Understandably, Oracle is going to want to push its own virtualization technology. In the case of servers, that happens to be Oracle VM, which is basically Xen in disguise. But as Oracle pushes Oracle VM on customers, it is also trying to push VMware aside. This despite VMware being the dominant server virtualization technology in the x86 server market, with it showing no signs of waning.
According to a recent SearchOracle.com reader survey taken largely by DBAs and IT managers – all of whom are running Oracle – 74% use VMware for server virtualization. Only 13% mentioned Oracle. But see the picture here? That is Oracle’s view of the virtualization world, and all it includes is Oracle VM.
Last week before the event I wrote about whether Oracle would even mention VMware during its six-hour online virtualization event. As it turns out, it did talk about VMware in the context of how inferior it is to Oracle VM. In the initial session, Oracle Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven and Executive Vice President John Fowler gave 10 reasons why “Oracle Delivers More Value Than VMware.” They included:
“With these techs under one roof, we incorporate and include all technologies,” Fowler said. “We build hardware technologies with virtualization technologies and they’re included in system sales. We don’t consider them to be a third-party add-on.”
Of course, the drawback to adopting Oracle VM for those 74% of shops running VMware is it can often be difficult to do a rip-and-replace for any technology. Server administrators and programmers get comfortable with a certain technology and don’t want change. VMware is the market leader. Shops don’t want multiple server virtualization technologies in the same IT shop, because it can get too confusing.
This is an important move from Oracle. The company has decided to push its Oracle VM virtualization technology as hard as possible, while pushing VMware to the fringe. Its support for running Oracle on VMware is tepid at best, with support being nonexistent when it comes to Oracle RAC. Its licensing for running Oracle on VMware also leans toward costing more than running it on Oracle VM, due to tricky definitions around “soft partitioning” and “hard partitioning.”
In sum, Oracle is developing hostile licensing and support policies toward VMware, seemingly in an effort to push Oracle VM. Will it work? It might. Oracle Database is the backbone of many IT shops, and there isn’t going to be any widespread abandonment of that database platform. If Oracle undercuts VMware on pricing with Oracle VM and offers limited support on VMware, IT shops might eventually feel forced to go with Oracle VM if they want to continue to build their server virtualization infrastructure.]]>
The event runs 9am-3pm PT and none of the session titles or descriptions mention VMware. Oracle VM is mentioned about 10 times in the session descriptions, and Sparc/Solaris virtualization is also mentioned a few times.
According to a recent SearchOracle.com reader survey taken largely by DBAs and IT managers – all of whom are running Oracle – 74% use VMware for server virtualization. Only 13% mentioned Oracle. So could Oracle really hold a six-hour online forum on virtualization without once mentioning the elephant in the room, the most popular server virtualization platform right now, in VMware?
I guess we’ll find out.
Here are a few interesting sessions and their descriptions:
The Most Complete Virtualization – From Desktop to Datacenter
Join Oracle executives Edward Screven and John Fowler as they discuss: Oracle’s view on Virtualization; How our strategy helps users realize the true benefits from using Virtualization; Oracle and Sun products integration details from the last six months showing progress on many different fronts including server, desktop, storage virtualization, as well as optimization with hardware, database, middleware, and apps.; Roadmap outlining significant products/solutions.
Best Practices for Virtualizing Oracle Database 11g
This session provides proven methodologies that enable rapid, reliable and efficient deployment of Oracle Database 11g in an Oracle VM production environment. Oracle VM is architected to be the most efficient server virtualization solution for virtualizing Oracle Database. It is available as a free download to get you started right away with your virtualization projects. Get expert advice on using Oracle VM Server for x86 and achieving maximum performance and reliability, configuring and sizing virtual configurations, best practice tuning tips, benefitting from high availability and live migration options, for virtualizing Oracle Database 11g.
MercadoLibre Ensures Cost Reduction and Accelerated Software Deployment with Oracle VM
Rodrigo, Director, Infrastructure and Site Operations for MercadoLibre, the leading online trading platform in Latin America with over 43 million users, shares with us the keys to their success deploying Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Linux. Find out how MercadoLibre achieve superior service with a simplified IT infrastructure and private cloud. Learn how one of the top 50 most-viewed websites in the world is staying ahead of the curve!
