Sun Tech Days Hyderabad

25 Feb

This is in continuation of my first day’s summary of Sun Tech Days Hyderabad.

Based on the interest we have seen for T2000, we wanted to get some printouts of this brochure on T2000. Satish called me on the night of 21st and I could get 400 copies of this brochure printed by a local internet kiosk, for a cost of less than USD 9.00.
I reached the venue by 8.00am on Thursday (22nd) and people started trickling in, even an hour before the actual start. I quickly settled into the SysNet stall. Today, there are more questions on Systems Management products and T2000. Here are some frequently asked questions:

  • how we manage the system (hint: SunMC, System Manager, UCE)
  • how we configure zones on T2000 (hint: Use Solaris Container Manager)
  • how do we actually leverage the presence of so many cores
  • how do we provision 100s of such systems (hint: SPS)
  • how do we know if something is wrong with such a system (hint: SunMC alarms)
  • how do we pull management data from the kernel or hardware (hint: SunMC agentry)
  • what happens if one of the core goes bad for some reason
  • the benefits of fair share scheduler
  • how the security isolation works for many applications running on such box (hint: use Solaris zones)
  • what alternatives do I have if I don’t require such CPU power, but require lot of disk space (hint: use Thumper along with ZFS.)

Overall, it is better than the previous day in terms of depth of questions and curiosity level. Both Harshit and Satish had presentations today and we are swamped by questions even when all three of us are there at the pod. By 6.00pm, I am really tired physically, but the energy level of the visitors kept me up.

Harshit’s laptop doesn’t have any entertainment media. So I couldn’t demonstrate the answer to one question. Does Solaris support media like mp3 and DVD video. I don’t have my laptop with me today, which has some demos for such occasions.

By 6.30pm, we started with HOSUG (Hyderabad Open Solaris Users Group) meeting. The hour long preso by Moinak is good and the subsequent Q & A session transformed into a well participated discussion amongst all members. There is a volunteer from community to run the HOSUG efforts. I am going to assist that person with the logistics help needed from Sun or otherwise.

By the time we winded up Day 2, it was 8.30pm.

For the third day, I packed my laptop and a couple of Discovery Channel DVDs (I love this DVD series, gifted to me by one of my friends) to demonstrate the multimedia abilities of Open Solaris. The day is split to three tracks: Open Solaris, NetBeans and Java ME. Before the OpenSolaris track started, I could demonstrate the DVDs running on OpenSolaris with xine video player. Even though my laptop is 3 years old, it plays DVDs great! I attended the OpenSolaris track till post lunch and then headed home with Satish and Harshit.

The three day event ended on a very positive note and I could see smiles on faces of everyone involved. The efforts of people who worked for the success of the event has paid off and this is one of the greatest Sun Tech Days yet, I can bet.

Sun Tech Days Hyderabad: What a Start!

21 Feb

Wow! Thats the word that came to my mind when I saw the keynote hall of Sun Tech Days – Hyderabad event at Hyderabad International Convention Center this morning. By 8.00am this place is so alive both in terms of excitement level and spectacular visual appeal. Located in the premises of the Novotel hotel, this is a great place to conduct such a great event!
Few thousand people registered at twenty something registration desks and made their way to the demo stalls. Quickly got myself into the SysNet stall featuring SPS and Sun Management Center demonstrated on a T2000 box. We thought that the visitors will start at about 9.00am, but they were here 45 minutes early. I could assist Harshit and Satish till the keynote began and then went to the seminar hall.

The Seminar hall could host anything close to 8000 people (thats what I guessed, I could be wrong) and it is full. The audio visual arrangements, along with the Sun backdrop and the sponsors’ logos, are fantastic. The crowd is enthusiastic and cheered every great moment, especially during the demo of emerging Sun ideas and technologies: the voice front end to AJAX code builder, FFF front end, perf monitoring using Sun Studio compiler plugins, NetBeans based application development for a GoogleMaps front-end, what not. Speeches by Bhaskar and Rich Green are well received too.

That has set the mood for the day and the next two days to come. Once I am out of the keynote session, I am busy till 5.00pm (thats when I had to leave to beat the home bound traffic.) I never had a spare time to relax. There is a continuous stream of visitors to the booth. I think people got lot more excitement when they saw the T2000’s internal view. SunMC demo also attracted lot of attention.

Student community attended the event in great numbers. For all those attendees who want to ask questions about the Sun Technologies that we displayed there: send a mail to askraju __a t__

There will be photos and more (read better) reports of this event coming soon, but this is the way to beat the excitement of this great event. Blog it now!

Sun Management Center: Performance Reporting Manager

13 Feb

Earlier in the day, I blogged about electric meters that gather data. How do you extrapolate this concept to the Computer Systems arena? Electric meters that collect raw data over a period of time are similar to agents that collect data from target systems. Once this data is collected, it should be stored at a centralized location and shall be processed and presented for consumption of end users. They best way to present it to users is by means of performance reports. This is precisely what is done by Performance Reporting Manager plugin of Sun Management Center product. This is a great tool that enables Sun Management Center agents to collect trending data. This tool can generate a wide variety of reports.

Vizag Trip Summary

16 Dec

On Monday and Tuesday I spent my time in Vizag, visiting Andhra University. We had a decent time given with Vice Chancellor, Principals of the colleges and Heads of some key departments. The entire discussion is centered around the benefits of using Open Source products and Sun’s key role in the opensource community. We talked about OpenSolaris, OpenOffice, OpenSparc, OpenJDK, NetBeans, etc. The preso is well received. However, we had only about 30-45 minutes to talk about the technologies. After that, we opened it up for Q&A and it is a very interesting and inquisitive discussion to some details.

