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Oracle VM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle VM is the #6 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to KVM: Oracle VM vs KVM

What is Oracle VM?

Oracle VM for x86

Oracle VM for x86 is a Xen based server virtualization platform for public and private cloud and traditional on premise deployment. Oracle VM offers full lifecycle and application deployment from disk to cloud.

Designed and optimized for security, efficiency and performance Oracle VM supports major hardware vendors x86 and storage platforms and can run workloads on Linux, Windows and Oracle Solaris. Uniquely for our virtualization platform it offers live patching via Ksplice enhancing security and minimizing service disruption. Oracle VM supports hard partitioning which can significantly reduce software applications licensing costs.

Oracle VM for SPARC

Oracle VM for SPARC is a firmware based virtualization platform for Oracle and Fujitsu SPARC based servers running Solaris. Oracle VM supports hard partitioning which can significantly reduce software applications licensing costs.

Oracle VM Buyer's Guide

Download the Oracle VM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle VM Customers

Ambulance Victoria, Australian Finance Group (AFG), Avnet Technology Solutions, CERN, cloudKleyer, Danish Tax Authority (SKAT), Data Intensity, Dubai World, Engineers Australia, Enkitec, Groupe FLO, Guerra S.A. Implemento, s Rodovišrios, Interactive One, IT Convergence, Jesta Digital, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, KT, Kyoto Prefecture, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / National Ignition Facility, Multinet Pakistan, National Australia Bank (NAB), Navis LLC, Overhead Door, Overstock.com, Paragon Data, Parks Victoria, Pella, Sunway Shared Services, St. Louis Metro, Terminales Ro de la Plata S.A., University of Massachusetts, Versace,

Oracle VM Video

Archived Oracle VM Reviews (more than two years old)

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MS
Manager-Data Center at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A database solution that does not provide enough storage

What is our primary use case?

My primary use of this product is for a database. I use this solution because it can work together with our other Oracle solutions.

What needs improvement?

There is no memory over-subscription and CPU over-subscription. That has to be improved in terms of Oracle VM perspective. The other leading VM software solutions have this feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For me, the stability is fine. But, I only primarily use it for the database role. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is a huge gap that Oracle VM needs to tighten in order to be more scalable, as well as more competitive with other VM products currently on the market.  …

What is our primary use case?

My primary use of this product is for a database. I use this solution because it can work together with our other Oracle solutions.

What needs improvement?

There is no memory over-subscription and CPU over-subscription. That has to be improved in terms of Oracle VM perspective. The other leading VM software solutions have this feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For me, the stability is fine. But, I only primarily use it for the database role. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There is a huge gap that Oracle VM needs to tighten in order to be more scalable, as well as more competitive with other VM products currently on the market. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not perfect. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used VMware products. I have found VMware vs Oracle VM to be far superior in provisioning and deployment. Additionally, there is more storage availability with VMware products. 

How was the initial setup?

It's slightly more complex to set up than other VM software. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
IW
‎Solutions Consultant
Consultant
A cheap VM tool that should integrate backups more readily

Pros and Cons

  • "The support staff in the tech support team at Oracle has improved. I find them extremely helpful and they give very solid support."
  • "This solution is not as stable as other solutions in the market. But, Oracle has made an effort to improve these issues with recent updates."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use this for server virtualization. I also use it for application deployment. 

Oracle has a lot of templates for most of the enterprise application that they sell the market. So, it is easier to deploy those application using one Oracle VM template than actually setting up a server from scratch. Oracle VM is very handy in that a user can easily deploy the templates, pre-configures and does a few customizations within a short time-span.

How has it helped my organization?

Oracle VM is a solution that grows with your business. It can easily be scaled up, and it is a great storage platform. 

What is most valuable?

The Oracle VM template is the most valuable feature. 

What needs improvement?

I do not think this solution is as stable as other solutions in the market. But, Oracle has really been trying to update the solution with the most recent release, and I find it is less buggy than it had been.

