alternate master controller unit

Also called “alternate master unit,” the secondary array unit in an HA configuration that provides failover capability from the master controller unit.


A high-performance, modular, scalable storage device.

attachment point

A collective term for a drive and its card cage slot. A physical attachment point describes the software driver and location of the card cage slot. A logical attachment point is an abbreviated name created by the system to see the physical attachment point.



Data that is being transferred between the host and the drives.


cfgadm command

The primary command for dynamic reconfiguration on the Sun Fire X4540 Server. For information about the command and its options, see the cfgadm(1M), cfgadm_sbd(1M), and cfgadm_pci(1M) man pages.


command-line interface (CLI)

The interface between the Sun Fire X4540 Server operating system and the user in which the user types commands to administer the array.


disk drive

A storage device that stores information on a computer.

dual inline memory modual (DIMM)

A circuit board that has a 64-bit path and holds memory chips. It’s called dual because it has separate signals to each side of the circuit board.


erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM)

Memory stored on the controller card; useful for stable storage for long periods without electricity while still allowing reprogramming.



field-replaceable unit (FRU)

A component that is easily removed and replaced by a field service engineer or a system administrator.

FLASH memory device (FMD)

A device on the controller card that stores EPROM firmware.


Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC)

An adapter used on an SBus card to convert fiber-optic signals to copper.

gigabyte (GB or Gbyte)

One gigabyte is equal to one billion bytes.

graphical user interface (GUI)

A software interface that enables configuration and administration of the Sun Fire X4540 Server using a graphic application.


host bus adapter (HBA)

An adapter that resides on the host.

hot spare

A drive in a RAID 1 or RAID 5 configuration that contains no data and acts as a standby in case another drive fails.


Allows a component to be added, upgraded, or replaced while the system is running without affecting hardware integrity.


The ability of a field-replaceable unit (FRU) to be removed and replaced while the system remains powered on and operational.


input/output operations per second (IOPS)

A performance measurement of the transaction rate.

Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM)

An integrated hardware, firmware, and software solution for in-chassis or in-blade system management.

intelligent platform management interface (IPMI)

A hardware-level interface specification that was designed primarily for out-of-band management of server systems over a number of different physical interconnects. The IPMI specification describes extensive abstractions regarding sensors, enabling a management application running on the operating system or in a remote system to comprehend the environmental makeup of the system and to register with the system’s IPMI subsystem to receive events. IPMI is compatible with management software from heterogeneous vendors. IPMI functionality includes FRU inventory reporting, system monitoring, logging, system recovery (including local and remote system resets and power on and off capabilities), and alerting.

IP multipathing (IPMP)

Internet Protocol multipathing. Enables continuous application availability by load-balancing failures when multiple network interface cards are attached to a system. If a failure occurs in a network adapter, and if an alternate adapter is connected to the same IP link, the system switches all the network accesses from the failed adapter to the alternate adapter. When multiple network adapters are connected to the same IP link, any increases in network traffic are spread across multiple network adapters, which improves network throughput.


Java Web Start application

A web application launcher. With Java Web Start, applications are launched by clicking on the web link. If the application is not present on your system, Java Web Start downloads it and caches it onto your system. Once an application is downloaded to its cache, it can be launched from a desktop icon or browser link. The most current version of the application is always presented.

JumpStart installation

A type of installation in which the Solaris software is automatically installed on a system by using the factory-installed JumpStart software.



The core of the operating system that manages the hardware and provides fundamental services, such as filing and resource allocation, that the hardware does not provide.

Keyboard Controller Style (KCS) interface

A type of interface implemented in legacy personal computer (PC) keyboard controllers. Data is transferred across the KCS interface using a per-byte handshake.

keyboard, video, mouse, storage (KVMS)

A series of interfaces that enables a system to respond to keyboard, video, mouse, and storage events.


light-emitting diode (LED)

A device that converts electrical energy into light that is used to display activity.



master controller unit

Also called a master unit, the main controller unit in a partner-group configuration.

media access control (MAC) address

A unique address that identifies a storage location or a device.

megabyte (MB or Mbyte)

One megabyte is equal to one million bytes.

megabytes per second (MB/s)

A performance measurement of the sustained data transfer rate.



