Oracle release Solaris 11 Express, with new virtualization features

Last week Oracle released the first rebranded version of Solaris since the Sun acquisition: Solaris Express 11.

The OS has a few, but interesting new features for its embedded OS virtualization platform, Solaris Zones (formerly Solaris Containers):

  • Virtual networking
    Each zone can have its own virtual NIC, with quota and priority assigned.
  • Support for Solaris 10
    An instance of Solaris 10 can be hosted inside a Solaris 11 zone after a virtual to virtual (V2V) or physical to virtual (P2V) migration, maintaining a fully independent network stack.
  • Zone monitoring
    A new command provides resources usage statistics for any specific zone.
  • Administration Delegation
    Specific administration tasks related to any zone can be delegated through a role-based access control (RBAC) model.


It’s worth to remind that Solaris Express is the development version of Solaris. It gets updated more frequently (it used to be on monthly basis under Sun tenure) and it’s not guaranteed that all its features will be included in the production-ready version of the OS: Solaris 11, in this specific case.