As the volume of information in data centers continues to grow exponentially, IT professionals are faced with myriad challenges – increased hardware, energy and cooling costs; real estate, facility and space expansion costs; resource under-utilization; and scalability, reliability and availability issues. Solutions to these and other challenges are found in Oracle VM, a new scalable, low-cost server virtualization product that supports both Oracle and non-Oracle applications.
Consisting of open source server software and an integrated web browser-based management console, Oracle VM provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for creating and managing virtual server pools, running on x86 and x86-64-based systems, across an enterprise with support for Linux and Windows guest operating systems.
Oracle VM is backed by Oracle’s world-class support organization and customers now have a single point of enterprise-class support for their entire virtualization environments, including the Linux operating system, Oracle Database, Fusion Middleware and Application software – all of which are certified with Oracle VM, which is available for free download.
There are several business drivers that motivated the release of Oracle VM. For one, Oracle’s data center was running out of space and we decided to deploy virtualization technologies to overcome the space issues. In testing what was available out there, very soon we realized that none of these existing x86 server virtualization technologies were robust enough to handle mission critical applications and database workloads. Oracle VM emerged out of that exercise. It fully complements our grid computing solutions portfolio.
Oracle has a longstanding history of enabling our customers to exploit low-cost hardware through grid computing. Oracle has developed several essential grid computing technologies, including Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware Clustering, Oracle Automatic Storage Management and Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control. Oracle VM is another key grid technology. With Oracle VM, Oracle now provides customers integrated clustering, virtualization, storage and management for grid computing, as well as unified, full stack support for virtualization, Linux, database, middleware and application products.
“Customers can now optimize resource consolidation by deploying Oracle VM with Oracle Unbreakable Linux, and run the full Oracle software stack – Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Applications – all with one worldwide support call,” says Edward Screven, Oracle Chief Corporate Architect. “With Oracle VM, customers can respond more rapidly to business changes, increase ROI and reduce lifetime total cost of ownership. Oracle VM brings enterprise-class support and backing to server virtualization, giving customers the confidence to deploy virtualized solutions.”
Customers benefit from Oracle VM in several ways. Oracle VM enables faster and more efficient server consolidation and optimization across the enterprise, helping lower costs related to power, space, cooling and hardware; and at the same time easing the deployment of applications in a grid environment. Since Oracle VM is a free product, there is no licensing cost, and with simple and affordable enterprise-class 24/7 support, Oracle VM offers even more cost savings to customers. Oracle VM allows customers to grow or shrink the physical server resources dedicated to an application without downtime through Oracle VM live migration. And Oracle VM is three times more efficient than the competing server virtualization product.
Oracle has run many performance benchmarks comparing Oracle products running with Oracle VM against the existing leading x86 server virtualization products and also comparing with Oracle products on non-virtualized operating systems on x86 and x86-64. And we consistently see much better resource utilization with an average of three times less overhead using Oracle VM. Oracle also sees significant scalability with virtual SMP. In many cases, the comparison with real hardware was approximately equal in performance.
As far as specific customers who are benefitting from Oracle VM, Oracle is deploying Oracle VM in our data center to support Oracle On Demand Managed Services Grid, which provides a portfolio of applications on a subscription or managed basis. This will allow Oracle to better optimize each On Demand customer’s configuration, more fully harness server capabilities, maintain operational enhancements deployed over the last several years, and introduce new benefits – not to mention significant savings in terms of space, power and cooling.
With Oracle VM, customers can deploy server virtualization for a fraction of the cost when compared to other vendor products. Oracle VM software is free for download. And for customers who want support, Oracle VM is backed by Oracle’s world-class support organization. Support pricing is on a per-system basis, with 24/7 support for a system with up to two CPUs priced at $499 per year per system and a system with unlimited CPUs priced at $999 per year per system.
With a complete solution from Oracle, not only do customers save on support costs, they also have a single point of enterprise-class support for their entire virtualization environments, including the Linux operating system, Oracle Database, Fusion Middleware and Application software – all of which are certified with Oracle VM.
In summary, Oracle VM extends Oracle’s support for grid computing by providing the ability to virtualize within as well as across servers. Oracle’s grid computing-based solutions together with Oracle VM are capable of virtualizing all infrastructure resources, as a well as data and applications, providing a complete virtualization solution for the data center and creating a cost-effective, efficient and agile IT environment.
For a free download and to discover more about Oracle VM, visit: http://www.oracle.com/virtualization.
Industry-leading partners, including AMD, Dell, Emulex, Ericom, HP, Intel, Liquid Computing, NetApp, Pillar Data Systems and QLogic all strongly endorse Oracle VM.
“Dell is committed to simplify IT by reducing cost and complexity in our customers’ data centers,” says Rick Becker, VP of Solutions, Dell Product Group. “By combining Oracle VM software with Dell’s proven leadership in delivering Oracle Database, Oracle Applications and grid computing solutions, we’re able to deliver simplified, complete virtualized solutions for their mission-critical enterprise operations.”
Mike Smith, EVP for Worldwide Marketing at Emulex Corp., agrees. “Working with Oracle to incorporate support for Emulex LightPulse Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters into the new Oracle VM server virtualization software underscores both companies’ commitment to cost-effectively enable virtualized environments,” he says. “Our LightPulse Virtual HBA technology is ideal for end-users looking to manage virtualized machines with Oracle VM, while leveraging trusted SAN management tools and best practices.”
HP is another to benefit. “Businesses using Oracle VM software on HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers can benefit from greater flexibility and cost savings from significantly improved resource utilization,” says Scott Farrand, VP of Industry Standard Server Software at HP. “The tested configurations of Oracle VM on HP servers offer a new virtualization option to the large number customers who have chosen to deploy Oracle technologies on HP ProLiant servers.”
Patrick Rogers, VP of Solutions Marketing at NetApp, also sees real advantages. “Oracle VM and NetApp storage solutions provide our joint customers a powerful formula to maximize the benefits of efficiency, utilization, and agility in their virtualization environments,” he says. “NetApp has been working closely with Oracle to support Oracle VM and is fully engaged in the beta testing program. As a leader in storage virtualization, the inherent features and capabilities of NetApp Data ONTAPR are a perfect match for Oracle customers looking to streamline and simplify data protection, backup, and management of their storage infrastructure. Together, our companies’ strategic value to customers is bringing greater efficiency and flexibility to managing their business and IT resources.”
And the endorsements don’t end there. “QLogic’s industry leading SANblade Fibre Channel HBA solutions, powered by hardware-assisted virtualization technologies, ship with Oracle VM and provide optimized performance and scalability as expected by enterprise customers,” adds Frank Berry, VP of Marketing, QLogic Corp. “Our mutual data center customers will enjoy the benefits of this partnership backed by the QLogic global support model and Oracle’s world-class support organization.”
About Monica Kumar
Monica is Senior Director of Open Source Product Marketing at Oracle Corporation, where she leads a team responsible for driving the product marketing, business development, and customer and sales strategies for Linux, virtualization, and Open Source. She is also responsible for strategic marketing partnerships with hardware and software vendors. As an evangelist for Linux, virtualization and open source, Kumar often represents Oracle in customer, partner and industry events.