After the meeting, Vardhini and myself spent some time with Prof. Apparao, Principal of College or Engineering. We took forward the previous discussion and talked about some key requirements of the college.

Then we went on to meet Prof. KVSVN Raju and Vallikumari of CS & E. We also met Ramprasad from SRKR engg. college. The discussion is centered around the recently introduced M.Tech. courses and how we can use opensource technologies in them.

Overall, it is a very good trip. Since the place is not well connected by flights, we spent an extra day during travel. Otherwise, it would have been a short and sweet one.

Generating MIB for a multi-instance module

29 Oct

I recently posted about the MIB generation for a Sun Management Center module. This post is in continuation with that article.

You can load multiple instances of certain modules into Sun Management Centrer Agent. For example, if you have multiple database instances running on the system, you may want to run one Sun Management Center module for monitoring or managing each instance of oracle.

If you have a module that is loaded as multiple instances, all those instances typically provide the same MIB, but with different contexts. However, when you use the agent interactive mode and use mibExport, you need to supply the module and one of its loaded instance as an argument. The command would look like

agent:demo> mibExport mydemo+myinst

where mydemo is the module name and myinst is one of the instances currently loaded into the agent. Once this operation is done, the MIB file is avaiable as /var/opt/SUNWsymon/cfg/mydemo+myinst-mib.txt.

Creating a MIB for a Sun Management Center Module

12 Oct

Here is a quick tutorial on how to create an SNMP MIB for a Sun Management Center Module. This process helps when you already have a Sun Management Center Module running on the agent and you want to expose the ASN.1 MIB interface for this module.

Load Module
Load the module into an agent on a development system. Make sure that this agent can be stopped and restarted. Hence I am suggesting the use of a development system than a production system. Loading the module can be done from Sun Management Center Console, using the host details window of the agent.

Start Agent in Interactive Mode

Now, as superuser, stop the agent and start it in interactive mode. The agent interactive mode presents an interactive command shell that lets you navigate thru the objects within the agent.

bash-3.00# pwd
bash-3.00# /opt/SUNWsymon/sbin/es-stop -a
Stopping agent component
bash-3.00# /opt/SUNWsymon/sbin/es-start -ai
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent Sun Management Center Version: 3.6.1, Build: 12, H491, (c) 2003 Sun Microsystems, Oct 12 21:34:57 agent registering import actions
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent loading standard services
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent standard services load complete
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent agent host and port: agent007:2161
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent trap handler destination host and port: agent007:162
info Oct 12 21:34:57 agent event trap destination host and port: agent007:163

Once the agent comes up in interactive mode, you need to wait for a few seconds until your module is loaded into the agent. If you know the location where your module is loaded, you can navigate there in the object tree hierarchy and ensure that the module is loaded.

agent:> cd .iso*demo
agent:demo> ls

Export MIB

After your module is loaded, you need to execute a mibExport command, with your module name as the argument. For example, if your module’s *-m.x file name is mydemo-m.x, then you run the command mibExport mydemo. At this point, the agent generates a *-mib.txt file (in this case, mydemo-mib.txt) in the /var/opt/SUNWsymon/cfg/ directory.

At this point, you may exit the agent interactive mode and run the agent in the default daemon mode.

agent:demo> mibExport mydemo
agent:demo> exit
syslog�� Oct 12 21:41:49 agent�������� *** terminating execution ***
bash-3.00# /opt/SUNWsymon/sbin/es-start -a
ls -altr
Agent started successfully.
bash-3.00# ls -altr /var/opt/SUNWsymon/cfg/mydemo-mib.txt
-rw-r–r–�� 1 root���� root������� 2650 Oct 12 21:40 /var/opt/SUNWsymon/cfg/mydemo-mib.txt
bash-3.00# tail /var/opt/SUNWsymon/cfg/mydemo-mib.txt
::= { myDemoEntry 5 }

myDemoMounted OBJECT-TYPE
SYNTAX����� DisplayString
MAX-ACCESS� read-only
STATUS����� current
“Character string value”
::= { myDemoEntry 6 }

Additional Notes:

  1. The above examples assume that you installed Sun Management Center product with /opt as the BASE_DIR. If you used some other directory (e.g. /myvol/opt) then replace /opt with that directory in the above examples.
  2. The MIB variable names will be same as the node names you have given in the Sun Management Center module. To make these variable names look more ASN.1 like, you may need to edit the generated MIB text file.
  3. You may want to edit the MIB file so that you add the necessary import definitions for MIBs.
  4. The Description fields for MIB variables are genrated using the mediumDesc of the module nodes. You may want to add elaborate descriptions for MIB variables.

Sun Management Center: Agent Information from Engine ID

23 Aug

Sun Management Center agent logs often have log entries that contain SNMP Engine IDs. The engine ID would look like


The way to determine the target’s IP address from engine id is as follows. Take the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th fields of the engine id. From the above example, take 0:0:4:da:40:81:9e:e5:df:0:a1:0. This string 81:9e:e5:df represents the IPv4 address of the SNMP entity, e.g. Take each field as a Hex number and compute the corresponding number for the IPv4 address.

The next two fields represent the port number of the SNMP entity. Take 0:a1 from 0:0:4:da:40:81:9e:e5:df:0:a1:0 and compute the numeric port number, treating the entire number as a (max) 4 digit Hex number. In this case, this amouts to 161, the standard SNMP agent port number.