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Creating and Using Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: August 2019

Planning a Non-Global Zone Configuration

As virtual instances of a physical system, zones use the hardware resources of their hosts. Therefore, the more resources on the host system, the greater the flexibility for an administrator to create and configure zones.

The following sections discuss important considerations when planning to create zones.

Hardware Requirements

Zones use the following hardware resources:

  • Disk space

    Disk space requirements for a zone depend on two factors:

    • Packages you intend to install on the zone.

    • Available disk space on the host after the installation of the standard Oracle Solaris OS packages.

    Calculate at a minimum 1GB of disk space to allocate to each zone that you plan to install.

  • Amount of memory

    As an option, consider adding 40 MB of system memory for each zone to be configured. Disk space resources on the host is a factor in configuring swap space. If you configure sufficient swap space on the host system, then additional memory might not be necessary.

Zone Size

As an administrator, you can further control the size of a zone by setting the quota and reservation ZFS properties, which determine the maximum amount of disk space that a zone can consume. The properties are set on the zone's dataset that is located on the zonepath defined for that zone. For more information about these properties, see the zfs(8) man page and Chapter 7, Managing Oracle Solaris ZFS File Systems in Managing ZFS File Systems in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

As an alternative, you can create ZFS volumes with fixed sizes and install zones in the volume's datasets. The volumes limit the sizes of the zones installed on the volumes. See ZFS Volumes in Managing ZFS File Systems in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

Name Service and Network Considerations

Assign a zone name by which the zone can be identified from the global zone and to distinguish it from other zones on the system. Later, during the configuration of the zone's system information, you would be prompted for a computer name or a host name, similar to how physical systems have host names.

If you are not using DHCP, then you need to assign fixed IP addresses to the zones. Zones support both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Use IPv6 stateless address autoconfiguration to assign IPv6 addresses more easily.

By default, zones are automatically created as having an exclusive IP configuration, which means the zones have their own network layout different from and separate from the layout of the global zone. See About Zone Network Interfaces in Oracle Solaris Zones Configuration Resources.

About Zone Brands

Zones in Oracle Solaris are branded. A zone is branded when you create it, as specified in the zone's template. After a zone is installed, you can no longer change its brand. Oracle Solaris 11.4 supports the following brands:

For more details about brands, see the brands(7) man page.

Note -  The brand of zone you are creating might have additional requirements. For example, kernel zones have their own specific hardware and software needs, as described in Software and Hardware Requirements for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones in Creating and Using Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones.