Friday, February 27, 2015

Specifying Physical Disk Locations for AI Installations

One of the very useful features in Solaris is the ability to identify physical disk location on supported hardware (mainly Oracle x86 and SPARC servers). This not only makes it easier to identify a faulty disk to be replaced but also makes OS installation more robust, as you can actually specify physical disk locations in a given server model where OS should be installed. Here is an example output from diskinfo tool on x5-2l server: 

$ diskinfo
D:devchassis-path            c:occupant-compdev
---------------------------  ---------------------
/dev/chassis/SYS/HDD00/disk  c0t5000CCA01D3A1A24d0
/dev/chassis/SYS/HDD01/disk  c0t5000CCA01D2EB40Cd0
/dev/chassis/SYS/HDD02/disk  c0t5000CCA01D30FD90d0
/dev/chassis/SYS/HDD03/disk  c0t5000CCA032018CB4d0
/dev/chassis/SYS/RHDD0/disk  c0t5000CCA01D34EB38d0
/dev/chassis/SYS/RHDD1/disk  c0t5000CCA01D315288d0

The server supports 24x disks in front and another two disks in the back. We use the front disks for data and the two disks in the back for OS. In the past we uses RAID controller to mirror the two OS disks, while all disks in the front were presented in pass-thru mode (JBOD) and managed by ZFS.

Recently I started looking into using ZFS for mirroring the OS disks as well. Notice in the above output that the two disks in the back of x5-2l server are identified as: SYS/RHDD0 SYS/RHDD1.

This is very useful as with SAS the CTD would be different for each disk and woudl also change if a disk was replaced, while the SYS/[R}HDDn location would always stay the same.

See also my older blog entry on how this information is presented in other subsystems (FMA or ZFS).

Below is a part of AI manifest which defines that OS should be installed on the two rear disks and mirrored by ZFS:
      <disk in_vdev="mirror" in_zpool="rpool" whole_disk="true">
        <disk_name name="SYS/RHDD0" name_type="receptacle">
      <disk in_vdev="mirror" in_zpool="rpool" whole_disk="true">
        <disk_name name="SYS/RHDD1" name_type="receptacle">
        <zpool is_root="true" name="rpool">
          <vdev name="mirror" redundancy="mirror">

In our environment the AI manifest is generated per server from a configuration management system based on a host profile. This means that for x5-2l servers we generate AI manifest as shown above, but on some other servers we want OS to be installed on a RAID volume, and on a general server which doesn't fall into any specific category we install OS on boot_disk. So depending on the server we generate different sections in AI manifest. This is similar to derived manifests in AI but instead of being separate to a configuration management system in our case it is part of it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Native IPS Manifests

We used to use pkgbuild tool to generate IPS packages. However recently I started working on internal Solaris SPARC build and we decided to use IPS fat packages for x86 and SPARC platforms, similarly to how Oracle delivers Solaris itself. We could keep using pkgbuild but as it always puts a variant of a host on which it was executed from, it means that we would have to run it once on a x86 server, once on a SPARC server, each time publishing to a separate repository and then use pkgmerge to create a fat package and publish it into a 3rd repo.

Since we have all our binaries already compiled for all platforms, when we build a package (RPM, IPS, etc.) all we have to do is to pick up proper files, add metadata and publish a package. No point in having three repositories and at least two hosts involved in publishing a package.

In our case native IPS manifest is a better (simpler) way to do it - we can publish a fat package from a single server to its final repository in a single step.

What is also useful is that pkgmogrify transformations can be listed in the same manifest file. Entire file is loaded first and then any transformations would be run in the specified order and new manifest will be printed to stdout. This means that in most cases we can have a single file for each package we want to generate, similarily to pkgbuild. There are cases where there are lots of files and we do use pkgsend generate to generate all files and directories, and then we have a separate file with metadata and transformations. In this case pkgbuild is a little bit easier to understand compared to what native IPS tooling offers, but it actually is not that bad.

Let's see an example IPS manifest, with some basic transformations and with both x86 and SPARC binaries.

set name=pkg.fmri value=pkg://ms/ms/pam/access@$(PKG_VERSION).$(PKG_RELEASE),5.11-0
set name=pkg.summary value="PAM pam_access library"
set name=pkg.description value="PAM pam_access module. Compiled from Linux-PAM-1.1.6."
set name=info.classification value=""
set name=info.maintainer value="Robert Milkowski "

set name=variant.arch value=i386 value=sparc

depend type=require fmri=ms/pam/libpam@$(PKG_VERSION).$(PKG_RELEASE)

dir group=sys mode=0755 owner=root path=usr
dir group=bin mode=0755 owner=root path=usr/lib
dir group=bin mode=0755 owner=root path=usr/lib/security
dir group=bin mode=0755 owner=root path=usr/lib/security/amd64      variant.arch=i386
dir group=bin mode=0755 owner=root path=usr/lib/security/sparcv9    variant.arch=sparc

&lttransform file -> default mode 0555>
&lttransform file -> default group bin>
&lttransform file -> default owner root>

# i386
file SOURCES/Linux-PAM/libs/intel/32/    path=usr/lib/security/          variant.arch=i386
file SOURCES/Linux-PAM/libs/intel/64/    path=usr/lib/security/amd64/    variant.arch=i386

# sparc
file SOURCES/Linux-PAM/libs/sparc/32/    path=usr/lib/security/          variant.arch=sparc
file SOURCES/Linux-PAM/libs/sparc/64/    path=usr/lib/security/sparcv9/  variant.arch=sparc

We can then publish the manifest by running:
$ pkgmogrify -D PKG_VERSION=1.1.6 -D PKG_RELEASE=1 SPECS/ms-pam-access.manifest | \
    pkgsend publish -s /path/to/IPS/repo
This would really go into a Makefile so in order to publish a package one does something like:
$ PUBLISH_REPO=file:///xxxxx/ gmake publish-ms-pam-access
In case where there are too many files to list them manually in the manifest, you can use pkgsend generate to generate a full list of files and directories. You need to create a manifest with only package meta data and all transformations (which would put files in their proper locations, set desired owner, group, etc.). In order to publish a package one puts into a Makefile somethine like:
$ pkgsend generate SOURCES/LWP/5.805 >BUILD/ms-perl-LWP.files
$ pkgmogrify -D PKG_VERSION=5 -D PKG_RELEASE=805 SPECS/ms-perl-LWP.p5m BUILD/ms-perl-LWP.files | \
    pkgsend publish -s /path/to/IPS/repo