> 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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