Oracle Solaris Review

It includes two virtualization solutions: LDoms for SPARC and Solaris Zones. Both solutions can be combined to create private clouds.


What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle Solaris to develop and support our VDCF (Virtual Datacenter Cloud Framework) management software. Several virtual machines (LDoms and Zones) are used on SPARC and x86 Servers.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to deploy new environments very quickly and securely. Using the virtualization features, we can migrate the environments very flexibly between our servers.

What is most valuable?

Solaris includes two virtualization solutions: LDoms for SPARC and Solaris Zones. Both solutions can be combined to create private clouds. Solaris Zones is ideal to separate applications and to migrate from older to current hardware. LDoms is very efficient because it uses the hardware hypervisor of the SPARC servers.
Both technologies increase Security, because they separate the applications from each other. Using the Security Compliance Framework we are sure the systems are setup properly

What needs improvement?

Patching without downtime would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than ten years!

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Solaris is very robust and scalable. No issues so far scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle offers a good online support portal called "My Oracle Support", which includes a big knowledge base. Because Oracle is a very large organization, it sometimes takes a bit too much time for support requests to reach the right support engineer.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Used Solaris 10 before, but Solaris 11 is much easier and faster with patching.
Based on BootEnvironments and ZFS Solaris 11 always offers a failback.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Oracle has in-depth admin manuals. To speed up deployments, we implemented our own deployment and management framework VDCF.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it with our in-house team based on Oracle's best practices documents. With virtualization, we recommend to first define a standard on how to deploy and then to deploy using that standard, avoiding any variation. There are so many options, but our favorite is the fully-virtualized LDom with applications installed into Solaris Zones.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When buying a server from Oracle, all the software is included -- OS, virtualization and patches. There are no hidden costs. We like the long life cycle of Solaris and the SPARC servers. There's no need to replace the hardware every two to three years, and we have a life cycle of five years and more.

What other advice do I have?

Use deployment tools for automation and avoid doing everything manually. Deployment tools help to avoid errors and create a standardized environment.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

11
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're an ISV Partner of Oracle. I'm nominated as an Oracle ACE Director for Solaris.
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2 Comments

author avatarMarcel Hofstetter (JomaSoft)
Top 5Consultant

With Version 3.4 the LDoms feature vHBA (Virtual HBA) does now support MPxIO

author avatarDiego E. Aguirre
Top 5Real User

Thanks Marcel, for the Advice