The Oracle Solaris Unified Archives feature supports multiple system archives that consist of one or more point-in-time system archive images in a single file format. Unified Archives can contain one or more archived instances of Solaris from a single host. You can select individual installed zones to include during archive creation, while the host itself is optional. Unified archives provide similar functionality to the Oracle Solaris Flash Archive installation method that is supported in Oracle Solaris 10.
You can deploy a unified archive to perform system recovery, cloning, or migration by using any of the following methods:
AI installation method
Oracle Solaris Zones utilities
Unified Archive bootable media
In Oracle Solaris 10, the Oracle Solaris Flash Archive installation method is used. Introduced before the wide adoption of virtual systems, flash archives are designed to create and deploy OS instances for bare metal systems. Flash archives capture file system data from a running system and any system-related metadata. However, to support boot environments (BEs), the Image Packaging System (IPS), and the various virtualized technologies that are used in Oracle Solaris 11, a more flexible and robust archive solution was required. Unified Archives provide support for virtualized environments, such as zones, as well as cross platform portability within the same hardware architecture.
The archiveadm command enables you to create system archive images of a running Oracle Solaris system for the purposes of system cloning and recovery. You can also use the command to obtain information about existing archives and create bootable media from an archive. See archiveadm(1M).
For additional information, see Using Unified Archives for System Recovery and Cloning in Oracle Solaris 11.3.