System Administration Guide: Network Interfaces and Network Virtualization

Types of Containers for Network Virtualization on the Solaris OS

You can use several different types of virtual containers in a Solaris OS-based virtual network. These containers include machines and zones. A virtual machine is a container with its own kernel and IP protocol stack. A zone is a container that provides an isolated environment for running applications.

Sun xVM Virtual Machines

SunTM xVM is virtual machine technology that enables you to create multiple instances of an operating system on the interfaces of a single x86–based system. The Sun xVM hypervisor controls the allocation and operation of the domains. For more information on xVM, refer to Introduction to the Sun xVM Hypervisor. xVM is based on the Open Source XEN hypervisor, which is described on the website.

Non-Global Zones and Exclusive IP Zones

Though not true virtual machines, zones are light weight application environments that share a host's kernel and IP stack. You can configure exclusive IP instances for a non-global zone, which provides that zone with its own, exclusive TCP/IP protocol stack. Both standard non-global zones and exclusive IP zones can be configured on a Solaris-based virtual network. For basic information about zones, refer to Chapter 16, Introduction to Solaris Zones, in System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System.

LDOMs Virtual Machines

The Libvert for LDOMs (Logical Domains) software provides a hypervisor and set of commands that enable you to set up and administer logical domains on a Solaris OS-based virtual network. Each logical domain can run an instance of an operating system to enable multiple operating systems on the same computer. For information on LDOMs, refer to the Logical Domains (LDoms) 1.0.1 Administration Guide.