BrandZ just works

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 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?"


Do you guys, by any chance, have downloadable VMWare images of BrandZized OpenSolaris? Seems like a fairly trivial step which would make demonstrating these features so much easier.

Posted by Mikael Gueck on January 01, 2006 at 12:18 PM GMT+00:00 #

I don't have this, and looking at my january schedule it's unlikely I'll get back to it for a while. But if there aren't any Vmware license issues with publishing such and image, someone will eventually do this. Have a look over on Andy Tucker's blog.

Posted by bnitz on January 01, 2006 at 01:49 PM GMT+00:00 #

I can think of one app that Linux has that Solaris x86 does not - the latest version of Adobe Reader which has not yet made it's way to Solaris x86.

Posted by Jason Fiset on January 01, 2006 at 02:07 PM GMT+00:00 #

Jason, Yes that's actually the desktop application I was thinking of. Until Adobe decides to provide this product for the 3.6 million (and growing) Solaris X86 liscensees, you can lxrun it from a linux zone or use evince.

Posted by bnitz on January 01, 2006 at 02:53 PM GMT+00:00 #

With Sun's source compatability guarantee between SPARC Solaris and x86 Solaris, Adobe should be able to provide a version of the reader soon.

However, if the near-term lack of a native Adobe reader drives improvements in BrandZ, that is good too.

Posted by Mark on January 01, 2006 at 07:22 PM GMT+00:00 #

BrandZed. No doubt about it!

Posted by Chris Saul on January 02, 2006 at 09:05 AM GMT+00:00 #

It's clearly "Brand-Zee". I have been pronouncing it "Brand-Zed" for some London-based customers, but only because I had found that talking about "Zee-Ef-Es" rather than "Zed-Ef-Es" was incongruously confusing...

Posted by Adam Leventhal on January 02, 2006 at 06:24 PM GMT+00:00 #

Oh and it looks like lxrun is an anachronism. (My mistake) it would be cool to see details on how this works. I have stumbled across some of the known bugs (appropriate for an alpha) of brandz, but overall I'm impress,expecially with how fast a centros zone boots!

Posted by bnitz on January 10, 2006 at 09:41 AM GMT+00:00 #

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