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Monday, March 31, 2014
 
[Solaris] ZFS Pool History, Writing to System Log, Persistent TCP/IP Tuning, ..

.. with plenty of examples and little comments aside.

[1] Check existing DNS client configuration

Solaris 11 and later:

% svccfg -s network/dns/client listprop config
config                      application        
config/value_authorization astring     solaris.smf.value.name-service.dns.client
config/options             astring     "ndots:2 timeout:3 retrans:3 retry:1"
config/search             astring     "sfbay.sun.com" "us.oracle.com" "oraclecorp.com" "oracle.com" "sun.com"
config/nameserver         net_address xxx.xx.xxx.xx xxx.xx.xxx.xx xxx.xx.xxx.xx

Solaris 10 and prior:

Check the contents of /etc/resolv.conf

% cat /etc/resolv.conf
search  sfbay.sun.com us.oracle.com oraclecorp.com oracle.com sun.com
options ndots:2 timeout:3 retrans:3 retry:1
nameserver      xxx.xx.xxx.xx
nameserver      xxx.xx.xxx.xx
nameserver      xxx.xx.xxx.xx

Note that /etc/resolv.conf file exists on Solaris 11.x releases too as of today.

[2] Logical domains: finding out the hostname of control domain

Use virtinfo(1M) command.

root@ppst58-cn1-app:~# virtinfo -a
Domain role: LDoms guest I/O service root
Domain name: n1d2
Domain UUID: 02ea1fbe-80f9-e0cf-ecd1-934cf9bbeffa
Control domain: ppst58-01
Chassis serial#: AK00083297

The above output shows that n1d2 domain is a guest domain, which is also an I/O domain, the service domain and a root I/O domain. Control domain is running on host ppst58-01.

Output from control domain:

root@ppst58-01:~# ldm list
NAME             STATE      FLAGS   CONS    VCPU  MEMORY   UTIL  NORM  UPTIME
primary          active     -n-cv-  UART    64    130304M  0.1%  0.1%  243d 2h 
n1d1             active     -n----  5001    448   916992M  0.2%  0.2%  3d 15h 26m
n1d2             active     -n--v-  5002    512   1T       0.0%  0.0%  3d 15h 29m

root@ppst58-01:~# virtinfo -a
Domain role: LDoms control I/O service root
Domain name: primary
Domain UUID: 19337210-285a-6ea4-df8f-9dc65714e3ea
Control domain: ppst58-01
Chassis serial#: AK00083297

[3] Administering NFS configuration

Solaris 11 and later:

Use sharectl(1M) command. Solaris 11.x releases include the sharectl administrative tool to configure and manage file-sharing protocols such as NFS, SMB, autofs.

eg.,
Display all property values of NFS:

# sharectl get nfs
servers=1024
lockd_listen_backlog=32
lockd_servers=1024
grace_period=90
server_versmin=2
server_versmax=4
client_versmin=2
client_versmax=4
server_delegation=on
nfsmapid_domain=
max_connections=-1
listen_backlog=32
..
..

# sharectl status
autofs  online client
nfs     disabled

eg.,
Modifying the nfs v4 grace period from the default 90s to 30s:

# sharectl get -p grace_period nfs
grace_period=90
# sharectl set -p grace_period=30 nfs
# sharectl get -p grace_period nfs
grace_period=30

Solaris 10 and prior:

Edit /etc/default/nfs file, and restart NFS related service(s).

[4] Examining ZFS Storage Pool command history

Solaris 10 8/07 and later releases log successful zfs and zpool commands that modify the underlying pool state. All those executed commands can be examined by running zpool history command. Because this command shows the actual zfs commands executed as they are, the 'history' feature is really useful in troubleshooting an error scenario that was resulted from executing some zfs command.

# zpool list
NAME       SIZE  ALLOC  FREE  CAP  DEDUP   HEALTH  ALTROOT
rpool      416G   152G  264G  36%  1.00x   ONLINE  -
zs3actact  848G  17.4G  831G   2%  1.00x   ONLINE  -

# zpool history -l zs3actact
History for 'zs3actact':
2014-03-19.22:02:32 zpool create -f zs3actact c0t600144F0AC6B9D2900005328B7570001d0 [user root on etc25-appadm05:global]
2014-03-19.22:03:12 zfs create zs3actact/iscsivol1 [user root on etc25-appadm05:global]
2014-03-19.22:03:33 zfs set recordsize=128k zs3actact/iscsivol1 [user root on etc25-appadm05:global]

Note that this log is enabled by default, and cannot be disabled.