Oracle Desktop Virtualization at Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions
Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions (CBTS) provides voice and data telecommunications, managed services, datacenter products and solutions to business customers throughout the United States. CBTS started implementing Oracle Sun Ray Clients in 2008 and saw significant results in administration, management, and energy consumption. Join Jeff Harvey, CBTS VDI Practice Manager, as he discusses the Oracle desktop virtualization deployment at CBTS.
Solaris Virtualization at Qualcomm Incorporated
The results were not terribly surprising. To name a few: Virtualization efforts are being hampered by up front budget constraints and organizational issues. Organizations who are embracing virtualization are more likely to expand it into database environments. More than 80% of respondents had increased the number of database instances at their companies.
There were some interesting nuggets though. The research was sponsored by VMware, which obviously sees an opportunity while Oracle straightens out is virtualization road map, combining Oracle VM with the Sun family of server virtualization products. In fact the initial press release cited Oracle as the sponsor of the research, an error that has since been corrected. Perhaps a Freudian typo by the IOUG?
Despite its sponsor, the survey did note that some respondents lament the resistance from some software vendors to support software on virtual servers. Oracle’s existing policy remains.
“Right now there’s a lot of different choices out there and approaches to virtualization,” Ian Abramson, president of the IOUG told me in an interview last week. “It comes down to standardization. At the end of the day it’s all going to work out as these models mature, you’ll see these things work out.”
Undoubtedly, many attendees at this week’s Collaborate show are hoping those answers arrive here in Las Vegas.
According to the survey, UNIX is also seeing some defections. While it is still a strong architecture choice, many organizations are moving to commodity platforms, the survey found. Half of organizations in the survey run Oracle database instances on x86 architecture or plan to do so shortly.
Oracle’s own interest in selling x86 servers has not been significant, according to George Weiss, an analyst with Gartner. He spoke with a client a few weeks ago on the very topic.
“I was with one this morning that was asking if Sun would want to bid and meet practices of HP and Dell in x86 servers and they were getting a lukewarm interest in it,” Weiss said.” If there’s a Solaris x86 Server business Oracle is interested in promoting, they need to begin to think about strategies to take business from HPs IBMs and Dells.”
Likewise, Weiss had little optimism for Solaris.
“[Oracle is] not interested in wide open business operating systems that compete with Linux like Solaris,” he said. “There are questions about whether Solaris x86 business is one where there’s a high degree of focus.”
Meanwhile, as Oracle customers wait for clarity and guidance on the Oracle-Sun future, many shops continue to have to do more with less.
According to the survey, some Oracle shops have taken a budgetary hit: 28% said they have cut staffing and/or support and 19% have cut back on database growth, software or tool purchases; 38% said they downsized at least part of their operations over the past year, either people or systems.
So while many Oracle shops are still struggling to do more with less, and see virtualization as one solution, they’re still finding resistance in their own companies and awaiting guidance from Oracle. Hopefully the user community can provide some answers and advice here at Collaborate.]]>
It looks like they were right.
Just over a month after buying the virtualization software vendor Virtual Iron, Oracle has announced that it will be getting rid of the company’s products. According to an article in The Register, Oracle said in a letter to Virtual Iron’s sales partners that it “will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.”
While this may not come as a surprise to many, it’s interesting that Oracle has decided to forgo what keeping Virtual Iron could have brought to the table in terms of products for small and medium-sized companies.
Also interesting, as The Register‘s Carl Metz points out, is that Oracle would risk losing Virtual Iron customers and partners, who will be justifiably unhappy upon hearing this news. Oracle stated that after the end of this month it will not allow partners to sell new licenses to anyone, even existing customers.
Do you think it’s unfair to Virtual Iron customers and irresponsible for Oracle to slash VI’s products with such short notice? While Virtual Iron customers can move to Oracle’s new combined product, Oracle has yet to say when it will be arriving, or what the combined product will actually be.
And is this any indication of what Oracle will do with Sun’s virtualization products? With its acquisition of Sun, Oracle will get Sun’s entire virtualization portfolio namely Sun xVM. Sun xVM, like Oracle (and Virtual Iron), is based on the Xen hypervisor, making it easier for Oracle to combine products.
It should be interesting to see how Oracle’s virtualization plans develop over the coming months, and if it will prove effective in competing against virtualization kingpin, VMware.]]>