Latest Solaris 10 Patch Cluster Is Broken

Thought I would share this with anyone out there that manages Solaris 10 servers.  In my case we were working with Sparc, but x86 might be affected as well.  I’ll skip all of the gory details, but basically what we ran into was a problem with the dependency matrix for a kernel patch (I believe the patch number is 141414–07).  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, it means that the kernel patch got applied via the patch cluster install script, but without the requisite dependencies being satisfied.  Yeah, ouch.

The servers in question would then panic as soon as you tried to bring them back up, and I mean panic hard.  You couldn’t even get into single user mode.  We spent hours on the phone with Sun support (this is where we finally found out about the dependency problem) to no avail.  Sun has really gone downhill in the last few years, and pretty much like a rock since Oracle bought them.  Their answer was that they can’t test everything and we had to figure it out on our own.  Yikes, what are we paying for support for again???

We ended up having to go back and restore from tape, but since we couldn’t boot into single user mode we did the old net boot from the jumpstart server trick and then restore from tape.  All in all it was not fun, but we made it through it.  One last thing, we had some servers that were OK with the patch cluster.  I think it depends on the release of Solaris that you are running.  The older installs did not have the proper dependencies, but the newer installs did.  I just wanted to put this out there as a heads up for anyone else getting ready to patch up a Solaris 10 box, be careful cause you might make a brick.

Hope that helps!

2 thoughts on “Latest Solaris 10 Patch Cluster Is Broken

  1. Two things. I’m curious what level of support are you paying for from Sun. Second, did you get the name of the engineer on the phone who made the remark about “we can’t test everything”. If you can’t post that online, could you mail that to me? I think there are some superiors who would be interested in this information.

Tell me what you are thinking?