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System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System
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About Virtualization

The goal of virtualization is to move from managing individual datacenter components to managing pools of resources. Successful server virtualization can lead to improved server utilization and more efficient use of server assets. Server virtualization is also important for successful server consolidation projects that maintain the isolation of separate systems.

Virtualization is driven by the need to consolidate multiple hosts and services on a single machine. Virtualization reduces costs through the sharing of hardware, infrastructure, and administration. Benefits include the following:

  • Increased hardware utilization

  • Greater flexibility in resource allocation

  • Reduced power requirements

  • Fewer management costs

  • Lower cost of ownership

  • Administrative and resource boundaries between applications on a system

Virtualization products offered by Sun Microsystems include the following:

  • Logical Domains (LDoms), the SPARC hypervisor virtualization solution for running multiple operating system instances on a single machine simultaneously

  • SunTM xVM hypervisor, the x86 hypervisor virtualization solution for running multiple operating system instances on a single machine simultaneously

  • Native and branded zones containers, which provide isolated execution environments within a Solaris operating system instance and can be run within a Solaris guest domain

  • Resource management features, which enable you to control how applications use available system resources

  • Network virtualization features

Operating system-level virtualization features, such as zones or resource management, can be used in LDoms and in Sun xVM guest domains that have a Solaris release installed in them. Network virtualization is used throughout virtualization technologies.

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