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iSCSI targets for windows 2003

I’m suffering with performance problems with the kernel based CIFS solution that OpenSolaris comes with – I can’t track it down but it just doesn’t work very well. Speeds are quicker copying from one XP to another XP machine is FASTER than downloading the same file from my home-server. Sod that!

SO……..partly because of that and partly because there’s a ‘e’ in the month I’m looking at playing with the magic of iSCSI – and it does seem like magic!

Given that my main machine to play with is a windows 2003 machine (which doesn’t have a free iscsi target)  – I had a look around for a free one…

X       Kernsafe (www.kernsafe.com) free but limited to 1 connection and 1 LUN
X       iSCSI cake (www.iscsicake.com) free but limited to 10 users and 15days
√       Starwind (www.rocketdivision.com) free limited to 2TB capacity some great features
√       MySAN (www.nimbusdata.com) free seems totally unlimited

So after extensive (read 5 minutes) research there seems to be two options – one thing I’d really like to do is to create iscsi targets based on virtual disk images ‘file based’ (rather than ‘disk based’ where a whole physical disk is made the target). Starwind will do that for definite but the docs for MySAN are more vague.

I’m going to give MySAN a go then possibly backtrack and go back to Starwind if the feature set on MySAN is too limited.

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Add OSX to the mix

I just found this

http://

www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=207334&pid=1386483&mode=threaded&start=#entry1386483

The guy claims to be running osx on virtualbox.

UPDATE: With Virtualbox 3.2 it seems OSX is supported on OSX hosts so installation should be easier there’s a site here giving a walkthrough (http://alexandershapovalov.com/how-to-install-mac-os-x-snow-leopard-on-virtualbox-under-windows-7-x64-66/)

I MUST TRY THIS !

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Sun Secure Global Desktop (SGD) – installation and configuration on OpenSolaris

The latest version available (as of Oct 2009) is 4.5 so I went over to SUN’s website and got a copy.

Visited the SGD support WIKI and followed the instructions.

Before starting the install you need to create two users..
Here the info is pasted from the error you get if you try to carry out the install without first creating the users….

<QUOTE>
You must create two user accounts before you can install Secure Global Desktop.

– The user names must be “ttaserv” and “ttasys”.
– Both must have their primary group set to “ttaserv”.
– You can use any UIDs and GID you want.
– Both users must have a valid shell, for example /bin/sh.
– Both users must have writeable home directories.
– We recommend that you lock the user accounts (passwd -l).
</QUOTE>

The easiest way of doing this is to carry out the install without creating the users (knowing it will fail) then run the script /tmp/SGDCreateUsers.sh that is created. Once the group and the users are created the install is a simple pkg add….

pfexec pkgadd -d /tempdir/tta-version.sol-x86.pkg

Once the install finishes you are told to start the server – DON’T DO THIS YET.

FIRST — here are a couple of things the check that are specific to SGD on OpenSolaris
1. Is the libXm.so.4 library installed?
This blog here suggested that SUNWmfrun (the motif software package) and SUNWxwrtl must be installed for SGD to work and explains exactly why. I think that this advice is PARTIALLY outdated as of version 4.5 of SGD and there is now a specific errata in the manual covering this (#6756705) about missing LibXm.so.4.
Either follow the instructions in the installation manual OR if you have installed (or will install) the Sun Ray Server you should go the route of installing SUNWxwrtl and SUNWmfrun since these are both required for SRS on OpenSolaris. More details in the installing SRS post……

2. Modify the procs.exp script
This blog provides a modification to the /opt/tarantella/var/serverresources/expect/procs.exp script that should be made to overcome a problem in launching opensolaris apps in SGD. I’ve reproduced the relevant section of that post here.
<QUOTE>
To fix the problem, edit /opt/tarantella/var/serverresources/expect/procs.exp and change the following lines from:

416:    send -s "if \[ -f /bin/ksh \]; then HISTFILE=/dev/null; export HISTFILE; exec /bin/ksh; fi\n"
417:    wait_for_prompt

to

416:    send -s "if \[ -f /bin/ksh \] && \[ -x /bin/uname \] && \[ \"`/bin/uname -sr`\" != \"SunOS 5.11\" \];
then HISTFILE=/dev/null; export HISTFILE; exec /bin/ksh; fi\n"
417:    wait_for_prompt

The conditions for using ksh are now, /bin/ksh exists, /bin/uname exists and application server is OpenSolaris. Feel free to customize this logic to your own needs.
</QUOTE>
I should note that in the lastest SGD manual for 4.5 this is mentioned as bug #6831077 (they suggest an alternative fix – see the mailing list thread here).

OK NOW START THE SGD SERVER

pfexec /opt/tarantella/bin/tarantella start

On first starting the server you have to run through a configuration menu. I just choose the default options.

The SGD server should now run and you should be able to remotely access you desktop(s).

Reference sources and links…
– Various posts about getting SGD to work on OpenSolaris
http://blogs.sun.com/mrpotatohead/entry/opensolaris_as_an_sgd_application
http://learningsolaris.com/archives/2009/03/16/opensolaris-sun-secure-global-desktop/
http://www.mail-archive.com/sgd-users@filibeto.org/msg00778.html

– Sun’s page on SGD – obtain the latest version from here
http://www.sun.com/software/products/sgd/index.jsp

– Sun’s WIKI page for SGD documentation and support
http://wikis.sun.com/display/SecureGlobalDesktop/Home

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Changing my mind going back to OpenSolaris

Changing my mind going back to OpenSolaris

Well after playing with a proper hypervisor based virtualised environment I’ve changed my mind (well it my perogative). My problems with ESXi were not that it isn’t totally awesome it’s just that it doesn’t suit my small home setup.

– I can’t have raw access to disks (which makes a disaster recovery more involved – ie I can’t whip out a disk and put it in anoter machine for example).
– I need to maintain a totally separate windows workstation or laptop to do the administration – my goal is to do away with looking after windows machine at home – I frankly can’t be arsed. But ESXi has no local-console all the administration requires a windows machine running Vclient.
– THEY FIXED VIRTUALBOX – My main reason to change from a hosted virtualised environment (virtualbox ontop of opensolaris) was that virtualbox sucked the sweat from a dead mans balls when running onto of opensolaris – it was so buggy that the setup would not run for more that 12/24hours without locking up the host completly. The new release of virtualbox 3.0.8 seems to have fixed that.

So now the setup is going to be a kind of Sun VDI on the cheap – A stable OpenSolaris host taking care of file and network services – running a virtual windows server in virtualbox so that people (i.e. everybody else in the house except for me) can have access to a windows desktop. Sunrays being the devices that people use to access their (virtual) desktop.

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