In this Oracle virtualization guide, get an introduction to Oracle virtualization, learn about Oracle's virtualization
strategy, understand Oracle virtualization licensing and support and learn the pros and cons of Oracle VM vs. VMware. This section is an introduction to virtualization in Oracle, and will help you define virtualization, understand Oracle virtualization basics and learn about when Oracle first released its own server virtualization platform, Oracle VM.
Read the other sections of this guide on Oracle virtualization
Oracle virtualization introduction guide
Guide to Oracle's virtualization strategy
Oracle VM vs. VMware: A closer look
Guide to Oracle virtualization licensing and support
Introduction to virtualization in Oracle
Before you start planning your own Oracle virtualization strategy, make sure you take time to understand the virtualization definition and know how to define virtualization in Oracle. Virtualization is defined as the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.
Virtualization is growing in popularity in three areas of IT -- network virtualization, storage virtualization and server virtualization. Oracle VM, which the vendor released in 2007, is server virtualization software.
Server virtualization is the masking of server resources (including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems) from server users. The intention is to spare the user from having to understand and manage complicated details of server resources while increasing resource sharing and utilization as well as maintaining the capacity to expand later, according to the virtualization definition from Whatis.com.
Oracle's own virtualization software, Oracle VM, was unveiled at Oracle OpenWorld 2007, and analysts weren't surprised to see the software giant join the rapidly growing virtualization market.
Oracle VM, a Xen-based hypervisor, supports Oracle and non-Oracle applications and was built to promote Oracle's strategic plans for server consolidation. The Oracle VM architecture has two components, the Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM Server.
In his article, Oracle and the rise of the virtual machine, Oracle expert Don Burleson examined the advantages and disadvantages of the newly released Oracle VM, which offers both Linux and Windows support.
First, he discussed some benefits of Oracle VM and areas into which Oracle was incorporating virtualization:
- SOA - Oracle plans to incorporate Oracle VM into its Fusion middleware stack, allowing a method for unifying diverse applications onto a single server using SOAP.
- Consolidating heterogeneous environments - Oracle VM is useful for shops that wish to consolidate different applications onto a single hardware platform. A common example is running Windows side-by-side with UNIX (HP/UX, Solaris, AIX, Linux) on a large monolithic server.
- Oracle OLAP consolidation - Mark Rittman notes the benefits of running Oracle 10g R2 with virtualization in concert with the Oracle Business Intelligence Suite (OLAP).
- Oracle Application Server - Oracle Application Server can be run with Oracle on a single server using VM. John Garmany has some good notes on Oracle App Server and virtualization.
However, Burleson also addressed some concerns he had about shortcomings of Oracle VM, including the fact that server resources cannot be easily shared, Oracle VM imposes measurable overhead and the idea that the DBA job market is threatened by server consolidation.
Where is Oracle VM today?
Oracle released Oracle VM 2.2 at Oracle OpenWorld 2009, which is the first release to incorporate products from the recently acquired Virtual Iron. Continue to the section on Oracle's virtualization strategy to learn more about the Virtual Iron acquisition and Oracle's current virtualization plans