C H A P T E R  2

Software and Operating Environment

The Sun Fire X4500 server supports Solaris 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. The system is shipped with Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) and Solaris 10 6/06 operating system which includes the newly designed Zettabyte File System (ZFS).

This chapter includes the following topics:

Using the Zettabyte File System (ZFS)

This section provides information about using Zettabyte File Systems (ZFS) on the Sun Fire X4500 server. Concepts such as hierarchical file system layout, property inheritance, and automatic mount point management and share interactions are included in the ZFS Administration Guide, (819-5461). For information on best practices for ZFS go to:


The Solaris Zettabyte File System (ZFS), is available in the Solaris 10 11/06 OS and delivers file system management capabilities by automating common administrative tasks, protecting data from corruption and providing virtually unlimited scalability. ZFS uses virtual storage pools to make it easy to expand or contract file systems simply by adding more drives.

A Zettabyte File System is a lightweight POSIX file system that is built on top of a storage pool. File systems can be dynamically created and destroyed without requiring you to allocate or format any underlying space. Because file systems are so lightweight and because they are the central point of administration in ZFS, you are likely to create many of them.

About ZFS

ZFS is a 128-bit file system that provides 16 billion times the capacity of 32-bit or even 64-bit file systems. With ZFS, data is protected by 64-bit checksums to provide error detection and correction functionally. It constantly reads and checks data to ensure that it is correct. If it detects an error in a mirrored pool, the technology automatically repairs the corrupted data.

Historically, file systems have been constrained to one device so that the file systems themselves have been constrained to the size of the device. Creating and re-creating traditional file systems because of size constraints are time-consuming and sometimes difficult. Traditional volume management products helped manage this process.

Because ZFS file systems are not constrained to specific devices, they can be created easily and quickly, similar to the way directories are created. ZFS file systems grow automatically within the space allocated to the storage pool.

Instead of creating one file system, such as /export/home, to manage many user subdirectories, you can create one file system per user. In addition, ZFS provides a file system hierarchy so that you can easily set up and manage many file systems by applying properties that can be inherited by file systems contained within the hierarchy.

Administering ZFS File Systems

You administer ZFS file systems by using the zfs command. This command provides a set of subcommands that perform specific operations on file systems. You can also manage snapshots, volumes, and clones by using this command, but these features are covered only briefly in this chapter.

With ZFS you can perform the following administrative functions:

For more information about ZFS, and for an example of creating a file system, refer to the ZFS Administration Guide, (819-5461).


Integrated Lights Out Manager ILOM

Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) is an Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) 2.0-compliant Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) that implements Lights Out Management (LOM), including Remote Keyboard, Video, Mouse, and Storage (RKVMS); a Web management interface; a command line interface (CLI); and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

The ILOM software includes the following:

Lights Out Management is performed on the Sun Fire X4500 server through IPMItool, a command-line utility for controlling IPMI-enabled devices. For more information about Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM, refer to the Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) Administration Guide, (819-1160).

Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)

Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) refers to the autonomous monitoring, logging, recovery, and inventory control features implemented in hardware and firmware. There are two major components of platform management: the Service Processor (or BMC) and System Management Software (SMS). Platform status information can be obtained and recovery actions initiated under situations in which system management software and normal in-band management mechanisms are unavailable.

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a network management protocol used almost exclusively in TCP/IP networks. It provides remote access by
SNMP-compliant entities to monitor and control network devices and to manage configurations, statistics collection, performance, and security on a network

IPMI messages can be used to communicate with the BMC over serial and LAN interfaces, so software designed for in-band (local) management can be re-used for out-of-band (remote) management simply by changing the low-level communications layer.

The IPMItool is a simple command-line interface to systems that support the IPMI v2.0 specification. IPMItool provides the ability to read the sensor data repository and print sensor values, display the contents of the system event log, and SNMP.