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I have been trying to wrap my head around this one. I have not seen a decent yes/no or how answer yet.

I have a solaris 11 zfs server I want to host 2 or 3 vm's on it and have them use a loop network to connect to nfs on the solaris box for main storage.

It appears that the xen xVM componants are installed on the system and I would be able to host from there but xvm-gui and xvm packages seems to be empty, no files in it but virt-manager and xvmstore do. the oracle vm server seems to be a bare metal solution. I am starting down the virtualbox road but would rather use xen.

Any Documentation on how its setup on 11 express or a difinitive yes/no is appriciated.

share|improve this question
Why not use zones? – MDMarra Oct 27 '12 at 19:09
because some of the software requires rhel and wont have a solaris port. I plan to use a couple zones for other things but unfortunatly it doesnt work for all – Kendrick Oct 27 '12 at 23:31
Ah, didn't realize you were hosting different guests. – MDMarra Oct 27 '12 at 23:32
on top of that virtualbox brings my load average from .6 to 2.9+ – Kendrick Oct 30 '12 at 23:23
Oracle Solaris is out due to changes in their pollicys after taking over sun. it is not compatible with the opensource proucts available since I made a pool in v32, 11's default I had to remake the pool for v28 in the new os. see below for baremetal – Kendrick Dec 26 '12 at 6:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can go the SmartOS route, which is really a KVM virtualization port.

The other approach is an all-in-one setup using another hypervisor, like VMWare ESXi and a ZFS-based OS. I use NexentaStor, but OpenIndiana works just as well.

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The bare metal aproch is something I have considered but havent looked hard enough to know what having a solaris zfs stoarage guest would do. – Kendrick Nov 13 '12 at 3:00
There are no real issues running Solaris-based ZFS guests. Just make sure you have enough RAM allocated to the guest. – ewwhite Nov 13 '12 at 3:07
for now I am going to try which is an opensolaris derivitave. I plan to try baremetal after that if I dont like omnios. hopefully by then I can max out the processors and ram on that board. I plan to update this as i get more information. for now im having to dig all my data off that pool so i can downgrade zpool to 28 – Kendrick Nov 24 '12 at 20:58
I ended up going with esxi, there are some good all in one tutorials including how to add disks directly when you dont have vt-d to toss the controller to the guest. I have zfsguru installed and managing the drives. Since it supports 4k sector setups where napp-it doesnt I went with a freebsd based solution. I just sent up zones in a centos vm and will see how that works out or if having real multiple vms for linux will be better. Thanks all – Kendrick Dec 26 '12 at 6:42

Solaris Zones are useful for service isolation, but each of the "vms" are going to be running solaris, so you can't run windows or a few linux applications.

What you need to be using is Joyent's SmartOS. They are an Open Solaris fork with some of the main Solaris devs working on them. They ported KVM to their kernel and have tools to support running KVM instances.

That will allow you to leverage the ZFS file system within your KVM zones:

share|improve this answer
what do you like about kvm I havent used it before Im used to xen anc vmware player. – Kendrick Nov 13 '12 at 3:01
KVM has got a lot more developer momentum. Redhat, Suse, IBM, Canonical, etc have all moved to KVM. It is simpler to setup/work with, uses more code from the linux kernel itself (thus getting wider peer review), and is the only one ported to solaris ;) – n8whnp Nov 16 '12 at 13:44

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