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

Which Oracle Solaris Virtualization?

Duncan Hardie
Product Manager

From time to time as the product manager for Oracle Solaris Virtualization I get asked by customers which virtualization technology they should choose. This is probably because of two main reasons.

  1. Choice: Oracle Solaris provides a choice of virtualization technologies so you can tailor your virtual infrastructure to best fit your application, not to have force (and hence compromise) your application to fit a single option 
  2. No way back: There is the perception, once you make your choice if you get it wrong there is no way back (or a very difficult way back), so it is really important to make the right choice

Understandably there is occasionally a lot of angst around this decision but, as always, with Oracle Solaris there is good news. First the choice isn't as complex as it first seems and below is a diagram that can help you get a feel for that choice. We now have many many customers that are discovering that the combination of Oracle Solaris Zones inside OVM Server for SPARC instances (Logical Domains) gives them the best of both worlds.

Second with Unified Archives in Oracle Solaris 11.2 you always have a way back. With a Unified Archive you can move from a Native Zone to a Kernel Zone to a Logical Domain to Bare Metal and any and all combinations in-between. You can test which is the best type of virtualization for your applications and infrastructure and if you don't like it change to another type in a few minutes. 

BTW if you want a more in-depth discussion of virtualization and how to best utilize it for consolidation, check out the Consolidation Using Oracle's SPARC Virtualization Technologies white paper.  

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Comments ( 2 )
  • guest Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Can't memory isolation be done with Native Zones using Resource Controls?

  • Duncan Hardie Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Memory Capping can be done using Native Zones using resource control - this is subtlety different from memory isolation. The cap is more of a suggestion and can in certain cases be exceeded.

    In essence you get the best of both worlds here. If you have very dynamic applications that need access to as much memory as possible instantly then you can use Native Zones, with caps in place if desired. If you have applications that really misbehave memory wise you can use Kernel Zones to fence them in.

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