Rapid Deployment of Oracle VM Logical Domains to Provision Solaris in Minutes

Learn how to use ZFS backend storage for rapid deployment of Oracle VM Server for SPARC logical domains running the Solaris operating system.  Another name for this tutorial could be, “creating Solaris operating systems in minutes, not hours!”

This 1-hour free training covers the following topics:

  • Review of Control Domain configuration, using ZFS as the bootable root file system.
  • Creating a guest domain for use as a template (“Golden image”).
  • Creating a snapshot of the template logical domain.
  • Cloning the template to provision a new logical domain.
  • Creating and booting the cloned logical domain.


Free Video Tutorial: Deploying Logical Domains on a T-Series Server

  1. Introduction. Brief Review, Agenda and Introduction to Control Domains (10:36)
  2. Control Domains Demonstration, Guest Domains, IO Domains and more… (10:15) (click on video below)
  3. Guest Domains Demonstration (10:49)
  4. Guest Domains (continued) (9:46)
  5. Guest Domains Golden Image, Snapshots (10:09)


Date: Oct 26, 2011

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Control Domains Demonstration, Guest Domains, IO Domains and more…

Solaris Training Rapid Deployment of Logical Domains Part 2


>> Mick:  This is setting up a virtual terminal server through which I gain access to the Logical Domains once they’re created using Telnet. I defined the range of ports that I use to access the system.


Here’s an example. Telnet localhost 5000. Here I’m on my control domain, the same machine I’m on here awhile. I want to talk to my first Logical Domain which is given the Telnet port of 5000. I say, telnet localhost and then the port number.


If I come back to this window, you’re thinking, “How would I know what the port is?” I can do things like an ldm list and here I’ve got a domain called hpf1 and the console is port 5000, so I can see quite clearly what port to access. And having accessed it before, I’ve got into the OK prompt of that virtual machine. I can run all the normal commands that you would expect at that particular juncture.




Hit the banner. I can actually assign the MAC address.




But the LDom software assigns a MAC address for me. I can do things like show disk and have a look at the actual disk drives. One of them would be the operating system disk and the other disk there, A, is a DVD from which I’ll show you how to assign a DVD of the Solaris image and also be able build the machine without using the network.


All the usual commands are available.




Here I’m adding a virtual switch. The Logical Domains software has some very powerful facilities. I’m creating a virtual switch through which the Logical Domains can communicate within the physical machine and which itself can also communicate with the outside world.


Here I was trying the actual physical port of the system that I want to be used for that virtual switch to talk to the outside world. As I’m configuring all these things I can list the services as we go along, ldm list-services, to keep a track of what’s going on. Obviously, the list gets bigger the more work that I do.




As well as configuring services, I also need to configure the actual physical resources that the control domain is going to use. Rather than using the MAU which is the default when you build it, I can actually trim down the resources the control domain is going to use.


Again, I did cover this in the last webinar. But in case you’ve not seen that, here I’m setting a mathematical unit assigning one unit. In this particular machine there’s a mathematical unit per core of each of eight threads. I’m setting one mathematical unit and then eight virtual CPUs, which is equivalent to one core. In fact, I can assign cores as well.




Here I’m assigning memory but I have to do this in a special way with the control domain because the LDom software may complain about the fact that I’m changing the configuration of the control domain. So I have to delay the reconfiguration until I reboot the control domain. That’s why this command is run, ldm start-reconf primary.


It says, “Any changes I’m now going to make, please delay them until I reboot the machine,” and then everything will work nicely instead of getting error messages. I’m assigning two gigs of memory. The control domain is only going to be a control domain. I’m not going to run an application, therefore I don’t need a lot of resource. If any case, I can dynamically change the amount of memory as I’m running, which is another great feature of Logical Domains.


I would reboot my domain and then I can see if I come back to the domain, I can do ldm list-bindings, the name of the domain, and I can check to see that the resources are as I expected. I can see a little summary at the top, two gigs of RAM, eight virtual CPUs. If I look through the listing, that accompanies that. You can see there’s the mathematical unit, things like what the boot device is, etc., and the I/O devices.


It’s possible to split depending on the nature of the hardware. I could split PCI buses across different domains. But that’s for another webinar a little bit later in the future.




So the control domain is now set up with these resources. I have to enable the virtual network terminal service daemon to allow me access to the port like I did here with Telnet support 5000.


Then I can start thinking about guest domains. I need to know before I start creating guest domains because I haven’t created them here.  I’d obviously know pretty well what resources I had, but I could do ldm list devices which would show me basically what I’ve got left, what’s free at any given time.




I’ve got a few cores left, a few mathematical units. If you’re wondering where the others went, I’ve actually already created a domain with hpf1 which we’ll be looking at shortly.


We’re going now look at creating the domains, assigning resources, binding it which is basically then assigning all the resources from the control domain and getting the domain started and installing the Solaris operating system within it.


Just to let you know a little bit more about the capability of the T-series server, there’s a lot of extra facilities that I haven’t mentioned especially with the more recent T-series servers like the T3s and T4s. It’s quite common to create domains through which you can split the input/output from the machine, and then you can create failover of devices like a PCI bus that maybe has an HBA card configured within it, so you can then create multipathing of disk to your SAN or whatever devices you’re using.


If one of the domains goes down through some operating system fault, which obviously is unlikely but covering all angles, the other domain will automatically then be used for the I/O path of the disk. And which is what we’ve done on this T3 server that I’ve been talking about. Some fairly complex configurations are possible.


This particular server runs a control domain and other domain is used just to handle failover of I/O and balancing. It has six guest domains, each of which is running a fairly substantial Oracle database. I think the system has got 256 processes all together and a vast amount of memory.


The nice thing is if you consider the tuning of these things a little bit down the line and you find that one of the systems is using a bit more process or power than some of the others, you can dynamically allocate processes to that system and remove them from something else. You can even now, with the latest version of the Logical Domain software, do the same thing with the system memory.




In this particular case, with this T3 that SkillBuilders are configuring and looking after, each guest domain also as well as having disk multipathing uses Solaris IPMP through two different domains so that each one has a couple of network interfaces, one of each of which is configured in the separate I/O domains. Again, if there’s an I/O domain failure or control domain failure, not only do the disk paths failover, that’s also true in the networking.


In fact, you could split the PCI bus between machines and you can split individual PCI slots between machines, again depending a little bit on the hardware. That’s not always guaranteed but the T3 too certainly has the capability.


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