[rescue] T5220 update

Mike Spooner mike.spooner.ux at gmail.com
Sun Oct 29 15:40:29 CDT 2017

On 29 October 2017 at 11:09, Lionel Peterson wrote:

> From: Lionel Peterson <lionel4287 at gmail.com>
> To: rescue at sunhelp.org
> Subject: [rescue] T5220 update
> Ib m about to build-up my T5220, and I wanted to share a few notes:
> First, I bought this system with 32 Gig RAM and 8 cores (no HD trays, no
> HDs)
> shipped for $125 (plus TX sales taxes). I thought that was a fair price
> including shipping. The system self-tested fine, but I needed HD trays.
> The cheap Cisco (light blue) style cable from eBay worked great, the proper
> driver loaded in Win 10 when I plugged it in, PuTTY worked great for
> terminal
> emulation, and the cable was just under $10 shipped (I got two, since I
> have
> 2x headless UltraSPARC systems).
> While designed for SAS HDs, I assume SATA drives will work fine. I will
> test
> the system with 2x SATA 1 TB 7200 RPM drives later this week, my drive
> sleds
> arrived Friday (4x brand-new HD sleds for about $40 shipped). I may add two
> 240 Gig SATA SSDs as boot devices. Any reason, other than lower performance
> and reliability compared with SAS drives not to use SATA drives?
> As for RAM, ib ve not seen anyone talk about maximum RAM that exceeded 64
> GIG, but over at Crucial.com they claim the system can handle 128 GIG (16x
> 8G
> Dimms) - anyone can confirm that? (I suspect it can handle the
> denser/higher
> RAM, but no one paid the then-exorbitant prices such dimms  would have
> cost.)
> I was going to take out 8x 2 Gig Dimms and put in 4 Gig Dimms, giving me 48
> Gig total - is that a supported config? I see that memory can be added in
> the
> following steps:
> Bank 1 - 4x matching Dimms
> Bank 2 - 4x matching Dimms
> Bank 3 - 8x matching Dimms
> I plan on putting 4 Gig Dimms in Bank 1 and 2, leaving bank 3 as 8x
> matching 2
> gig Dimms - should that work?
> I asked about rails, and a couple list members offered to look in their
> junk
> closet for suitable b outsideb  rails (there are b insideb  rails attached
> to the server). I was going to look for matching/suitable part numbers, but
> havenb t had time (yet), thanks for the offers, Ib ve not forgotten you.
> Finally, I plan to download the latest Solaris 11 image from Oracle,
> available
> from my personal (free) Oracle Account, any advice, concerns, or gotchas? I
> realize updates are not an option without a service contract, but I think
> that
> should provide a reasonable level of security, performance, and features to
> play with...
(1) SATA drives: Sun sold 32Gb SATA drives for use in the T5220 on-board
drive bays, and also released system T5220 HBA-firmware updates
specifically to support Intel 32Gb SATA SLC SSDs, so in principle, other
SATA drives of a suitable form-factor might work. The question as always is
whether "Sun-compatible" drive-firmware would be needed. Hopefully not, but
be cautious - obtain and try one at a time, rather than splashing out for a
full set of 8 or 16 drives all at once.

(2) DIMMs: need FB-DIMMs. There is no mention of 8Gb memory modules in the
release-notes for any T5220 system firmware release, so I would again be
cautious here. Based on previous Sun systems, support for
"high-/double-density" memory modules often required a firmware update, so
just in case, as well as for other reasons, if you have an Oracle Support
login, it might be worth updating the system firmware to latest available.

(3) Software: from the factory, the T5220 originally shipped with the
following pre-installed:

  * Oracle Solaris 10 10/09
  * CMT Tools 1.2 - Sun Studio Developer Ancilliary Tools
  * Cool Tools GCC 4.3.2 - GCC compiler for CMT SPARC systems
  * LDoms Manager 1.3 - Manages Logical Domains
  * Oracle Studio 12 U1 - C, C++, and Fortran compiler and tools

I don't know whether Solaris 11 includes LDoms Manager or a built-in
equivalent, or whether such is freely available from Oracle; you can obtain
Oracle Studio 12 from the Oracle website, and you could probably live
without the others in a pinch, but it would be a shame to have a T5220
without LDom capability?

(4) Other issues: the T5220 has particular limitations on which type of
PCIe card can go in which slot, and so on and so on (almost like the
complicated old sun2 VME cardcage rules!), so it would be well worth
downloading all the T5220 system H/W docs from
https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19637-01/index.html especially the "Product
Notes" document.

Good luck, you've got a nice machine there!

-- Mike Spooner

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