[5] Modifying TCP/IP configuration parameters

Using ndd(1M) is the old way of tuning TCP/IP parameters, and still supported as of today (in Solaris 11.x releases). However using padm(1M) command is the recommended way to modify or retrieve TCP/IP Internet protocols on Solaris 11.x and later releases.

# ipadm show-prop -p max_buf tcp
PROTO PROPERTY              PERM CURRENT      PERSISTENT   DEFAULT      POSSIBLE
tcp   max_buf               rw   1048576      --           1048576      128000-1073741824

# ipadm set-prop -p max_buf=2097152 tcp

# ipadm show-prop -p max_buf tcp
PROTO PROPERTY              PERM CURRENT      PERSISTENT   DEFAULT      POSSIBLE
tcp   max_buf               rw   2097152      2097152      1048576      128000-1073741824

ndd style (still valid):

# ndd -get /dev/tcp tcp_max_buf
1048576

# ndd -set /dev/tcp tcp_max_buf 2097152

# ndd -get /dev/tcp tcp_max_buf
2097152

One of the advantages of using ipadm over ndd is that the configured/tuned non-default values are persistent across reboots. In case of ndd, we have to re-apply those values either manually or by creating a Run Control script (/etc/rc*.d/S*) to make sure that the intended values are set automatically during a reboot of the system.

[6] Writing to system log from a shell script

Use logger(1) command as shown in the following example.

eg.,

# logger -p local0.warning Big Brother is watching you

# dmesg | tail -1
Mar 30 18:42:14 etc27zadm01 root: [ID 702911 local0.warning] Big Brother is watching you

Check syslog.conf(4) man page for the list of available system facilities and the severity of the condition being logged (levels).

BONUS:

[*] Forceful NFS unmount on Linux

Try the lazy unmount option (-l) on systems running Linux kernel 2.4.11 or later to forcefully unmount a filesystem that keeps throwing Device or resource busy and/or device is busy error(s).

eg.,

# umount -f /bkp
umount2: Device or resource busy
umount: /bkp: device is busy
umount2: Device or resource busy
umount: /bkp: device is busy

# umount -l /bkp
#

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Saturday, March 15, 2014
 
Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #5

Final exclusive playlist dedicated for the 80s -- 16 songs -- list dominated by English performers. Enjoy.

Access previous playlists from the following locations:

    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #4 (80s)
    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #3 (80s)
    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #2 (80s)
    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #1 (50s, 60s and 70s)

Audio-Visual material courtesy: YouTube. Other information: Wikipedia.

1. The Rave-Ups - Positively Lost Me (1985)

Featured in movie, Pretty in Pink.

2. Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (1984)

#1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

3. Roxy Music - Avalon (1982)

Enjoy.

4. Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) (1984)

#1 on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

5. George Thorogood - Bad to the Bone (1982)

Featured in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

6. Mike + The Mechanics - The Living Years (1989)

Nominated, but lost the Grammy Song of the Year to Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings.

7. Milli Vanilli - Blame It On The Rain (1989)

Lip-synch'd - but a cool song overall.

8. The Cult - Love Removal Machine (1987)

Named the 74th best hard rock song of all time by VH1. Skip to 0:45s

9. Echo & the Bunnymen - Cutter (1983)

Spare us the cutter.

10. Daryl Hall & John Oates - Maneater (1982)

#1 on Billboard Hot 100 singles for 4 weeks.

11. Soul II Soul - Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) (1989)

Grammy winner.

12. Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (1986)

Promptly featured in the movie, Say Anything...

13. George Michael - Father Figure (1988)

Another #1 song, another English performer.

14. Georgia Satellites - Keep Your Hands To Yourself (1986)

Missed #1 spot by a hair.

15. Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok (1984)

Enjoy. Skip to 0:52s

16. Starship - "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (1987)

#1 on on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Featured in movie, Mannequin.

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Friday, March 07, 2014
 
[Economics] Inflation

inflation

Inflation is the persistent rise in the prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time, leading to a reduction in the purchasing power as each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services.

Price inflation is measured by the inflation rate, the percentage change of prices calculated on a monthly or annual basis in a price index. Around the world, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most commonly used index to calculate the inflation rate, which measures the price of a representative selection of goods and services for a typical consumer. For example, if the inflation rate is measured at 5%, a loaf of bread that costs $1 today will cost $1.05 in a year.


