[rescue] Solaris filesystem overview, comparison to HP/IBM

velociraptor velociraptor at gmail.com
Sat May 20 19:44:34 CDT 2006

On 5/20/06, Andy Wallis <rawallis at panix.com> wrote:
> > curious to fill the voids in my historical knowledge.
> Solaris 9 was when Sun took Solstice DiskSuite 4.2.1 (with the soft
> partition patch) and added it to the baseline OE. Previously, it was
> a costly add-on.  It was then renamed Solaris Volume Manager.
> DiskSuite 1.0 started back in the SunOS 4 days. I believe that Bill
> and some others used it back then.

I don't believe this is quite accurate.  DiskSuite did not cost extra
during the SunOS days--we used it at my workplace at that time on all
of our production systems.

However, about '97-ish, there was talk from Sun about discontinuing
DiskSuite, in favor of Veritas (recall that if you have one of the
fiber based disk arrays from that period, a Veritas license is
attached to the hardware).  My employer purchased a site license of
Veritas, as we presumed that Sun would work out some sort of licensing
deal with Veritas and it would be a short term cost.  Then the
partnership with Veritas and Sun fell apart and Sun started improving
DiskSuite again.  I want to say that was around Sol 7 time frame.

Another point of difference betwee DiskSuite/Sun LVM and Veritas:
Veritas is a disk-based LVM--you give it whole devices, which can then
be sliced up.  With DiskSuite, you can give a single slice of the disk
to the LVM, and use the rest just as you would normally.

This can be useful if, say, you want to mirror the root disk, and it
happens to be smaller than the second disk in the machine.  You could
accomplish the same thing with Veritas, but the remainder of the
second disk would have to be handled as a "soft" partition; with
DiskSuite, you could just create a normal partition and newfs it.

>From a personal standpoint, one thing that I wish that was available
with DiskSuite is a "graphical" viewer to make it easier to understand
layouts on machines you inherit.  I wouldn't use such a thing to
manipulate the metadevices, but since I usually end up drawing a
picture anyway when figuring things out, I figure the computer should
be able to do this faster. :-)

Veritas does have a nice GUI (which will pop up the command it's
running if you use the GUI to manipulate objects), but there are other
things about it which are more "obscure" at the command line.
DiskSuite will also automatically give you RAID 0+1 if that is
possible, even if you don't specifically choose that option.


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