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A quickie take can be found on LX zones in this slideshare deck, also by bcantrill http://www.slideshare.net/bcantrill/illumos-lx

Big fan of Solaris and zones, though at the moment using a mix of other technologies.

One thing I did notice about Solaris at least in the Linux 2.6.x days: Solaris is amazing at handling low-memory situations. Once I logged into a server that was swapping continuously via SSH and had about 2MB RAM left over - it was still somewhat response; while under Linux of that era it would have bogged down under the same situation.




Even current Linux kernels behave very poorly under memory pressure (ssee the various 'kswapd 100% CPU issues', but also many issues with OOM, kernel panics and so on).


No kidding. If not for earlyoom [0], every few hours my machine would grind to a screeching halt with the hard drive thrashing (and yes, I got rid of swap ages ago but it still happens) because the kernel doesn't know what to do with large amounts of RAM being used. Before discovering earlyoom, I would powercycle my machine whenever it happened because a powercycle was faster than waiting for the kernel to finish its tantrum.

[0] https://github.com/rfjakob/earlyoom


Solaris does some odd things when emulating Linux memory. IIRC Linux will "always allocate" then randomly shoot things in the head if it overstepped the mark. Solaris will block until it can allocate the memory but that can be a long, long time. It's also possible (probably only on 'too small' boxes) to allocate memory faster than the ARC can get out the way (you can limit it, https://gist.github.com/RantyDave/4c3a3683a5403040434dda2ead...).




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