Thursday Jan 21, 2016

Zones Additions in 12.3.1

There are quite a few new features in Ops Center 12.3.1, but I think that the group of zones improvements are worth a particular mention.

The biggest is expanded support for kernel zones. In 12.3, you could discover kernel zones, but you couldn't create them. Once you've upgraded to 12.3.1, though, you gain the ability to create kernel zones, to edit existing kernel zones, and to migrate logical domains that host kernel zones. Since kernel zones are more independent from their host than other zones, kernel zones also have a storage tab that's similar to that for logical domains.

There are also some improvements for existing zones. On zones using Oracle Solaris 11.2 or later, you can dynamically edit network, file system, and storage attributes without having to reboot the zone.

The Virtualization Reference guide has more information about how to use these features, and the What's New will tell you about the other new features in 12.3.1.

EDIT: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that kernel zones could be migrated directly. Logical domains that host kernel zones can be migrated, but kernel zones cannot yet be migrated directly.

Thursday Nov 12, 2015

Updating an Oracle Solaris 8 system

Last week, we talked a bit about how to update branded zones. I saw a question this week about upgrading Oracle Solaris 8 systems, and branded zones figure into the answer here too.

"I've got some legacy applications running on some Oracle Solaris 8 systems. I'd like to get them running on S11 if possible. What can I do to upgrade these systems?"

Solaris 8 is old enough that there isn't an upgrade path all the way to Oracle Solaris 11. If you have legacy applications running on Solaris 8, and you want to move to a newer OS, you have a couple of options.

If you can move your applications onto S11, then you can use Ops Center to provision new S11 systems and then get the applications running on the new system.

However, some applications might not work on S11. In that case, you could create a Flash Archive of the existing S8 system, and use that FLAR to make an S8 branded zone on an S10 system. It's not S11, but it's not too shabby.

Thursday Nov 05, 2015

Branded Zones Questions

Branded Zones are handy if you want to run Oracle Solaris 10 zones on top of an S11 platform. However, they do work a bit differently from other zones in Ops Center. I've received a couple of questions about branded zones that I thought I'd try to clear up:

"I have a Control Domain with an Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone on it. Can I upgrade the control domain without Ops Center getting confused by the branded zone?"

Yes. When you upgrade a control domain or OS with a branded zone on it, the branded zone is skipped by design.

"Okay, so how do I upgrade the branded zone itself?"

Patching on a branded zone is similar to patching a global zone. If the branded zone doesn't have an agent, you can switch to agent management using the Switch Management Access option, then patch the branded zone normally.

Thursday Jul 23, 2015

Kernel Zones support in 12.3

One of the new features in Ops Center 12.3 is support for Oracle Solaris kernel zones. I wanted to talk a bit about this, because there are some caveats, and a new document to help you with using this type of zone.

Kernel zones differ from other zones in that they have a separate kernel and OS from the global zone, making them more independent. In Ops Center 12.3, you can discover and manage kernel zones. However, you can't migrate them, put them in a server pool, or change their configuration through the user interface.

We put together a how-to that explains how you can discover existing kernel zones in your environment. You can also take a look at the What's New doc for more information about what's changed in 12.3.

Thursday Oct 09, 2014

How-To: Lifecycle Management for Zones

Oracle Solaris Zones are a useful too. As I've been discussing over the past few weeks, Ops Center lets you manage zones from a high level by creating them, grouping them into server pools, and migrating them. However, I haven't talked about how to use Ops Center for more day-to-day zone management.

When a zone is managed in Ops Center, you can see its current state - running, shut down, or unreachable - in the Assets section, shown by an icon over the asset. By selecting a specific zone, you can take a number of possible actions: you can reboot or shut down a running zone, halt a zone if it's not responding to a graceful shutdown, boot a stopped zone, or delete a zone if it's no longer needed.

The Lifecycle Management of Zones how-to explains how to take each of these actions. The zones chapter in the Feature Reference Guide also discusses them.

