Moving and cloning zones

Its been quite a long time since my last blog entry. I have moved over from the SVM team onto the Zones team and I have been busy coming up to speed on Zones.

So far I have just fixed a few Zones bugs but now I am starting to work on some new features. One of the big things people want from Zones is the ability to move them and clone them.

I have a proposal for moving and cloning zones over on the OpenSolaris zones discussion. This has been approved by our internal architectural review committee and the code is basically done so it should be available soon. Moving a zone is currently limited to a single system but the next step is migrating the zone from one machine to another. Thats the next thing we're going to work on.

For cloning we currently copy the bits from one zone instance to another and we're seeing significant performance wins compared to installing the zone from scratch (13x faster on one test machine). With ZFS now available it seems obvious that we could use ZFS clones to quickly clone Zone instances. This is something that we are actively looking at but for now we don't recommend that you place your zonepath on ZFS. This is bug 6356600 and is due to the current limitation that you won't be able to upgrade your system if your zonepath is on ZFS. Once the upgrade issues have been resolved, we'll be extending Zone cloning to be better integrated with ZFS clones. In the meantime, while you can use ZFS to hold your zones, you need to be aware that the system won't be upgradeable.
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