And now it is the time to try Solaris 10 on this HP machine. The first thing to take into account is that the HP SmartArray P212 controller requires a closed-source binary from HP that is not distributed in the Solaris media. The
cpqary3 driver can be downloaded from the HP Web site, although it is not very easy to find it out.
I downloaded the archived file for the
cpqary3 driver, extracted its contents and burnt the ISO file to a CD-RW. Then I booted from the Solaris 10 DVD and applied the driver update. However, this didn’t work very well. The Solaris 10 DVD uses a 32-bit kernel which, apparently, does not like my >1.5TB disks. When the
cpqary3 driver gets it prints a message to the console complaining that the detected disks have too many blocks for a 32-bit kernel. Very weird. I’m not entirely sure what a 32-bit kernel has to do with 64-bit LBA addressing but, so far, I haven’t been able to get Solaris 10 to recognize and get to like my disks.
So far, so good. VMware ESXi 4.0 didn’t work. Solaris 10 didn’t work either. Perhaps some of you, that are more experienced with Solaris than me, know how to fix this problem. In the mean time, I decided to take OpenSolaris for a spin. Fortunately, the final outcome with OpenSolaris has been a success. More on that later.