Installing Oracle VM Server for SPARC (formerly Solaris Logical Domains) on SPARC T-series Servers

This free tutorial and demonstration covers:

  • Installation and initial configuration of Oracle VM Server for SPARC v.2 software on an Oracle T-series server.
  • Configuration of the Control Domain, which controls the logical domain environment and provides services to guest domains.
  • A brief example of creating a guest domain.

This free training is segmented into several separate lessons:

  1. Intro to VM Server (Solaris Logical Domains) and Core Multi-Threaded (CMT) Ultrasparc (10:10)
  2. Demonstration: System Firmware, Network Configuration, Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager, Solaris Installation (9:25) (click on video below)
  3. FAQs and Demonstration: Installing LDOM Software, Creating Domains (10:17)
  4. Demonstration: Configuring the Control Domain (8:51)
  5. Demonstration: Configuring the Control Domain (continued) and Using ZFS Disk Space (10:31)
  6. Demonstration: Creating the Guest Domain (10:29)

Date: Oct 5, 2011

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Demonstration: System Firmware, Network Configuration, Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager, Solaris Installation

Installing Oracle VM Server formerly Solaris Logical Domains on SPARC T-Series Servers Part 2


>> Mick:  You can access the firmware initially usually through a serial port. I won’t go into too many details about how to do that. I’m sure some of you would already be familiar with that. Of course, once you’ve accessed that, you can then set up network connection and usually access through something like SSH, which is exactly what I’ve done here.




This machine has got the operating system installed in it already.




There you can see the description. I’ve installed my T5120 just like any other Solaris system so there’s no domain on there at the moment.




The operating system version is, as you can see, update 9. I don’t know if you’re aware of an update 10 has just been released also.


In this particular case, I haven’t installed any patches or made any change in this. It’s just a straightforward install.




The firmware side of things. It normally has DHCP enabled by default. So if you connect your system and switch it on while it’s connected to your network, it may pick up an address although it can be set statically.


The login defaults are root and the password is changeme, just in case you ever get stuck. There’s a handy bit of information for you.




Here are some example firmware commands. Let me log into the firmware, which I can do with SSH because I’ve got the system set up. This would actually power on the machine, start/SYS. Then I could start the console.


When I do that, I would then see the OK prompt that you would all be familiar with from let’s call that a normal SPARC server. Once I’ve got that OK prompt, I can then proceed to build Solaris over from a DVD or maybe a network build.


These are more examples of setting network configuration within the firmware, which I can then commit to the firmware to make it permanent.


I can also examine settings. At the bottom there I’m actually committing the changes I’ve made so they are permanently now within the firmware and will survive at reboot.




There are many more firmware commands and you can freely download or access the relevant manuals from Oracle. You don’t need to access it through My Oracle Support.


Just to show you, here I’m actually connected to the T5120, giving its IP address and it gives me a login prompt which root and then the password. Then we go.




This one, you need it. Once more. Much better. There we go. A very fancy interface but very, very useful in this stage you having to know all the necessary firmware commands.


I had one warning it would stop there. That’s basically because I haven’t changed the factory default password, but everything else is looking fine in terms of the management of the system. A very sophisticated interface to look at on my server’s underlying faults or if I want to know the temperature of a fan or whatever. A very nice interface.


Even the ability to upgrade the firmware, assuming I have my Oracle support access to do so. There’s an example in the notes.




Let’s have a look at the practical side of things now. Once I’ve got access to the firmware and though I’ve started the console, I would get a normal OK prompt as though I was on any normal SPARC machine, and I can then proceed to do an operating system install.


I won’t go into the procedures for doing so. What I would assume most of you have had some sort of Solaris installation experience. But of course you can setup a network server to do your boots which is exactly what I do because I’m forever performing builds in the training environment.


I would build Solaris in the normal way. The only thing I would say when you do this is that you have to make provision for disk space for your Logical Domains. That’s something we’ll be looking at a little bit later.




Having installed Solaris, you then need to obtain the Oracle software – the VM Server SPARC software – and you definitely need a support contract from Oracle to get access to do this. For this particular file I’ve downloaded, it’s purely for development demo purposes as is the operating system itself. I’ve actually put this into a /root directory and I would now need to unzip it.


You see the resulting OVM server directory. That’s the readme file which will contain all the information about the firmware compatibility required for this version, the supported hardware, the patch levels and so on. Very clearly stated. That’s something important that you would normally want to look at.




Again, to obtain patches and for firmware updates, you would need to go to My Oracle Support. If you’re familiar with Sun Support, there’s no longer the system handbook access and you have to do it through your patches and updates access on My Oracle Support, and then search for your server under the product or family advanced heading.


I put a little slide in here. Sorry, it’s not very clear. But basically, you have to search perhaps patches to find your firmware update and then you can download it and install it according to the instructions.




Let’s just stop for a minute. Pause of breath. We’ve downloaded and unpacked the Logical Domains Manager software, which is here. We haven’t yet installed it. Theoretically, we’ve checked the readme file to make sure that we have the correct firmware version. We’ve downloaded that firmware as a patch from Oracle.




That patch by the way for the firmware includes updates to the OpenBoot PROM and the POST software.


Now what we have to do is actually install the software. This is a real installation. I haven’t set up anything to emulate it. We’re doing it for real on this machine, so you’ll see precisely what goes on.


To check the patches – you’re probably already aware of this – you can use showrev -p to make sure your patches are up to date, and then you can crack the listing to find out whether the recommended patches are there. But in the interest of time, I’m not going to show how to install lots of patches.


Now we’re going to just do an install. While that’s going on, we’ll take a pause and maybe we’ll take a question or two if you have anything you want to ask. What I’ll do, I’ll just start the install.


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