VirtualBox

Ticket #10957 (new enhancement)

Opened 19 months ago

website: add link to "vboxsvc" project (enhanced SMF management of VMs on Solaris-based hosts)

Reported by: jimklimov Owned by:
Priority: major Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 4.2.0 Keywords: website smf solaris vboxsvc
Cc: Guest type: all
Host type: Solaris

Description

The  http://www.virtualbox.org site lists some useful open-source projects that can be used along with VirtualBox. I suggest adding there a link to the "vboxsvc" project, which is hosted on SourceForge at  http://sourceforge.net/projects/vboxsvc/ and its discussion is in VirtualBox forum, thread "[Free as in beer] SMF service for VirtualBox VM's"  http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=33249.

This project provides an SMF method script and manifest to wrap execution/hibernation/shutdown of each VM as a separate SMF service instance, and lifetime monitoring (i.e. a frozen VM can be forced to reboot), as well as optional automated ZFS snapshot creation upon VM startup/shutdown, and many other administrative features. An SVR4 package of the project deliverables is also available.

In comparison with VirtualBox 4.2.0 automated VM startup support there are a few differences which may be important in more advanced setups - but available only for solutions built on Solaris 10, OpenSolaris and its relatives (using SMF and ZFS):

  • With vboxsvc, each VM is an SMF instance, which allows to enable-disable them independently, and to build SMF dependency graphs between VMs and/or other system services and resources for automatic startup and shutdown/savestate of VMs.
  • You can monitor the VM's functionality (i.e. test that it is "pingable" or that a webserver inside it responds), and accordingly restart the SMF service or put it into maintenance; you can also delay the exit is start-method until the VM actually works (needed for dependencies to start at a right moment in time and not after a delay randomly selected by admins).
  • You can automate taking snapshots of ZFS-backed VM filesystem resources (including those on remote storage hosts available to VBox host via NFS or perhaps CIFS) before start/after stop to keep track of relatively stable points in time.
  • There are some other differences, such as getting X11 control of a VM and then passing its execution back to headless SMF controller and various other "nifty features", all with configurable SMF attributes.
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