In the tree structure of a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory, a set of unique names from which an object name is derived and understood. For example, files are named within the file namespace and printers are named within the printer namespace.

Network File System (NFS)

A protocol that enables disparate hardware configurations to function together transparently.

Network Information Service (NIS)

A system of programs and data files that UNIX systems use to collect, collate, and share specific information about machines, users, file systems, and network parameters throughout a network of computer systems.

network interface card (NIC)

An internal circuit board or card that connects a workstation or server to a networked device.

network management station (NMS)

A powerful workstation with one or more network management applications installed. The NMS is used to remotely manage a network.

network mask

A number used by software to separate the local subnet address from the rest of a given Internet Protocol (IP) address.

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

An Internet standard for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks. NTP synchronizes the clock times of networked devices with NTP servers to the millisecond using Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).


An addressable point or device on a network. A node can connect a computing system, a terminal, or various peripheral devices to the network.

nonmaskable interrupt (NMI)

A system interrupt that is not invalidated by another interrupt.


object identifier (OID)

A number that identifies an object’s position in a global object registration tree. Each node of the tree is assigned a number, so that an OID is a sequence of numbers. In Internet usage the OID numbers are delimited by dots, for example, “” In the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), OIDs are used to uniquely identify schema elements, including object classes and attribute types.


An operating system-independent, event-driven library for simplifying access to the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI).


A user with limited privileges to the managed host system.

out-of-band (OOB) system management

Server management capability that is enabled when the operating system network drivers or the server are not functioning properly.




Additional information stored with data on a disk that enables the controller to rebuild data after a drive failure.


A physical section on a hard disk drive.

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)

A local bus standard used to connect peripherals to 32-bit or 64-bit systems.

Peripheral Interface Controller (PIC)

An integrated circuit that controls peripherals in an interrupt request (IRQ)-driven system, taking away that load from the central processing unit (CPU).


A set of privileges granted or denied to a user or group that specify read, write, or execution access to a file or directory. For access control, permissions state whether access to the directory information is granted or denied, and the level of access that is granted or denied.

physical address

An actual hardware address that matches a memory location. Programs that refer to virtual addresses are subsequently mapped to physical addresses.

Platform Event Filtering (PEF)

A mechanism that configures the service processor to take selected actions when it receives event messages, for example, powering off or resetting the system, or triggering an alert.

Platform Event Trap (PET)

A configured alert triggered by a hardware or firmware (BIOS) event. A PET is an Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)-specific, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) trap, which operates independently of the operating system.


The location (socket) to which Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) connections are made. Web servers traditionally use port 80, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) uses port 21, and Telnet uses port 23. A port enables a client program to specify a particular server program in a computer on a network. When a server program is started initially, it binds to its designated port number. Any client that wants to use that server must send a request to bind to the designated port number.

port number

A number that specifies an individual Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) application on a host machine, providing a destination for transmitted data.

power and cooling unit (PCU)

A FRU component in the Sun Fire X4540 Server array. It contains a power supply, cooling fans, and an integrated UPS battery.

power cycling

The process of turning the power to a system off then on again.

power-on self-test (POST)

A program that takes uninitialized system hardware and probes and tests its components at system startup. POST configures useful components into a coherent, initialized system and hands it over to the OpenBoot PROM. POST passes to OpenBoot PROM a list of only those components that have been successfully tested.



An embedded processor.



To halt all drive activity.


random-access memory (RAM)

Volatile, semiconductor-based memory in which any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes.

read-only file

A file that a user cannot modify or delete.

read-only memory (ROM)

A nonvolatile memory chip on which data has been prerecorded. Once written onto a ROM chip, data cannot be removed and can only be read.

read caching

Data stored for future retrieval, to reduce disk I/O as much as possible.

real-time clock (RTC)

A battery-backed component that maintains the time and date for a system, even when the system is powered off.


