Begin the Beguine
By comay on Aug 03, 2004
To be perfectly honest, it is with some trepidation that I have started this blog. While I marvel at this new opportunity to be a part of these conversations with the various Sun communities, I worry that it will be difficult time-wise to stay involved. Perhaps I also share some of the feelings expressed by Casper when he says that that it feels like talking into thin air. In any case, this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to hear from you about what concerns you have and how we can make Solaris that nexus of innovation as well as a way of solving your computing needs.
Briefly, I have been working at Sun on Solaris for a little over eight years now, initially in the networking group responsible for the TCP/IP stack and related technologies and for the past couple of years, in the area of server virtualization and resource management working inside a group with Andy and Dan and a number of others in introducing Zones into Solaris.
Zones provide a new operating system abstraction for partitioning systems so that multiple applications can be run in isolation from one another, while perhaps being administered by different privileged users. It borrows in a number of ways from the concepts introduced by FreeBSD Jails but extends it to be full integrated with the features that Solaris offers. In my opinion, the most exciting point of integration is with the Solaris Resource Management framework which was introduced in Solaris 8 and greatly enhanced in Solaris 9 and 10 because combined they provide the necessary characteristics to fully isolate applications and workloads from one another. Together, these two technologies form the basis of N1 Grid Containers which are supported on all system that Solaris supports, from single-processor x86 laptops, to large, multi-processor servers.
For a brief but semi-technical overview of Solaris Zones, a good starting point is the paper we presented at a work-in-progress session at the recent USENIX VM '04 conference. For more information in general about Zones, the Zones BigAdmin site provides a great deal of information including a pointer to the latest documentation on these technologies and an active discussion forum. And to repeat a popular refrain, we encourage you to not just read about Zones and the other new functionality in Solaris 10, but to experience it yourself by downloading it from the Software Express for Solaris site.