What causes inflation?

There are at least three theories that are generally accepted.

  1. In a booming economy, strong consumer demand for goods and services may outweigh the aggregate supply and cause the price levels to rise. In other words, if demand is growing faster than supply, prices will increase. This is often referred as Demand-Pull Inflation, a term mostly associated with Keynesian economics.

    Most modern asset bubbles including the U.S. housing bubble which peaked in 2006 fall into this category. The increase in the value of Gold in the aftermath of 2008 financial crisis is another example.

  2. An increase in prices of inputs like wages, taxes, imports and raw materials, or other influential factors such as natural disasters, depletion of natural resources, government regulation, change in exchange rates etc., may push the costs of production higher and weaken the supply of goods as it becomes more expensive now to make the same volume as they were before the surge in production costs. While the demand for these goods remain consistent, the shortage in supply causes a rise in the overall price level. In other words, inflation happens when costs increase independently of aggregate demand. This type of inflation is referred as Cost-Push Inflation, another term associated with Keynesian economics.

    In 2011, the earthquake and tsunami disaster caused inflation to go up temporarily in deflation-ridden Japan.

    As the push for higher federal minimum wages has gained momentum in U.S. these days, the naysayers often cite references to cost-push inflation -- they argue that if the base wages are raised, the manufacturers may feel obligated to pass these increases onto consumers in the form of higher prices.

  3. Over expansion or increase in the money supply in the form of cash and credit may create inflation. If a country prints too much money, the value of the money decreases proportional to the amount of money that was printed. Despite no changes to the aggregate demand or supply, having too much money chasing too few goods can cause the prices of just about everything to increase. If too much money is printed, it becomes worthless to the point where objects are exchanged for goods in place of paper money (bartering).

    zimbabwe inflation

    In year 2000, Zimbabwean Government engaged in money creation activity to fund the Congo war. Coupled with the fact that the money was created with nothing to back it up to give it a value, droughts and private farm confiscation by the government further weakened the supply of food and other locally produced goods. Eventually people holding the Zimbabwean dollar (symbol: Z$) lost confidence in its ability to retain its value, and the series of events that followed led to prolonged hyperinflation between years 2004 and 2009, which ultimately ended with the demise of the Zimbabwean dollar in April 2009. The peak month of hyperinflation occurred in mid-November 2008 with a rate estimated at 79.6 billion percent per month.

    Hyperinflation is not purely a monetary phenomenon — massive supply shock often coupled with external debt denominated in a foreign currency may create a situation involving social unrest that give rise to hyperinflation. A supply shock is an event that suddenly changes the price of a commodity or service mostly due to wars or natural disasters. The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union all led to the emergence of hyperinflation.

Source: various including investopedia, wikipedia, economicshelp.org, James Montier’s writings

(To be continued ..)

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Friday, February 28, 2014
 
[Solaris] Changing hostname, Parallel Compression, pNFS, Upgrading SRUs and Clearing Faults

[1] Solaris 11+ : changing hostname

Starting with Solaris 11, a system's identify (nodename) is configured through the config/nodename service property of the svc:/system/identity:node SMF service. Solaris 10 and prior versions have this information in /etc/nodename configuration file.

The following example demonstrates the commands to change the hostname from "ihcm-db-01" to "ehcm-db-01".

eg.,
# hostname
ihcm-db-01

# svccfg -s system/identity:node listprop config
config                       application        
config/enable_mapping       boolean     true
config/ignore_dhcp_hostname boolean     false
config/nodename             astring     ihcm-db-01
config/loopback             astring     ihcm-db-01
#

# svccfg -s system/identity:node setprop config/nodename="ehcm-db-01"

# svccfg -s system/identity:node refresh  -OR- 
 # svcadm refresh svc:/system/identity:node
# svcadm restart system/identity:node

# svccfg -s system/identity:node listprop config
config                       application        
config/enable_mapping       boolean     true
config/ignore_dhcp_hostname boolean     false
config/nodename             astring     ehcm-db-01
config/loopback             astring     ehcm-db-01

# hostname
ehcm-db-01

[2] Parallel Compression

This topic is not Solaris specific, but certainly helps Solaris users who are frustrated with the single threaded implementation of all officially supported compression tools such as compress, gzip, zip.

pigz (pig-zee) is a parallel implementation of gzip that suits well for the latest multi-processor, multi-core machines. By default, pigz breaks up the input into multiple chunks of size 128 KB, and compress each chunk in parallel with the help of light-weight threads. The number of compress threads is set by default to the number of online processors. The chunk size and the number of threads are configurable.

