Friday Oct 23, 2009

solaris10 branded zones on OpenSolaris

For the past 9 or 10 months I've been pretty much heads down working with Jordan on the Solaris 10 branded zone project. Yesterday we integrated the first phase of this project into OpenSolaris. This brand allows you to run the Solaris 10 10/09 release, or later, inside of a zone running on OpenSolaris. We see this brand as one of the tools which will help people as they transition from running Solaris 10 to OpenSolaris.

We've divided this project into two phases. For this initial integration we have the following features:

  • basic brand emulation
    The brand emulation works for running the latest version of Solaris 10 (Solaris 10 10/09) on OpenSolaris. A zone running this brand is intended to be functionally equivalent to a native zone on Solaris 10 10/09 with the same configuration.
  • p2v
    A physical-to-virtual capability to install an archive of a system running Solaris 10 10/09 into the branded zone
  • v2v
    A virtual-to-virtual capability to install an archive of a native zone from a system running Solaris 10 10/09 into the branded zone
  • multiple architecture support
    This brand runs on all sun4u, sun4v and x86 architecture machines that OpenSolaris has defined as supported platforms

There are a few limitations with this initial version of the code which we'll work on in the second phase of the project. We'll be adding support for:

  • Exclusive IP stack zones
  • Delegated ZFS datasets
  • The ability to run these branded zones on a system running xVM
  • The ability to upgrade the version of Solaris 10 running inside the zone to a later release of Solaris 10

We've done extensive testing of the brand using our internal Solaris 10 test suites and a variety of 3rd party applications. Now that the code has integrated, we're looking forward to getting feedback from more people about their real-world experiences running their own Solaris 10 application stacks inside the zone. If you give this branded zone a try, let us hear about your experiences on the OpenSolaris zones-discuss alias.

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