It just works!: Zones + ZFS + BrandZ + LiveUpgrade

I've successfully LiveUpgraded my home server twice so far. (I've been slightly lazy and decided to do alternate builds, so I've gone from Nevada b52 to b54 to b56. Apart from the minor zfs issues which require me to:

  1. Create an exclude file for the lucreate so that it doesn't try to copy my zfs partitions.
  2. Manually empty mountpoints where some of my zfs filesystems mount.

it all works really well.

I'd shied away from creating zones because LiveUpgrade didn't support zones in the earlier builds, but I've now been assured that it works fine now.

Zones + ZFS. WOW

It just works. When you create a zone, if it detects that your zonepath is on a zfs filesystem, it'll automatically create a new zfs dataset for you for the zones you are creating. You don't need to do anything special, it just does the "Right Thing(tm)".

Furthermore, if you decide to clone a zone, and it's on a zfs filesystem, it simply creates a snapshot of the cloned zone for you.  You don't need to do anything special, it just does the "Right Thing(tm)".

This means that once you've created your first zone, all your additional zones can be created and booted in a matter of seconds. Talk about rapid provisioning!

The icing on the cake: BrandZ

I've simply followed the instructions here and I've now got CentOS running in a zone, running on top of Solaris. Got Skype working!!

I love it when a plan comes together. We've now got some really clever integration of some individual cool Solaris technologies. The combined benefit is compelling.

Just waiting for ZFS boot to become available (well, more available than it is), and my home server aspirations will be complete. 

 

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Likewise, I've had similar positive results with ZFS and zones, but am waiting for Solaris Express 1/07 which should enable my liveupgrade to include my zones on ZFS. However, my one disappointment thus far has been trying to setup an LPD print server with b50 (via Solaris Express 11/06); otherwise, Nevada is rockin' along!

Perhaps it's time to find a reason to play with Brandz? I've been told that Linux on Brandz, running as a VMware host with a Windows guest won't likely work...maybe we'll have to just experience that first hand?

Posted by Wes W. on January 26, 2007 at 01:44 PM GMT #

Yeh, there were a couple of printer changes between b50 and b55 which made printing slightly challenging. Printing in b55 and above works like a champ now though. I've got a USB attached printer (HP 5150) which I can print directly to from my homeserver, print from my laptop (using IPP, not lpd) also running Nevada b56, and from my family windows XP PCs via samba. (I got it working on earlier builds as well, but required a bit of manual tweaking, and access to friendly Solaris engineers!) Running vmware on CentOS with a Windows guest. That'd be cool. Worth trying...

Posted by Mike Ramchand on January 26, 2007 at 02:00 PM GMT #

Mike-- I would love it if you could blog a step-by-step tell-me-like-I-am-8-years-old set of directions for getting Samba based printing working. I have struggled and failed to get this working using SWAT. The main problem is that I just don't know the windoze terminology, or how to really set up the windows client. Mostly I just got various "cannot connect" messages from windows even though Samba seemed to be configured.

I was able to get IPP printing working, though, from Solaris to Solaris. That's cool! But I want windows to work also.

Posted by guest on January 26, 2007 at 02:41 PM GMT #

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