Jeff Victor's Blog

Details of Solaris Zones as Hard Partitions

Jeff Victor
Principal Systems Engineer
Oracle offers the ability to license much of its software, including the Oracle Database, based on the quantity of CPUs that will run the software. When performance goals can be met with only a subset of the computer's CPUs, it may be appropriate to limit licensing costs by using a processor-based licensing metric and using one of the hardware partitioning technologies included with the computer.

In general, computers that use the Oracle Solaris OS can choose from a variety of resource management features, including CPU, memory, and I/O. Because of the high level of integration between the plethora of Solaris features, using resource management does not mean avoiding other features. In particular, the use of resources by workloads running in Solaris Zones can be constrained.

The document Hard Partitioning With Oracle Solaris Zones explains the different Solaris features that can be used to limit software licensing costs when a processor-based metric is used. It also demonstrates the use of those features. The approved methods include the ability to limit a Solaris Zone to a specific quantity of CPUs, or the ability to limit a set of Solaris Zones to a specific quantity of shared CPUs.

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