Solaris and Amazon EC 2

Solaris is making its way to Amazon EC2 – and frankly becoming a platform to be taken into consideration, even though you would have had invested your energy and effort previously only to Linux. Solaris is little bit different beast, but my god there are some features that really should get administrators’ and developers’ attention.

I have my friend Gumi to thank for bringing Solaris also to my radar. ZFS and Dtrace are tools that do change the game a bit and provide a compelling framework of tools, compared to similar tools on Linux-side.

For example at the moment you could quite nicely set up mysql and do backups with LVM ( http://blog.dbadojo.com/2007/09/mysql-backups-using-lvm-snapshots.html ). Same thing could be done with ZFS too, except that it is just prettier: http://blogs.sun.com/ec2/entry/zfs_snapshots_to_and_from

At the moment I’m not running anything really on Solaris, since the cognitive burden to adopt Solaris is larger than continue to work on familiar tools on Linux, when Linux-features are quite sufficient. However I do need to start to do transtition and preparations to be able to run services also on Solaris. As Sun will provide support and make sure that their stack SAMP-stacks and java-stacks work well in EC2 too, it will be an easy choise for a base architecture on almost any new web-application.

http://blogs.sun.com/ec2/

I’m looking forward testing Solaris on EC2, running ZFS and having most important data on persistent disk – snapshots put into S3. By creating own Solaris image with all the software configured properly and data returned from S3 – it should be next to trivial to script a system that sets up new instances on the need basis and initializes the data based on last snapshot. If these instances would be – for example front end servers with mysql slaves – it should not take a long time for those to replicate changed data from the master and be then ready to join into the cluster.

Brave new world. Indeed. No longer large upfront payments for scalable infrastructure.

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