Zones on an E25K

I got an email from a Sun customer asking if I am interested in zones on a fully configured E25K he has. That's like asking me if I want a free Starbucks, or asking a kid if they want candy, or asking a 15 year old boy if he wants a free game of Halo 2. I'm sure you get the point. I get about 5-10 minute stints to work on the updated zones script. Ironically I spend more time blogging about the dang thing than I do coding it! Thanks to a bit of Dan's logic, the script parallelizes zone installation (one install per CPU). The script is "done" from the "it works" standpoint, but I want to make a few "robustness" tweaks before I post it on The Clingan Zone.

I am still interested in how The Clingan Zone readers are thinking of utilizing zones in their environment. Feel free to comment. I wouldn't mind documenting some of them here.

Comments:

I've downloaded Solaris10, installed it a couple of times, and these days I'm trying to get Oracle10g and 9i running on it (v220 2cpu). Haven't tried any zoning so far, but I've been reading stuff on it, and intend to follow the how-to article posted on blastwave.org ( http://www.blastwave.org/docs/Solaris-10-b51/DMC-0002/dmc-0002.html ) and give it a go. I really enjoy your blog, and all the cool details on zoning! Keep it up! :-) a.

Posted by Alex G on December 21, 2004 at 10:44 PM PST #

I've just got Solaris 10 up and running on a spare Netra T1. Zones on this machine would consolidate three Linux x86 servers running everything from rsync, ftp, apache, samba etc., and saving admin time and electricity! This is really a revolution for us. Now we just can't wait for ZFS... Keep blogging.

Posted by Per Öberg on December 21, 2004 at 11:15 PM PST #

We are planning to use it extensively especially in our test-environments to be able to get higher utilization from the machine. The first application out is WebSphere most likely.

Posted by K G on December 21, 2004 at 11:16 PM PST #

Hi John, We're taking a serious look at using zones for our support machines. Currently we really struggle on our Solaris boxes (actually, all our commercial UNIX boxes) because we can only install one version on the C++ compiler per box. Zones will give us the ability to support ancient versions of the product that are compiled with 4.2 on the same box as the latest versions (which are compiled with 5.0 \*sigh\* - just try convincing management that the C++ ABI is compatible all the way up from 5...). In addition to that, zones will allow us to isolate ourselves from our testers properly, so things like rpaths (yes, some people still think they're a good idea) will not affect their testing. The benefits are just too many to mention in a development shop, especially as the older maintained versions of the product keeps growing.

Posted by Michael van der Westhuizen on December 22, 2004 at 02:14 AM PST #

This is good feedback folks. Keep it coming!

Posted by John Clingan on December 22, 2004 at 10:34 AM PST #

Zone is fantastic indeed. I haven't seen anything like it in production (BSD jail is arguable).
Since we now can run multiple apps (e.g. Oracle 9, Oracle 10, MySQL), we now need to confirm the _common_ Solaris10 patch that these apps can run. Seems like we must choose the _highest_ common denominator.
This brings me to another question. Fast forward 6 months later, and I need to upgrade MySQL. What is the chance that I must patch or update Solaris 10?
So far, I cannot find info on Oracle/MySQL that it requires a _very_ specific patch. Does it mean it these OS patching is not a real operational issue? thank you in advance.
e1

Posted by e1_ang on December 22, 2004 at 10:45 AM PST #

I think the link to Dan's (Price I assume) blogs is off, I believe it is http://blogs.sun.com/dp I enjoy your blogs and look forward to the finished scripts. In some of the testing I have been doing on my own (on my laptop) I have been creating a zone on a soft partition, making a dd image of before booting, and then using that dd image when I want to create a new zone (editing /etc/zones/index to move the new zone from configured to installed). I am mostly doing this because the disk performance on my laptop is so slow. I realize that any new patches/pkgs to the global zone would invalidate my dd image.

Posted by William Hathaway on December 23, 2004 at 02:26 AM PST #

So Bill (Hi, how are you doing?), John or anyone else, What have you been doing with applications that are installed/normally installed in /usr/local and want to be configured from /usr/local/... or more accurately any inherited directory? e.g. apache or mysql I have found myself creating /zone/.../application directory structures e.g. /zone/local/apache I don't know if that is the best solution, although it is working well so far, it does not seem very elegant. Bill, One thing about your dd, I have been wanting to try migrating zones from one box to another using system tools, I haven't had the time or the hardware to give it a try yet.

Posted by Shawn Ferry on December 26, 2004 at 02:59 PM PST #

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