An operating system-level operation that performs a system shutdown followed by a system boot. Power is a prerequisite.

redundant array of independent disks (RAID)

A configuration in which multiple drives are combined into a single virtual drive to improve performance and reliability.

reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS)

A term to describe product features that include high availability, easily serviced components, and dependability.

Remote Management and Control Protocol (RMCP)

A networking protocol that enables an administrator to respond to an alert remotely by powering the system on or off, or forcing a reboot.

remote procedure call (RPC)

A method of network programming that enables a client system to call functions on a remote server. The client starts a procedure at the server and the result is transmitted back to the client.

remote system

A system other than the one on which the user is working.


A hardware-level operation that performs a system power off, followed by a system power on.

Reverse address Resolution protocol (RARP)

A utility in the Solaris operating environment that enables automatic assignment of the array IP address from the host.


In UNIX operating systems, the name of the superuser (root). The root user has permissions to access any file and carry out other operations not permitted to ordinary users. Roughly equivalent to the Administrator user name on Windows Server operating systems.

root directory

The base directory from which all other directories stem, either directly or indirectly.


A system that assigns a path over which to send network packets or other Internet traffic. Although both hosts and gateways do routing, the term “router” commonly refers to a device that connects two networks.

RSA algorithm

A cryptographic algorithm developed by RSA Data Security, Inc. It can be used for both encryption and digital signatures.




An industry standard name used to describe a connector standard.


Definitions that describe what type of information can be stored as entries in the directory. When information that does not match the schema is stored in the directory, clients attempting to access the directory might be unable to display the proper results.

Secure Shell (SSH)

A UNIX shell program and network protocol that enables secure and encrypted log in and execution of commands on a remote system over an insecure network.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A protocol that enables client-to-server communication on a network to be encrypted for privacy. SSL uses a key exchange method to establish an environment in which all data exchanged is encrypted with a cipher and hashed to protect it from eavesdropping and alteration. SSL creates a secure connection between a web server and a web client. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) uses SSL.

sensor data record (SDR)

To facilitate dynamic discovery of features, the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) includes this set of records that include software information such as how many sensors are present, what type they are, their events, threshold information, and so forth. The sensor data records enable software to interpret and present sensor data without any prior knowledge about the platform.

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)

A point-to-point serial peripheral interface that links controllers directly to disk drives. SAS devices include two data ports that enable failover redundancy, which guarantees data communication through a separate path.

serial console

A terminal or a tip line connected to the serial port on the service processor. A serial console is used to configure the system to perform other administrative tasks.

server certificate

A certificate used with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to authenticate web applications. The certificate can be self-signed or issued by a Certificate Authority (CA).

Server Message Block (SMB) protocol

A network protocol that enables files and printers to be shared across a network. The SMB protocol provides a method for client applications to read and write to files on, and to request services from, server programs in the network. The SMB protocol enables you to mount file systems between Windows and UNIX systems. The SMB protocol was designed by IBM and subsequently modified by Microsoft Corp. Microsoft renamed the protocol the “Common Internet File System (CIFS).”

service processor (SP)

A device used to manage chassis environmental, configuration, and service functions, and receive event data from other parts of the system. It receives data through sensor interfaces and interprets this data by using the sensor data record (SDR) to which it provides an interface. The SP provides another interface to the system event log (SEL). Typical functions of the SP are to measure processor temperature, power supply values, and cooling fan status. The SP can take autonomous action to preserve system integrity.

session timeout

A specified duration after which a server can invalidate a user session.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

A Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) used for sending and receiving email.

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

A simple protocol used to exchange data about network activity. With SNMP, data travels between a managed device and a network management station (NMS). A managed device can be any device that runs SNMP, such as hosts, routers, web servers, or other servers on the network.

Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)

An ANSI standard for controlling peripheral devices by one or more host computers. SCSI defines a standard I/O bus-level interface and a set of high-level I/O commands.

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

A networking protocol based on an intelligent algorithm that allows bridges to map a redundant topology and eliminates packet looping in local area networks (LANs).


