New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 07:13:49



Hi,

I've just started to work with zones in Solaris 10, and so far, it seems
very cool, but I'm kind of curious as to whether there are any known
problems and/or limitations with it?

I am working on putting a test configuration together for testing some
failover mechanisms in some server apps that I'm working with, where I
would normally need 4 Sun/Solaris servers, and I thought that it would
be neat if I could just setup 4 zones to emulate the 4 servers.  In
other words, there is no GUI type stuff.

Would zones work all right for something like this?

Thanks,
Jim

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Wes William » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 07:40:19



> Hi,

> I've just started to work with zones in Solaris 10, and so far, it seems
> very cool, but I'm kind of curious as to whether there are any known
> problems and/or limitations with it?

Failover on consolidated servers must be considered whre you have more
critically important hardware prone to failure affecting multiple
'server' [virtual or not].  Just be sure to cluster to different
physical machines for optimum failover protection.

Quote:> I am working on putting a test configuration together for testing some
> failover mechanisms in some server apps that I'm working with, where I
> would normally need 4 Sun/Solaris servers, and I thought that it would
> be neat if I could just setup 4 zones to emulate the 4 servers.  In
> other words, there is no GUI type stuff.

> Would zones work all right for something like this?

Most certainly that will work and is basically why zones exist - server
consolidation.

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 08:33:18




> > Hi,

> > I've just started to work with zones in Solaris 10, and so far, it seems
> > very cool, but I'm kind of curious as to whether there are any known
> > problems and/or limitations with it?

> Failover on consolidated servers must be considered whre you have more
> critically important hardware prone to failure affecting multiple
> 'server' [virtual or not].  Just be sure to cluster to different
> physical machines for optimum failover protection.

> > I am working on putting a test configuration together for testing some
> > failover mechanisms in some server apps that I'm working with, where I
> > would normally need 4 Sun/Solaris servers, and I thought that it would
> > be neat if I could just setup 4 zones to emulate the 4 servers.  In
> > other words, there is no GUI type stuff.

> > Would zones work all right for something like this?

> Most certainly that will work and is basically why zones exist - server
> consolidation.

Wes,

Thanks for the quick response.

Just to be clear, our production environment would use 4 physical Sun
servers, and the server apps I'm testing have failover mechanisms built
into them.  I am just putting together a configuration (where I hope to
use zones) to allow me to test and verify the installation procedures,
because I don't have 4 physical servers here (at home).

Thanks again!

Jim

Jim

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Scott Howar » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 20:58:21



>> I've just started to work with zones in Solaris 10, and so far, it seems
>> very cool, but I'm kind of curious as to whether there are any known
>> problems and/or limitations with it?

> Failover on consolidated servers must be considered whre you have more
> critically important hardware prone to failure affecting multiple
> 'server' [virtual or not].  Just be sure to cluster to different
> physical machines for optimum failover protection.

That's not really a Zones issue - it's a "single server" issue, regardless
of whether you're running Zones on that single server or not.

Sun Cluster now supports zones (to some extent, with more coming), as
apparently does VCS (not sure how much though), so really the issue is
exactly the same regardless of Zones.

  Scott

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Bernd Hau » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 21:15:18



> Would zones work all right for something like this?

Depends. If your clustering depends on kernel-level stuff (Cluster FS,
low level node loss detection), it won't, as all zones share a kernel.

If it's strictly user-land it should do just fine - as long as cluster
communication doesn't use its own protocol but TCP/UDP. No raw sockets
in Zones, IIRC. That's why there's no DHCP serving in zones.

Given your way of putting it, I'd guess it's user-land so you should be
fine.

lg, Bernd

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Wes William » Mon, 06 Mar 2006 22:49:38




>>>I've just started to work with zones in Solaris 10, and so far, it seems
>>>very cool, but I'm kind of curious as to whether there are any known
>>>problems and/or limitations with it?

>>Failover on consolidated servers must be considered whre you have more
>>critically important hardware prone to failure affecting multiple
>>'server' [virtual or not].  Just be sure to cluster to different
>>physical machines for optimum failover protection.

> That's not really a Zones issue - it's a "single server" issue, regardless
> of whether you're running Zones on that single server or not.

> Sun Cluster now supports zones (to some extent, with more coming), as
> apparently does VCS (not sure how much though), so really the issue is
> exactly the same regardless of Zones.

>   Scott

Indeed, I didn't mean to make it sound like a zone issues, it's
basically a hardware issue at that level...but the only potential
problem I could think of using zones...and still isn't zone specific.  8)
 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Tue, 07 Mar 2006 04:19:30




> > Would zones work all right for something like this?

> Depends. If your clustering depends on kernel-level stuff (Cluster FS,
> low level node loss detection), it won't, as all zones share a kernel.

> If it's strictly user-land it should do just fine - as long as cluster
> communication doesn't use its own protocol but TCP/UDP. No raw sockets
> in Zones, IIRC. That's why there's no DHCP serving in zones.

> Given your way of putting it, I'd guess it's user-land so you should be
> fine.

