BrandZ just works
By bnitz on Jan 01, 2006
Shortly before Christmas I installed BrandZ on a Dell box with Open Solaris Nevada build 27. So on the same box I had debian nexenta, OpenSolaris and within that a zone running Linux. The instructions here were pretty straightforward. Even though I'd never messed with BFUs before, it didn't take much time to get up and running. I was even able to install packages from a Java Desktop System 2.0 (linux) into the BrandZ zone. In fact the only problem I had was that I couldn't think of many useful Linux application which didn't already have a native Solaris port. Think of typical linux applications. Does Apache exist for Solaris? Of course! Mysql? Mozilla, Gnome, Star/OpenOffice, gcc? Yes, they're built in! If you can't find it here, look here or here. I'll admit that there are occasional applications which don't yet have a native port, but not enough to really make an impressive demo. Porting between BSD, Linux, OSX and Solaris isn't nearly as difficult as porting between Microsoft Windows and practically anything else.
If you're interested, Tim Foster has some BrandZ screenshots. As Tim says, BrandZ performs just as advertised. It's one of those useful technologies which doesn't make for a spectacular demo. I wonder how many linux applications out there are running on separate machines simply because one needed V 2.99 of some library and the other one needed 3.00? I wonder how many redundant linux boxes are wasting energy just because someone couldn't configure web applications to share resources or apache/mysql configurations well?
If I were rackspace.com or a similar provider, I would at least consider the economics of running multiple linux zones on one of Sun's AMD 64 servers, versus running multiple machines.
BrandZ hasn't even been released as a beta product, but it seems to run the example centros distribution O.K.. My only question is, should I pronounce it "Brand-Zed" or "Brand-Zee?"