Solaris Jumpstart and Flash Archives


 
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Operating Systems Solaris Solaris Jumpstart and Flash Archives
# 1  
Old 07-10-2005
Solaris Jumpstart and Flash Archives

Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am short on time and need to get up to speed fast on the use of flash archives. I am very familiar with Jumpstart and have used it successfully for the past 5 years. The current project I am working on requires optimization of time and speed when deploying systems which is why I am considering trying to implement a Jumpstart/Flash archive solution. As usual, the customer is strapped for time and funding and thus cannot afford me the luxury of experimental testing on my own to determine if a Jumpstart/Flash archive is a viable solution. So I am turning to all of you to help me determine if I should push this approach any further with the customer or should I just drop it. I need fairly technical answers to the following questions:
1. From what I have read, you can create a flash archive of a "master" system. Can this archive image be an image of the entire disk? If the answer is yes, then when you go to restore it using Jumpstart, does the disk you are restoring to have to be of the same disk geometry and size? I believe the answer is probably yes, however, the logic behind the question is: Say I am using a system with a 36GB disk as my "master" system image. After building it, the total disk space "used" by all partitions is only 15GB. Can I use Jumpstart and the 36GB Flash archive image to restore it to a 20GB disk? If the answer is 'NO", I need to restore it to a disk with the same geomentry and size, then is the real solution to this scenario to use flar create to create separate archives of all the master disk partitons?

2. When using Jumpstart to restore this "master" image (whether it be the entire disk archive image or each separate archive images of the master disk partitions), how does Jumpstart account for changing of the hostname, netmask, default route, IP addresses, domainname, etc.? (In other words, the unique system information that varies from system to system.)

3. Assuming that jumpstart can somehow reconfigure the system-unique parameters after installing the master system disk image/partitions and everything else remains equal, will using Jumpstart in conjunction with Flash archives be any faster than just using Jumpstart with finish scripts?

Thank You for your wisdom and help!
# 2  
Old 07-10-2005
Please read our rules and note:
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I have closed the duplicate thread.
# 3  
Old 07-10-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo15
does the disk you are restoring to have to be of the same disk geometry and size?
No it does not need to have the same physical geometry or size, it just needs to be large enough to contain the used space of the disk on then master. To use your example of an archive built on a 36GB machine, using 15GB of space, that will restore fine on a 20GB disk.

A flash archive is a form of cpio archive, so restoring across slice/mountpoints is not a problem, you just layout the disk in the same way as you do for a standard jumpstart. If a mountpoint which existed in the orignal system is missing, it will be restored as a directory, contents included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo15
When using Jumpstart to restore this "master" image how does Jumpstart account for changing of the hostname, netmask, default route, IP addresses, domainname, etc.?
In exactly the same way as it does when you run a sys-unconfig, it replaces those system specific files with new versions which match the new configuration, see man sys-unconfig for the full list of affected files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo15
3. Assuming that jumpstart can somehow reconfigure the system-unique parameters after installing the master system disk image/partitions and everything else remains equal, will using Jumpstart in conjunction with Flash archives be any faster than just using Jumpstart with finish scripts?
Yes, as an example an installation which was taking 45min-1hour depending on network conditions in our production environment takes 15-20minutes using flash.
# 4  
Old 07-11-2005
as reborg said, a flasharchive is "just" a collection of packages and configuration files. not a real harddisk image. so if you install from a flasharchive, there are still the same files like in a normal jumpenviroment. so the new hostnames and ips and partitions are provided in the same way:
defaults settings for your subnet in sysidcfg.
in your rules file is an entry of the mashine:
hostname NEWNAME - profile.flash -
or if you use the any option like link the maschines to an extra flash profile:
any - - profile.flash -
the name will be taken from your /etc/ethers and /etc/hosts files like:
grep NEWNAME /etc/ethers
0:3:ba:d2:bb:cc NEWNAME
grep NEWNAME /etc/hosts
192.168.133.xxx NEWNAME
in the profile.flash you can provide the same specific option as on other installation profiles, expample:
Code:
install_type flash_install
archive_location nfs masterip:/flash/flasharchive
pratitioning explicit
  filesys c0t0d0s0 free /
  filesys c0t0d0s1 2048 swap
  filesys c0t0d0s3 4096 /var

i've testet the jumpstart with flasharchives in a gigabit network with a patched default installation on V880s and the server was ready after 5 minutes ;-) ... but anyway you can still use a start and finish script with flasharchives so feel free to costumize your image afterwarts...

greetings PRESSY
# 5  
Old 07-11-2005
Thanks Pressy,

I wanted to post a profile, but my link went down so I couldn't get an example and I was too tired to write a new one.

Rambo15,
One thing definitely worth the mention is the fact (as Pressy indicated) that you can have a Fully Patched flar, which will in all probability be a bigger time gain than the actual install time gain. Patching can take a long time.
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