> lg, Bernd

Hi Bernd et al,

Yes, the failover mechanisms are implemented by the apps themselves, so
it appears should be ok.  I'm just starting to do the installs now.

An additional question:

I've normally been using FLARCREATE to image my test systems, to take
snapshots as I test, so that I can go back to an earlier point.  

Is there any way to image the individual zones themselves, similar to
the above?

I'm wondering if I have say, "zone1", with zonepath of "/zone/1", can I
run FLARCREATE from the global zone, and set the root for the FLARCREATE
to "/zone/1"?

I'm testing this on an old Sun Blade 100 with a 120GB hard drive, so I
don't want to FLARCREATE image the entire drive :)...

Thanks,
Jim

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Michael Wei » Tue, 07 Mar 2006 23:50:39


Hi Jim

Quote:> I'm wondering if I have say, "zone1", with zonepath of "/zone/1", can
> I run FLARCREATE from the global zone, and set the root for the
> FLARCREATE to "/zone/1"?

I didn't check this but I think it would work.

What you also can do is creating a simple archive (tar/cpio) from /zone/1. I
cloned zones in this way, you have to create a new entry in /etc/zones/index
and a new /etc/zones/zones.xml file. At last don't forget to change the zone
configuration (i.e. hostname). I always make a sys-unconfig in the zone and
provide a new sysidcfg file in the zone's etc directory.
Works well!

Michael

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by Bernd Hau » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 06:39:55



> I've normally been using FLARCREATE to image my test systems, to take
> snapshots as I test, so that I can go back to an earlier point.  
> Is there any way to image the individual zones themselves, similar to
> the above?

I don't know whether this is exactly what you're looking for (didn't
have time for it myself so far), but there was something on Bigadmin
recently I have in the bookmarks:

http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/backup_zones.html

lg, Bernd

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 12:33:31




> > I've normally been using FLARCREATE to image my test systems, to take
> > snapshots as I test, so that I can go back to an earlier point.
> > Is there any way to image the individual zones themselves, similar to
> > the above?

> I don't know whether this is exactly what you're looking for (didn't
> have time for it myself so far), but there was something on Bigadmin
> recently I have in the bookmarks:

> http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/backup_zones.html

> lg, Bernd

Bernd,

That link appears to be broken.  I searched Sun's website and got the
same link, with the same broken result.  Posted a "broken link" report
to Sun.

Jim

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 12:36:42





> > > I've normally been using FLARCREATE to image my test systems, to take
> > > snapshots as I test, so that I can go back to an earlier point.
> > > Is there any way to image the individual zones themselves, similar to
> > > the above?

> > I don't know whether this is exactly what you're looking for (didn't
> > have time for it myself so far), but there was something on Bigadmin
> > recently I have in the bookmarks:

> > http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/backup_zones.html

> > lg, Bernd

> Bernd,

> That link appears to be broken.  I searched Sun's website and got the
> same link, with the same broken result.  Posted a "broken link" report
> to Sun.

> Jim

P.S.  For the record, and in case anyone is wondering, I've been working
with zones for a really short while, and it has worked very nicely for
me.  I now have 4 zones setup on my SB100, and am running several server
type apps, and they seem to run fine.

I can "X" into the zones and everything.  

Very nice!

We're an all Solaris 9 shop right now, but I've been talking to a couple
of people at work about this, and they're looking into getting Solaris
10 approved for use.

I'm looking forward to that day :)!!

Jim

 
 
 

New to Solaris 10 Zones - Any known problems/limitations?

Post by ohay » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 20:29:48






> > > > I've normally been using FLARCREATE to image my test systems, to take
> > > > snapshots as I test, so that I can go back to an earlier point.
> > > > Is there any way to image the individual zones themselves, similar to
> > > > the above?

> > > I don't know whether this is exactly what you're looking for (didn't
> > > have time for it myself so far), but there was something on Bigadmin
> > > recently I have in the bookmarks:

> > > http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/backup_zones.html

> > > lg, Bernd

> > Bernd,

> > That link appears to be broken.  I searched Sun's website and got the
> > same link, with the same broken result.  Posted a "broken link" report
> > to Sun.

> > Jim

> P.S.  For the record, and in case anyone is wondering, I've been working
> with zones for a really short while, and it has worked very nicely for
> me.  I now have 4 zones setup on my SB100, and am running several server
> type apps, and they seem to run fine.

> I can "X" into the zones and everything.

> Very nice!

> We're an all Solaris 9 shop right now, but I've been talking to a couple
> of people at work about this, and they're looking into getting Solaris
> 10 approved for use.

> I'm looking forward to that day :)!!

> Jim

Bernd,

I posted a bad link report at Sun, and got an email.  The link is now
working, and I think it does address my question.  Thanks!!

Jim

 
 
 

1. Solaris 10 zones - communication between zones

For example I have Sun server with quad FE card. I create 4 zones and each
zone is assigned specific FE port. Each zone has some specific default gw
configured to some real router. If I try to communicate from one zone to
another, will it go thru network via router like 2 different physical
machine or will they communicate virtually thru global zone without packets
ever leaving to NIC.
I would like to use Solaris containers for simulating lot of different pcs
in network.

thanks,
jm

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