Any reason not to upgrade from Solaris 11 to 11.2?

dodgeboy

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Nov 29, 2009
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I've had a all-in-one VMWare/ZFS box running for the better part of 5 years. I've recently done some hardware upgrades, which has led me down the path of updating the software i'm running on some of my virtual servers. Since my Solaris 11 box is serving up VMWare with all of my storage space (via NFS), I want to make sure I don't make a move that I regret. I can always roll back to 11 by making a copy of the VM, as long as I don't upgrade my zpools with 11.2 (because they can't be downgraded). But I'll need to upgrade my zpools soon after the upgrade, since apparently you can't share the pools with SMB until they're upgraded.

I've read that nfs is quite a bit more efficient on the newer versions of solaris. I'm also interested in the resilvering improvements in zpool v35... I'm looking for anyone with input on why it might not be a good idea to upgrade to 11.2.

Thoughts?
 

Argentum

Weaksauce
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Presuming you aren't paying for Oracle support... I know I'm not

I've kept up with the releases (11 Express to 11.1 to 11.2) as they've helped cure minor quirks for me (like inconsistent performance off of SAS expanders) and added support for newer hardware (particularly NICs). I gave up on using my box for an iSCSI target partition during the 11.1 era as scrubs took forever and I suspect that's better now based on the changelog, but I no longer have a need.

The only reason I could see NOT to upgrade might be that Solaris 11.3 (which supports SMB 2.1) might be out soon and you might not want to do an upgrade twice. Or maybe that's a reason to do it because it could be jarring to make a leap from 11.1 to 11.3. ;)
 

dodgeboy

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Nov 29, 2009
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Thank you for the reply! All good points, for sure. I read about 11.3, and lots of stuff about it sounds awesome. But I don't want to jump right on the bandwagon of a new release, so I'll probably wait until 6 months or so after its release to upgrade.

I wound up biting the bullet and upgraded to 11.2 yesterday (as well as upgrading my zpools). The only issue I ran into was with the samba shares. I had to reconfigure some of the samba properties of the zpools to get them shared out again (likely because of the changes in the way it handles samba auths). I also have a really old Linux VM (8.04!!) that can no longer mount a CIFS share. I spent a little time troubleshooting it, but gave up because it's time I update that thing anyway.

It handles NFS a LOT better, since it's in the kernel and not user space anymore. My VMs are happy about that.

Thanks again for the input! I think I made the right decision. I look forward to 11.3, so I'll definitely keep tabs on that release.
 

brutalizer

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Can't you just make a new BE if you want to rollback to an earlier Solaris version?
 
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{Nigel Tufnel} It's got a bigger number...
 

dodgeboy

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Can't you just make a new BE if you want to rollback to an earlier Solaris version?

Yes. I could've done that, or simply copied the VM (which is what I wound up doing) for testing. The issue is with the zpool version that comes with 11.2. If I didn't upgrade the zpool to v35, I couldn't use SMB sharing (which I use extensively in my environment). So if I upgraded to 11.2, I needed to commit to a zpool upgrade rather quickly in order to bring my environment back online. Once you do that, the pools can no longer be read by the older OS version. That's why I was soliciting feedback on the new version. If there was a known issue/bug, I wanted to try to find out about it ahead of time, so I didn't commit myself to that version.
 

brutalizer

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Why do you upgrade your zpool? Many of us (including me) are staying at the old v28 so we can change OS freely.
 

dodgeboy

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Nov 29, 2009
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Why do you upgrade your zpool? Many of us (including me) are staying at the old v28 so we can change OS freely.

I was receiving errors about SMB sharing with the pool version I was on (v31) with Solaris 11.2. Some googling suggested I needed to upgrade to v35 to fix it. I upgraded it and it fixed it. I was also very interested in the sequential resilvering feature on v35.
 
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