Migrating Non-Global Zones in the Solaris 10 OS

This entry was posted in Solaris Administration and tagged , , on June 17, 2012, by

This document explains the process of migrating Solaris non-global zones from an old LUN to a new LUN. The target audience is system administrators for the Solaris Operating System and storage administrators.

This article covers the following topics:

  • Overview
  • Migration Theory
  • Prerequisites
  • Migration Procedure
  • References


Migration is the process of moving a zone from a disk to another. The need to move a zone might arise for any of the following reasons:

  • More disk space needs to be provided to the zone because of high data growth.
  • Modifications in data read/write speed will allow the zone to be moved to a higher-tier or lower-tier LUN.
  • You are adding a new file system to an existing zone.
  • You are adding new applications to an existing zone.

This document is focused only on the following zone architectures:

  • Zone root file systems mounted on a metadevice
  • Zone application file systems mounted on a separate metadevice with dedicated space

Migration Theory

Migration happens in two phases:

  • Migrating the application file system
  • Migrating the root file system

Migration be visualized as shown in Figure 1.

Diagram of Migration Process

In Figure 1, before migration, the root and application file systems reside on a metadevice, and in the new LUN, a metaset is used to accommodate the file systems. Metasets provide the following advantages:

  • More than one LUN can be included in the set to accommodate data growth.
  • A file system can be created on soft partitions that can be logically spread out on different LUNs.
  • If a new file system or application needs to be added to the zone, it can be done just by adding new LUNs to the metaset and creating the required number of soft partitions.


Before you start the zone migration process, capture the output of the following commands. The output would be helpful in a backout plan.

df -kh (For both global and non-global zones)

metaset -s SetName -p
metastat -p
luxadm probe

Also capture the output of the following commands for Veritas Volume Manager:

vxdisk list
vxprint -g <diskgroup> -hmQqs
vxdg list

If any of the file systems from the zone are shared as NFS file systems, unshare them before the migration to prevent the file systems from being locked at the target.

Migration Procedure

Follow these steps to perform the migration process:

1. Create a metaset:

metaset -s s10-12 -a -h <HostName>

2. Add the new LUN to the metaset:

metaset -s s10-12 -a /dev/rdsk/<NewLUN>

3. Create a RAID-0 (stripe) volume on the new LUN:

metainit -s s10-12 d300 1 1 /dev/rdsk/<NewLUN>

d300 is the RAID-0 volume name.

4. Enable the metaset; then the volume is ready to be used by soft partitions.

metaset -s s10-12 -A enable

5. Create the required number of soft partitions with the required space.

The number of soft partitions equals the number of zone root file systems plus the number of zone application file systems.

metainit -s s10-12 d200 -p d300 4gb
metainit -s s10-12 d201 -p d300 50gb

Initialize the soft partitions with the required storage space that has to be allocated.

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