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System Administration Guide: Security Services
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Auditing on a System With Zones

A zone is a virtualized operating system environment that is created within a single instance of the Solaris OS. The auditing service audits the entire system, including activities in zones. A system that has installed non-global zones can run a single audit service to audit all zones identically. Or, it can configure one audit service per zone, including the global zone.

Sites that satisfy the following conditions can run a single audit service:

  • The site requires a single-image audit trail.

  • The non-global zones are used as application containers. The zones are part of one administrative domain. That is, no non-global zone has customized name service files.

    If all the zones on a system are within one administrative domain, the zonename audit policy can be used to distinguish audit events that execute in different zones.

  • Administrators want low audit overhead. The global zone administrator audits all zones identically. Also, the global zone's audit daemon serves all zones on the system.

Sites that satisfy the following conditions can run one audit service per zone:

  • The site does not require a single-image audit trail.

  • The non-global zones have customized name service files. These separate administrative domains typically function as servers.

  • Individual zone administrators want to control auditing in the zones that they administer. In per-zone auditing, zone administrators can decide to enable or to disable auditing for the zone that they administer.

The advantages of per-zone auditing are a customized audit trail for each zone, and the ability to disable auditing on a zone by zone basis. These advantages can be offset by the administrative overhead. The zone administrator customizes every audit configuration file. Each zone runs its own audit daemon, and has its own audit queue and audit logs. The zone's audit log files must be managed.

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