System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System
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CPU Share Definition

The term “share” is used to define a portion of the system's CPU resources that is allocated to a project. If you assign a greater number of CPU shares to a project, relative to other projects, the project receives more CPU resources from the fair share scheduler.

CPU shares are not equivalent to percentages of CPU resources. Shares are used to define the relative importance of workloads in relation to other workloads. When you assign CPU shares to a project, your primary concern is not the number of shares the project has. Knowing how many shares the project has in comparison with other projects is more important. You must also take into account how many of those other projects will be competing with it for CPU resources.

Note - Processes in projects with zero shares always run at the lowest system priority (0). These processes only run when projects with nonzero shares are not using CPU resources.

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