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For most enterprise IT organizations, significant effort goes into upgrading operating system software to appropriate patch levels so as to benefit from bug fixes, security updates, or new hardware driver support when available. Proper management of system software can also help ensure a well-known, tested, and consistent system state across a variety of systems in the data center. With increasing trends towards consolidation using virtualization, system administrators are being asked to manage large volumes of software often with complex interdependencies, making it harder for them to keep systems running smoothly. As the Oracle Solaris operating system evolved to include new technologies such as Oracle Solaris Zones, ZFS, and Service Management Facility, previously used processes for managing system updates and upgrades have become more complex.
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