Creating an Application Zone on a SuperCluster

Application Zones on a SuperCluster Solaris 11 LDOM are subject to a lot fewer restrictions than the Exadata Database Zones. This also means that the documentation is less proscriptive and detailed.

This post will show a simple Solaris 11 zone creation, it is meant for example purposes only and not as a product. I am going to use a T5 SuperCluster for this walkthrough. The main difference you will need to consider for a M7 SuperCluster are:

  1. both heads of the ZFS-ES are active so you will need to select the correct head and infiniband interface name.
  2. there is only 1 QGBE card available per PDOM. This means you may need to present vnics from the domain that owns the card for the management network if you require this connectivity.


Useful Related MOS Notes


As per note 2041460.1 the best practice for creating the file systems for the zone root filesystem is to  1 LUN per LDOM and create a filesystem on this shared pool for each application zone. Reservations and quotas can be used to prevent a zone from using more that its share.

You need to make sure you calculate minimum number of cores required for the global-zone  as per note 1625055.1

You  need to make sure that the IPS repos are all available, and that any IDRs  you have applied to your global zone are available.


Put entries into global zone’s hostfile to for  your new zone.  I will use 3 addresses, one for the 1gbit management network, 1 for the 10gbit client network and 1 for the infiniband network on the storage partition (p8503).   sc5bcn01-d4 sc5b01-d4      sc5102-d4-storIB


Create an iscsi LUN for the zone root filesystem if you do not already have one already defined to hold zone roots. I am going to use the script that is designed for use  by other tools which create the Exadata Database Zones. The good thing about using this is it follows the naming convention etc. used for the other zones. However, it is not installed by default on Application zones (it is provided by the system/platform/supercluster/iscsi package in the exa-family repository) and this is not a supported use of the script.

  • -z is the name of my ZFS-ES
  • -i is the 1gbit hostname of my globalzone
  • -n and -N are used by the exavm utility to create the LUNs. In our case they will both be set to 1.
  • -s The size of the LUN to be created.
  • -l the volume block size. I have selected 32K, you may have other performance metrics that lead you to a different block size.
root@sc5bcn01-d3:/opt/oracle.supercluster/bin# ./ create  \
-z sc5bsn01 -i sc5bcn01-d3  -n 1 -N 1 -s 500G -l 32K
Verifying sc5bcn01-d3 is an initiator node
The authenticity of host 'sc5bcn01-d3 (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 72:e6:d1:a1:be:a3:b3:d9:96:ea:77:61:bd:c7:f8:de.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Getting IP address of IB interface ipmp1 on sc5bsn01
Setting up iscsi service on sc5bcn01-d3
Setting up san object(s) and lun(s) for sc5bcn01-d3 on sc5bsn01
Setting up iscsi devices on sc5bcn01-d3
c0t600144F0F0C4EECD00005436848B0001d0 has been formatted and ready to use

Create a zpool to hold all of your zone roots

root@sc5bcn01-d3:/# zpool create zoneroots c0t600144F0F0C4EECD00005436848B0001d0

Now create a filesystem for your zone root and set a quota on it (optional).

root@sc5bcn01-d3:/# zfs create zoneroots/sc5b01-d4-rpool 
root@sc5bcn01-d3:/# zfs set quota=100G zoneroots/sc5b01-d4-rpool

Create partitions so your zone can access the IB Storage Network (optional, but nice to have, and my example will include them). First locate the interfaces that have access to the IB Storage Network partition  (PKEY=8503) using dladm and then create partitions using these interfaces.

root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# dladm show-part
LINK         PKEY  OVER         STATE    FLAGS
stor_ipmp0_0 8503  net7         up       f---
stor_ipmp0_1 8503  net8         up       f---
bondib0_0    FFFF  net8         up       f---
bondib0_1    FFFF  net7         up       f---
root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# dladm create-part -l net8 -P 8503 sc5b01d4_net8_p8503
root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# dladm create-part -l net7 -P 8503 sc5b01d4_net7_p8503

