Sun Cluster Concepts Guide for Solaris OS

System Resource Usage

System resources include aspects of CPU usage, memory usage, swap usage, and disk and network throughput. Sun Cluster enables you to monitor how much of a specific system resource is being used by an object type. An object type includes a host, node, zone, disk, network interface, or resource group. Sun Cluster also enables you to control the CPU that is available to a resource group.

Monitoring and controlling system resource usage can be part of your resource management policy. The cost and complexity of managing numerous machines encourages the consolidation of several applications on larger hosts. Instead of running each workload on separate systems, with full access to each system's resources, you use resource management to segregate workloads within the system. Resource management enables you to lower overall total cost of ownership by running and controlling several applications on a single Solaris system.

Resource management ensures that your applications have the required response times. Resource management can also increase resource use. By categorizing and prioritizing usage, you can effectively use reserve capacity during off-peak periods, often eliminating the need for additional processing power. You can also ensure that resources are not wasted because of load variability.

To use the data that Sun Cluster collects about system resource usage, you must do the following:

By default, system resource monitoring and control are not configured when you install Sun Cluster. For information about configuring these services, see Chapter 10, Configuring Control of CPU Usage, in Sun Cluster System Administration Guide for Solaris OS.

System Resource Monitoring

By monitoring system resource usage, you can do the following:

Data about system resource usage can help you determine the hardware resources that are underused and the applications that use many resources. Based on this data, you can assign applications to nodes that have the necessary resources and choose the node to which to failover. This consolidation can help you optimize the way that you use your hardware and software resources.

Monitoring all system resources at the same time might be costly in terms of CPU. Choose the system resources that you want to monitor by prioritizing the resources that are most critical for your system.

When you enable monitoring, you choose the telemetry attribute that you want to monitor. A telemetry attribute is an aspect of system resources. Examples of telemetry attributes include the amount of free CPU or the percentage of blocks that are used on a device. If you monitor a telemetry attribute on an object type, Sun Cluster monitors this telemetry attribute on all objects of that type in the cluster. Sun Cluster stores a history of the system resource data that is collected for seven days.

If you consider a particular data value to be critical for a system resource, you can set a threshold for this value. When setting a threshold, you also choose how critical this threshold is by assigning it a severity level. If the threshold is crossed, Sun Cluster changes the severity level of the threshold to the severity level that you choose.

Control of CPU

Each application and service that is running on a cluster has specific CPU needs. Table 3–4 lists the CPU control activities that are available on different versions of the Solaris OS.

Table 3–4 CPU Control

Solaris Version 



Solaris 9 OS 

Not available 

Assign CPU shares 

Solaris 10 OS 

Global-cluster voting node 

Assign CPU shares 

Solaris 10 OS 

Global-cluster non-voting node 

Assign CPU shares 

Assign number of CPU 

Create dedicated processor sets 

Note –

If you want to apply CPU shares, you must specify the Fair Share Scheduler (FFS) as the default scheduler in the cluster.

Controlling the CPU that is assigned to a resource group in a dedicated processor set in a global-cluster non-voting node offers the strictest level of control. If you reserve CPU for a resource group, this CPU is not available to other resource groups.

Viewing System Resource Usage

You can view system resource data and CPU assignments by using the command line or through Sun Cluster Manager. The system resources that you choose to monitor determine the tables and graphs that you can view.

By viewing the output of system resource usage and CPU control, you can do the following:

Sun Cluster does not provide advice about the actions to take, nor does it take action for you based on the data that it collects. You must determine whether the data that you view meets your expectations for a service. You must then take action to remedy any observed performance.