News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

  • September 12, 2019

Migrating to Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zones from Older Oracle Solaris 10 Environments

Sekhar Lakkapragada
Senior Principal Software Engineer

If you are running Oracle Solaris 10, you have several options to modernize your environment. In most cases, you can run your application directly on Oracle Solaris 11 and get the best performance, security and availability. If the application absolutely requires a Solaris 10 environment, you can lift and shift to Oracle Solaris 10 guest domains or preferably migrate to Oracle Solaris 10 branded zones that are running on Oracle Solaris 11 on modern SPARC hardware.

I blogged earlier about how to perform Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) and Virtual-to-Virtual (V2V) migrations to Oracle Solaris 10 guest domains running on Oracle Solaris 11. The blogs are available here:

LDOM V2V Migration

LDOM P2V Migration

Today's blog introduces another P2V migration. This time we describe how to migrate to Oracle Solaris 10 branded zones in 3 easy steps:

1) Assess -- Run the zonep2vchk command to identify possible configuration issues that might impact the migration.

2) Lift -- Run the flarcreate command to create an archive file (FLAR) of the source environment.

3) Shift -- Run the
zoneadm and zonecfg commands to instantiate the source environment into the Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone on the target system.


The following diagram illustrates the lift and shift process.



Support for Older Versions of Oracle Solaris 10

Until recently, the lift and shift utilities only supported migrating source systems that were running Oracle Solaris 10 Update 9 or later to Oracle Solaris 10 branded zones.  Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU 12 provides an improved zoneadm option that enables you to easily migrate from any Oracle Solaris 10 system. The new option automatically applies the required patches in the Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone on the target system, so there is no need to bring the source system to Oracle Solaris 10 Update 9 or later to initiate the migration. In addition, you don't need to use a separate staging environment. Other than that, the migration is performed as described earlier in this blog.

To migrate an older Oracle Solaris 10 environment (earlier than Update 9), use the zoneadm install –P patch_dir option on the target system. patch_dir is the path to the directory that contains the Solaris 10 Patchset required to update the new Solaris 10 branded zone.  While you can choose to use any recent Solaris 10 CPU OS Patchset or Recommended OS Patchset, we recommend you use the most recent Solaris 10 recommended patch set.  Consult MOS Doc ID 1273718.1 for information on availability of the latest Solaris 10 patches.

This new feature clones the Zone Boot Environment (ZBE), applies the specified patches, and promotes the patched ZBE to the new boot environment for the zone, as shown in the following diagram.


If you have UFS as the root file system and SVM as the volume manager on the source machine, migration to Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zones modernizes your root file system to ZFS. ZFS has better performance, scalability and simplified administration. On the target system, your  compute environment is also modernized because you are running on an Oracle Solaris 11.4 Global Zone and the Oracle Solaris 11.4 kernel. This delivers better availability, security and performance for your application while preserving the Solaris 10 environment that your application requires.

You can consolidate many workloads into Oracle Solaris 10 branded zones as shown below.


It Works

We validated the end-to-end migration procedure using an Oracle Database use case running on UFS and SVM on Oracle Solaris 10 source system. After the migration, the Oracle Database is up and running in an Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zone on a ZFS root file system.


This migration process is documented in the guide titled Lift and Shift Guide - Migrating Workloads from Oracle Solaris 10 SPARC Systems to Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zones.

The full collection of Lift and Shift guides is available in the Lift and Shift Documentation Library.

We will continue to improve our migration tools, documentation and we welcome your feedback.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 3 )
  • DavidH Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    How is patching done in a Solaris 10 Branded Zone?

    Can we still patch in OpCenter?
  • DavidH Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    Is there a P2V that allows us to wrap up a Solaris 10 physical machine and deploy into a Solaris 11 LDom?
  • DavidH Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    How does patching work in a Solaris 10 Branded Zone?

    Can we patch it, directly via OpsCenter?
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