The Solaris Zones partitioning technology is used to virtualize operating system services and provide an isolated and secure environment for running applications. A zone is a virtualized operating system environment created within a single instance of the Solaris Operating System. When you create a zone, you produce an application execution environment in which processes are isolated from the rest of the system. This isolation prevents processes that are running in one zone from monitoring or affecting processes that are running in other zones. Even a process running with superuser credentials cannot view or affect activity in other zones.
A zone also provides an abstract layer that separates applications from the physical attributes of the machine on which they are deployed. Examples of these attributes include physical device paths.
Zones can be used on any machine that is running at least the Solaris 10 release. The upper limit for the number of zones on a system is 8192. The number of zones that can be effectively hosted on a single system is determined by the total resource requirements of the application software running in all of the zones.
In the Solaris 10 release, there are two types of non-global zone root file system models: sparse and whole root. The sparse root zone model optimizes the sharing of objects. The whole root zone model provides the maximum configurability. These concepts are discussed in Chapter 18, Planning and Configuring Non-Global Zones (Tasks).
Solaris 10 9/10: Products that are installed, called system assets, are controlled by an Auto Registration feature. During installation, the user provides credentials or registers anonymously. When the system reboots, service tags for the new products are uploaded to the My Oracle Support server. This feature only works in the global zone. See System Administration Guide: Basic Administration for more information.