Sun – Week Fourtynine

Well, the weekend didn’t go well…The console server didn’t get upgraded as a package caused errors in the new BE…That was most of Saturday wasted…

Monday morning was spent turning everything back on after the weekend, it was a shame as I was hoping for the lab to be silent, but the AC was already on…

Tuesday and Wednesday was spent ironing out issues to do with the lab power cycle.

Thursday I looked at a borked KVM more, it doesn’t seem to be broadcasting anything on IPv4 or IPv6…I also fixed an intrusion switch that someone had broken…

Friday I went home early to catch the train back to Melksham for my sisters birthday.

Sun – Week Fourtyeight

Monday begins after a sleepless night, it’s so bloody warm here…I spent the morning looking at our console server, remember I was going to upgrade it? After all the preliminary work I was really afraid to touch the real thing for fear of breaking it…Well I fixed a couple of problems with it and went ahead, re-labeling disks and creating volumes and mirrors using SVM. In the afternoon I looked at it a bit more and kicked off the copying of the boot environment (BE).

Tuesday I got in a looked at the console server, my ssh session had dropped…The new BE is currently in a bad state, so I can’t delete it, or overwrite it…I’ll need to see what I can do about that… We also moved a load of stuff out of the overflow lab, and into the bin/cupboard/main lab…It was all because we were moving the SL700 to the end of the lab. I spent the afternoon cursing the warm weather and cleaning up the mess I made on the console server…

Wednesday was slow moving, warm are irritable.

Thursday I inserted a SCSI card into an ultra 20 among other bits and bobs.

Friday was spent turning off all the machines in the lab as electrical work was taking place over the weekend. Seeing as the work was going on, the weekend was an opportune time to work on the console server without interrupting anyone.

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Released

It’s finally here! OpenSolaris 2009.06 has been released!

Head over to to download the new iso, or run `pfexec pkg image-update` (no quotes) as the user you created when you installed your machine to upgrade your current installation.

Exciting new features include:

  • Project Crossbow - Virtualise your network
  • Firefox 3.1 (Beta 3)
  • Elisa - Free media center
  • Plus better hardware support and more! If you are using the development repositories, start reaping the benefits of 2010.02 in the next few weeks!

Sun – Week Fourtyseven

This week felt really long…And I don’t really recall everything which happened, so like last week, I’ll summarise.

Monday was a bank holiday, which was very lucky for me seeing as I missed my train back from Aber!

Tuesday I was back in the office and working on my booking script a bit more.

Wednesday was mainly spent looking at a problem with the 15k in the lab, it wasn’t playing nice with the console connection. After some troubleshooting and a cable replacement, we were fine to go.

Thursday I started work with some broken KVM’s. All of the x86 desktops don’t come with a serial line, this makes them very difficult to manage, so we attach network KVM’s for engineers to use (so they can see BIOS and a GUI if needed). Several have broken so I spent the day getting them working, didn’t quite get them all done…

Friday I finished up another two KVM’s and looked at what the weekend was going to bring me, I was hoping to have a play with LDAP at hom, and maybe the Sun Ray server software…

Sun – Week Fourtysix

This week was another short one :D I’ll just add highlights for this week.

Monday started with me being back on 9am starts. I then started troubleshooting a problem with a server in America which seemed to sort itself out.

Tuesday I fixed several SP’s which had gotten themselves into a bad state and needed resetting by pulling the main power…

Wednesday I sorted out some net boot problems in the UK lab, one had previously been jump started with OpenSolaris and needed reconfiguring, another had an incorrect MAC address.

Thursday and Friday I was in Aber :D

Sun – Week Fourtyfive

Monday starts at 5:30 for me, and after getting in from Aber at 12:30, I wasn’t feeling too sharp… I’m in early all this week so we can support early workers and people in Europe who are an hour ahead of us. Today was spent doing some tickets, I had a couple about people not being able to install machines. I also had a short meeting with Simon from Aber about the report…

Tuesday I spent again helping install a number of boxes…I also linked up an x2250 to a 6140 and hooked up some gigabit Ethernet connections…

Wednesday was a blur as more tickets came through for help with installing machines. One interesting ticket was to install an Ethernet card into the new x2270 and hook it up t oa different network. I installed the card fine, and hooked the card up to the switch, but didn’t get to change it to a different network…

Thursday morning I came in to find that I get a 26B error on my Sun Ray session. There was some problems with various servers and NFS seemed to have gone away…A hour and a restart later, I was up and running again :D After all this, I managed to change the network on the x2270. I needed to log into the switch and change what VLAN it was on. Then I plumbed the switch itoo the network.

Sun - Week Fourtyfour

This week is excellent! Monday starts off as a bank holiday, and I have Thursday and Friday off!

Tuesday consisted of me pulling some vmware VM’s from a box in the lab. This shouldn’t have been difficult, but the box was running Linux, the VM’s were on a SCSI array, and the array had been made into one volume using LVM. There is hardly any documentation out there for LVM! Linux people, get your arse’s in gear and take a leaf out of the ZFS book for goodness sake! It reminds me a lot of what SVM used to be. After finally getting the correct command I found I had to activate the volume, which took even more poking around on the net to find out what to do! After that it was just a case of mounting the volume.

