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Managing Devices in Oracle® Solaris 11.3

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Updated: April 2018

Disk Management Features

This section describes features in Oracle Solaris for managing disks on your system.

Installing on Large Disks

You can install and boot Oracle Solaris from a disk that is up to 2 TB in size. This support applies to the following systems:

  • SPARC platforms with an updated OBP. However, the SPARC boot loader remains unchanged.

  • x86 platforms that use GRUB 2 as the default system boot loader.

On both system types, the two-terabyte disk must be connected to a system with a minimum of 1.5 GB of memory.

With EFI (GPT) partitioning, all of the disk space on the boot device can be used for Oracle Solaris installations.

For more information, see Chapter 2, Administering the GRand Unified Bootloader in Booting and Shutting Down Oracle Solaris 11.3 Systems.

Disk management utilities have been enhanced to accommodate this feature. For example, the fdisk utility can support up to 2-TB partitions. However, limits might be imposed on other non-EFI partitions. If you run the utility on a disk that is greater than 2TB in size, the utility warns you that you cannot create a non-EFI partition that is greater than 2 TB.

Note -  You cannot move a disk over 1 TB with a legacy MBR or a legacy VTOC to a previous Oracle Solaris release. EFI labeled disks continue to work as in previous Solaris releases.

Using Whole Disks for a ZFS Root Pool Disk or Disks

The Oracle Solaris installation program 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 provide the ability to boot from a GPT labeled disk. Thus, you can use whole disks for a ZFS root pool disk or disks on the following platforms:

  • SPARC based systems with GPT enabled firmware

  • Most x86 based systems

Note -  For more information about disk labels, see EFI (GPT) Disk Label.

On SPARC based systems, the root file system is contained in slice 0. On x86 based systems, the root file system is contained in partition 1.

The zpool command can support EFI (GPT) labels. To recreate a root pool or create an alternate root pool, use the zpool create –B command. The command option creates the required slices and information for booting. If you use the zpool replace command to replace a disk in a root pool that has an EFI (GPT) labeled disk, you must also reinstall the boot loader.

Using Advanced Format Disks

Oracle Solaris can support large capacity disks, also known as advanced format (AF) disks. AF disks are hard disk drives that exceed the traditional 512-byte block size that previous releases support.

AF disks are generally in the 4-KB block size range, but vary as follows:

  • A 4-KB native disk (4kn) has a physical and logical block size of 4 KB

  • A 512-byte emulation (512e) has a physical block size of 4 KB but reports a logical block size of 512 bytes

Oracle Solaris also supports the 512-byte native (512n) disk, which is a traditional disk with 512-byte block size.

Before purchasing advanced format drives, confirm with your device manufacturer that their 512e devices have a power-safe feature. This feature prevents data loss after a power failure while data is still in transit.

To determine if your system has AFD-supported disks, use the devprop command.

# devprop -n device-path

The following examples show the command output for different disk types.

  • For a 4-Kb native disk

    # devprop -n /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 device-blksize device-pblksize
  • For a 512n disk

    # devprop -n /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0 device-blksize device-pblksize
  • For a 512e disk

    # devprop -n /dev/rdsk/c2t0d0s0 device-blksize device-pblksize

To identify the supported AF disks for your environment, see Identifying the Supported AF Disks for Your Environment.

iSNS Support in the Solaris iSCSI Target and Initiator

Oracle Solaris provides support for the Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) protocol in the Solaris iSCSI target and initiator software. The iSNS protocol enables automated discovery, management, and configuration of iSCSI devices on a TCP/IP network.

Identifying Devices by Physical Locations

The /dev/chassis directory provides device names that include physical locations. You can use this information to help you identify where devices are physically located if they need to be replaced or changed. For a list of commands that display disk information as well as examples to obtain physical location information, see Displaying Disk Physical Locations.