Admin: Making OpenSolaris Boot Disk Mirrored via ZFS

This blog entry is a "note to self" entry.  I've got a system running OpenSolaris and I want to protect the data on the boot disk by mirroring it with a second disk; if one disk fails, ZFS will let me boot from the other disk, and I can easily replace the failed disk without any downtime.

I followed the instructions in this blog entry, about the most concise and easy-to-follow tutorial I've ever seen.  I've got two disks I'm going to use for my boot disk mirror; call them Disk A (device c7d9) and Disk B (device c9d1).  Here's what I did; note that for these instructions below, either be root or prefix these commands with "pfexec", sort of like "sudo" on Linux but without having to type a password if you have the right privileges:

  1. Installed OpenSolaris on Disk A (c7d9s0).

  2. Format Disk B (c9d1s0), putting a Solaris Partition on the full disk:

    • # format

    • within the format program, type "fdisk"

    • within fdisks, create 100% Standard Solaris Partition over the full disk)

  3. Overwrite Disk B's  info, copying Disk A's partition info onto it:

    • # prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c7d9s2 |  fmthard -s - /dev/rdsk/c9d1s2
    • (note: for both disks involved here, use slice 2, not slice 0.  i.e., c7d9s2, c9d1s2)

  4. Attach Disk B to the ZFS root pool (the OpenSolaris install creates a ZFS pool called "rpool" by default; this is where the OS bits are laid out):

    • zpool attach -f rpool c7d9s0 c9d1s0

  5. Install the GRUB boot loader on the mirrored disk (Disk B):

    • # installgrub -m /boot/grub/stage1 /boot/grub/stage2 /dev/rdsk/c9d1s0

That's it.  Meanwhile, as soon as you do the "zpool attach", ZFS will start "resilvering" the second disk, mirrorring the contents of Disk A onto Disk B.  Don't believe me?  Check it out:
  • # zpool status

will show you something like this:

drapeau@choctaw:~$ zpool status
  pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
status: One or more devices is currently being resilvered.  The pool will
        continue to function, possibly in a degraded state.
action: Wait for the resilver to complete.
 scrub: resilver in progress for 0h1m, 40.90% done, 0h1m to go

        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        rpool       ONLINE       0     0     0
          mirror    ONLINE       0     0     0
            c7d0s0  ONLINE       0     0     0
            c9d1s0  ONLINE       0     0     0  1.98G resilvered

errors: No known data errors

That's all there is to it.


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