Oracle Takes on VMware with Oracle VM 3.0

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted August 23, 2011


Oracle is advancing its virtualization strategy with the release of Oracle VM 3. The new virtualization technology is designed to expand on Oracle's previous efforts with a clear focus on server virtualization.

"We care about running big server VMs," Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle said during a launch event for Oracle VM 3.0. "We want to enable customers to virtualize everything."

As part of that move towards virtualizing everything, Oracle VM 3.0 includes improved management software. Oracle's Adam Hawley, senior director of product management for Oracle VM told InternetNews.com that the new release provide new policy-based management and automation for Oracle VM.

"We've had the ability to do live migration since the beginning with the ability to manually move a virtual machine from one server to another," Hawley said. "What we're providing now is the ability to automate migration based on server load."

As such, if one server is under strain, based on policy a virtual machine can automatically move to a server that has more capacity. Additionally, Hawley noted that Oracle's policy provides for migration based on both CPU as well as network load.

Additionally there is also a new capability for dynamic server power management.

"You can move away virtual machines when a server is under-utilized in an effort to save power," Hawley said. "So the virtual machines will live-migrate if say a server has under 5 percent utilization and that can happen overnight or on the weekends when a server might be under-utilized."

The under-utilized server can then be shut down as the virtual machines are migrated off it as they are consolidated on another server. As demand builds, the process can be reversed and the server can be brought back online and the virtual machines can be migrated again.

Centralized management is a key focus for Oracle VM 3.0. Hawley explained that administrators do have to install the basic VM on each server but all the administration can be done centrally from the management server.

The Oracle VM is based on the open source Xen hypervisor. Oracle provides the VM for free and then charges enterprises for support contracts. While Oracle is providing its own value adds on top of Xen with the Oracle VM management layer, Hawley stressed that Oracle is committed to Xen.

"We're using the latest and greatest Xen hypervisor and we don't diverge that much from the mainline project," Hawley said. "

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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