In addition, I think Oracle VM should integrate its own backups rather than relying on other Oracle tools for virtual backups. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution supports up to 254 virtual machine servers. So, this is a huge capability for scalability. Any company can start with whatever it has, and grow as its budget grows. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Initially, the tech support was horrible. But, over time, the support engineers have improved. I find the tech support extremely helpful recently. They are currently giving very solid support. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have prior experience with VMware, Bhyve and FreeNAS. Bhyve and FreeNAS are open-source VM solutions.

How was the initial setup?

It is very simple to setup and deploy. But, it should be noted that a systems architect or systems engineer must be at the helm of the deployment. The setup must be conducted by someone well-versed in Linux. 

Initially, when we setup we had to make sure we had a staff architect that was knowledgeable with storage skills and Linux. Those were our requirements for proper deployment. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost of this solution is cheap. It is one of the reasons we chose Oracle VM. It is truly "pocket- friendly."

In regards to the licensing, Oracle VM is definitely a good choice for a customer that is already using Oracle solutions. 

What other advice do I have?

Nothing is simple about virtualization software products anymore. They are becoming more complex by the day. Now, with the advent of containers, the complexity has increased. Nothing is simple. Users must be dedicated to understand these VM solutions. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Oracle VM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,823 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SS
User at hadafq8
Consultant
A cloud-based solution that is inexpensive

Pros and Cons

  • "It is simple and straightforward, and it will only require you one system integrator to do the job."
  • "The management can be improved more, and become more agile. It would be nice for it to become more rich in terms of UI. In addition, the replication to disaster recovery needs improvement."

How has it helped my organization?

It is cloud-based, so I can access the management consoles from anywhere within or outside my organization if I have VPN access. Its a very light pool so its quite fast in nature, the hypervisor itself is very small its around one and half gig in size so its very light, and boots very fast. It consumes no overhead. For example, if there is a physical server of say 128 gigs and 4 core CPU, all of these 4 cores and 128 gigs are available to you.

In addition, on the network card you can do WLAN tagging, you can do non WLAN tagging, you can do IP based multi-passing and you can do storage level multi-passing.

What is most valuable?

I think the most valuable features are:

  • Excellent support team
  • Compatibility with: Linux, Windows, Ubuntu and Solaris

What needs improvement?

The management can be improved more, and become more agile. It would be nice for it to become more rich in terms of UI. In addition, the replication to disaster recovery needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product upgrades or updates comes in two flavors, one is a community update and one is subscription based updates. For the subscription based updates you have to pay Oracle, its a very small amount of money for the subscription. In contrast, the community support is free. You can choose whichever way you want.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Again, it is extremely scalable. Notes can be added on the fly, but it needs to do better form work before it is a true virtualization software. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

If you compare Oracle VM vs VMware or Oracle VM vs Hyper-V, there is a definite difference in GUI. The GUI of Hyper-V and VMware are phenomenal. The GUI of Oracle VM is not that great, it is sluggish in nature, but it does everything that it is supposed to do. So, you have command line access, you have the GUI based access too, so my recommendation is to make the GUI better. It has improved in the past couple of years, and it should continue to do so.

How was the initial setup?

It is simple and straightforward, and it will only require you one system integrator to do the job. If you can read the English directions on the screen, then you can do it.

What was our ROI?

It is a cheap solution for a company's VM needs. It is simple to use, and has a great support system. It appears to be a win-win for any organization.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is one of the main decision making reasons for going to Oracle VM because it was cost-effective.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AC
‎Senior Presales Engineer of DataCenter and Digital Transformation at a comms service provider with 201-500 employees
Real User
Highly stable and scalable

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use this for demonstrations for customers. 

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use, and easy to start.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. For us, we do not have a need for a lot of servers, so it suits our needs. We have about 30 users of this solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is good. 

How was the initial setup?

It was a complex setup. It was very difficult for me.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you buy an Oracle server, this solution is free. You have to only pay…

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use this for demonstrations for customers. 

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use, and easy to start.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. For us, we do not have a need for a lot of servers, so it suits our needs. We have about 30 users of this solution.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support is good. 

How was the initial setup?

