P2V Migration From Solaris 10 Global Zone to Oracle Solaris 11 Local Zone (Solaris 10 Branded Zone)

The aim of this post is to describe a Physical to Virtual (P2V) migration of a Bare-Metal Solaris 10 (a Physical Node) on a Solaris 11 Global Zone (Solaris 10 Branded Zone on Oracle Solaris 11). The scenario describes below involves a Solaris 10 Physical node named oranode (hosts an Oracle Database 10G and another Oracle application) and a Solaris 11 Global Zone named sol11-gz (already hosting some other Local Zones). 
In order to make this migration easily understandable, It has been technically divided in in 03 parts, the first parts deals with Analysis of the Source System, the second is about System/Data Collection and the third is about Target Zone Configuration and Installation.

I. Analysis of the Source System

The Data Analysis phase aims to collect some initial analysis Data. Oracle has provided a very nice tool for that phase, namely zonep2vchk. zonep2vchk serves two functions. First, it can be used to report issues on the source which might prevent a successful p2v migration. Second, it can output a template zonecfg, which can be used to assist in configuring the non-global zone target (man page).
The /usr/sbin/zonep2vchk script is belonging to pkg:/system/zones on Solaris 11 and can be copied from an Oracle Solaris 11 system to an Oracle Solaris 10 system. It is not required to run this utility from a specific location on the system.
Below, we're copying this utility to our Solaris 10 (oranode) and then we're running it with the option -T S11 which specifies that the target node for our planned migration of this Solaris 10 System is running on Oracle Solaris 11.

Quite verbose! Indeed this initial analysis give us a lot of insights for the whole p2v procedure. For example, we can see that in this study case, we have much more than 01 ZFS Zpool (beside the initial rpool). These are File-system which host the Oracle Database 10G (mentioned above) Data Files.
Thus, we must decide how these  application Data's file-systems will be migrated. The strategy we're applying here is to migrate just the Operating System (excluding the Application Data File-System), and use SAN replication for the Application Data. Note that this decision is based on the source system architecture (we may for example decide to go for a zfs send/receive if these Data file-system are not located on an external storage…).

Once done with that, we complete this analysis phase by creating a template file for the Target Zone Creation (using the same zonep2vchk tool with the option -c). This is just a template , it is used to ease the creation of the target Zone and should be adjusted to suit with the requirement of the target environment.

II. System/Data Collection

This phase aims to collect Source System's Data (Solaris 10 System - oranode) and transferred them to the Target System (Solaris 11 Global Zone - s11-gz). As discussed during the analysis phase, I have decided to migrate System Data and Application Data in separate processes.
For the system, I’m making use of the classic flarcreate to generate system archive (due to the presence of Data File-System that i'd like to exclude, i'm using CPIO as method to archive the file). For the Application Data, they're being migrated using External Storage Cloning features (not described here!). 

The transfer of this archive to the target Global Zone can be done using any conventional method (scp/sftp/ftp, SAN Replication...). Once completed, we can move to the last part.

III. Target Zone Configuration and Installation

Now that we've the Data Collection phase completed, we’re going to create the target zone and start the restoration of the flararchive that was created. We’ll also add the Zpool Dataset which were migrated using the SAN replication features.
The zone will be created using the template that was generated by the zonep2vchk tool (we'll obviously customize it to fit the target environment). Before starting, we have to create the zonepath needed for the target zone and import the zpool that was migrated through the SAN replication.

Let’s now configure our new local zone by using the template generated by zonep2vchk tool during the first phase.

Having the configuration done, we can start the zone Installation

Finally, We are adding the ZFS dataset migrated through SAN Replication,

And the big moment! Boot the new zone...


  1. The article is very well describing the concept of p2v migration
    From Solaris 10 Global Zone to Oracle Solaris 11 Local Zone, i was looking for such type of integration process, it is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well written post. I appreciate your guidance for sharing about Cloud. I really need to know about it. Great work!