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[May 2, 2007] Using Service Management Facility (SMF) in the Solaris 10 OS: A Quick Example

The key idea of SMF is to provide XML definition file that serves as an envelope for actual scripts that invoke the services and which documents some properties and context in which each typical operation (start, stop, restart) should be performed and path tot he script itself which now can be part of the application. That gives the possibility to execute those operations more intelligemently, for example introduce the concept of dependencies.
But the problem is that XML template used smells with overcomplexity and slightly lessens the transparency which was the main advantage of rc* files approach...

Availability of svcs -a functionality cannot be legitimately sited as an advantage as it can be easily implemented with th4 old approach (as was done in Red Hat with services command).

I am not sure that conversion of init scripts to Perl cannot achieve the same functionality at lower cost.

The Service Management Facility is a new, unified model for services and service management that is included in the Solaris Operating System. SMF provides a deeper, more functional view into the processes managed during startup and shutdown of a Solaris system. In addition, processes managed through SMF can have dependencies and they are monitored to allow for restarts if a process fails or is improperly stopped.

SMF is a core part of the predictive self-healing technology available in the Solaris 10 OS, and it provides automatic recovery from software and hardware failures as well as administrative errors. In addition, SMF-managed services can be delegated to non-root users. Finally, SMF is a follow-on to the legacy method of starting and stopping services, though /etc/rc scripts will continue to run when present for backward compatibility.

Deployment of services through SMF provides a much more consistent and robust environment. First, users can query the Solaris OS with a simple command (svcs -a) to determine if a service is running, instead of attempting a connection and wondering if the connection will succeed. Additionally, critical services can be restarted automatically in the event of a problem, such as someone inadvertently killing a service, a bug causing a core dump, or other process failures occurring. Further, SMF provides detailed and common logging as well as robust error handling to prevent services from hanging after a system state change. Please see the man page for smf(5) for more information.

After a typical software installation, there can be a half dozen or more processes that need to be started and stopped during system startup and shutdown. In addition, these processes may depend on each other and may need to be monitored and restarted if they fail. For each process, these are the logical steps that need to be done to incorporate these as services in SMF:

Using SAS processes as an example, we will create two services, one for the SAS Metadata Server (OMR) and one for the SAS Object Spawner. In this example, the Object Spawner cannot attempt to start before the OMR is started and should be stopped before the OMR is stopped.

OpenBoot OpenBoot Non-Volatile RAM (NVRAM)

Note If you change an NVRAM setting on a SPARC system and the system will no longer start up, it is possible to reset the NVRAM variables to their default settings by holding down the Stop and N keys simultaneously while the machine is powering up. When issuing this command, hold down Stop+N immediately after turning on the power to the SPARC system; keep these keys pressed for a few seconds or until you see the banner (if the display is available). This is a good technique to force a system's NVRAM variables to a known condition.

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You too can understand<br> device numbers and mapping in Solaris ...

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The following represents a summary of the boot process for a Solaris 2.x system on Sparc hardware.

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