Parallel NFS (pNFS) is a part of NFS 4.1 standard than allows NFS access in parallel. The Nexenta Project has released the very first distribution with pNFS support (integrated with the ZFS filesystem). Get the NCP-pNFS Experimental release here, and setup instructions here.
"There is a discussion at osnews.com about a simple question: "Should ZFS Have a fsck Tool?". The answer is simple: No. I could stop now, as this answer is pretty obvious when you work a while with ZFS, but i want to explain my position. And i want to ask a different question at the end."
ZFS has received built-in deduplication. "Deduplication is the process of eliminating duplicate copies of data. Dedup is generally either file-level, block-level, or byte-level. Chunks of data - files, blocks, or byte ranges - are checksummed using some hash function that uniquely identifies data with very high probability. Chunks of data are remembered in a table of some sort that maps the data's checksum to its storage location and reference count. When you store another copy of existing data, instead of allocating new space on disk, the dedup code just increments the reference count on the existing data. When data is highly replicated, which is typical of backup servers, virtual machine images, and source code repositories, deduplication can reduce space consumption not just by percentages, but by multiples."
One of the advantages of ZFS is that it doesn't need a fsck. Replication, self-healing and scrubbing are a much better alternative. After a few years of ZFS life, can we say it was the correct decision? The reports in the mailing list are a good indicator of what happens in the real world, and it appears that once again, reality beats theory. The author of the article analyzes the implications of not having a fsck tool and tries to explain why he thinks Sun will add one at some point.
"Sun Microsystems announced the Solaris 10 10/09 Operating System. The Solaris 10 OS has been extended with new performance and power efficiency enhancements, more streamlined management of system installations, updates and fixes, new updates for Solaris ZFS and advancements to further leverage the functionality of the latest SPARC and x86 based systems. Solaris 10 10/09 provides new features, fixes and hardware support in an easy-to-install manner, preserving full compatibility with over 11,000 third-party products and customer applications, including Oracle database and application software."
The Linux desktop has come a long way. It's a fully usable, stable, and secure operating system that can be used quite easily by the masses. Not too long ago, Sun figured they could do the same by starting Project Indiana, which is supposed to deliver a complete distribution of OpenSolaris in a manner similar to GNU/Linux. After using the latest version for a while, I'm wondering: why?
The StormOS developers have announced the first beta, codenamed "Hail", of their desktop-oriented Nexenta-based distribution. Building upon the Nexenta Core Platform, StormOS offers a polished XFCE desktop and a handful of lightweight desktop applications out of the box. This beta is available in both direct download and torrent links, you can find them here.
"The OpenSolaris Operating System has many features well suited for embedded systems now and in the future. The kernel is fully preemptable and multithreaded, it provides real-time capabilities, and the modular architecture is highly configurable. Because of these advanced capabilities, we feel there are interesting opportunities to extend OpenSolaris to new platforms, such as the ARM architecture. Therefore, we have created this project to configure the OS/Net (ON) consolidation to meet the requirements of embedded systems and to port OpenSolaris to the ARM platform." The first release of the ARM port of OpenSolaris is now available. Installation notes are available.
The team at Sun behind OpenSolaris has unleashed OpenSolaris 2009.06 upon the world. This new release comes packed with new features, changes, improvements, and fixes, and is the first release of OpenSolaris for SPARC, adding support for UltraSPARC T1, T2 (Sun4v), and UltraSPARC II, III and IV (Sun4u). Read on for some of the improvements that stand out.
"The number and gee-whizness of features Sun Microsystems is putting into updates to both the Solaris 10 commercial operating system and the related OpenSolaris development release of Solaris are slowing. That's the best indication that Nevada - the code name for Solaris Next or Solaris 11 or whatever you want to call it - is getting closer to release. Closer doesn't mean close, however. According to sources speaking to The Reg, Sun is quietly telling customers that Solaris 11 is targeted for launch sometime around the middle of 2010."
Sun is rolling out the latest update to Solaris 10 with enhancements to Solaris Containers, tighter integration with IPSec and upgrades to its Logical Domains technology. The updated Solaris also includes the work Sun and Intel have done over the past two years to optimize the operating system to take advantage of the power, management and monitoring capabilities in Intel's new Xeon 5500 series processors, code-named Nehalem. The seventh update to Solaris 10 comes a year before the planned release of the next-generation Sun OS.
ZFS and unbreakable upgrades were introduced in an earlier article. XercesTech has written a detailed article on how apt-get and zfs join forces to provide a worry-free upgrade experience. "While some operating systems provide the ability to roll back changes, they usually require significant time, or an experienced user with some external repair tools. The goal here is to be instant, if something goes wrong with an upgrade, it should be possible to boot into the old system without running any terminal commands, booting any rescue system or installation disc, or otherwise manually rolling things back."
Ever wanted a simple, compact, small, yet usable and relatively full-featured operating system using a SunOS kernel with most of its utilities written in Ada? Whatever the answer, now you can. "AuroraUX is a SunOS-derived kernel and userland. The core of the project are its utilities written in Ada. Other, poorly implemented features have been fixed or rewritten, too. Ada was chosen over other languages because it sucks the least." At least they're honest.
While Sun continues to push OpenSolaris as an alternative to Linux and *BSD, hobbyists around the net are making their own spin-offs from the Unix flavour. Linux Format looks at some of the most notable, including MilaX, Belenix and Nexenta.
Devzones, short for development zones, is a type of virtualization found in the Nexenta distribution. It can be used to define a base developer environment, which can be easily cloned many times. These copies can easily be destroyed and recreated. Devzones are built upon Opensolaris Zones, which are extensions of a chroot-like environment for the entire installed system. In other words, it allows for virtualization of an Opensolaris environment (and variants of Linux), without the performance hit that is generally associated with virtualization. This article gives a practical introduction into using Devzones.
Even the most experienced Linux admin can sometimes feel frustrated trying to do a simple task in a new *nix environment like Solaris or BSD. This quick tutorial should ease the transition and clarify the most common terminologies in Solaris 10.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 has been released. In addition to improvements in ZFS, DTrace, IPS (the new OpenSolaris package manager) and the other OpenSolaris specialties, it also ships with a host of other OSS goodies: Gnome 2.24, Firefox 3, CherryPy, MySQL, DTrace for Ruby and many more. This new release targets developers and desktop users as well as traditional server roles. Download the live cd and give it a spin. Release notes here.
A new update of Solaris 10 has been made available today. There are a lot of ZFS enhancements and the next-gen file system is now supported as an installable root file system. You can download it for x86 and SPARC here. Other than that there are new drivers, security enhacements, etc. Fore more information, check the what's new page.
Hadoop is a software platform for processing huge amounts of data. It consists of the Hadoop Distributed FileSystem which is capable of storing petabytes of data across thousands of nodes. HDFS ensures that data is always available, even if underlying nodes get corrupted or fail. Hadoop also includes Map/Reduce, a programming model for breaking the data into smaller chunks of work and distributing that work across the nodes in the cluster.
How does OpenSolaris, Sun's effort to free its big-iron OS, fare from a Linux user's point of view? Is it merely a passable curiosity right now, or is it truly worth installing? Linux Format takes OpenSolaris for a test drive, examining the similarities and differences to a typical Linux distro.