The Service Management Facility has improved several
aspects of the Solaris administrative model. Some of the
most notable updates are:
Services are represented as first-class objects that can be
viewed (using the new svcs(1) command) and managed (using
svcadm(1M) and svccfg(1M)).
Failed services are automatically restarted in dependency
order, whether they failed as the result of administrator
error, software bug, or were affected by an uncorrectable
More information is available about misconfigured or
misbehaving services, including an explanation of why a
service isn't running (using "svcs -x"), as well as
individual, persistent log files for each service.
Problems during the boot process are easier to debug, as
boot verbosity can be controlled, service startup messages
are logged, and console access is provided more reliably
during startup failures.
Snapshots of service configurations are taken
automatically, making it easier to backup, restore, and
undo changes to services.
Services can be enabled and disabled using a supported tool
(svcadm(1M)), allowing the changes to persist across
upgrades and patches.
Administrators can securely delegate tasks to non-root
users more easily, including the ability to configure,
start, stop, or restart services (as described in the
smf_security(5) man page).
Large systems boot faster by starting services in parallel
according to their dependencies.
Despite these changes, compatibility with existing
administrative practices has been preserved wherever
possible. For example, most site-local and ISV-
supplied "rc" scripts will still work as usual.