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Ultimate Oracle Solaris 11.2 – Must known Features

The only one enterprise Unix environment is keep on changing according to the market demand which is none another than Oracle Solaris. When Solaris 11 released , i have very pleased with  image packaging system and network virtualization . Due to network virtualization,  zone can run with exclusive IP  irrespective of  physical NICS which was really great. But now oracle has surprised everyone with oracle Solaris 11.2 with wonderful features. It shows the oracle’s future plan  and they want to strongly compete  with hypervisors  on the market with using enterprise oracle Solaris technology.

Here we will see that what are the new features have been integrated with Oracle Solaris 11.2.

1. Openstack Integration:

From last one year everybody’s eye on Openstack. Openstack is a opensource cloud software which offers IAAS(Infrastructure as service),PAAS(Platform as service), SAAS (Software as Service.). Openstack has been integrated into the core technology foundations such as Oracle Solaris Zones, the ZFS file system, Unified Archives and comprehensive software defined networking. OpenStack on Oracle Solaris provides self-service computing which allows IT organizations to deliver services in minutes rather than months without compromising  enterprise level performance,reliability and security.

In other words, you can provision zones in seconds with open-stack horizon dashboard.

2. Kernel Zones:

I have been looking for this feature from Solaris 10 but now its become possible in Solaris 11.2. Kernel zones are completely  independent and isolated environment from global zone. Its increase operation flexibility and it can run on its own kernel. So kernel zones can run on different OS patch level from global zone. This is ideal solution for multi- tenant environments (If you use openstack) in which you can update zone without rebooting the global zone.

Adding to this ,It also supports nested virtualization. In other words, you can also install whole root zone on top of kernel zone.

3. Unified archives: 

Oracle Solaris 11.2 brought new type of archive method called , unified archives. Using this archive, you can backup entire system as bare-metal including zones.This backup archive can be used to restore the complete system during the disaster recovery situation. This archives also helps to moving to physical to virtual or virtual to physical including oracle Solaris zones , oracle VM for SPARC and oracle VM for X86. You can also covert the archives to usb bootable media or ISO.

4.Elastic Virtual Switch:

Elastic virtual switch feature enable to manage multiple virtual switches spread across difference physical machines. Virtual switch and software defined network were already included on solaris 11.1.

5.Comprehensive Compliance Checking and Reporting

Using new “compliance”, system can automatically check the critical update and provide the recommendation. It also check the security configuration settings and examine systems for sings of compromise.

6.Immutable Global Zone

In Solaris 11, we have heard about immutable local zones where zone’s root filesystem will be in read only mode.But in Solaris 11.2, oracle has introduced new feature is called “Immutable global zone”. In this global zone’s root filesysem will be in read only mode but maintenance tasks can be carried out via trusted login path.


Puppet is very famous IT automation software but now its part of oracle  Solaris 11.2. Using puppet, you can automate  repetitive tasks,deploying critical application ,proactively  managing changes on the system.

8.Minimal Server Group:

Oracle is providing new package group called “solaris-minimal-server” to install the smallest possible set of oracle Solaris packages.System can be updated in few minutes since only few packages needs to updated on this kind of deployment.

9.Oracle Database Prerequisites Package

Oracle database administrator will be much happier if their systems are running with Solaris 11.2 . Oracle Solaris 11.2 offers new group package “group/prerequisite/oracle/oracle-rdbms-server-12-1-preinstall” ensures that all the oracle database pre-requisite are installed on the system irrespective of server package group.

10. Bootable USB Media for SPARC & X86:

Bootable USB media is support on SPARC & X86 platforms. You can create a USB bootable image using distribution constructor and copy the image using usbcopy or dd commands to USB media.

Apart from that ZFS has been enhanced with reporting (Ex:while sending Streams using zfs send ) and 40% improvement on ZFS RAIDZ pool.

In Zones, 

You  can re-configure the zone on fly for changing the network configuration ,adding/removing filesystem and adding/removing virtual devices. You can rename the zone using zoneadm command easily if its in installed or configured state .

Virtual Extensible Local Area Network

Oracle Solaris 11.2 supports VXLAN’S which provides the great isolation on the cloud environments.  Traditional network isolation (VLAN), can have maximum 4000 networks where as VXLAN can provides 16-million isolated networks.

I did’t believe that Oracle has called Solaris 11 as first cloud Unix operating  but i have no doubt over Oracle Solaris 11.2. Its true cloud offering Unix operating system in the market today.

Hope you will also like Oracle Solaris 11.2 . Thank you for visiting UnixArena.


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