Wednesday was more of the same really, after finding what VM’s the engineer actually wanted, I set about deleting them from VMWare and move the directories sideways, tar’ed them up then scp’d them over to a lab box where I’m just running bzip2 on them, 16GB is a hullofalot to transfer, it took half an hour for each of the VM’s to transfer! Hopefully bzip2 will get the size down somewhat and I can transfer them over to the other lab. I’ll need to then import them into VitualBox, and I’m hoping it’ll be OK…I’ll be following this guide here: clicky

Thursday was spent traveling up to Aber for the May Ball on Friday

Friday was spent meeting up with friends, etc. and going to the May Ball.

The last few posts were generated on Wednesday and may not be updated, this is scheduled to be published on Friday.

Post 100

Post 100, thanks for visiting to boost the stats:

April brought 1,080 views!  With March bringing 1,039.  These are the highest figures I’ve seen on my blog since it started back in December 2007…

Thanks for visiting, and I hope some of the stuff I write is of some interest to some people…

Sun - Week Fortythree

Monday starts off OK. Coming into work to find some tickets on the queue and some work to be done from last week. My main ticket is setting up an x4100 over in the 02 lab for an engineer who wants to install VM’s. There is a problem with this, he wants to use Windows and whenever someone says that, there are always groans, why? Because Windows == licensing. He wants to use MSDN licenses, however, he isn’t the only user of the systems-to-be, so he needs to use volume licenses. We have an old VM machine which has valid volume licenses on, but I can’t access the VM files so I can’t transfer them…

Tuesday was a terrible day, it started terrible and ended terrible. I woke up late, to Tom asking if I was ready to go at 8:30. After telling him I’d just got up and rushed to get ready and get the next bus. When I got in the ticketing system was down, when it came back up one of my tickets had gone from being a normal priority to a high priority…The ticket was to set up two Intel boxes, an x4150 and an x4250, each with a 10 gigabit Ethernet card. This should have been a really easy ticket. However it turned into a nightmare. Installing the 10Gb card gave me PCI option ROM errors during POST, I wouldn’t usually care, but this meant the BIOS couldn’t see the RAID card and so couldn’t use the disks. After flashing the BIOS and trying the on-board disk controller and still getting no where, it was 6:25pm and I decided enough was enough.

Wednesday was significantly better than Tuesday. I got in and disabled PCI option ROM for the PCI slot the 10Gb card was in, this allowed the BIOS to see the RAId card and the disks, I booted from the disks and used `ifconfig -a plumb` to see all the interfaces and found the 10Gb card! I also managed to install 64-bit Java to a shared directory (on a SPARC host!) and get it to work on an x64 system (simply install on an x64 host, then copy the files over). The afternoon was mostly consumed by a meeting with our new boss…All the labstaff from around the globe jumped on a call which was just as exciting as I’d predicted…

Thursday didn’t start well, I woke up a little later than usual and felt disorientated most of the day, I think it’s a lack of sleep… The morning was spent assigning some IP’s for an engineer and set up a T2000 sc for him. The afternoon was spent troubleshooting a 15K domain. Solaris would ping the local production server, but OBP couldn’t see any network activity…The interface with the cable in told me that I should check for a problem with the cable, and I did. Moving the cable around made this message follow the cable to different interfaces and using a known working cable didn’t make a difference. It’s very weird, it’s like BIOS not seeing your disk, but Windows being able to see and access it fine…In the end I delved into /etc/path_to_inst and copied the device path, under OBP I then did: boot /pci@9c,700000/pci@1/network@0 - install This seems to have worked and the domain is net booting as I type this!

Friday was spent fixing console access for an engineer and finding a PSU for a customer system. We also moved some old racks into the campus data center, they were very kind to let us use some of their space. The old racks contain machines which have been end of service lifed, but may still be called up if a big customer offers to pay the right amount of money.

Are blogs a fad?

Why does one start to write a blog? I know why I started mine, I wanted some representation on the web which was a bit more organised than the sites I tend to cobble together…Did I share much with you all?  Looking back, no.  OK, so I’ve blogged about at least one thing every month…But that’s just it, some months I’ve completely neglected this site…

I’ve been unable to sleep tonight, so thought I’d have a look around at friend’s blogs.  It’s amazing to see how many aren’t updated on a regular basis, that have been left since the end of last year, or longer…There are a couple who surprise me too, a few people I would expect to update their blogs more often than I, they generally seem very interesting people, and I’m surprised that they don’t update more often.

So why is it?  I know I often forget to update everyday after work, and tend to look back at the week in my weekly blogs.  I think, though, when I leave Sun, I’ll probably drop back to a couple of entries a month (which will be a shame).  I think people get busy, I’ll often think that the I’m doing right now is interesting, and it would be good to blog about it, but obviously I’m busy doing it, too busy to stray off to this place…

I’ve been looking for a Folding@Home client for OpenSolaris, the number of blogs (and forum posts) I came across from 2006 is unbelievable…And often the whole blog has been abandoned…I know I abandoned my old blogger blog, Wordpress has a much better feature list in my opinion.

I hope that I’ll be able to make some time to update this place next year, in amongst the rush of uni work, a home life, and other bits and bobs I’m hoping will come together, and I hope you lot keep reading, I enjoy looking at my stats on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis and seeing that you lot have pushed for another all time high…