System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System

When to Use Zones

Zones are ideal for environments that consolidate a number of applications on a single server. The cost and complexity of managing numerous machines make it advantageous to consolidate several applications on larger, more scalable servers.

The following figure shows a system with four zones. Each of the zones apps, users, and work is running a workload unrelated to the workloads of the other zones, in a sample consolidated environment. This example illustrates that different versions of the same application can be run without negative consequences in different zones, to match the consolidation requirements. Each zone can provide a customized set of services.

Figure 15–1 Zones Server Consolidation Example

Different versions of same application can be run in
different zones without negative consequences.

Zones enable more efficient resource utilization on your system. Dynamic resource reallocation permits unused resources to be shifted to other containers as needed. Fault and security isolation mean that poorly behaved applications do not require a dedicated and under-utilized system. With the use of zones, these applications can be consolidated with other applications.

Zones allow you to delegate some administrative functions while maintaining overall system security.