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Frequently Asked Questions for Solaris 10 Containers General

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the Oracle Solaris 10 Containers product?

    Oracle Solaris 10 Containers is a software and support offering that helps customers to accelerate moving application environments currently using Oracle Solaris 10 to the latest Oracle systems running Oracle Solaris 11. Customers can run their Oracle Solaris 10 applications in Containers on Oracle Solaris 11 today.

    Oracle Solaris 10 Containers is intended to simplify the process of running Oracle Solaris 10 environments on Oracle Solaris 11. Its support offering allows a new way for customers get new patches for Oracle Solaris 10 environments running in Oracle Solaris Zones on Oracle Solaris 11.

    Oracle Solaris 10 Containers can only be purchased with a new Oracle server that is currently offered: SPARC M8-8, T8-1, T8-2, T8-4, T7-1, S7-2, S7-2L, Netra S7-2; Fujitsu M12-1, M12-2, M12-2S, M10-1, M10-4S; and Oracle Server X8-2, X8-2L, X8-8.

  • Oracle Solaris 10 Containers can only be deployed in Solaris Zones, but what about directly on a Logical Domain or "bare metal"?

    This product does not apply to running Oracle Solaris 10 on "bare metal" systems or installing it as the primary OS in a Logical Domain (LDom). In other words, it does not allow the installation of the Oracle Solaris 10 kernel.

  • Can customers test Oracle Solaris 10 Containers?

    All of the software needed to run Oracle Solaris 10 Containers is shipped with Oracle Solaris 11; however, a support contract is required in order to get new patches for the software.

    Also, customers will probably want to use a copy of an Oracle Solaris 10 environment from the source system that has their application installed in it.

    Alternately they can use a template Oracle Solaris 10 environment downloaded from here.

    Key Benefits

  • What are the benefits of using Oracle Solaris 10 Containers?

    For customers with legacy Oracle Solaris 10 environments, this additional Containers software helps you to quickly and easily consolidate one or many existing Oracle Solaris 10 systems onto a newer, more cost effective and more powerful Oracle system. Customers can then transition these environments to Oracle Solaris 11 at their own pace while removing the dependency on Oracle Solaris 10 support.

    How to Get Started

  • How does the Oracle Solaris 10 Containers software work?

    The Oracle Solaris 10 Containers product consists of two software components: a physical to virtual (P2V) conversion tool and an Oracle Solaris 10 Container.

    The P2V tool helps to move the application and its environment from the Oracle Solaris 10 system to the Oracle Solaris 11 system by converting it so it can run on this new platform.

    The second component, the Oracle Solaris 10 Container — also known as an Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zone — is the run time environment for the migrated Oracle Solaris 10 environment.

  • What does this conversion tool do?

    When the existing Oracle Solaris 10 environment is transferred to the destination system and placed in an Oracle Solaris 10 Container, and if necessary the installer adds a few patches to the Oracle Solaris 10 image and possibly turn a few unneeded services off to make it work correctly on the new system.

    This installation doesn't install a new version of Oracle Solaris 10. It creates the Solaris Container that will hold the Oracle Solaris 10 bits that were copied from the source system and puts those bits into the Container ready to run on the new system.

    Note, if the source image is an Oracle Solaris Zone, the conversion tool will probably have to do very little to the source image to convert it.

  • How does the Oracle Solaris 10 Container work?

    Oracle Solaris 10 Containers are based on "BrandZ" technology, a feature of Solaris Zones that allows an individual container to emulate an OS environment other than the native one of the global OS. System calls that differ between Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 are translated handled appropriately, creating a high-performance hosting environment for an existing image from an older system.

  • When should I use Oracle Solaris 10 Containers?

    Customers who want to move to the latest Oracle hardware and need to keep their Oracle Solaris 10 application environments for an additional period of time should consider using this offering.

    These offerings are not intended to be a permanent hosting environment for Oracle Solaris 10 applications. Instead this is a way to simplify the transition to Oracle Solaris 11 and makes it possible to approach it in multiple phases. Customers can first retire the older hardware and later complete the software transition to a native Oracle Solaris 11 environment.

  • What software do I need on the source and target systems to do the installation?

    The image capture on the source system needs no additional software because the existing capture and archive formats on Oracle Solaris 10 are supported.

    The target system needs Oracle Solaris 11 or later as its base. However it is highly recommended to use the latest Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU.

    Next, on the target system create and configure a new Oracle Solaris 10 Branded Zone, and everything is set. When installing the new zone, point to the Oracle Solaris 10 source archive and the install will restore the Oracle Solaris 10 environment is ready to run.

  • Can I use Oracle Solaris 11.4 features such as Boot Environments, Network Virtualization, and the StatsStore?

    Yes. Running with Oracle Solaris 11 as the base operating system means that many features that make Solaris 11 a significantly better environment than Oracle Solaris 10 automatically apply, including those which are transparent to applications.

    Boot Environments will automatically apply to the Oracle Solaris 10 Container, giving the Global Zone administrator the ability to roll back to an older version of your image.

    Similarly, using Network Virtualization in the Global Zone, the administrator can now create fully virtualized networks inside the system allowing the consolidation of various system within a single host. This can simplify management and speed up applications even more.

