One handy use for Solaris Zones that I have come across recently, is a very quick and easy way to build packages. Rather than "polluting" the main filesystem tree with the software to be packaged, simply create a zone, install the software there, and as a final act, you can even prune unwanted parts of the tree before packaging it up and disposing of the zone.
I had some software to install into /usr/local; the existing tree includes some (non-essential) software already in /usr/local, so I created a full-root zone, cleaned /usr/local within the zone, built the software (configure && make && make install), which was actually Perl, some third-party libraries, and 30 or so modules, and tested it in the zone.
Then to package it up, simply drop back to the global zone:
# cd /tmp/pkg
# echo "i pkginfo" > prototyp
# pkgproto /zones/myzone/root/usr/local=/usr/local >> /tmp/pkg/prototype
# cat - > pkginfo << EOF
The package is ready in /var/spool/pkg/MYperl. You can use pkgtrans to ocnvert this into a MYperl.pkg file.
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