This chapter provides a brief overview of virtualization using the Solaris Operating System.
The goal of virtualization is to move from managing individual datacenter components to managing pools of resources. Successful server virtualization can lead to improved server utilization and more efficient use of server assets. Server virtualization is also important for successful server consolidation projects that maintain the isolation of separate systems.
Virtualization is driven by the need to consolidate multiple hosts and services on a single machine. Virtualization reduces costs through the sharing of hardware, infrastructure, and administration. Benefits include the following:
Increased hardware utilization
Greater flexibility in resource allocation
Reduced power requirements
Fewer management costs
Lower cost of ownership
Administrative and resource boundaries between applications on a system
Virtualization products offered by Sun Microsystems include the following:
Logical Domains (LDoms), the SPARC hypervisor virtualization solution for running multiple operating system instances on a single machine simultaneously. Operating system-level virtualization features, such as zones or resource management, can be used in LDoms.
SunTM xVM hypervisor, the x86 hypervisor virtualization solution for running multiple operating system instances on a single machine simultaneously.
Native and branded zones containers, which provide isolated execution environments within a Solaris operating system instance and can be run within a Solaris guest domain.
Resource management features, which enable you to control how applications use available system resources.
Sun VirtualBox, which allows you to run unmodified 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems as virtual machines on Intel and AMD processors, directly on your existing operating system.
Network virtualization features, used throughout virtualization technologies.
For an index of Sun's virtualization products, with links to additional documentation and information, see Sun Virtualization Technologies.
The OpenSolaris Xen, Zones, and Networking communities provide information, discussion groups, and the ability to participate in feature development for the technologies discussed in this guide. Also visit the Logical Domains community for information about LDoms technology and links to documentation.