Thursday, December 14, 2006

Managing MySQL on Solaris 10: Part 1: Introduction

From time to time I receive requests from friends who are interested in learning more about managing MySQL on Solaris 10. To help them (and myself), I am planning to write about the internals of both MySQL and Solaris.

So if you have any questions that relate to adminstering and managing MySQL on Solaris, post them as comment, and though I don't promise, I will do my best to answer them.

What I usually recommend my friends is that they should start learning by finding a good authoritative book. In my opinion, reading one good authoritative book on the subject is better than reading three normal books.

BTW, I used to spend a lot of time finding the right book before buying it. Earlier this year I signed up for Safari Books Online (by O'reilly). My membership gave me a ten slot bookshelf. I really liked the service so I decided to get unlimited access to the books.

One of the books I highly recommend on Solaris is Solaris Internals: Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris Kernel Architecture, Second Edition. It is written by Jim Mauro and Richard McDougall. Community authors for the book include Frank Batschulat (UFS), Russell Blaine, Jeff Bonwick (ZFS) and Bryan Cantrill (DTrace) among many others.

On the MySQL side, the book on the top of my "to-recommend-list" is Pro MySQL by none other than Jay Pipes and Michael Kruckenberg (they both are my friends but that's NOT the reason I am recommending it). Seriously, if you are planning to buy one good authoritative book, buy this one.

Solaris 2.0 was released in 1992. Today, it is one of the leading operating systems offering reliability, performance, scalability, observability and more.

To get the latest information on Solaris, you can look at What's New on On the docs site you can also access a variety of guides. For instance, you can get the Solaris 10 System Administrator Collection.

Solaris ZFS Administration Guide provides information for both SPARC and x86 (64-bit and 32-bit x86 compatible) based systems. This guide will help you in setting up and managing Solaris ZFS file systems.

In case you are wondering what is ZFS, I will let the guide provide the introduction:
"The Solaris ZFS file system is a revolutionary new file system that fundamentally changes the way file systems are administered, with features and benefits not found in any other file system available today. ZFS has been designed to be robust, scalable, and simple to administer."
ZFS, a transactional file system, manages the physical storage using a concept known as storage pools. Using the volume manager you can get the image of a single device and still take advantage of multiple devices.

One cool thing about Solaris is that each new release contains features found in old releases, however new releases may no longer support older hardware.

Solaris 10, a volume production operating system, does not support 32-bit SPARC processors. It doesn't support UltraSPARC I processor either. Solaris 10 only has a 64-bit release which can run on SPARC systems that use UltraSPARC II, UltraSPARC III, or UltraSPARC IV processors. You don't need to worry about 32-bit SPARC programs and applications as they can run without any issue on Solaris 10 64-bit kernel.

A lot of cool and innovative work has been done on Solaris 10. As a result it offers predictive self-healing, Service Management Framework (SMF), Fault Manager, Zones, Dynamic resource pools (DRP), physical memory control, dynamic tracing (DTrace), process rights management and much, much more. More documentation on what's new in Solaris 10 is available online. At the time of writing this post, there have been four Solaris 10 releases: 3/05, 1/06, 6/06 and 11/06.

Like every other DBA, I need a wide variety of tools for monitoring and analyzing system and application performance. On Solaris I get a variety of tools. Some of the tools that come very handy at times include vmstat (virtual memory statistics), mpstat (per-processor statistics), iostat (I/O statistics), netstat (network status), sar (system activity reporter), ptools (process tools), cpustat (CPU performance statistics), busstat (bus-related performance statistics), mdb (modular debugger), prstat (process statistics), truss (trace system calls and signals), apptrace (traces application function calls to Solaris shared libraries) and DTrace.

Solaris 10 has a 64-bit kernel and features process address space. That allows it to deliver a LP64 environment for execution. Long and pointer data types on it are 64 bits wide.

On Solaris 10, thanks to the modular binary kernel, kernel compilations aren't required when kernel parameters are changed or new functionality is added.

Threads can interupt threads that are of lower-priority if they need to run.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello! i am just start learning Solaris 10. i want to know the purpose and basic operation of Solaris 10. can u help me? thanks