Introduction to Oracle VM

Oracle VM is the x86 server virtualization solution from Oracle, designed to be the best virtualization platform to run Oracle technologies. It is Oracle’s only tested, certified and supported x86 virtualization solution.

It is freely distributed from the Oracle eDelivery portal with or without commercial support. The commercial support is provided by Oracle’s support organization through Unbreakable Linux Support program. Its support covers support for entire Oracle stack, where the user can resolve any issue, ranging from application to the hardware, with a single service request.

Though Oracle supports life cycle management of wide variety of 3rd party technologies along with the Oracle stack, owning the entire stack has various advantages like:

a) Easier integration and centralized management across the stack

b) The ability to pre-pack and distribute Oracle technologies via Oracle VM templates

These templates speed up delivery and productivity time at lesser risks as they are pre-packaged and pre-configured with key Oracle technologies that can be easily downloaded and deployed quickly. Thus, they also save installation and configuration costs.

Oracle VM server

This Server is based on the Open Source hypervisor, an industry open standard for virtualization with broad adoption from major ISVs like Oracle, IBM, HP, Sun, Dell, Red Hat, Novel, Debian, Citrix and the Linux community. The hypervisor of this server can run multiple guest operating systems concurrently on a single piece of x86 hardware, effectively sharing the CPU and memory resources.

It supports both paravirtualized and hardware virtualized guests, just in case the CPU does not support hardware virtualization.

Management Options of Oracle VM server

These servers are manged in pools either from Oracle VM Management Pack or the Oracle VM Manager, but not from both the things.

Oracle VM Manager is a stand-alone management console used to manage its servers. It also provides management capabilities at the server, server pool and server pool resources layers. It is distributed in three formats:

1. As a pre-configured template

2. As an application that installs on Enterprise Linux

3. As a Management Pack port

The administrative tasks are executed through a web GUI or from the command line interface, where commands for regular administrative tasks can be scripted and simply run whenever required.

Oracle VM Management Pack is a licensed component. Apart from the capabilities of Oracle VM manager, it has additional capabilities like guest operating system monitoring, administration, provisioning and patch management.

The Application Change Console is a separate standalone application, licensed with the Oracle VM Management Pack that enables tracking of changes made in configuration files and sends alerts/notification when changes are made.

Oracle VM vs. VMware and Citrix

Unlike VMware that focuses on Microsoft Windows server consolidation and Citrix focusing on Microsoft server and desktop virtualization, it is designed from the ground up to be the best virtualization solution for the Oracle stack. Moreover, it uses Para-virtualization architecture, compared to VMware’s emulation model vSphere server architecture, allowing much better database and middleware scalability under heavy loads. It also reduces the timekeeping problems that are common with VMware’s design.

Oracle vs. Red Hat

Red Hat offers virtualization as an Operating system feature. Red Hat dropped support for Xen hypervisor with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and Fedora 12 in favor of commercial KVM (Kernel Based Virtual Machine) x86 virtualization solution. This server supports Red Hat Linux in both paravirtualization and hardware virtualization modes, whereas Red Hat does not support Oracle products.

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