Project Lullaby - part 1

My time at Oracle has come to a close, so I'm going to take this opportunity to ramble a bit about some of the things I've worked on, and one project in particular which I'm particularly proud of.


I started using SunOS when I started university. The university had Sun servers, and both the CS, Maths and Electrical Engineering departments had workstations as well. It was my first hands-on exposure to a UNIX of any sort; my knowledge previously was based on articles from Byte and Dr Dobb's Journal. I spent many hours in the CS labs poking around and exploring. Sometimes I even did my assignments! Over the first summer break the faculty computer unit upgraded every system to Solaris 1 and as you might expect, printing was totally different. We wailed a lot. And got on with figuring out how to use the SysV environment.

When I started work in the university library, there was a SparcStation 5 running Solaris 2.5, and a rather early version of NCSA and then Apache httpd. On moving to another university as a fulltime system administrator I now had SparcServer1000Ds to manage, along with an early fibrechannel array, backups, and disaster recovery. I learnt a lot and when Sun was next hiring support engineers they asked me in for an interview. I was delighted to receive an offer, and .... now it's close to 20 years later and let me count the roles I've had:

  • front line and back line technical support

  • fourth level technical support, working escalations and fixing bugs

  • working in the Solaris MultiPathed IO (MPxIO) stack for Fibre Channel

  • working in the project team to bring MPxIO to the x86/x64 platform

  • rewriting the Solaris firmware flash (fwflash) utility to make it modular and support any device which has flashable firmware

  • Gatekeeper for the OS/Networking consolidation

  • ISV/IHV liaison for driver development

  • Project Architect and Lead for Project Lullaby

  • worked on userspace and filtering support for the Solaris Analytics project


#begin(Scratching an itch)

When I started as Gatekeeper for the OS/Networking (ON hearafter) consolidation, the utility we used to build the gate was called nightly. It was run every night, and took all night long to run. A monolithic shell script, it was uninterruptible and (much more importantly) un-restartable. As my colleague Tim noted, it used almost every letter of the alphabet as a command line option - along with a shell script configuration file.

It had to go.