Compressed files can be restored to their original form using -d option of pigz or gzip tools. As per the man page, decompression is not parallelized out of the box, but may show some improvement compared to the existing old tools.

The following example demonstrates the advantage of using pigz over gzip in compressing and decompressing a large file.

eg.,

Original file, and the target hardware.

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

$ psrinfo -pv
The physical processor has 8 cores and 64 virtual processors (0-63)
  The core has 8 virtual processors (0-7)
 ...
  The core has 8 virtual processors (56-63)
    SPARC-T5 (chipid 0, clock 3600 MHz)

gzip compression.

$ time gzip --fast PT8.53.04.tar 

real    3m40.125s
user    3m27.105s
sys     0m13.008s

$ ls -lh PT8.53*
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         3.1G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar.gz

/* the following prstat, vmstat outputs show that gzip is compressing the 
 tar file using a single thread - hence low CPU utilization. */

$ prstat -p 42510

   PID USERNAME  SIZE   RSS STATE   PRI NICE      TIME  CPU PROCESS/NLWP      
 42510 psft     2616K 2200K cpu16    10    0   0:01:00 1.5% gzip/1

$ prstat -m -p 42510

   PID USERNAME USR SYS TRP TFL DFL LCK SLP LAT VCX ICX SCL SIG PROCESS/NLWP  
 42510 psft      95 4.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0   0  35  7K   0 gzip/1

$ vmstat 2

 r b w   swap  free  re  mf pi po fr de sr s0 s1 s2 s3   in   sy   cs us sy id
 0 0 0 776242104 917016008 0 7 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 52 52 3286 2606 2178  2  0 98
 1 0 0 776242104 916987888 0 14 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0 3851 3359 2978  2  1 97
 0 0 0 776242104 916962440 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 3184 1687 2023  1  0 98
 0 0 0 775971768 916930720 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 39 37 3392 1819 2210  2  0 98
 0 0 0 775971768 916898016 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 3452 1861 2106  2  0 98

pigz compression.

$ time ./pigz PT8.53.04.tar 

real    0m25.111s <== wall clock time is 25s compared to gzip's 3m 27s
user    17m18.398s
sys     0m37.718s

/* the following prstat, vmstat outputs show that pigz is compressing the 
        tar file using many threads - hence busy system with high CPU utilization. */

$ prstat -p 49734

   PID USERNAME  SIZE   RSS STATE   PRI NICE      TIME  CPU PROCESS/NLWP      
49734 psft       59M   58M sleep    11    0   0:12:58  38% pigz/66

$ vmstat 2

 kthr      memory            page            disk          faults      cpu
 r b w   swap  free  re  mf pi po fr de sr s0 s1 s2 s3   in   sy   cs us sy id
 0 0 0 778097840 919076008 6 113 0 0 0 0 0  0  0 40 36 39330 45797 74148 61 4 35
 0 0 0 777956280 918841720 0 1 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  0  0 38752 43292 71411 64 4 32
 0 0 0 777490336 918334176 0 3 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 17 15 46553 53350 86840 60 4 35
 1 0 0 777274072 918141936 0 1 0 0 0  0  0  0  0 39 34 16122 20202 28319 88 4 9
 1 0 0 777138800 917917376 0 0 0 0 0  0  0  0  0  3  3 46597 51005 86673 56 5 39

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar.gz 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         3.0G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar.gz

$ gunzip PT8.53.04.tar.gz  <== shows that the pigz compressed file is 
                                         compatible with gzip/gunzip

$ ls -lh PT8.53*
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

Decompression.

$ time ./pigz -d PT8.53.04.tar.gz 

real    0m18.068s
user    0m22.437s
sys     0m12.857s

$ time gzip -d PT8.53.04.tar.gz 

real    0m52.806s <== compare gzip's 52s decompression time with pigz's 18s
user    0m42.068s
sys     0m10.736s

$ ls -lh PT8.53.04.tar 
-rw-r--r--   1 psft     dba         4.8G Feb 28 14:03 PT8.53.04.tar

Of course, there are other tools such as Parallel BZIP2 (PBZIP2), which is a parallel implementation of the bzip2 tool are worth a try too. The idea here is to highlight the fact that there are better tools out there to get the job done in a quick manner compared to the existing/old tools that are bundled with the operating system distribution.


