. I encountered an interesting problem today - how to copy a large dataset containing many hardlinked files.

Hard links are used relatively rarely, and so don't normally cause an issue - however - there was an interesting solution using rsync..

Continue reading "Rsync saves the day"

Posted by Mike Scott

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Feb 13


Something strange happened here today. I'm not sure I get some of the reasons of why it happened.. partly Client company politics, I guess.

I've been pushing the use of Solaris 10 quite heavily recently, and after trying to drum up enthusaism for a while, found an ideal project to make the first production machines.

Continue reading "Solaris 10 in production.. finally."

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jan 31

I've recently finished my fourth article for SysAdmin magazine - this was a bit of a rush job, as they want to publish in the "Clusters" themed issue in April. It is a discussion of a technique for system failover that I recently put into production, which more-or-less guarantees transparency of failover.

Continue reading "Clones, Failovers and Migrations"

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jan 26

Back onto the subject of striping, here's a thought that I've harboured for a little while, but never actually gotten around to testing it formally. Perhaps sometime soon I'll find the time to give it a thorough test and analysis and report back..

Common knowledge tells us to take the average size of a read or write operation (dependant on whether an app is read- or write- mostly) and to divide it by the number of spindles that we are striping against in order to calculate the correct column width.

I'm not so sure.

Continue reading "SAME again"

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jan 25

With the recent news that Lexmark is closing it's inkjet cart manufaturing facility in Rosyth, I'll be losing a good customer.

Continue reading "Another closure, another customer gone.."

Posted by Mike Scott

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Jan 24

I was chatting with Doug recently about disk layouts, and the conversation rolled onto disk and volume topologies and layouts.

Where I'm working at the moment, there has been a myth propogated that striping is good for data filesystems, and concats are better for redo logs.

Quite where this has come from, I'm not entirely sure. However.. whilst thinking about this I came to the conclusion that for redo logs, the layout is largely irrelevant.

Continue reading "SAME difference"

Posted by Mike Scott

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