SUMMARY: Sun Online DiskSuite 1.0

From: Brian Decker (reagan!
Date: Fri Jan 22 1993 - 03:22:19 CST

Wow...... I hadn't thought that so many people have used OLDS before. Here is
an extremely late summary of my original post ( employers have a way of
expecting work before mail, don't they?? )

Here are the answers organized by the questions I asked:

> 1. How does it work? Is it a daemon or a device driver?
Rick Heaton (
OLDS requires creation of "metadevices" by means of tools supplied with the
package. These "metadevices" combine other devices in ways you care about.
For instance, you can use two disk partitions of equal size to mirror each
other, and form one metadevice which is a bit more robust than usual. Or,
you could concatenate two disk partitions to make one metadevice of greater
size, which you could then mount as if it were one partition.

Hal Stern (stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM) ( Boy am I honored....)
OLDS is both a daemon and a driver. the device driver is a new, meta-disk
driver that does scatter/gather of reads/writes to the underlying disk devices
in a meta-disk configuration. the daemon takes care of state transitions,
that is, starting a resync of a disk that is brought into a mirrored
pair, for example.

Bill Destefano (
    replaces 29 Sun4 system files in /usr/bin and /usr/etc with newer versions
      - all the basics like ls, find, dump, tar, df, du, newfs, etc.

    adds 25 new DiskSuite-related Sun4 system files to /usr/bin and /usr/etc
      - these mostly have names like meta____ but there are a few libraries
        and headers as well

    replaces 40 kernel files in several /usr/kvm subdirectories
      - files like

    adds 4 new kernel files to /usr/kvm/sys

    replaces 9 system include files

    adds 4 files to /usr/lib

    adds 6 metadisk Sun4 modules

    adds 3 metadisk includes

    and probably a few others that I am forgetting at the moment.

aw well as a rebuild of the system kernel.

> 2. How does it impact the workstation performance that it is used on ?
Most answers indicated that there was no easily perceived change in system
performance, and in fact using OLDS for disk striping can actually improve

> 3. What features does it provide ?
Basically disk mirroring, striping, hot spares, and concatenation of
a file system across several physical disks.

>4. Can it be used to autmagically configure a workstation to boot from a
> secondary disk device if the device stored in EEPROM fails during boot?
Most everyone would like to know how to do this it seems....

>5. Related question to #4 - Is there any way to configure a Sun to boot from
> a secondary drive that is available on the SCSI bus if the primary fails ?

See answer to #4

I appreciate all of the answers received. As it turns out, we are ordering
OLDS from Sun. Most people felt that trying out the software/R'ing TFM was the
best course when trying to understand OLDS.

To all a good night....

"I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!" - Number 6 . .
Brian D. Decker - INTERNET:
E-Systems-UC, Ashburn, VA, USA - VOICE: (703) 560-5000 x3658

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