    The StatsStore also runs in the Global Zone, allowing administrators to measure CPU and Memory usage of the Oracle Solaris 10 Container as well as its Network Traffic and Storage I/O. Giving a much richer insight into the usage patterns of your application.

  • Where do I go to find more documentation of this offering?

    Support & Services

  • What is the service component for this offering?

    The software support offering is Oracle Premier Support for Oracle Solaris 10 Containers for one year term. This support plan equips customers to help them keep their applications on track and available. Note that the Oracle Solaris Brand Layer is covered under Oracle Solaris 11 OS.

  • What is the service component for this offering?

    The customer purchases a software license for each socket installed in the system and Oracle Premier Support for these licenses. Oracle Solaris 10 Containers has a single license part number for all types of systems.

    Additionally the customer will need Oracle Premier Support for Systems or OS for the underlying system.

    For example a T8-1 will require one Oracle Solaris 10 Containers license, and a M8-8 will require up to eight Oracle Solaris 10 Container licenses, depending on the number of sockets installed. This provides the customer the right to run Oracle Solaris 10 Containers in branded zones on top of Oracle Solaris 11 in those systems.

    When Premier Support is added to Oracle Solaris 10 Containers, the customer receives access all patches delivered to Oracle Solaris 10.

  • Does a customer have to get the Premier Support for this product to receive the patches?

    Yes, like with Oracle Solaris Legacy Containers the customer much purchase support if they want to get Oracle Solaris 10 patches.

  • Why is Oracle Premier Support for Systems or OS also required?

    Customers must also purchase an Oracle Premier Support for Systems or OS for each system covered. This ensures that customers having support issues related to the Solaris 11 OS are covered while using the Oracle Solaris 10 Containers.

    Oracle Solaris 10 Containers run on top of the Oracle Solaris 11 OS.

  • Can I limit the number of sockets licensed for Oracle Solaris 10 Containers, by limiting usage to an LDom or a certain number of cores?

    No. Oracle Solaris 10 Containers software has to be licensed for all the sockets installed in the server, regardless of any Logical Domain virtualization, or which sockets or cores are running Oracle Solaris 10 Containers.

  • I've just bought systems, can I buy the new product for these systems?

    Yes, recently bought SPARC M8/T8/T7-1/S7/Netra S7 servers, Fujitsu SPARC M10/M12 servers, and Oracle Server X8 systems will be eligible.

  • Can you run multiple Oracle Solaris 10 Containers on the same system?

    Yes, you can run Oracle Solaris 10 and Oracle Solaris 11 applications on the same system. The same restrictions apply as with normal Oracle Solaris Zones/Containers with regard to having enough CPU, memory, disk, etc. Thus, this tool a way to simultaneously consolidate and transition to newer hardware and OS technologies.

    The Oracle Solaris 10 Containers license and support will cover all the Oracle Solaris 10 application environments running on a single server. Thus consolidating multiple Oracle Solaris 10 applications on a single server is very cost-effective.

  • Which Oracle Solaris 10 versions will be supported?

    Currently all releases of Oracle Solaris 10 Update 9 and later are supported; however, later patch and update versions are preferred. If the version of Oracle Solaris 10 is older the appropriate extra patches can be applied when the Oracle Solaris 10 Container is installed on the target system.

  • Is this software easy for a customer to implement?

    While some customers have easily tested and deployed Oracle Solaris 10 Containers, other customers face unique challenges that require custom attention. Some customers may be moving multiple applications to a number of Oracle Solaris 10 Containers. In these complex situations we recommend that customers consider working with Oracle to reduce risks in production, stage and achieve successful migrations, improve IT efficiency and service delivery.

  • How does the licensing work inside other virtualization technologies like Logical Domains?

    Licensing is based on the number of CPU sockets per server. This is dictated by the number of sockets installed in the physical system.

    Supported Applications

  • Which applications are appropriate?

    While most applications will run in the new environment there are a few restrictions with Oracle Solaris 10. Therefore, a few applications will not run. The most common ones are applications which load kernel modules.

    If the application is already running in an Oracle Solaris Zone on the source system there should be no restrictions as running in the Oracle Solaris 10 Container on the target system will also run in an Oracle Solaris Zone.

  • Oracle guarantees that application binaries that run on previous releases of Solaris will continue to work on newer releases. If that's the case, why is Oracle making Oracle Solaris 10 Containers available?

    A large reason that Oracle can support Oracle Solaris 10 environments running in this way is due to the Binary Compatibility Guarantee and the resulting stability of our interfaces. This software makes sure that the whole environment runs on the new kernel not just the application.

    This BrandZ technology add additional compatibility beyond binary compatibility, thereby making it possible to support both the applications and the surrounding environment. Among other things, this bridging technology makes it easier to separate the migration of the application from the conversion of one's administrative environment and practices from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11.

  • What about patching?

    Oracle Solaris 10 patches can still be applied to the Oracle Solaris 10 environment from within the Container. However, since the kernel is actually the global Oracle Solaris 11 kernel, Oracle Solaris 10 patches that are intended to change the kernel will appear to install without error but will have no actual effect. In this case the equivalent Oracle Solaris 11 patch should be applied in the Global Zone, with an SRU if needed.

  • Do all the Oracle Solaris 10 Containers need to be at the same patch levels?

    No, because of the BrandZ translation layer every Container can be on its own distinct patch revision. This gives more freedom when consolidating multiple systems onto a single system.