Thursday May 28, 2009

Managing Solaris Containers with xVM Ops Center

Solaris Containers (sometimes also called Zones) are today the most popular way to virtualize Solaris.  I've talked to customers everywhere that use them.  In the current version of Ops Center we have a number of ways to make your life easier when administering Containers.  In fact, BigAdmin has a great article that covers this in-depth.  It's surely worth a read.

Below is a screenshot I took today on my Ops Center 2.1 test rig that includes a pair of Solaris Containers (you can see them as children in the main "gear" tree below the main OS instanced (aka the Global Zone).

When you select one of the Containers you can see an inspector like the one below (this is just a sub-set of the info we can display).

However, there's been a key limitation in our Container management story to date with Ops Center.  The creation of a new container hasn't been tightly managed.  We've been able to provision multiple containers with a bare-metal OS, but the dyanamic lifecycle management of Containers hasn't been available.  That's all changing in the upcoming version 2.5 release.  Below is a snapshot of the wizard that you use to create a new Container.  It's looks very similar (by design!) to the wizard you use to create a new x86 VM inside xVM Server or a new SPARC VM inside the Logical Domains hypervisor (more on that next week).

With this capability, we will have full lifecycle management for Solaris containers inside Ops Center.  And, this includes management of the virtual networks and storage for the Containers (a complicated bit of administration to be sure!).  Best of all, it's integrated with Ops Center's existing capabilities like patching and hardware management. 

Tuesday Jul 22, 2008

Managing Containers with xVM Ops Center

When I talk to customers about the forthcoming xVM Server product, people sometimes ask if Sun is still investing in Solaris Containers.  Of course, the answer is yes.  We have a huge number of customers who have invested in Containers technology, and it is part of the big xVM story.  In particular, we want customers to use the capabilities in xVM Ops Center to improve how they manage an environment that includes Containers.

To that end, our crack writing squad has pulled together a blueprint on how to use xVM Ops Center and Solaris containers together.  You can check it out here.   This blueprint shows you exactly what you can do with Containers and the currently shipping Ops Center 1.1 product.

Now, this is just the begining of what Ops Center will do with Containers.  We've recently staffed a new sub-team in the Ops Center group to work on a project that Mike calls Realms that will dramatically increase what Ops Center can manipulate with Containers.  Spiffy name, eh?  I'll talk more about that here in the coming weeks, but it's looking really interesting so far.

Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

Solaris Container Migration Made Easy

Migrating Solaris containers is one of the most exciting recent additions to the most recent Solaris 10 releases.  You can read about the feature here.  However, if you look at that article, you realize that there are a fair number of manual steps involved.  Fortunately, there's a better way to do this!

While I was in India this week, the Sun MC team gave me a demo of the latest additions to the Solaris Container Manager.  One of the major updates is support for Container migration.  Here's a screen shot (click to enlarge).


The great thing about this is that all those manual steps are totally automated for you.  Just click the Migrate Zone... button and supply a few parameters.  BANG!  You're done. It's almost instant. 

Sunday Nov 26, 2006

IT Pet Peeves

Network Computing has an interesting article that shows the results of a recent poll on IT Pet Peeves.  In other words, what do vendors do that really ticks off folks running IT shops?  It's pretty eye opening.  One set of results really hit home from my time working in marketing at Cassatt.  The section on marketing asked about the buzzwords that people most hate.  The two most hated buzzwords are Service Oriented Architectures and Virtualization!

With respect to Virtualization, 26 percent said they'd like to punch the next salesperson who mentions it.  Now that's love!  Of course this reaction has little to do with Cassatt (in fact what they're doing is surely more real that most products that use that buzzword). 

I'm starting to get more involved with Virtualization-related work here at Sun and it's cool to be back in that space.  Sun's agenda around Xen and Solaris Containers (along with really cool stuff in hardware coming soon) is really heating up.  Update Connection can already update Xen virtual machines, and Solaris Container support is coming soon.  Also, SunMC comes with great facilities for managing Containers.  Stay tuned for more.



Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.


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