SUMMARY: Confused about Veritas Volume Manager (Solaris 2.6)

From: Judith Reed (
Date: Thu Oct 23 1997 - 09:33:20 CDT

I've had a lot of replies, many thanks to those who've responded.
> 1. What CD does the VM software come on? Does it come with the "Solaris 2.6
> Server Sparc Platform Edition"?
The software is called "Sun Enterprise Volume Manager" now, and the cd comes
with an SSA, in the SSA software box, as an unbundled product - also
documentation. Otherwise you have to buy it. Solstice Disksuite 4.1 does
come with Solaris 2.6.
One person commented:
> (however be careful when reading the installation manual).
Another said:
"If you purchase a SSA volume manager comes with it. If you purchase a
newer raid unit that i think suns come with now you get a different
version of the raid manager...not sure its Veritas. Sun systems have a
version of veritas thats engineered specifically for Solaris, but i think
the software is a seperate CD from any of the OS stuff. You should get
a seperate documentation kit w/ the CD."
> 2. Does the VM require a special license? How/where do we get it, and
> does it install with Flexlm?
There's a lot of seemingly conflicting info on this area. Consensus is that
if you buy an SSA, you get the software. If not, unclear - observe:

"The version that comes with an SSA will not stripe non-SSA disks"
"If you buy a Storage Array you don't need a license, otherwise it includes
 a license."
"If you have an ssa connected it senses it and renews itself automagically!"
"It requires a separate license from Veritas ($5k+). Sun does not sell
 it separately, but can ship with a new system with SSA."
"If you don't have a SPARC Storage Array, you have to buy the software. It
 costs about $3500.00 (YIKES!) Install it with pkgadd.
"For a SSA you don't need a separate license, you've already paid for
 it. Otherwise you buy the software and license from either Sun or
> I asked this same question of Sun:
> 2. On page 28 of the installation guide, I am told to enter
> the license key in order to proceed. I didn't see one
> anywhere in the distribution, how do I get one?
> If the system has a SSA attached, powered up, and seen by
> the OS you should not need the key. The manual should have
> added that. I'll check later to see if any bugs have been
> written against the documemt. vxconfigd has always regenerated
> the license as long as an SSA remains attached to the system.
> Once the SSA is removed, or if it remains down for a period
> of app. 15 days, the license will expire and vm will no longer
> work on that system until the SSA (any SSA) is re-attached.
> Without an SSA attached you will have to go to the vendor
> (Veritas) to get the license.
"volume manager is delivered free of charge if you buy a storage array
 ( ssa114, rsm 214, rsm219 ) or the raid array thing ( rsm2000 ) - with
 a licence that enambles you to run it on starage arrays and RSMs only.
 To manage other disks you send off a license request to sun licensing
 centre, and if you have paid for it, they will email and fax back the
 licencing keys. Otherwise, ie no rsm or ssa, buy
        EVM-2.4-B enterprise volume manager cd and documentation
        EVM-2.4??-L volume manager ?? server RTU licence."
" no license required for ssa and rsm, otherwise license obtained in the usual
 fashion pay a salesman and get a license from the licensing centre. It is a
 veritas type of license, and does NOT run with FLEXlm"
> 3. Is the Veritas Volume Manager software documentation separate from the
> Sun documentation that comes in the 2.6 distribution? Is it on the web
> anywhere?
LVM documentation is separate from general sun docs, should come with software,
not available on the web. On person commented:
"The only docs you'll get are the user manual for the array. You can take
 the course from Sun and get a really good workbook."
Another said that the veritas site ( has "some decent white
> 4. What versions of SSA drivers and VM software go together with Solaris 2.6?
> Someone thought the VM software was v2.4...
The latest veritas version is 2.4, and it is supposed to be good for Solaris
2.4, 2.5, 2.6. Some comments:
"It has some bugs that i don't think are fixed yet involving root disk
"The Solaris 2.6 SSA drivers are ok to use. If necessary upload the Solaris
 2.6 supplied SSA firmware (see the ssaadm man page for details)."
"The latest is 2.4 Firmware rev. on the ssa is at 3.11"
> 5. Can I use a raid level that uses parity plus striping, for redundancy? We
> are getting 80GB of disk for our server, want to have the maximum available
> space that will still be recoverable, because we are not going to be
> be backing this up - (it's a news spool) - what technique would you
> recommend?
Various comments below, with mine set off by asterisks:
"ODS and VxVF both support RAID 5. You only have 0,1,0+1 and 5 to choose from
 (ie striping, mirroring, mirroring of stripes, and parity stripes)."
"for news I would just create a simple striped filesystem. If a disk fails
then after you newfs it again, your news peers will reconstruct the news spool"
 ***** We don't want to lose back msgs, I don't think those are resent - *****
 ***** anyone know if we can reconstruct last 2 weeks of msgs? *****
"RAID5 will give you the most redundant disk space but at some performance
 penalty. Make sure you enable fast writes in the SSA hardware for each disk."
"We are using raid level 5, on about 75GB of raw disk space. Be aware that when
 you do a raid 5, you will use up some disk space. We have about 46 GB of
 usable disk space."
         ******* ??? - I'd have expected more *******
"Sounds like you want Raid-5; this gives you maximum disk space while still
having parity. Its not striped exactly and it has a lot of overhead in
heavy write environments (like a news spool) so it might be a performance
drag for you."
Thanks again for all the helpful responses!!!

Judith Reed
(315) 453-2912 x335

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