SUMMARY: Optimal disk/stripes/filesystems organization and DiskSuite

From: Davide Migliavacca (
Date: Mon Sep 16 1996 - 15:50:18 CDT

May thanks to all who responded.

I'd like to thank
        Kris Briscoe
        Daniel J. Blander
        Michael J. Shon
        Colin Johnston
        Jay Morgan
        Umesh Vaghela

For the convenience of everybody, I have set up a summary page for Web browsers to get:
In the page I have quoted literally the answers I received, which I am not going to do here due to the considerable length of the replies.
If someone wishes to add their views, please write me, I'll add their answers to the page. This page is intended to remain permanently available (links are OK).

Here are the original questions:

> My questions:
> 1) I wonder if "general agreement" is of moving /opt away from the root
> filesystem.
> 2) how is it possible to reinstall the machine with a new custom partition
> scheme (since reinstalling from the "recovery CD" invariably reproduces
> this setup without choice)
> 3) is creating only one large partition (with a separated swap partition) a
> general rule for new disks? Or should partitioning plans be carefully
> considered as need arises?
> 4) is DiskSuite the solution to all my problems? Any contrary experiences
> in using DiskSuite to manage disks (especially related to Oracle or other
> DBMS engines?)

This is my try at a summary of the answers I received:
0. Nobody seems to like the "out of the box" setup.
I wonder why doesn't Sun try to separate /, /usr, /var and /opt from the beginning? Of course, I have only the recovery CD available. With the Solaris CD you might have better luck.
1. Moving /opt by itself.
Highly recommended, unless you are not going to have a minimal application set on your system. If the only application is Oracle, it can go by itself on a /opt/oracle filesystem. However, who doesn't need at least gzip, gunzip, and a working C compiler nowadays? Then get ghostscript, emacs, perl, and you'll easily fill up your small partition. :-)
2. Reinstallation with different fs setup without the Solaris CD
Apparently impossible. If someone is able to contradict this, _please_ write me! I'll update the Web page for everyone to benefit. Netra customers as myself get stuck with the Recovery CD only. You have to repartition on the running system (somewhat fearful!) using ufsdump/restore.
3. Are large partitions better than multiple small partitions?.
DiskSuite users (see following question) tend to like this idea. However, a number of example partitioning schemas may be found in the "literal quotes" section of the web page (omitted here for brevity)
4. Is DiskSuite the solution to all my problems?
I got only good experiences from its use. Michael J. Shon went somewhat further in comparing (in his opionions) with a viable alternative. General consensus, however, shows a disk manager is badly needed (this shouldn't be surprising). I have checked Oracle 7 (.3.2.) Server installation guide, and it clearly specifies in more than one location that use of a volume manager is not controindicated with use of Oracle files; it goes with the general assumption that a similar tool will do a better job in spreading the load among disks and controllers than an average beginner would ever imagine to do. Unless going for the second decimal in performance figures, you seem to be "allowed" to avoid raw devices

Thanks again, and again, and again, to all who answered. I'll face the reconfiguration with considerably more peace of mind now!

Davide Migliavacca

Davide Migliavacca - Inferentia, Milano IT
Phone +39 2 59928.1 Fax .221
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