Create the Zone

Prepare your zone configuration file, here is mine. Note, I have non-standard link names to make it more readable. You will need to use ipadm to determine the lower-link names  that match your system

create -b
set brand=solaris
set zonepath=/zoneroots/sc5b01-d4-rpool
set autoboot=true
set ip-type=exclusive
add net
set configure-allowed-address=true
set physical=sc5b01d4_net7_p8503
add net
set configure-allowed-address=true
set physical=sc5b01d4_net8_p8503
add anet
set linkname=net0
set lower-link=auto
set configure-allowed-address=true
set link-protection=mac-nospoof
set mac-address=random
add net
set linkname=mgmt0
set lower-link=net0
set configure-allowed-address=true
set link-protection=mac-nospoof
set mac-address=random
add net
set linkname=mgmt1
set lower-link=net1
set configure-allowed-address=true
set link-protection=mac-nospoof
set mac-address=random
add anet
set linkname=client0
set lower-link=net2
set configure-allowed-address=true
set link-protection=mac-nospoof
set mac-address=random
add anet
set linkname=client1
set lower-link=net5
set configure-allowed-address=true
set link-protection=mac-nospoof
set mac-address=random


Implement the zone configuration using your pre-configured file or type it in manually..

root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# zonecfg -z sc5b01-d4 -f <yourzonefile>


Install the zone. Optionally you can specify a template to install required packages on top of the standard solaris-small-server group, or specify another package group. I base this on the standard xml file used by zone installs and customize the <software data> section (see this blog post here  for an example)

root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# cp /usr/share/auto_install/manifest/zone_default.xml myzone.xml
root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# zoneadm -z sc5b01-d4 install -m myzone.xml

Next you boot the zone, and use zlogin -C to login to the console and answer the usual Solaris configuration questions about root password, timezone, locale. I do not usually configure the networking at this time, and add it later.

root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# zoneadm -z sc5b01-d4 boot
root@sc5bcn01-d3:~# zlogin -C sc5b01-d4

Create the required networking

# ipadm create-ip  mgmt0
# ipadm create-ip  mgmt1
# ipadm create-ip  client1
# ipadm create-ip  client0
# ipadm create-ipmp -i mgmt0 -i mgmt1 scm_ipmp0
# ipadm create-ipmp -i client0 -i client1 sc_ipmp0
# ipadm create-addr -T static -a local= sc_ipmp0/v4
# ipadm create-addr -T static -a local= scm_ipmp0/v4
# route -p add default
# ipadm create-ip sc5b01d4_net8_p8503
# ipadm create-ip sc5b01d4_net7_p8503
# ipadm create-ipmp -i sc5b01d4_net8_p8503 -i sc5b01d4_net7_p8503 stor_ipmp0
# ipadm set-ifprop -p standby=on -m ip sc5b01d4_net8_p8503
# ipadm create-addr -T static -a local= stor_ipmp0/v4

Optional Post Install steps

Root Login

Allow root to login over ssh by editing /etc/ssh/sshd_config and changing PermitRootLogin=no to PermitRootLogin=yes.
# svcadm restart ssh

Configure DNS support

# svccfg -s dns/client setprop config/search = astring: ""
# svccfg -s dns/client setprop config/nameserver = net_address: \(\)
# svccfg -s dns/client refresh 
# svccfg -s dns/client:default  validate
# svccfg -s dns/client:default  refresh 
# svccfg -s /system/name-service/switch setprop config/default = astring: \"files dns\"
# svccfg -s system/name-service/switch:default refresh
# svcadm enable dns/client


 Resource Capping

At the time of writing (20/04/16) virtual and physical memory capping is not supported on SuperCluster. This is mentioned in Oracle Support Document 1452277.1 (SuperCluster Critical Issues) as issue SOL_11_1.

Creating Processor sets and associating with your zone

See more detail about pools and processor sets on my blog here and here.And of course in the Solaris 11.3 manuals.

A quick summary of the commands follows.

This creates a fixed size processor set, consisting of 64 threads.

poolcfg -c "create pset (uint pset.min = 64; uint pset.max = 64)" /etc/pooladm.conf

Then a pool is created, and associated with the processor set.

poolcfg -c "create pool" /etc/pooladm.conf
poolcfg -c "associate pool (pset" /etc/pooladm.conf
poolcfg -c 'modify pool (string pool.scheduler="TS")' /etc/pooladm.conf

Enable the pool configuration saved in /etc/pooladm.conf

pooladm -c

modify the zone config to set the pool

zonecfg -z sc5bcn02-d4
zonecfg:sc5bcn02-d4> set
zonecfg:sc5bcn02-d4> verify
zonecfg:sc5bcn02-d4> commit

Then you can stop and restart the zone to associate it with the processor set.


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