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)
  3. FAQs and Demonstration: Installing LDOM Software, Creating Domains (10:17) (click on video below)
  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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FAQs and Demonstration: Installing LDOM Software, Creating Domains

Installing Oracle VM Server formerly Solaris Logical Domains on SPARC T-Series Servers Part 3


>> Dave:  Hi, Mick. This is Dave.


>> Mick:  Hi, Dave.


>> Dave:  A couple of questions in the queue. What command shows available processors on the T-series servers?




>> Mick:  Thanks for that question. That’s exactly the same as any other Solaris system. The answer to that one is psrinfo, usually minus v to get a bit more information and stand back in amazement and not pressure its own.  


Here we can see the virtual processors starting at zero, operating at 1165 MHz in this particular case. The list just goes on and on and on and on, and up to 63, making 64. So the answer to your question, Dave, is psrinfo -v.


>> Dave:  Excellent. Another question in the queue, Mick. One of our administrators is just getting started to some extent. Where would be a good place to find out how to install Solaris? Where would this person get started?


>> Mick:  The best place – you know what I’m going to say, Dave, obviously – is come on a training course. There are many different types of machine. There’s Intel processors. You know this type of system. There are the non-Sun for the M-series. Each of which can have Solaris installed on it but in a number of different ways.


Of course, there’s plenty of documentation in the Oracle website to help you. It can take a little bit of time to work out a particular procedure. My answer would be come on a training course and that is the best way. You couldn’t really distill it down into a short list that it could apply to any particular server.




>> Dave:  I’ve just put in the link for the group. A link to one of SkillBuilders administration classes so that might be helpful for one or more of the students.


>> Mick:  Great. One thing I would say is once you’ve done a Solaris install like any operating installation that you ever done, it always follows the same path. How do I partition the disk? What software options do I want? What’s the date and time? What’s the time zone? All that is a standard on any install. But like now when we do an install, we have to make other considerations like the amount of disperse.


Let me get this software installed. Unzip the software distribution, CD to the directory. I’m running the install. It’s asking me, do I want the Configuration Assistant which supposedly use a friendly frontend to configure Logical Domains, but I’m one of these guys – like many who’d like to see exactly what’s going on. So I’m going to answer no.




Now Logical Domains is installed. There are two packages that were installed, one of them being the LDOM software. Another one that we’re not going to be using that allows you to convert physical machine images into Logical Domain.


There’s a little transcript of the install.




There’s a dmd running, the background process which does all the work for you. When you use the ldm command, it communicates with the dmd, which is quite the typical way of doing things on Unix or Solaris box. In this case, it’s called ldmd. We better make sure that it’s running. There we can see that it is enabled, it’s online, it’s looking good.


We can also now use the ldm command which is installed as part of that vm server for SPARC software. The first thing I’ll do is enable the vm list which shows what domains I’ve got. It’s showing my machine. There’s the primary domain. This is the control domain. This is the machine that has control over everything we’re going to do and it has all the resources available to it, 16 gigs of RAM, 64 virtual CPUs which we’re going to change fairly rapidly.


We could actually run the machine just as a normal Solaris box with a heck of a lot of virtual CPUs and memory, but we’re not going to. We’re going to create some domains. First of all, we’ve got a control domain, which is the original Solaris system that we’ve just been looking at. We’re also going to have something called a service domain which has virtual services associated with it like a network or a disk controller.


We can also create a I/O domain which is another input/output domain but actually has direct control over some of the hardware. So we can install the domain and then maybe portion part of a PCI bus or a complete PCI bus to that domain. This is something we’ve done on a system to allow us to do I/O multipathing. So the system has two host bus adapters and one domain for those, the other one failover and all the domains carry on running. It’s also used where we split the gigabit network interfaces between the domains.


Having created those domains you then create your guest domain. In practice, on a smaller sort of less capable T-series server, your control domain will normally carry out all three functions and indeed the hardware might have not have the capability of being split so you can’t really create a separate I/O domain for failover. But certainly something like a T3, it’s evidently suitable to do that sort of thing. We’re just going to configure the control domain and we’re going to associate all the services with that and then we can look at creating a guest domain.




First thing we have to do is set up virtual services. We have to create a disk controller. We have to create a network controller to which we can then assign devices that are going to be used within our virtual machines.


Bear in mind, we’re doing a real installation here. We can go through these steps so the system doesn’t currently have any of these things set up. You see me having to type it all in.




This is creating a disk controller in the primary domain and the add-vds is understood as meaning create a virtual disk service which I’m calling primary-virtual disk service 0 because I can have more than one.


Then I’m going to create what’s called virtual console controller which will allow me from the control domain through telnet into my Logical Domains to display the [8:46 inaudible], for example, as though I’m on the system console. Then I’m assigning the port range locally through telnet to see how to this. You’ll see how this works a little bit later.




Here I’m adding a virtual switch. There are some very powerful facilities within this software. This is actually creating for all intents and purposes a network switch within the control domain. Once I’ve got that switch, I can then assign network ports to my guest domains. In fact, I can have more than switch through different I/O domains and then I can use IPMP (Internet Protocol Multipathing) to provide failover across the different I/O domains, which is something else that we did on the T3 for I/O.




If I want to look at the services I’ve assigned at any time, I can do ldm list services.




Not quite as straightforward as in the Unix books. We’ll have to copy and then paste. There we go. The reporting facilities of ldm are quite good.


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