It was a complex setup. It was very difficult for me.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you buy an Oracle server, this solution is free. You have to only pay for support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TP
Senior Project Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It is a useful product, but the price is high.

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for project management.

How has it helped my organization?

It is very useful for the project management of our company.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Integrating with the internal system is not very easy.

How is customer service and technical support?

We reached out to tech support via email, and they responded to our inquiries.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy to setup. We used the wizard to automatically setup the master data and the initial data.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of this product is high. 

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for project management.

How has it helped my organization?

It is very useful for the project management of our company.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Integrating with the internal system is not very easy.

How is customer service and technical support?

We reached out to tech support via email, and they responded to our inquiries.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy to setup. We used the wizard to automatically setup the master data and the initial data.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of this product is high. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RF
DBA at dbafox
Real User
Oracle virtual machine templates for rapid deployment are very useful

What is our primary use case?

We are building a private cloud with Oracle VM. We want to implement Oracle RAC with Clusterware releases 12.2 and 18c, and with Oracle Database releases 11.2.0.4 to 18c.

How has it helped my organization?

We will implement a full dev/test environment with Oracle RAC and standalone databases. We will be able to fully use our ULA license agreement with Oracle and provide flexibility to our development teams.

What is most valuable?

Oracle virtual machine templates for rapid deployment are very useful. This allows us to deploy already-implemented and optimized virtual machines.

What needs improvement?

Snapshotting could be easier. And there could be more intuitive ways for cloning of virtual machines.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still…

What is our primary use case?

We are building a private cloud with Oracle VM. We want to implement Oracle RAC with Clusterware releases 12.2 and 18c, and with Oracle Database releases 11.2.0.4 to 18c.

How has it helped my organization?

We will implement a full dev/test environment with Oracle RAC and standalone databases. We will be able to fully use our ULA license agreement with Oracle and provide flexibility to our development teams.

What is most valuable?

Oracle virtual machine templates for rapid deployment are very useful. This allows us to deploy already-implemented and optimized virtual machines.

What needs improvement?

Snapshotting could be easier. And there could be more intuitive ways for cloning of virtual machines.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769614
User at Mythics Inc
Video Review
Consultant
Free hypervisor, enables me to move VMs, while Site Guard automates failover to DR sites

Pros and Cons

  • "Overall, the biggest performance is around virtualization and automation, you can build private clouds with Oracle VM using Enterprise Manager."
  • "One is the hypervisor. Right now, it’s all using Xen. What would be really helpful is to have some choice, and the underlying hypervisor technology use KVM which is very popular with certain workloads."

How has it helped my organization?

The big benefits to Oracle VM that I see in users that I work with are, first of all, performance. You don’t have what I call the "virtualization tax" like you do on other hypervisors. The CPU that you buy actually becomes more and more useful. You don’t have all that overhead. You get really good disk performance, almost comparable to bare metal when you configure it correctly. That’s an important feature for people that are using it. 

Overall, the biggest performance is around virtualization and automation, you can build private clouds with Oracle VM using Enterprise Manager.

What is most valuable?

Oracle VM is a great free product from Oracle. I love that, when I can say "free from Oracle." It’s a full feature hypervisor. It competes well with other hypervisors in the market. However, it’s free. You don’t pay anything to use it. You can, however, pay for support if you need support. 

It offers all the features you expect in a hypervisor, using technologies that they call Live Migration. It allows me to move VMs from one machine to another. I have a technology called Site Guard which is an automation tool for automating failover to disaster recovery sites. Feature for feature, it does almost everything VMware does but cost a lot less.

What needs improvement?

One is the hypervisor. Right now, it’s all using Xen. What would be really helpful is to have some choice, and the underlying hypervisor technology use KVM which is very popular with certain workloads. 

There are also some features around it, extracting virtual machines and managing it, that could show some improvement.

