How to Create Oracle Solaris 11 Zones with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center

by Laura Hartman

How to create and configure an Oracle Solaris 11 non-global zone from the Plan Management View of Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c.


Published August 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c manages Oracle hardware, virtualization technologies, and operating systems that are deployed in traditional, virtualized, and cloud environments. This article describes how you can use it to create and configure Oracle Solaris 11 zones.  The zones you create with this procedure will have these characteristics:

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  • SAN storage is used for the zone and NAS storage is used for the zone metadata.
  • The zone is installed from the Oracle Solaris 11 Software Update library. When you install from this repository, the default software group (solaris-small-server) uses less space than when you install from an OS image.

With this configuration, you can add the zone to a server pool and use the zone migration feature. See the "See Also" section for links to related information about different zone configurations, including choosing the type of storage library, complex network configurations, and server pools that enable you to migrate zones within the pool.

About Oracle Solaris 11 Zones

With Oracle Solaris Zones, you can create one or more virtualized operating systems on a single Oracle Solaris 11 operating system (OS). Each zone is an isolated OS environment that you can use to run applications. The applications and processes that are running in one zone do not affect what is running in other zones.

You can create Oracle Solaris 10 branded zones or Oracle Solaris 11 non-global zones in an Oracle Solaris 11 environment. When you create a zone in Oracle Solaris 11, it uses the following:

  • A root file system that does not share components of the global zone's root file system (whole root zones). The default root file system size is 8 GB.
  • Exclusive IP addresses.
  • The ZFS file system.

You must provide storage for the zone and zone metadata. When you create a zone, you assign it to one of the storage libraries associated with its virtual host.

  • Zone data: The zone's data results from the zone's operations. You can store zone data in a local library or a SAN storage library. For zone migration, store the zone data in a SAN storage library.
  • Metadata: The zone's metadata is the configuration of the zone's operating system, CPU, memory, and network. You can store metadata in a local library or in a NAS library. For zone migration, store the metadata in a NAS storage library.

In Oracle Solaris 11, root is not a regular account; it is a role. With the default Oracle Solaris 11 setup, where root is just a role, you cannot log in as root. Instead, you must create an account to log in. With Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, you have the option to create a special user account or log in as root.

You can create new zones from the Asset view or from the Plan Management view of Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center. This article describes how to create a zone from the Plan Management view.

What You Will Need

This example stores the zone data on a SAN storage device and the metadata in a NAS library.

You need the following before you can create an Oracle Solaris 11 zone:

  • A discovered and agent-managed Oracle Solaris 11 OS.
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center installed on Oracle Solaris 11.
  • An Oracle Solaris 11 Software Update library that is configured to synchronize with the Oracle Solaris 11 Package Repository.
  • SAN storage for the zone data. You need at least 6 GB of virtual disk for zone storage.
  • A NAS storage device for the zone metadata.
  • A network that is associated with the global zone and is available for the zone. This example uses the default network that is created when you manage the OS.
  • An IP address for the zone.
  • A username and password to log in to the zone. This is the user account that you will use to log in to the zone.
  • The roles and permissions to complete the tasks. You need the following Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center roles:

    • Plan/Profile Admin to create and manage zone profiles and plans
    • Virtualization Admin to create and manage the zones

Refer to the "See Also" section for links to related information and articles about how to set up and synchronize an Oracle Solaris 11 Software Update library, how to discover and manage an operating system, how to prepare your storage and network infrastructures, and how to modify user roles and permissions.

Overview of the Process

You perform the following steps to create an Oracle Solaris 11 zone:

  • First, you create an Oracle Solaris 11 zone profile and plan. The profile captures the zone configuration, including defining the storage and network details. The plan executes the configuration on selected targets. You can use and reuse the profile and plan to create zones with a consistent configuration.
  • Then you deploy the plan to create a new zone. When you deploy a plan, you identify the target operating systems and the number of zones to create. Before you submit the job to deploy the plan, you can modify some of the configuration details. In this example, the profile uses a default host name that you will modify when you deploy the plan.

Creating an Oracle Solaris 11 Zone Profile and Plan

Creating a zone profile defines the zone configuration details and creates a deployment plan.

  1. Click Plan Management, and then expand Profiles and Policies. Right-click Oracle Solaris Zone, and then click Create Profile, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

  2. Enter a name and description for the profile, and then select Solaris 11 from the Subtype list. The option to create a deployment plan for this profile is selected.

    Figure 2

    Figure 2

  3. To identify the zones that are created with this profile, enter a zone prefix name, such as Myzone, and a number to start the series. The name of a new zone includes its number. Do not add any tags for the zone.

    Figure 3

    Figure 3

  4. Select Install from IPS Repository, and then click Next.

    Figure 4

    Figure 4

  5. Select Shared for CPU Model and define one CPU share. Set the memory thresholds and verify that the locked memory threshold value is less than or equal to the physical memory threshold. To enable automatic recovery of the zone and to specify the priority level of the recovery, select the Automatic Recovery checkbox, and then enter the priority level.

    In this example, the recovery priority of this zone is 17. If there are enough resources to recover only three zones, only the zones with highest numbers are recovered. For example, if you have a global zone with five zones (z1, z2, z3, z4, and z5) with respective priorities of 6, 30, 17, 66, and 100, when there are enough resources to recover only three zones, only z5(100), z4(66) and z2(30) are recovered.