[3] Solaris 11+ : Upgrading SRU

Assuming the package repository is set up already to do the network updates on a Solaris 11+ system, the following commands are helpful in upgrading a SRU.

Note that it is not so easy to downgrade SRU to a lower version as it may break the system. Should there be a need to downgrade or switch between different SRUs, relying on Boot Environments (BE) might be a good idea. Check Creating and Administering Oracle Solaris 11 Boot Environments document for details.


[4] Parallel NFS (pNFS)

Just a quick note — RFC 5661, Network File System (NFS) Version 4.1 introduced a new feature called "Parallel NFS" or pNFS, which allows NFS clients to access storage devices containing file data directly. When file data for a single NFS v4 server is stored on multiple and/or higher-throughput storage devices, using pNFS can result in significant improvement in file access performance. However Parallel NFS is an optional feature in NFS v4.1. Though there was a prototype made available few years ago when OpenSolaris was still alive, as of today, Solaris has no support for pNFS. Stay tuned for any updates from Oracle Solaris teams.

Here is an interesting write-up from one of our colleagues at Oracle|Sun (dated 2007) -- NFSv4.1's pNFS for Solaris.

(Credit to Rob Schneider and Tom Gould for initiating this topic)


[5] SPARC hardware : Check for and clear faults from ILOM

Couple of ways to check the faults using ILOM command line interface.

By running:

  1. show faulty command from ILOM command prompt, or
  2. fmadm faulty command from within the ILOM faultmgmt shell

Once found, use the clear_fault_action property with the set command to clear the fault for a FRU.

The following example checks for the faulty FRUs from ILOM faultmgmt shell, then clears it out.

eg.,

-> start /SP/faultmgmt/shell
Are you sure you want to start /SP/faultmgmt/shell (y/n)? y

faultmgmtsp> fmadm faulty

------------------- ------------------------------------ -------------- --------
Time                UUID                                 msgid          Severity
------------------- ------------------------------------ -------------- --------
2014-02-26/16:17:11 18c62051-c81d-c569-a4e6-e418db2f84b4 PCIEX-8000-SQ  Critical
        ...
        ...
Suspect 1 of 1
   Fault class  : fault.io.pciex.rc.generic-ue
   Certainty    : 100%
   Affects      : hc:///chassis=0/motherboard=0/cpuboard=1/chip=2/hostbridge=4
   Status       : faulted

   FRU
      Status            : faulty
      Location          : /SYS/PM1
      Manufacturer      : Oracle Corporation
      Name              : TLA,PM,T5-4,T5-8
        ...

Description : A fault has been diagnosed by the Host Operating System.

Response    : The service required LED on the chassis and on the affected
              FRU may be illuminated.

        ...

faultmgmtsp> exit

-> set /SYS/PM1 clear_fault_action=True
Are you sure you want to clear /SYS/PM1 (y/n)? y
Set 'clear_fault_action' to 'True'

Note that this procedure clears the fault from the SP but not from the host.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014
 
Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #4

More 80s. Enjoy.

Previous playlists:

    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #3 (80s)
    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #2 (80s)
    Blast from the Past : The Weekend Playlist #1 (50s, 60s and 70s)

Audio-Visual material courtesy: YouTube. Other information: Wikipedia.

1. Ray Parker, Jr. - Ghostbusters (1984)

Featured in Ghostbusters movie.

2. Chris DeBurgh - Lady In Red (1986)

Not the official video [apparently]. Has nothing to do with the woman in red in The Matrix.

3. Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight (1986)

Enjoyed #2 position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles back then.

4. Spandau Ballet - True (1983)

Enjoyed #4 position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles list in the autumn of 1983.

5. Love and Rockets - So alive (1989)

#1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart for 5 weeks.

6. John Mellencamp - Hurts So Good (1982)

Another Billboard Hot 100 single in this playlist.

7. Rush- Tom Sawyer (1981)

Featured in numerous hollywood movies, and american telivision shows.

8. After The Fire - Der Kommissar (1982)

Cover for a German song — in English.

9. Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning (1987)

One Hit Wonder.

10. ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man (1983)

Cause every girl is crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man. Really!?

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