By Jordan Vaughan on Mar 05, 2009
Suppose that you want to consolidate systems running legacy applications that are licensed based on your systems' hostids or migrate the applications to new machines. If your applications' publishers are unable or unwilling to relicense your applications (perhaps the publishers no longer exist), then you are stuck with your legacy applications running on their original, possibly outdated systems because the new hosts would most likely have different hostids. Moving your applications to new hosts would probably impact the applications and prevent them from functioning. How can you overcome this difficulty?
A solution is now available via Solaris non-global zones (a.k.a. containers). With the putback of PSARC 2008/647 (Configurable Hostids for Non-Global
Zones), administrators can give each non-global zone in OpenSolaris a 32-bit hostid
zonecfg starting in build 108. (The default non-global zone behavior is to use the global zone's [i.e., the physical host's] hostid.) All processes that execute within the zone will see the configured hostid instead of the physical host's hostid. This hostid emulation feature will be available in OpenSolaris 2009.06.
Here is an example of zone-emulated hostid in action. Suppose that you create and boot a non-global zone without using the hostid emulation feature. Here is what you might see:
# zonecfg -z godel godel: No such zone configured Use 'create' to begin configuring a new zone. zonecfg:godel> create zonecfg:godel> set zonepath=/zones/godel zonecfg:godel> info zonename: godel zonepath: /zones/godel brand: native autoboot: false bootargs: pool: limitpriv: scheduling-class: ip-type: shared hostid: inherit-pkg-dir: dir: /lib inherit-pkg-dir: dir: /platform inherit-pkg-dir: dir: /sbin inherit-pkg-dir: dir: /usr zonecfg:godel> exit # zoneadm -z godel install A ZFS file system has been created for this zone. Preparing to install zone
. Creating list of files to copy from the global zone. Copying <9718> files to the zone. Initializing zone product registry. Determining zone package initialization order. Preparing to initialize <1442> packages on the zone. Initialized <1442> packages on zone. Zone is initialized. The filecontains a log of the zone installation. # zoneadm -z godel boot # zlogin godel "zonename && hostid" godel 83405c0b # zonename && hostid global 83405c0b
The system's hostid is the same within the non-global zone and the global zone. Now specify a hostid for the zone via
zonecfg, reboot the zone, and observe the results:
# zonecfg -z godel set hostid=1337833f # zoneadm -z godel reboot # zlogin godel "zonename && hostid" godel 1337833f # zonename && hostid global 83405c0b
You can specify any 32-bit hexadecimal hostid for a non-global zone except
0xffffffff and the hostid will take effect on subsequent boots of the non-global zone. ('Boots' means boots from the global zone via
zoneadm, as in "
zoneadm -z <zone_name> boot" or "
zoneadm -z <zone_name> reboot".) The hostid emulation feature is available for all native-based brands (
cluster, etc.); however, Linux containers (i.e.,
lx-branded zones) do not support hostid emulation via
zonecfg. To emulate hostids in Linux containers, modify the
/etc/hostid file within the container.
Migrating non-global zones with legacy hostid-bound licensed software across physical hosts is a cakewalk. Detach the zone, migrate it to the new system, attach it, specify the source system's hostid for the now-attached zone, boot the zone, and viola!, the licensed software still thinks it's on the old system.