    Figure 5

    Figure 5

  6. The default root file system appears. Do not define additional file systems. You define the SAN storage when you apply the deployment plan. Click Next.

    Figure 6

    Figure 6

  7. Select NAS Filesystem Storage and metadata in the drop-down lists. Select Static Block Storage as the SAN storage for the zone data. Select the library and size. This example uses 20 GB in SAN storage; the minimum required size is 8 GB. Click Next.

    Figure 7

    Figure 7

  8. The default network domain appears on the page. Enter a network for the zone and the number of connections.

    Figure 8

    Figure 8

  9. Define the language, time zone, terminal type, and root password for the zone and for all zones that you create with this profile.

    1. A naming service is not configured in the environment, so accept the default value, dynamic, for NFSv4 Domain Name.
    2. Enter the root password.
    3. Set the boot properties for the new zone. You can set the zone to boot after it is created or whenever the global zone boots.
    Figure 9

    Figure 9

  10. Create a zone user account by entering your name, a username, and a password. The name must begin with a letter and can contain only letters and numbers. Click Next.

    Note: You are not required to create a user account. If you do not create a user account, you must still provide a root password. In this case, root is a regular user.

    Figure 10

    Figure 10

  11. Click Next to skip specifying the zone naming service.

    Figure 11

    Figure 11

  12. Click Finish to create the zone profile and deployment plan.

    The zone profile and the corresponding deployment plan appear in the list of Oracle Solaris zone profiles and Oracle Solaris zone plans.

    Figure 12

    Figure 12

Deploying the Plan to Create a New Zone

Use the plan that you created in "Creating an Oracle Solaris 11 Zone Profile and Plan" to create a zone, and then view the new zone in the UI. You have the opportunity to make changes in the plan before you submit the job to apply the plan.

  1. Click Plan Management, expand the deployment plans, and then right-click the Oracle Solaris Zone plan that you created in the previous section.

    Figure 13

    Figure 13

  2. Click Apply Deployment Plan.

    Figure 14

    Figure 14

  3. Select a global zone target from the Available Items list. Click Add to Target List. Use the default setting for applying the plan with minimal interaction. Click Next.

    Figure 15

    Figure 15

  4. Specify the zone identity. The fields are populated with the information from the profile.

    Figure 16

    Figure 16

  5. The zone storage is populated based on the profile. Click Next.

    Figure 17

    Figure 17

  6. Select Exclusive for Zone IP Stack. Select a network from the list of available networks, and then enter the IP address in the IP Range field. Click Next.

    Figure 18

    Figure 18

  7. The Network Resource Assignments page shows the host name, shared network, and IP address that you defined in the profile. In the Host Name field, change the name from the default name that you provided in the profile to a different name. In this example, change the host name from Myzone to xvm-vhost2.

    You can change the following parameters before you deploy the plan:

    • Host name: You can change the zone's host name to be different from the zone name, which might be useful when you are using a naming server.
    • Network connections: You can add, modify, or delete network connections. For example, you can have Network1 and Network2. When you create two zones, you can connect Myzone1 to Network1 and Network 2 and connect Myzone2 to Network1 and remove Network2.
    • IP address: The IP address for a set of zones appears in a range. You can enter the IP addresses in a comma-delimited list.
    Figure 19

    Figure 19

  8. Schedule the job to run now.

    Figure 20

    Figure 20

  9. Click Apply to run the job. When the job finishes successfully, the new zone appears in the Asset tree.
  10. Click the operating system in the Assets section of the Navigation pane to see the dashboard with both zones.

    Figure 21

    Figure 21

  11. Click the zone in the Assets section of the Navigation pane to see the zone dashboard.

    Figure 22

    Figure 22

What's Next?

The zone is available for you to use as a separate operating system. Use actions in the user interface to manage the zone and perform operations, such as rebooting and halting the operating system. Manage your zone's performance, including viewing the CPU utilization at the zone level, with the OS Analytics feature. You can reuse your Oracle Solaris Zones deployment plan to quickly add zones when and where you need them.

To improve high availability, you can use the zone created here in a zone server pool. A zone server pool is a group of zones that use the same network and storage resources. You can share resources among the zone members, schedule load balancing, minimize power consumption, and move zones to different physical servers within the pool.

See Also

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c documentation is located at http://www.oracle.com/pls/topic/lookup?ctx=oc121. See the following:

  • The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Feature Reference Guide has information about asset management, the Oracle Solaris 11 Software Update library, storage, networks, zones, and server pools.
  • The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Administration Guide has information about user roles and permissions.

More examples are available in Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center how-to documentation library at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E27363_01/nav/howto.htm.

For in-depth information about zones, see the Oracle Solaris Zones documentation at http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23824_01/html/821-1460/index.html.

About the Author

Laura Hartman is a Principal Technical Writer for Oracle. For the past several years she has been developing documentation for Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center. Prior to that, Laura created technical documentation for several different companies, including system management software for Sun Microsystems, e-commerce software for General Electric, and user documentation for financial institutions.

Revision 1.0, 08/15/2012