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|Oracle Solaris 11.1 Administration: Devices and File Systems Oracle Solaris 11.1 Information Library|
The following disk management features are new in this Oracle Solaris release:
Oracle Solaris installation features can install an EFI (GPT) disk label on a ZFS root pool disk or disks by using DVD, USB, and automated installation methods. UEFI firmware support and the introduction of GRUB 2 provides the ability to boot from a GPT labeled disk. This means that you can use whole disks for the root pool disk or disks on SPARC systems with GPT enabled firmward and on most x86 based systems. Otherwise, systems are installed with a VTOC (SMI) disk label on the root pool disk. For example:
# zpool status rpool pool: rpool state: ONLINE scan: none requested config: NAME STATE READ WRITE CKSUM rpool ONLINE 0 0 0 c2t0d0 ONLINE 0 0 0 errors: No known data errors
For an example of a EFI (GPT) disk label on a root pool disk, see Example 9-3.
This disk specification and label support is identified in the Oracle Solaris administration documentation as EFI (GPT).
SPARC systems require an updated OBP to boot from an EFI (GPT) labeled disk
An x86 based system that supports GRUB 2 boots from an EFI (GPT) labeled disk.
The zpool command has been enhanced to support EFI (GPT) labels, so that if you need to recreate a root pool or create an alternate root pool after the system is installed, you can do so with the zpool create -B command. This new command option creates the required slices and information that is needed for booting.
# zpool create -B rpool2 c1t1d0
If you need to replace a disk in a root pool that has an EFI (GPT) labeled disk by usingR the zpool replace command, you also need to reinstall the boot loader. For example:
# zpool replace rpool c0t0d0 c1t0d0 # bootadm install-bootloader
The EFI label from previous Oracle Solaris releases is still supported.
New Oracle Solaris installations are no longer limited to the first 2 TiB of the disk on x86 platforms. Oracle Solaris now uses EFI (GPT) partitioning for new installations to enable all of the disk space on the boot device to be used. On x86 platforms, large disk installation is supported through the introduction of GRUB 2 as the default boot loader.
On SPARC platforms, an OBP update is required. The SPARC boot loader remains unchanged.
On x86 platforms, large disk installation is supported through the introduction of GRUB 2 as the default system boot loader.
Previous Oracle Solaris releases support disks with a physical block size and a logical block size of 512 bytes. This is the traditional disk block size that is an industry standard.
Currently, disk manufacturers are providing larger capacity disks, also known as advanced format (AF) disks, which is a general term that describes a hard disk drive that exceeds a 512-byte block size.
AF disks are generally in the 4-KB block size range, but vary as follows:
4-KB native disk (4kn) – Has a physical and logical block size of 4 KB
512-byte emulation (512e) – Has a physical block size of 4 KB but reports a logical block size of 512 bytes
For comparison purposes, Oracle Solaris introduces the 512-byte native (512n) disk term, which is a traditional disk with 512-byte block size.
Oracle Solaris releases support advanced format disks, in additional to traditional 512n disks, in the following ways:
Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 support 4kn and 512e disks for non-root ZFS file systems.
Oracle Solaris 11.1 provides installation and boot support for 512e devices.
Review the following considerations before purchasing advanced format drives to be used on an Oracle Solaris system:
Confirm with your device manufacturer that their 512e devices have a power-safe feature to prevent data loss after a power failure when data is still in transit. For more information, see Oracle Solaris 11.1 Release Notes.
Installation and boot support is not provided on AF disks in Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11, but they can be used for non-root ZFS file systems.
Installation and boot support for 4kn devices is not available in Oracle Solaris 11.1.
Performance is not optimal if 512e and 4kn disks are mixed in existing ZFS storage pools that also contain 512n disks. Performance is best if a new ZFS storage pool is created with all AF disks.