The Oracle Solaris Cluster environment extends the Oracle Solaris Operating System into a cluster operating system. A cluster is a collection of one or more nodes that belong exclusively to that collection.
The benefits of the Oracle Solaris Cluster software include the following:
Reduce or eliminate system downtime because of software or hardware failure
Ensure availability of data and applications to end users, regardless of the kind of failure that would normally take down a single-server system
Increase application throughput by enabling services to scale to additional processors by adding nodes to the cluster and balancing load
Provide enhanced availability of the system by enabling you to perform maintenance without shutting down the entire cluster
In a cluster that runs on the Oracle Solaris OS, a global cluster and a zone cluster are types of clusters.
Note - A global cluster can optionally also include lx (Linux) or native brand, non-global zones that are not nodes, but high availability containers (as resources).
A global-cluster voting node is a native brand, global zone in a global cluster that contributes votes to the total number of quorum votes, that is, membership votes in the cluster. This total determines whether the cluster has sufficient votes to continue operating. A global-cluster non-voting node is a native brand, non-global zone in a global cluster that does not contribute votes to the total number of quorum votes, that is, membership votes in the cluster.
A zone cluster is a type of cluster that is composed only of one or more cluster brand, voting nodes. A zone cluster depends on, and therefore requires, a global cluster. A global cluster does not contain a zone cluster. You cannot configure a zone cluster without a global cluster. A zone cluster has, at most, one zone cluster node on a machine.
Note - A zone-cluster node continues to operate only as long as the global-cluster voting node on the same machine continues to operate. If a global-cluster voting node on a machine fails, all zone-cluster nodes on that machine fail as well.
A cluster offers several advantages over traditional single-server systems. These advantages include support for failover and scalable services, capacity for modular growth, the ability to set load limits on nodes, and low entry price compared to traditional hardware fault-tolerant systems.
The benefits of configuring a zone cluster include the following:
Application fault isolation – A failure of applications on one zone cluster does not affect applications on other zone clusters.
Security – A person or an application that is logged into a zone cluster node cannot see or modify elements in the global cluster or in other zone clusters. A zone cluster only contains those elements, such as file systems, ZFS datasets, or network resources that are explicitly configured as part of that zone cluster.
Resource management – You can apply the full range of Oracle Solaris resource management controls to a zone cluster. Consequently, you can control all applications on a node in a zone cluster at the zone level.
Delegated administration – You can delegate the ability to manage applications in a zone cluster to an administrator who is operating in that zone cluster.
Simplified cluster – In a zone cluster, you administer only the applications and resources that are used by those applications.