Posts Tagged ‘illumos’

h1

In-the-Lab: NexentaStor and VMware Tools, You Need to Tweak It…

February 24, 2012

While working on an article on complex VSA’s (i.e. a virtual storage appliance with PCIe pass-through SAS controllers) an old issue came back up again: NexentaStor virtual machines still have a problem installing VMware Tools since it branched from Open Solaris and began using Illumos. While this isn’t totally Nexenta’s fault – there is no “Nexenta” OS type in VMware to choose from – it would be nice if a dummy package was present to allow a smooth installation of VMware Tools; this is even the case with the latest NexentaStor release: 3.1.2.

I could not find where I had documented the fix in SOLORI’s blog, so here it is… Note, the NexentaStor VM is configured as an Oracle Solaris 11 (64-bit) virtual machine for the purpose of vCenter/ESXi. This establishes the VM’s relationship to a specific VMware Tools load. Installation of VMware Tools in NexentaStor is covered in detail in an earlier blog entry.

VMware Tools bombs-out at SUNWuiu8 package failure. Illumos-based NexentaStor has no such package.

Instead, we need to modify the vmware-config-tools.pl script directly to compensate for the loss of the SUNWuiu8 package that is explicitly required in the installation script.

Commenting out the SUNWuiu8 related section allows the tools to install with no harm to the system or functionality.

Note the full “if” stanza for where the VMware Tools installer checks for ‘tools-for-solaris’ must be commented out. Since the SUNWuiu8 package does not exist – and more importantly is not needed for Illumos/Nexenta – removing a reference to it is a good thing. Now the installation can proceed as normal.

After the changes, installation completes as normal.

That’s all there is to getting the “Oracle Solaris” version of VMware Tools to work in newer NexentaStor virtual machines – now back to really fast VSA’s with JBOD-attached storage…

SOLORI’s Note: There is currently a long-standing bug that affects NexentaStor 3.1.x running as a virtual machine. Currently there is no known workaround to keep NexentaStor from running up a 50% cpu utilization from ESXi’s perspective. Inside the NexentaStor VM we see very little CPU utilization, but from the performance tab, we see 50% utilization on every configured vCPU allocated to the VM. Nexenta is reportedly looking into the cause of the problem.

I looked through this and there is nothing that stands out other that a huge number of interrupts while idle. I am not sure where those interrupts are coming from. I see something occasionally called volume-check and nmdtrace which could be causing the interrupts.

Nexenta Support

A bug report was reportedly filed a couple of days ago to investigate the issue further.

h1

Short-Take: OpenSolaris mantle assumed by Illumos, OpenIndiana

September 19, 2010

While Oracle is effectively “closed the source” to key Solaris code by making updates available only when “full releases” are distributed, others in the “formerly OpenSolaris” community are stepping-up to carry the mantle for the community. In an internal memo – leaked to the OpenSolaris news group last month – Oracle makes the new policy clear:

We will distribute updates to approved CDDL or other open source-licensed code following full releases of our enterprise Solaris operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will show up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis.

Oracle Memo to Solaris Engineering, Aug, 2010

Frankly, Oracle clearly sees the issue of continuous availability to code updates as a threat to its control over its “best-of-breed” acquisition in Solaris. It will be interesting to see how long Oracle takes to reverse the decision (and whether or not it will be too late…)

However, at least two initiatives are stepping-up to carry the mantle of “freely accessible and open” Solaris code to the community: Illumos and OpenIndiana. Illumos’ goal can be summed-up as follows:

Well the first thing is that the project is designed here to solve a key problem, and that is that not all of OpenSolaris is really open source. And there’s a lot of other potential concerns in the community, but this one is really kind of a core one, and from solving this, I think a lot of other issues can be solved.

– Excerpt, Illumos Announcement Transcript

That said, it’s pretty clear that Illumos will be a distinct fork away from “questionable” code (from a licensing perspective.) We already see a lot of chatter/concerns about this in the news/mail groups.

The second announcement comes from thje OpenIndiana group (part of the Illumos Foundation) and appears to be to Solaris as CentOS is to RedHat Enterprise Server. OpenIndiana’s press release says it like this:

OpenIndiana, an exciting new distribution of OpenSolaris, built by the community, for the community – available for immediate download! OpenIndiana is a continuation of the OpenSolaris legacy and aims to be binary and package compatible with Oracle Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express.

OpenIndiana Press Release, September 2010

Does any of this mean that OpenSolaris is going away or being discontinued? Strictly speaking: no – it lives on as Solaris 11 Express, et al. It does means control of code changes will be more tightly controlled by Oracle, and – from the reaction of the developer community – this exertion of control may slow or eliminate open source contribution to the Solaris/OpenSolaris corpus. Further, Solaris 11 won’t be “free for production use”as earlier versions of Solaris were. It also means that distributions and appliance derivatives (like NexentaStor and Nexenta Core) will be able to thrive despite Oracle’s tightening.

Illumous has yet to release a distribution. OpenIndiana has distributions available for download today.