Friday, July 01, 2005

V40z with dual core Opterons review

Nice review of V40z with dual core Opterons. It's also quite a positive review of Solaris 10 (and a little comparison to Linux).

"As we mentioned earlier, scalability is a big issue but if anyone can tackle that obstacle, it's Sun. Sun spent a lot of time getting Solaris 10 ready for x86, and as you will see in our benchmarks section, the "Slowlaris" moniker might be dead."

From my own experience, Solaris 9 and especially Solaris 10 is really quite fast (comparing to Linux). It managed even to be faster than Linux on a just 2-way x86 servers in a production enviroment. Add all developer tools available on Solaris, DTrace in particular, and you get "developer's dream".

"Solaris is really a developer's dream. During the V40z's brief stay in our labs, we actually used the machine extensively for development of our RTPE software platform; partially because the V40z is 10 times more powerful than our entire RTPE cluster, but partially because of DTrace, MDB and libumem. Using some of the examples from the DTrace introduction above, we were able to use the analyzer to isolate instances where some of our RTPE bots were getting preempted for supposedly no reason at all. Kudos to that team at Sun!"

That's a real beaty of DTrace - you can start using it in a minutes just by looking at examples and actually get some nice results! IMHO DTrace alone is good enough reason in many cases to use Solaris instead of all the other OSes.

[...] if a single Zone is compromised, the whole system is effectively compromised. Fortunately, compromising a Solaris 10 system is not an easy task either; additional Pocess Rights Management and User Rights Management are prevalent in Solaris 10.

It's not a whole true. In most Zones configurations (and in a default one) you can't (in a zone) load/unload kernel modules, make devices, snoop a memory or network traffic of other zones, etc. - even if you get root account. So if a single Zone is compromised it doesn't mean that whole system and/or other zones are compromised. Actually quite the opposite. This is one reason why you should use Zones by default.

"Solaris 10 proved a fascinating endeavor for us as well. Our experience with the operating system as a whole were mixed, generally due to the amount of sharp edges around such a new OS. On the other hand, tools like DTrace proved invaluable to us and Sun really has a great tool on their hands for developers and administrators alike. Also note that Solaris didn't have a problem keeping up with SLES 9 in most of our benchmarks. SLES 9 is a tad slower than some of the slicker installs out there, but it wouldn't be very insightful to put Gentoo on a $39,000 system either. We were very impressed by the fact that Solaris managed to stay a little bit ahead of SLES during benchmarks with heavy scheduling. We really didn't expect this, so perhaps all the efforts of Sun to incorporate better code into the x86 portion of Solaris 10 really paid off. Coupled with the extensive support community and projects like OpenSolaris, Solaris 10 is a winner."



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