Solaris 10 is designed to keep your applications running in the event of hardware and application faults and in the course of routine maintenance.
The Solaris 10 Operating System is designed to preserve your most valuable resource: time. Every second your system is down costs you money, and every second your system administrator spends solving downtime problems costs you more. A key feature of Solaris 10, Predictive Self Healing, works transparently in the background to make sure your business-critical applications and essential system services continue to run uninterrupted in the event of software and hardware failures. Additional Solaris 10 features also help drive near-zero downtime, particularly when you use Solaris in conjunction with Sun Fire servers.
Predictive Self Healing is an innovative capability in Solaris 10 that automatically diagnoses, isolates, and recovers from many hardware and application faults. As a result, business-critical applications and essential system services can continue uninterrupted in the event of software failures, major hardware component failures, and even software misconfiguration problems.
Solaris Fault Manager
Solaris Fault Manager is a Predictive Self Healing facility that collects data relating to hardware and software errors. It automatically and silently detects and diagnoses the underlying problem, with an extensible set of agents automatically responding by taking the faulty component offline. Easy-to-understand diagnostic messages link to articles in Sun's knowledge base that clearly guide administrators through corrective tasks that require human intervention. The open design of the Solaris Fault Manager facility also permits administrators and field personnel to observe the activities of the diagnostic system. With Solaris Fault Manager, the overall time from a fault condition to automated diagnosis to any necessary human intervention is greatly reduced, increasing your application uptime.
Solaris Service Manager
The Solaris Service Manager facility creates a standardized control mechanism for application services by turning them into first-class objects that administrators can observe and manage in a uniform way. These services can then be automatically restarted if they are accidentally terminated by an administrator, if they are aborted as the result of a software programming error, or if they are interrupted by an underlying hardware problem. In addition, the Solaris Service Manager software reduces system boot time by as much as 75 percent by starting services in parallel according to their dependencies. An 'undo' feature helps safeguard against human errors by permitting easy change rollback. Solaris Service Manager is also simple to deploy: Developers can convert most existing applications to take full advantage of Solaris Service Manager features just by adding a simple XML file to each application.
One critical element to availability is reliable data subsystems, a Solaris feature Sun has been adding to and refining for years. The UNIX File System (UFS) included with Solaris 10 provides high-resiliency features such as metadata logging to protect against data corruption and speed recovery in the event of system failure. Available in Solaris 10, Solaris ZFS dramatically simplifies file system administration to help increase protection against administrative error. Solaris ZFS also delivers end-to-end data integrity with 256-bit checksumming and transactional data updates.
Although it's critical to guard against unplanned downtime, a more significant amount of application availability is affected by planned downtime. For software, that's principally driven by the time it takes to install and upgrade both your applications and the operating system itself. The Solaris JumpStart automated installation facility has for years offered ways to simplify and customize system installs. Recent Solaris releases extend JumpStart with two technologies that are designed to dramatically reduce the time your application is unavailable due to software maintenance. These two facilities—Solaris Flash and Solaris Live Upgrade—can be used together to add new systems to your data center or to repurpose existing systems in minutes rather than hours or days.
The Solaris Flash facility lets you quickly install and update systems with an OS configuration tailored to your needs by enabling you to build custom rapid-install images—including applications, patches, and parameters—that can be installed at a data rate close to the full speed of the hardware.
Solaris Live Upgrade
The Solaris Live Upgrade facility allows you to install a new operating system on a running production system without taking it offline, with the only downtime for your application being the time necessary to reboot into the new configuration.
The Solaris 10 Operating System can offer additional advantages when used in conjunction with Sun's powerful Sun Fire midrange and high-end servers. Two key technologies, Dynamic Reconfiguration and Dynamic Domains, help you keep your applications up and running while enabling you to manage your IT resources more cost effectively.
Dynamic Reconfiguration enables you to dynamically reconfigure, remove, or install core server components while Solaris and your applications continue to run, helping to reduce or eliminate downtime when adding, repairing, or upgrading hardware components. In addition, the Solaris 10 Reconfiguration Coordination Manager facility notifies software if available system resources have changed, allowing, for example, database software to automatically adjust in-memory indexing policy to suit added or reduced memory capacity, or change threading policy based on a new number of physical or virtual CPUs available.
Dynamic Domains, enabled by Dynamic Reconfiguration technology, are fault-isolated, flexible partitions that allow you to run multiple applications and multiple copies of the Solaris OS on a single server. Dynamic Domains can be used alone or in conjunction with Solaris Containers to provide an extremely flexible and powerful combination of hardware-based and software-based system virtualization, supporting literally hundreds and even thousands of applications on one server while still maintaining resource isolation, security, and hardware resiliency.