Feeds

Solaris bug takes the shine off Sun servers

Rare flaw could result in data corruption

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

Sun Microsystems has discovered a flaw in its Solaris operating system which, under rare circumstances, could result in the silent corruption of data stored on its enterprise servers.

The bug came to light when Sun's development engineers reviewed the code used to implement dynamic reconfiguration in the process of developing the feature, which allows boards to be swapped out of machines without having to shut down systems.

Sun enterprise kit ranging from its 3000 range to flagship E10000 servers and running either Solaris 7 or 8 are potentially affected by the bug, which engineering documents suggest can result in data loss without any warning.

Graham Lovell, director of Solaris product marketing, said the hardware giant has received no reports of the problem in the field, and described the problem which might occur when the memory is drained from a board as largely theoretical.

"This is rare enough that we don't believe anyone has experienced it," said Lovell. "There's only a narrow window in which this problem might occur. Nonetheless we're taking steps to inform our customers about the issue."

Sun has suggested a workaround involving disabling dynamic reconfiguration and is in the process of testing and developing patches for its operating system, which will shortly be make available as part of its regular six-weekly kernel update process. To help Sun users evaluate what they need to do information on the bug is being made available on the hardware giant's SunSolve Web site.

Lovell said users needn't be alarmed by the problem, which he compared to a glitch with a car's traction control system rather than a fault with its far more important automatic braking system.

Dynamic reconfiguration is an important differentiator for Sun against competitors like IBM and Hewlett-Packard, so its progress in handling the issue will be closely watched. ®

Related Stories

Sun Hardware Roadmaps rain on The Reg
Sun challenges Intel to arm wrestling competition
Sun warns of data corruption problem with UltraSPARC III
Sun suffers UltraSPARC II cache crash headache
Lights go out on UltraSPARC III supply
Sun debuts UltraSPARC III and embraces copper

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.