system( '/bin/sh', '-pc', "cmd string w/optional stderr and stdout red
worked! Excellent. What we had experienced in migrating to the newer OS (Solaris 11) was that some of our system() calls were honoring setuid/setgid and some were not. Yet they were all quite similar (i.e. system( "single param string")). And the Perl docs were not clear (to me) regarding the nuances:
If there are no shell metacharacters in the argument,
it is split into words and passed directly to "execvp", ...
Anynow, I'm off to make many changes, replacing system() calls and backticks with calls to a ssystem() wrapper function.