Be introduced to physical hardware devices
Review logical device references
Learn how to view configured system devices
One of the most important but most challenging roles of a system administrator is device management. Devices, in this context, can be defined as both physical and logical entities that together constitute a hardware system. Although some operating systems hide device configuration details from all users (even administrators!) in proprietary binary formats, Solaris device configuration is easy to use, with configuration information stored in special files known as device files. In addition to providing the technical background on how device files operate, and how device drivers can be installed, this chapter provides practical advice on installing standard devices, such as new hard drives, as well as more modern media like CD-Rs and Zip drives.
Solaris 9 now supports the dynamic reconfiguration of many system devices on some SPARC platforms, particularly in the medium-level server range (for example, E450) and above. This allows administrators to remove faulty hardware components and replace them without having to power down a system and perform a reconfiguration boot, which is necessary for older systems. This is particularly significant for systems that have a high redundancy of system components to guarantee uptime under all but the most critical of circumstances.