A working scheme that divides a single logical network into smaller physical networks to simplify routing. The subnet is the portion of an Internet Protocol (IP) address that identifies a block of host IDs.

subnet mask

A bit mask used to select bits from an Internet address for subnet addressing. The mask is 32 bits long and selects the network portion of the Internet address and one or more bits of the local portion. Also called an “address mask.”


A special user who has privileges to perform all administrative functions on a UNIX system. Also called “root.”

system event log (SEL)

A log that provides nonvolatile storage for system events that are logged autonomously by the service processor, or directly with event messages sent from the host.

synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM)

A form of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) that can run at higher clock speeds than conventional DRAM.

system area

Located on the disk drive label, the space that contains configuration data, boot firmware, and file-system information.



The virtual terminal program that enables the user of one host to log in to a remote host. A Telnet user of one host who is logged in to a remote host can interact as a normal terminal user of the remote host.


Minimum and maximum values within a range that sensors use when monitoring temperature, voltage, current, and fan speed.


A specified time after which the server should stop trying to finish a service routine that appears to be hung.

transmission control block (TCB)

Part of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) that records and maintains information about the state of a connection.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

An Internet protocol that provides for the reliable delivery of data streams from one host to another. TCP/IP transfers data between different types of networked systems, such as systems running Solaris, Microsoft Windows, or Linux software. TCP guarantees delivery of data and that packets will be delivered in the same sequence in which they were sent.


Event notification made by Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) agents by their own initiative when certain conditions are detected. SNMP formally defines seven types of traps and permits subtypes to be defined.

Trivial File Transport Protocol (TFTP)

A simple transport protocol that transfers files to diskless systems. TFTP uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP).


uninterruptable power source (UPS)

A component within the power and cooling unit. It supplies power from a battery in the case of an AC power failure.

Universal Serial Bus (USB)

An external bus standard that supports data transfer rates of 450M bits per second (USB 2.0). A USB port connects devices, such as mouse pointers, keyboards, modems, and printers, to the computer system.

unshielded twisted pair/shielded twisted pair (UTP/STP)

A type of Ethernet cable.

user account

A record of essential user information that is stored on the system. Each user who accesses a system has a user account.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

A connectionless, transport layer protocol that adds some reliability and multiplexing to the Internet Protocol (IP). UDP enables one application program to deliver, via IP, datagrams to another application program on another machine. The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is usually implemented over UDP.

user identification (userid)

A unique string identifying a user to a system.

user identification number (UID number)

The number assigned to each user accessing a UNIX system. The system uses UID numbers to identify, by number, the owners of files and directories.

user name

A unique combination of letters, and possibly numbers, that identifies a user to the system.


voltage regulator module (VRM)

An electronic device that regulates a system’s microprocessor voltage requirements in order to maintain the correct voltage.


One or more drives that can be grouped into a unit for data storage. Also called a logical unit or LUN.

volume manager

Software that organizes data blocks on physical disk drives into logical volumes, which makes the disk data independent of the physical path name of the disk drives. Volume manager software provides data reliability through disk striping, concatenation, mirroring, and dynamic growth of metadevices or volumes.



web server

Software that provides services to access the Internet or an intranet. A web server hosts web sites, provides support for HTTP/HTTPS and other protocols, and executes server-side programs.

wide area network (WAN)

A network consisting of many systems that provides file transfer services. A WAN can cover a large physical area, sometimes worldwide.

worldwide name (WWN)

A number used to identify array volumes in both the array system and the Solaris Operating System.

write caching

Data used to build up stripes of data, eliminating the read-modify-write overhead. Write caching improves performance for applications that are writing to disk.


X.509 certificate

The most common certificate standard. X.509 certificates are documents containing a public key and associated identity information, digitally signed by a Certificate Authority (CA).

X Window System

A common UNIX window system that enables a workstation or terminal to control multiple sessions simultaneously.


Zettabyte File System (ZFS)

A file system that uses storage pools to manage physical storage.