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|Introduction to Oracle Solaris 11.1 Virtualization Environments Oracle Solaris 11.1 Information Library|
The goal of virtualization is to move from managing individual data center components to managing pools of resources. Server virtualization is important for successful server consolidation projects that require you to maintain the isolation of separate systems.
Successful server virtualization can lead to the following benefits:
Increasing the utilization of hardware
Enabling greater flexibility in resource allocation
Reducing data center power requirements
Minimizing management costs
Lowering the cost of ownership
Providing administrative and resource boundaries between applications on a system
The virtualization models are described by means of the following competing characteristics:
The amount of execution environment isolation
The amount of resource flexibility
The more isolation that a model provides, the less resource flexibility it provides. The more resource flexibility that a model provides, the less isolation it provides. Because these characteristics compete, they cannot be maximized by a single model.
Oracle Solaris 11.1 can be used with any of the following virtualization technology models:
Operating system (OS) virtualization provides one or more isolated execution environments in a single OS instance. Each environment contains what appears to be a private copy of the OS in a container. The OS virtualization model provides near-native performance and flexibility, and has a much smaller disk, RAM, and CPU footprint than either virtual machines or physical domains. However, the OS virtualization model provides the least amount of execution environment isolation.
Oracle Solaris 11.1 provides this virtualization model by means of the Oracle Solaris Zones product.
Virtual machines can be used to run multiple OS instances with a single set of hardware resources. Each virtual machine that you create runs its own OS. You can run various operating systems in this way. A software or firmware hypervisor creates the illusion that each guest OS instance is running on its own separate system. Virtual machines provide less resource flexibility than a machine that uses OS virtualization, but virtual machines do provide more isolation.
Oracle Solaris 11.1 provides this virtualization model by means of Oracle VM Server for SPARC, Oracle VM Server for x86, and Oracle VM VirtualBox.
For information about using Oracle VM VirtualBox, see the Oracle VM VirtualBox documentation.
Hardware partitions, also known as physical domains, provide physical separation between the running OS and its separate set of resources and power. Because this model does not use a hypervisor, it provides bare-metal performance. This virtualization model provides the most isolation, but it is much less flexible with resource configuration than either the virtual machines or OS virtualization model.
Oracle provides this type of virtualization on Oracle's Sun SPARC Enterprise M-Series servers. For more information, see the Oracle SPARC M-Series Server documentation.
The following describes how you might use each Oracle Solaris 11.1 virtualization technology in your environment:
Use Oracle Solaris Zones to maximize the efficiency and scalability of workloads, and to migrate Solaris 8, Solaris 9, Oracle Solaris 10, and Oracle Solaris 11 workloads to new hardware systems.
Use Oracle VM Server for SPARC to deploy different Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 environments on SPARC chip multithreading (CMT) systems.
Use Oracle VM Server for x86 to deploy a server with heterogeneous operating systems, including the Oracle Solaris 10 OS and the Oracle Solaris 11 OS as guests.
Use Oracle VM VirtualBox to develop and test software in heterogeneous environments.
Oracle VM VirtualBox enables you to run unmodified 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems as virtual machines on Intel and AMD processors directly on your existing OS.
Use Oracle SPARC M-Series servers to deploy different Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 operating systems to isolated domains. Each domain provides separation and isolation from the other domains on the M-Series server at the socket level, or at the board level to provide electrical isolation. Each domain can run a different version of the Oracle Solaris 10 or Oracle Solaris 11 OS.
You can also mix virtualization technologies to maximize workload density. For example, you could configure multiple zones to run within an Oracle Solaris virtual machine or domain to leverage the strengths of the different virtualization technologies.