6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2012 12:28 PM by 975483

    Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)

      Hello all,

      [I’m rather new to Solaris, so pardon me if this is a simple question.]

      What would be a simple way to create full machine image of a physical Solaris 10 box suitable for an easy bare-metal restore on the same machine. The machine has one UFS system drive and one ZFS data storage drive.

      Making this a VM is not an option. Both drives are large, but have only a small amount of data, so I’d like to create an image that just saves the used file system blocks.

      Destination would be a 3rd local drive added to the system.

      Incremental images would be nice, but hardly seems worth the bother since the image files will be so small.

      I did not find any simple commercial product like Norton Ghost or True Image that supports Solaris 10. Does such a thing exist?

      From searching on Google I see a couple of other options:

      1. Use "Jumpstart". I don’t really know what this is, but it seems very powerfull and very popular. But, I wonder if it’s an overkill for my needs.

      2. Use a combination of "ufsdump"and "zfs send". But, obviously I need more than this for a bare metal restore. Boot loaders and partition tables come to mind.

      Which option do you guys recommend?

      Thank you
        • 1. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
          Either Jumpstart or Flash Archives should fit the bill and you can find the documentation on docs.oracle.com. For Solaris 11 when you get ready to make the jump look into Automated Installer (Ai).

          • 2. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
            first I would convert both drives to either ufs or zfs.

            There are 2 common methods in use to quickly recover a server after a drive failure

            The first method is to use "live upgrade" to clone the os (/var and /root). If one drive fails, or if important os data is erased, then the server can be booted to the other disk. You could probably use solaris volume manager to mirror the date.

            The second method is to use Solaris volume manager to mirror the os and and the data. In my opinion this is a bit more complicated to implement, and the recovery is a bit more complicated. In addition if the drive fails bad data can be written to the remaining good disk. Mirroring does not protect you from data being accidently erased. On the other hand the alternate root drive is always up to date. With live upgrade you either need to update the alternate disk manually or use a script to automatically upgrade the script.
            • 3. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
              Thank you.

              Flar looks good and maybe more appropriate for my use case than Jumpstart. Just need a full image to keep around as a baseline that I can recover from as needed.

              (No need for continual updating per Paisley's drive sync suggestion.)

              But, will flar correctly back up both the UFS and ZFS drives into one big archive?

              If not, is there something else I need to do?
              • 4. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
                If you must use both UFS and ZFS and you are tight on disk space, then you will need bare metal
                recovery for your UFS root file system and snapshots of your ZFS data pool.

                If you only have one spare disk to hold both UFS and ZFS data, then I think it will be a bit more
                difficult. You could create a flash archive of your UFS root file system and store it on your spare disk
                in a ZFS storage pool. Its just a cpio archive, but I don't think you could also use JumpStart to install
                this flar. I think the JumpStart server and client file system need to match.

                Another idea, and this is untested by me, is that you can install the system manually by pointing
                the installer at the UFS root flar on a ZFS file system shared over NFS. This needs to be tested,
                of course.


                You could create a ZFS storage pool on the whole spare disk and create a separate file system for
                the UFS flash archive (and confirm that you could install this flar) and depending on how you
                create your ZFS snapshots, the ZFS file systems would get created automatically when the file
                systems are received. Or, you could store the snapshots as files in a ZFS file system.


                If the "store a UFS flar on a ZFS file system" idea doesn't work out, you could create partitions on the
                spare disk for a UFS file system for storing the ufsdump files and a ZFS pool for storing your ZFS data
                pool snapshots.

                My advice is to ask Santa for new disks or a new system for Xmas and set up your system(s) so that
                management and recovery of your data is much easier:

                ZFS root pool (mirror of 2 disks)
                ZFS data pool (mirror of 2 disks)
                ZFS backup pool (mirror of 2 disks)

                Thanks, Cindy
                • 5. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
                  A little more info is needed to give you the best solution.

                  How quickly do you need to restore the system?
                  What is your backup method? (tape drive, disk)
                  Will all of your data fit on one disk?
                  Will you be able to convert ufs to zfs?

                  I think there is an article on how to use Live Upgrade to move from ufs to zfs.
                  • 6. Re: Solaris 10: How to create a full system image. (Like Ghost)
                    There are 2 methods in use to quickly recover a server after a drive failure.

                    1. live upgrade:- using Lucreate you can have two (BE) Boot Environment on same harware. If one drive fail you can boot with second BE.
                    2. Flash Archive:- using flarcreate you can have a flar image of running OS on SAN/NAS or FTP location. it is easy to recover OS using flash installation.