The Oracle Solaris SPARC bootstrap process has been redesigned to increase commonality with the x86 boot architecture.
Other enhancements include an improved boot architecture that supports booting a system from additional file system types, for example an Oracle Solaris ZFS file system, or a single miniroot, for installation, as well as booting from DVD, NFS, or HTTP. These enhancements increase flexibility and reduce maintenance requirements on SPARC based systems.
As part of this redesign, the boot archives and the bootadm command, previously only available on the x86 based platform, are now an integral part of the SPARC boot architecture.
The primary difference between the SPARC and x86 boot architectures is how the boot device and file are selected at boot time. The SPARC based platform continues to use the OpenBoot PROM (OBP) as the primary administrative interface, with boot options selected by using OBP commands. On x86 based systems, these options are selected through the BIOS and the GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB) menu.
Although the SPARC boot process has changed, no administrative procedures for booting a SPARC based system have been impacted. Boot tasks performed by the system administrator remain the same as they were prior to the boot architecture redesign.
For more information in this document, see Understanding the New SPARC Boot Architecture.