A zone cluster provides the following features and benefits.
Application fault isolation – A failure of applications on one zone cluster does not affect applications on other zone clusters. For example, if a zone cluster node starts, halts, or reboots, nodes in other zone clusters are not affected.
Security – Applications that are, or a person who 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. A failover application in a zone cluster can fail over or switch over only from one node in a zone cluster to another node in the same zone cluster. All instances of a scalable application run only in the same zone cluster. The zone cluster is a security container that applications cannot escape.
Resource management – You can apply the full range of 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. This control enables you to better manage the resources that are available to a zone cluster node. For example, this control enables you to place an application in a zone cluster and reduce the number of CPUs. You can thus reduce your per-CPU license fee.
Delegated administration – You can delegate the ability to manage applications in a zone cluster to an administrator who is operating in that zone cluster. A zone cluster functions independently of the global cluster and other zone clusters. As the global zone administrator, you can set up cross-cluster dependencies and affinities and administer applications in the zone cluster.
Simplified cluster – All you need to do in a zone cluster is administer the applications and resources that are used by those applications. As the global-zone administrator, you can create, manage, and remove a zone cluster at any time by issuing a command both inside and outside that zone cluster. You can do so without affecting the global cluster or other zone clusters.