Friday Jun 07, 2013

Instant Automated Installer Zone for Oracle Solaris 11.1

One of the biggest differences between Oracle Solaris 11 and previous releases is how provisioning tasks are handled.  It's safe to say that just about any installation or update function you can think of has gotten at least an order of magnitude faster, easier, safer, smarter and more powerful -- but still, there's that word "different" ... .

The key new provisioning technology, as you may already know, is the Image Packaging System (IPS). It's the framework for installation, maintenance and removal of software on an Oracle Solaris 11 system. Another significant new technology introduced in Oracle Solaris 11 is the Automated Installer (AI), which replaces JumpStart for hands-free installation of large numbers of systems.

We've just introduced something new to make it easier to start working with AI, so you can get past that "different" part and start reaping the (major) benefits. The name's kinda long:

Oracle Solaris Zone with Automated Installer and Repository

...but that's because there's a lot it's doing for you in one shot. As the name implies, it sets up a new zone on your system, with a local Oracle Solaris 11.1 package repository for both SPARC and x86 deployments, and a DHCP server which you can optionally turn on, configured to act as an AI server.  It's pretty much "install and go" and you can immediately start to explore the extensive feature set of AI.

(A vocabulary note: this is what we call an "Oracle VM Template" -- specifically, it's an Oracle VM Template for Zones, meaning it installs in an existing Oracle Solaris 11 instance rather than in a hypervisor. If you haven't heard the term "template" in this context before, you might think that means it's just a setup checklist of some kind -- nope, this download includes all the necessary software.  In this case, almost 6 GB worth! There are other Oracle VM Templates for Zones you might want to check out as well.)

See the Installation Notes section in the Readme to make sure you're running at the proper Oracle Solaris 11.1 SRU levels; there are also notes about installing this in a Logical Domain.

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