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Introduction to Solstice DiskSuite - (Release 4.2.1)
by Jeff Hunter, Sr. Database Administrator
DiskSuite 4.2.1 is a software product included with the Sun Solaris operating system that allows the System Administrator to manage a large number of disks and the data contained on those disks.
There are many uses for DiskSuite but most tasks center around the following:
- Large storage capacity
- Data availability
- I/O performance enhancements
The DiskSuite software uses virtual disks to manage physical disks. In DiskSuite, a virtual disk is called a metadevice. A metadevice is functionally the same as a physical disk from the applications view. DiskSuite converts all I/O requests directed at a metadevice into I/O requests to the underlying member disks. DiskSuite's metadevices are built from slices (disk partitions).
Take for example a situation in where you wanted to create more storage capacity, it is simple to use DiskSuite to "fool" the system into thinking that a large collection of small slices is one large physical disk. After you have created a metadevice from these slices, you can immediately begin using it just as any "real" disk; create a filesystem on it, use it to store database files, etc. But using mirrors and RAID5 metadevices, DiskSuite can also increase the availability of data. Mirrors and RAID5 metadevices replicate data so that it is not destroyed if the disk on which it is stored fails.
DiskSuite includes a graphical user interface (GUI) program named DiskSuite Tool that can be used to build metadevices. However, as you become more familiar DiskSuite, you will soon realize that DiskSuite Tool cannot perform all administration DiskSuite tasks. In these cases and for system administrators that prefer to work from the command line, DiskSuite includes a command line interface set of tools. This article includes definitions and examples of the command available in Sun's DiskSuite 4.2.1.
Within the Solstice DiskSuite - (Solaris 2.5.1 - Solaris 8) section, I will include articles on Creating, Deleting, and Modifying all types of DiskSuite objects.
These articles will provide a comprehensive overview for creating DiskSuite metadevices (stripes, concatenations, mirrors, etc) using the DiskSuite command-line tools. Most of the information can also be found in the "Solstice DiskSuite 4.2.1 User's Guide" (Part Number 806-3205-10).