> One thing I've found to be true though: either a machine is all zoned, or not.
> It gets horribly confusing to have real activity in the global zone,
> where you can half see the non-global zones, so if you have zones 
> on a machine then it's easier to run nothing in the global zone and 
> just use it as an administrative container.

Since you brought it up. I think what we really need is an officially supported 
OpenSolaris Indiana 2009.xx SERVER distribution from Sun Microsystems that can 
be downloaded from genunix.org and does what you just described: i.e. it 
installs itself with no X-windows and just runs as a command line only minimal 
"administrative container" for zones with no GNOME desktop, no Thunderbird mail 
reader, no GNOME games, etc. etc.

A lot of my paying clients are big time Linux users, they pay $$$$ for RHEL and 
for the long term supported versions of Ubuntu Server, etc. and they have been 
wanting to try migrating some server instances over to OpenSolaris Indiana 
within the last six months or so to gain benefits from zones and ZFS, they like 
OpenSolaris Indiana for the most part, but they've been very turned off by the 
fact that OpenSolaris Indiana forces them to have all this desktop software 
installed when what they really want is a minimal server OS (similar to 
Ubuntu's "Ubuntu Server" distribution that comes without a GNOME desktop) and 
they also didn't like the fact that I wasn't able to deploy any new zones for a 
while when the IPS repository went down a while ago. They want this minimal 
server OS to have a global zone that is a minimal administrative container for 
non-global zones (i.e. one zone having an Apache web server, one zone having 
BIND / named, another zone having Postfix / Dovecot / Squir
 relmail for webmail) but with nothing really running in the global zone except 
for maybe an SSH server.

Nexenta Core already kind of does most of what we want and seems attractive, 
but I really want to buy the official support for Sun (and I'm sure you guys at 
Sun wouldn't mind having some more support contract money sent your way). 
Almost nobody I know buys thousands of dollars of support a year for a desktop 
operating system, so by Sun not providing an officially supported and separate 
2009.xx Server distribution that we can buy support for, they are hurting their 
own business by forcing us against our will to look elsewhere (i.e. to Nexenta 
Core) to find the minimal OpenSolaris-based server OS that we need.

Our requirements are to go into production with OpenSolaris are this:

(1) The ability to install something that is basically the same as OpenSolaris 
Indiana 2009.06 but without X-windows and without a GNOME desktop.

(2) Our biggest #1 issue is that the "administrative container" global zone 
should have a local on-disk mirror of Sun's IPS repository that acts as the 
main IPS package repository for all the zones.... i.e. when someone creates a 
new zone or logs into a zone and uses "pkg install" to install something, it 
should perhaps install the package from the global zone to the non-global zone 
using an internal network based on Project Crossbow. That way we only download 
all the packages once to the global zone and leave them there (this is a server 
and uptime is important, so we don't plan on doing a pkg image-update more than 
once a year) and we don't want to be forced to waste precious network bandwidth 
downloading unnecessarily redundant data from Sun's IPS repository every time 
we install a new package.

(3) All of our e-mail servers run on Postfix and Dovecot. So an officially 
supported SUNWpostfix package like the one that Sun uses to run all the 
opensolaris.org mailing lists would be appreciated (my clients don't like the 
idea of IPSpostfix not being officially supported by Sun).

Do you guys think that these three things are doable in the next year? Or 
should I give up on trying to use OpenSolaris in production and buying support 
contracts from Sun? My clients are getting kind of impatient with the wait.
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