- Bare metal virtualization
- Live migration
- Hardware compliance
This product is directly related to hardware, so it is a complete technology with hardware, operating system, and virtualization software.
The following are attributes that have improved my organization -
We have been using IBM POWER hardware, AIX and PowerVM. We were happy with the technology, but switched to Oracle because of cost issues. The new technology is as robust, secure, scalable as IBM. The performance is much better than IBM POWER7 but we did not have a chance to compare POWER8 with new SPARC technology. IBM POWER technologies came one and a half years after Oracle and thus IBM lost a big customer.
We've used it for two years.
We had no issues with the deployment.
We had errors, but they were fixed. The hardware and software work perfectly with the new SPARC technology.
We had no issues with scaling it for our needs.
We have experienced resources and we made a checklist of what we did with IBM and how to do it in SPARC. After that, we did not need much service and support. Software downloading and bug fix is pretty good with Oracle. We have had quick responses for case tickets from the available time zones.
We used IBM PowerVM on AIX servers. The main driver was changing the hardware. Both technologies are hardware specific. So we migrated from POWER hardware, AIX, and PowerVM to SPARC hardware, and OVM for SPARC Solaris.
I can compare triple-to-triple and none has any serious disadvantage to the other. Changing the technology was not a technical decision, but we as technical people declared that they are functionally equal.
The initial setup was straightforward and no more complex than PowerVM.
Our main effort was using in-house resources. The vendor team only supported training.
We consolidated lots of databases onto two big iron servers and got benefits from our database licenses. Oracle charges double for IBM server cores if you are using the Oracle database. The government procurement process may not care about price competition, so we defined our requirements, and bidding was made by another organization. IBM and Oracle bidding brought lower prices for the initial procurement cost. Maintenance costs are directly related to the initial price.
RISC hardware may seem more expensive than Intel CISC, but TCO was cheaper with more robust hardware with double performance. So the hardware technology was the main issue. We also decided that engineered systems are not suitable for complex business scenarios.
It seemed to be a great and risky adventure to migrate from IBM Power to Oracle SPARC, but we did the migration in 15 minutes in a complex environment with Oracle databases, SAP application servers, and in-house Java applications. If you see that it brings advantages, do not get scared -- just do it, nothing happens, and it works. You get a new experience.