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Creating and Using Oracle® Solaris Kernel Zones

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Updated: August 2021

Hardware Requirements for Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones

The physical machine must meet the following requirements.

    SPARC based systems:

  • A SPARC T4 series server with at least System Firmware 8.8.

  • A SPARC T5, SPARC M5, or SPARC M6 series server with at least System Firmware 9.5.

  • A SPARC M8 series server. All firmware versions are supported.

  • A SPARC T7 or SPARC M7 series server. All firmware versions are supported.

  • A Fujitsu M10/SPARC M10 server. Follow the firmware requirements in Fujitsu M10 Systems Product Notes that are appropriate for your configuration.

  • A Fujitsu SPARC M12 server with the Oracle Solaris 11.3 or Oracle Solaris 11.4 release. All firmware versions are supported.

For information about downloading the latest system firmware, see Firmware Downloads and Release History for Oracle Systems (https://www.oracle.com/servers/technologies/firmware/release-history-jsp.html).

    x86 systems:

  • Intel-based systems with Nehalem or later processors

  • AMD-based systems with Barcelona or later processors

  • Compatible microcode levels on the CPUs

  • BIOS must enable the following:

    • CPU virtualization (for example, VT-x)

    • Extended/Nested Page Table support, also referred to as EPT, NPT, or Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)

    • No-eXecute support, also referred to as NX, XD, No-Execute Memory Protection, No Execute Mode Mem Protection, Execute Disable, or Execute Bit Support

    Both SPARC and x86 systems require the following:

  • A minimum of 8GB of physical RAM

  • The kernel zone brand software package brand/brand-solaris-kz.

    For information about obtaining and installing software packages, see Chapter 3, Installing and Updating Software Packages in Updating Systems and Adding Software in Oracle Solaris 11.4.

  • To use the Remote Administrative Daemon (RAD), the rad-zonemgr package must be installed on your system. For operations such as zone migration that occur between systems, the rad-zonemgr package must be installed on both the target and the source systems. Note that the RAD SMF services must be manually restarted with the command svcadm restart rad after you install RAD modules.

  • To prevent memory errors, you must adjust a parameter for the ZFS Adaptive Replacement Cache (ARC) on the kernel zone host. See Tuning the Host ZFS ARC to Reserve Memory for Kernel Zones.

    Kernel zones can be installed using any of the following:

  • The global zone's publishers and a default AI manifest

  • A custom AI manifest

  • An ISO image of Oracle Solaris installation media

  • A Unified Archive

The default AI manifest, /usr/share/auto_install/manifest/default.xml, and the global zone's pkg publishers are used to perform the installation unless the –a, –b, or –m options are specified. The text installer and the automated installer enable you to install any supported Oracle Solaris version. Oracle Solaris 11.2 is the first version of Oracle Solaris supported in a kernel zone.

Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones can run in guests on Oracle VM Server for SPARC (previously called Sun Logical Domains). Each Oracle VM Server for SPARC domain has an independent limit for the number of kernel zones that can run. The limit is 768 for SPARC T4 or SPARC T5 systems, 512 for SPARC M5, SPARC M6, SPARC M7, and SPARC M8 systems, and 256 for Fujitsu M10 and Fujitsu SPARC M12 systems.

Kernel zones cannot run in Oracle VM Server for x86 guests or on the Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Note - On SPARC based systems, a running kernel zone within an Oracle VM Server for SPARC domain will block Oracle VM Server for SPARC live migration of the guest domain. For details, see Kernel Zones Issues in Oracle Solaris 11.4 Release Notes.

Kernel zone live migration on SPARC based systems has additional software and firmware requirements. See Additional Requirements for Kernel Zone Warm Migration and Live Migration.

Tip  - Although you can run different zone brands on a system, when you run kernel zones, reserve the kernel zone host for running non-global zones and avoid running applications in the global zone.