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Solaris Zones are Sun’s approach to virtualization which was introduced in Solaris 10. You can have several ‘zones’ running on a single server, and they all look like separate machines. I got to play with them towards the end of last year, but it’s been a quiet week this week so I thought I’d raise it and see if it would spark any discussion.

There are loads of ways that you can configure Solaris Zones, but essentially the idea is that you can have multiple lightweight Zones by having them all share the core system files. With only one copy of the bulk of the core OS, you can have fairly small zones – each of them accessing the core files across a read-only mount.

In this post, I discuss some of the problems that you may face when using WebSphere MQ with Solaris Zones and the background behind them. I also outline a number of practical approaches to deal with these problems.

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One of the nice things about starting out with WebSphere MQ is that 90-day free trials are available to try it out. But what happens if, after trying it out (and paying for it!), you decide you like it and want to keep the environment you’ve spent the last ninety days setting up? Many new users don’t realize that it is possible to upgrade your trial setup to the full product, without needing to reinstall WMQ or recreate their queue managers.

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