What is most valuable?
I think the most intriguing thing about Oracle VM is it's an enterprise-grade hypervisor. So it handles all the virtualization, and it's free. You don't hear the word Oracle and Free a lot, but there's a lot of stuff at Oracle that is free and Oracle VM is one of those.
It does most everything that you need in the enterprise for a hypervisor for virtualization. I can run VMs in it, I can do farms of VMs, I can run Linux, I can run Windows, I can run Solaris, I have a lot of choices of operating systems. It does everything that you need it to do for most of your needs for hypervisor.
There's a lot of benefits with Oracle VM that I like. I've been working with 3.4.1 which just came out. I've been working that prior to release. There's some features there that they added like Live Storage Migration that is really a key feature for that enterprise ability in the environment. The other thing is how it handles what are called partitions, from a licensing aspect. When I have Oracle licensing challenges that I have with some of the other hypervisors, Oracle VM is able to be configured so I don't have those challenges.
How has it helped my organization?
Cloning VMs helps a ton, especially when interface into EM, so users can build their own sandbox environmentnt, complete with WebLogic AND Database
What needs improvement?
What features would I like to see in Oracle VM in future releases? I can think of a ton of them. Some of them are just coming out. Better disaster recovery, though they just introduced a new technology called Oracle VM Site Guard that's helped a lot in disaster recovery. I would like to see better integration to Oracle networking hardware, so that would be nice, the integration between the Oracle physical networking hardware, the S2 switches would be nice for that integration.
For how long have I used the solution?
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Not in newer versions, but 3.0.1 had some issues, of course that was years ago
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability of the solution, we use it all in our labs and we have some small production use. I also have clients that are using it, not had an issue with scaling systems very large. Getting into server individual pods or pools or servers, 16 nodes, no problem. Getting into farms running thousands of VMs, no problem at all.
How are customer service and technical support?
Great, the few times I have needed it. Technical Support
Oracle technical support for OVM is one of the strong areas I've seen from Oracle support. The support staff are fairly knowledgeable on the product. I haven't had too many issues. When I had the few cases to open up as a port issue where they weren't able to help the surprising thing though with that is I haven't had to call Oracle support a lot for the product. It's a very stable product, very robust product. The number of tickets I've had to open up with Oracle have been minimal since I've been using the product heavily now for the last five years.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I think it becomes more of a why do you use it situation. One of the things is it's a cost savings. Since Oracle VM is free and the support's free when you have Oracle hardware, you don't have to pay the expense you pay with a lot of these other hypervisor packages out there. It's an immediate cost savings out of the gate. The other times you look at what do you want to run Oracle VM is when you have performance issue. The way it works technically under the covers, the lower level of the hypervisor, the VM runs faster and I get better performance. In small environments it's nice my application runs a little faster unvirtualized. In larger environments, it's actually a bigger deal. Not only do my applications runs faster but because of the efficiency I actually have to buy less hardware.
How was the initial setup?
Up and running with VMs in an afternoon. Easy!
What about the implementation team?
The initial setup for Oracle VM is pretty straightforward. Installing the hypervisor on what's called an OVS, Oracle VM Server takes maybe five minutes and you're up and running. Installing the management software itself, they may take a little longer, maybe an hour for a complete install from scratch before you're up and running, and it's all web based which is really nice. You don't have to have any special clients on it. Often I'll be managing the system either from Windows or even from my iPad.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The hard partiton technology really helps with Oracle licensing. For OVM, it's free!
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Yes, but non could beat Oracle VM's price!
What other advice do I have?
If I have to give it a rating between one and ten I would give it a nine. The reason I would give it a nine is there is some room for improvement with some of the areas in the manager. Some of the integration to the networking layer with the Oracle products would be nice.
My recommendation to peers is if you're looking at hypervisors, have an open mind. The market's not just dominated by single hypervisor. Look at the technology out there and give it a fair evaluation of what it's capabilities are.