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Oracle VM Server: Product Overview and Insight

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted February 28, 2019


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Bottom Line:

Potential buyers considering Oracle virtualization software should answer one question: are we an Oracle shop? If so, data center managers should look at this as their first option. And certainly Oracle, with its long legacy in enterprise IT, knows how to build a virtulization platform.

However, feature limitations and low usability scores may lead some to consider VMware, Citrix, Red Hat, or an open source platform. But the price (free to Oracle users) is hard to beat. The product is an effort by Oracle to consolidate their hold on the data center, rather than a market leading option.

Product Description:

Oracle VM Server for x86 is there to help Oracle platform and application users run VMs without having to go to another vendor such as VMware. It incorporates the open-source Xen hypervisor technology, and offers support for Windows, Linux, and Solaris guests. Oracle users can download it for free to achieve integrated enterprise management from disk to applications to the cloud. Rapid deployment is available via Oracle VM Templates.

Further benefits include Oracle VM Manager command-line interface (CLI) and Web Services API (WS-API), which allow greater automation and interoperability. Secure live migration of VMs and storage can be done with high availability. A Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Distributed Power Management (DPM) are thrown in, too.

Its scalability is also impressive: support for up to 384 physical CPUs and 6 TB memory with each guest VM supporting up to 256 virtual CPUs and 2,000,000 MB of memory to accommodate the most demanding enterprise and cloud applications. It also supports Oracle VM Manager importing and exporting Open Virtualization Format (OVF) and Open Virtualization Archive (OVA) software appliances to accelerate application deployment.

“Oracle VM Server is being used by a few departments only. It is a reliable server virtualization application that hasn't caused any major issues in the past year. Oracle Support has been prompt, but we have seen problems with certain patches and it is not as flexible as VMware,” said an IT Engineer in a management company

Servers/Operating Systems:

Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, CentOS, Microsoft Windows

Implementation:

Free download and rapid enterprise application deployment with Oracle VM Templates. Users download and import pre-configured virtual machines containing pre-installed Oracle enterprise applications or other software to get up and running in hours. Oracle VM also provides instant cloning capabilities to create copy-on-write clones and that can be immediately started or modified.

Scalability:

Up to 384 physical CPUs and 6 TB memory with each guest VM supporting up to 256 virtual CPUs and 2,000,000 MB of memory.

Overhead:

5% to 10%

Management:

Fully integrated enterprise management from disk to applications to cloud and includes an integrated Web based management console\Oracle VM Manager for centralized, browser-based management of resource pools, VMs, storage, and networking. A Web user interface includes event tracking and virtualized system health status. Oracle VM Manager Web Services API enabling a higher level of automation, interoperability and integration.

“Management/GUI is uncomfortable. Remote control via VNC is hard to use with graphic interface and for terminal we have SSH configuration and maintenance is not as straight forward as in VMware, Xen or even Microsoft Hyper-V,” said the IT Director at a security firm.

Patching/Backup:

Available via other Oracle applications to users of Oracle VM Server

Migration:

Can migrate running VMs to other servers over secure SSL links, without interruption. Can also perform live migrations of running virtual machines that have virtual disks on local storage.

Security:

Secure live migration.

Key Markets:

Oracle application users running x86 and SPARC.

Cost:

Free

“Due to licensing issues with Oracle ERP and DB, we've separated our virtual environment and installed all Oracle production and test servers on the Oracle VM environment. This allows us to use fewer licenses due to core and CPU limitations with Oracle licenses,” said the IT Director at a security firm.

Product

Oracle VM Server

Platforms

X86, SPARC

Scalability

256 vCPUs per guest

Overhead %

5 to 10

Markets

Oracle app users

Cost

Free

Migration

Move over secure SSL links

Key Differentiator

Geared for Oracle customers

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