Thursday Oct 02, 2014

How-To: Migrating Oracle Solaris 11 Zones

I've talked a bit over the past couple of weeks about how to create Oracle Solaris 11 zones and how to group them into a server pool to enable automatic load balancing and high availability.

You can also use the server pools to manually migrate zones from one host to another. You can perform this migration to do your own load balancing, to reorganize your zones, or in preparation for system maintenance. When you use the Migrate Zone action to move the zone, the wizard lists all of the global zones in the pool, including the number of running zones, total CPU, and available dedicated CPUs. If you don't have enough resources in that server pool, you can migrate the zone to a global zone in a different server pool, as long as they're compatible and meet the storage and network requirements. 

The Migrating Zones how-to walks you through migrating a zone to a new global zone in the same server pool. There's also more information in the Oracle Solaris Zones chapter in the Feature Reference Guide.

Thursday Sep 25, 2014

How-To: Creating a Server Pool for Oracle Solaris 11 Zones

I talked a bit last week about creating Oracle Solaris 11 zones by following the zone creation how-to. If you're creating zones on at least two systems, it's a good idea to create a server pool for them. A zones server pool lets you group 2 or more global zones (hosts) that have the same processor architecture. The hosts must share storage resources and have access to the same virtual and physical networks.

There are some big advantages to pooling your zones, including load balancing and high availability. When you add hosts to the server pool, you can share resources between the zones, and create policies to manage a lot of the CPU utilization and resource balancing functions and automatically migrate hosts between servers to balance the load. You can also manually move zones between hosts, and restart zones on a new host if a pooled host shuts down.

If you want to know more, there's a Server Pools chapter in the Feature Reference Guide. There's also a Creating a Server Pool for Zones how-to which walks through the process, using a hypothetical environment with two Oracle Solaris 11 zones.

Thursday Sep 18, 2014

How-To: Creating Oracle Solaris 11 Zones

The odds are good that you use Oracle Solaris 11 Zones in your environment or are interested in doing so - it's an effective and secure virtualization technology that lets you get more use out of each piece of hardware.

If your environment uses Ops Center, you can use a profile to quickly create new zones with a specific setup. The profile specifies the OS version, zone configuration, storage, and file system for the zone. Once you've created a profile, it automatically generates a deployment plan, which you can run to create a new zone. At runtime you specify the target system, and the name, IP address, and network resources for the new zone, edit any of the info from the profile if you want, and schedule the zone creation.

We've put together a how-to that walks you through the whole process, so take a look.

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Provisioning Videos

There are a couple of new videos up on the Oracle Learning Youtube channel about Ops Center's provisioning capabilities. Simon Hayler does a walkthrough of a couple of different procedures.

The first video shows you how to provision Oracle Solaris zones. It explains how to create an Oracle Solaris Zone profile, and then how to apply it (using a deployment plan) to a target system.

The second video shows you how to provision an x86 server with Oracle Solaris. This uses a very similar process - you create a OS provisioning profile, then use a deployment plan to apply it to the target hardware.

The documentation goes over OS provisioning and zone creation in the Feature Guide, if you're looking for additional information.

Friday Aug 17, 2012

How To: Create Oracle Solaris Zones

Oracle Solaris Zones are a versatile technology. You can use them to create virtualized Oracle Solaris 10 or 11 operating systems which can independently run a variety of applications. You can also use Ops Center to set up server pools for your zones, which lets you move zones and allocate resources quickly.

Before you can do any of this, though, you need to create zones. In Ops Center, this is a two-step process:

First, you create a profile and a plan. The profile specifies the naming convention and zone details such as the CPU and memory attributes, and the plan specifies how to deploy the profile. You can use the same profile and plan to create zones on multiple systems.

Once you've created a profile and a plan, you run the plan to create zones on the targeted systems, and provide some zone-specific information.

We've created two How To guides that walk you through the whole process of creating Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 zones. These How Tos are part of the How To library within the docs site. There's also an article over on the OTN about creating Oracle Solaris 11 zones.


This blog discusses issues encountered in Ops Center and highlights the ways in which the documentation can help you


« July 2016