How inheritance provides additional benefits

As discussed in Why use zones?, the primary benefits to using zones are:

  • Identity management through user and group profile definitions
  • Access and authorization control through rights and role definitions
  • Delegated computer management for zone-based administrative tasks

Hierarchical zones provide additional flexibility for each of these benefits. For example, because hierarchical zones allow inheritance, hierarchical zones enable you define partial profiles and use variables that can be substituted at run-time when a user accesses a specific computer in a particular zone. Hierarchical zones also enable you to define access control rules and delegate administrative tasks at any point in the zone hierarchy.

This flexibility makes planning for hierarchical zones a key component of a successful deployment.