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My First Solaris Zone

I used to run my blog on my own server in a virtual machine on a box in our lab. It was connected outside the firewall on FreeBSD, and lived happily in the wild for about three years. Recently we’ve changed our infrastructure around for internet connectivity, forcing me to move that virtual machine. At the prompting of Bart, who is paranoid that I might write something that gets slashdotted, I decided to move my blog to a hosting provider, and I selected WordPress.

My old blog on Movable Type on my old server had a number of images which were linked in blog posts. I didn’t want to edit dozens of blog posts and change URLS of images (because I’m lazy) so I just moved my old VM to my workstation, ran it in VMware Server, and poked it through the firewall so that the images would work. That was suboptimal because my workstation isn’t always on, and I don’t have extra resources to run a VM all the time.

To improve the situation I decided that I needed to move the images to a little apache server somewhere other than my workstation. I have also been trying to figure out how Solaris 10 zones work, and we just happen to have this nice presently under-utilized Sun x4500 (we bought it for the 24 TB of storage) sitting in our server room. A solution and a learning opportunity collided and I decided to build a webserver with Apache2 inside a Solaris zone, and stick my images from my Blog on there.

I created a new zone, with a new IP address using zonecfg and zoneadm. Then I installed and configured it, and started it up. I installed the apache2 package from Blastwave, created a user for myself inside the zone, and configured apache to allow user directories. Then I just copied my file content over from my old virtual machine, changed the port forwarding entry on the firewall, and voila! Images served from a ridiculously overpowered webserver. I probably have the highest server capacity to traffic ratio for my blog’s images in the world.

  1. 2010-01-10 at 19:49

    what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    I’m Out! :)

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