Oracle Solaris 11.2’s Virtual components

What are the virtual components available in Oracle Solaris 11.2 ? Since Oracle Solaris 11.2 supports openstack (for cloud deployment), what are the core components have been virtualized? In this article,we will see the virtual components  and how it will be useful in real life.For an example, if you want to provision 10 local zones with exclusive IP, You need 11  network interface cards on the system.(1 NIC for global zone). But normally, you won’t get that many NIC on the physical server and also the cost matters. In this case, if you virtualize the network, you will get N-number of virtual NICS and you can create N-number of zones with exclusive IP setup.

Here I  just compared the Oracle Solaris’s  virtual objects with Openstack interfaces.

Openstack on Solaris 11.2
Openstack on Solaris 11.2

Network Virtualization:

Oracle had just brought the LDOM’s networking concept under the operating system and that worked really well.Here we will see how we can create a virtual NIC. In Openstack, Neutron will be using this facility in the back-end.


  • Creating the virtual NIC’s:

1.List down the available physical network interface cards.

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm show-phys
LINK              MEDIA                STATE      SPEED  DUPLEX    DEVICE
net0              Ethernet             up         1000   full      e1000g0

2.Create a new virtual NIC on top of net0

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm create-vnic  -l net0 UAnet1
root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm show-vnic
LINK                OVER              SPEED  MACADDRESS        MACADDRTYPE VIDS
UAnet1              net0              1000   2:8:20:5b:69:ff   random      0

Same way , you can create N-number of VNIC on top of the physical NICS. Check out here to know more about VNIC.


  • Creating the virtual switch:

1.Create a virtual switch called vswitch1.

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm create-etherstub vswitch1
root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm show-etherstub

2.Create a VNIC and connect to the newly created virtual switch directly.

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm create-vnic -l vswitch1 APPNIC1
root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm
LINK                CLASS     MTU    STATE    OVER
net0                phys      1500   up       --
UAnet1              vnic      1500   up       net0
vswitch1            etherstub 9000   unknown  --
APPNIC1             vnic      9000   unknown  vswitch1

3.Create a second VNIC which also directly connected to vswitch1.

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm create-vnic -l vswitch1 DBNIC1
root@UA-GLOBAL:~# dladm
LINK                CLASS     MTU    STATE    OVER
net0                phys      1500   up       --
UAnet1              vnic      1500   up       net0
vswitch1            etherstub 9000   unknown  --
APPNIC1             vnic      9000   up       vswitch1
DBNIC1              vnic      9000   up       vswitch1

4. How this virtual switch will be useful ?
In the above task ,we have interconnected the newly created virtual switch and VNICs. If you are having DB zone and application zone on same global zone , you can route the traffic through virtual switch by assigning the VNIC’S to those zones. Check out here for more information.

Storage virtualization on Oracle Solaris 11.2:

Storage virtualization is become possible Oracle Solaris  with help of ZFS. ZFS is the default root filesystem from Oracle Solaris 11 onwards. ZFS has built-in volume manager which makes the things much easier compare to traditional filesystems/volume manager.Here we will see how we can create the virtual disks using ZFS.

Assume that , system has zpool called “UAVPOOL” .Let me create a 1GB virtual disk with the name of vdisk1 on top of UAVPOOL.

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# zfs create -V 1g UAVPOOL/vdisk1

The virtual disk’s device file will be ,

root@UA-GLOBAL:~# file /dev/zvol/dsk/UAVPOOL/vdisk1
/dev/zvol/dsk/UAVPOOL/vdisk1:   block special (279/3)

When virtual disk will be useful ?

To install the kernel zones ,you must provide the virtual disk .(This is  nothing but emulated volume). When you use openstack on Solaris , cinder/swift will be using ZFS in the back-end.

Compute Virualization:

Oracle Solaris’s OS/Compute virtualization has been established from Solaris 10 onwards with the name of zones. You can create a the zone with setup of resources (CPU/Memory) on the global zone. So zone can be directly mapped to Nova on the openstack .Oracle Solaris 11.2 supports following zones.

  1. Whole root zone (Native zone) (Solaris 11.2)
  2. Kernel zones (Solaris 11.2)
  3. Branded zone (Solaris 10)
  4. Immutable zone (Read-only local zone)

Unified Archive:

Unified archive will help you to produce the OS template with very minimal effort. This archive also use to recover the complete system along with zones. I have used unified archive to convert the native zone to kernel zone.  Openstack’s Glance will be using unified archive in the back-end.  I need another two more pages to list the use of Unified Archive. 

This article  may give idea about Oracle Solaris’s virtual objects and how its connected with openstack interface.

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