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Creating and Using Oracle® Solaris Zones

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Updated: April 2019

About Backing Up an Oracle Solaris System With Zones Installed

You can perform backups in individual non-global zones, or back up the entire system from the global zone.

Backing Up Loopback File System Directories

Do not back up the loopback file systems (lofs) from within non-global zones.

If you back up and restore read/write loopback file systems from within a non-global zone, note that these file systems are also writable from the global zone, and from any other zones in which they are read/write mounted. Back up and restore these file systems from the global zone only, to avoid multiple copies.

Backing Up Your System From the Global Zone

    You might choose to perform your backups from the global zone in the following cases:

  • You want to back up the configurations of your non-global zones as well as the application data.

  • Your primary concern is the ability to recover from a disaster. If you need to restore everything or almost everything on your system, including the root file systems of your zones and their configuration data as well as the data in your global zone, backups should take place in the global zone.

  • You have commercial network backup software.

    Note -  Your network backup software should be configured to skip all inherited lofs file systems if possible. The backup should be performed when the zone and its applications have quiesced the data to be backed up.

Backing Up Individual Non-Global Zones on Your System

    You might decide to perform backups within the non-global zones in the following cases.

  • The non-global zone administrator needs the ability to recover from less serious failures or to restore application or user data specific to a zone.

  • You use the backup software of a particular application or service running in a zone. It might be difficult to execute the backup software from the global zone because application environments, such as directory path and installed software, would be different between the global zone and the non-global zone.

    If the application can perform a snapshot on its own backup schedule in each non-global zone and store those backups in a writable directory exported from the global zone, the global zone administrator can pick up those individual backups as part of the backup strategy from the global zone.

Creating Oracle Solaris Unified Archive Backups

You can use the zonecfg and zoneadm commands to configure and to install new zones directly from a Unified Archive file. Unified Archive files contain both zone configuration and zone data. On the destination server, a zone can be configured and installed from the archive.

For more information, see Using Unified Archives for System Recovery and Cloning in Oracle Solaris 11.3 for a full description of Unified Archives, including usage for system and zone cloning and recovery.