There’s still some area for improvement with some of the newer technologies.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It’s actually very stable. In the later releases, you can even patch the hypervisor without a reboot. That adds to the up-time of the environment. When you run Oracle Linux inside as guest VMs, you can also use the Ksplice technology and patch the VMs without any outage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling in Oracle VM is an interesting prospect because you have two ways you can scale it. You can, first of all, use really, really big hosts with large numbers of CPUs. Four-socket, eight-socket CPUs are fully supported with it. But you could also scale it with a large number of servers in the environment, so you can scale horizontally and vertically. I have not had any issues with the scalability of Oracle VM. It scales really well.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Oracle VM depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to do a basic install and use the normal management console, I’ve done that in a couple of hours. I’m experienced with it. 

But if you want to build private clouds with it, you want to interface the Enterprise Manager, have chargeback functionality for users, you want to do cloud automation; that’s a little more complicated. If you haven’t done it, it takes about a week. However, there’s a book from Oracle Press about Oracle VM 3 and building private clouds, and that helps a lot with what's involved in this task, to build and support a system.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Luis Fregoso
Oracle VM SME at TDS (OneNeck IT Solutions)
Video Review
Real User
Complements the performance of the database but the monitoring side could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "The virtualization product Oracle puts out just complements the performance of the database.​"
  • "I would say third-party plugins to other storage vendors. There are a lot of converged infrastructure setups; one that we have, multiple different hardware vendors. So that would be something we could definitely be looking for."

How has it helped my organization?

The cost of scalability. You pay for what you use. It's free to download, free to install, and the support side has been very helpful.

What is most valuable?

The way it plays with the Oracle Database; it's all about the Oracle Database. The way it plays with the Oracle Database; it's all about the Oracle Database. The virtualization product Oracle puts out just complements the performance of the database.

What needs improvement?

I would say third-party plugins to other storage vendors. There are a lot of converged infrastructure setups; one that we have, multiple different hardware vendors. So that would be something we could definitely be looking for.

Also, the monitoring aspect. Right now, there's a hook in to OEM, but I would like to see that part a little bit more mature so that it's a standalone.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been pretty stable, especially with the new releases. The 3.4 major release has made a lot of significant performance gains and stability from the 3.29 days.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues at all. Adding hypervisors or server pools, even migrating to other instances across different disaster recovery sites, it's been pretty turnkey.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have a lot of customers out there that are running Oracle Database and, as we're virtualizing, there are other products out there that are not cost-efficient for the customer. Oracle VM is the logical choice there.

How was the initial setup?

That's the beautiful part. There's documentation out there and it's pretty straightforward, as long as you stick to the manual. It's pretty easy to set up. If you're installing an Oracle Database, you literally go to hours from what used to take days.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor what's important, obviously, is the reputation in the industry, the kind of support they provide, and the features of the product that we'll be using.

If you're going from a bare metal type of implementation, the expectation is going to be that the performance level will be there, and Oracle VM is definitely a product that gives you that.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user522204
Consultant at Temperies
Vendor
Performance for Linux, I'm able to manage it via Command Line

Pros and Cons

  • "Because of the virtualization for Linux, I use just Linux basically in all VMs, a few with Windows."
  • "I think more Command-Line options for the product, for deployments."

What is most valuable?

First because of the virtualization for Linux, I use just Linux basically in all VMs, a few with Windows. For Windows we decide to use a virtual box. In Linux, we choose to manage by the Command Line because my history is more Command Line.

What needs improvement?

I think more Command-Line options for the product, for deployments. I know that the latest version includes OpenStack support so you can manage things in any kind of OpenStack-certified solution. But I prefer to use Command Line traditionally with shells.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's not stable if you don't use certified hardware. I work for a university and we don't have certified hardware, so we have to move the storage system to NVS instead of all of the cluster for a system because it's more stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Really, I don't have experience with a lot of installations because we have 20 or 25 virtual machines employed in a cluster.

How is customer service and technical support?

To be honest, I never ask for support. I try to solve myself. I'm a kind of an old hacker. I've used Linux from the beginning so I decide to solve problems myself. 

How was the initial setup?

If you only use the Command Line, it's easy. If you use the VM Management Console, you need to do more. Basically, another VM to manage, by itself, the cluster. But no, it's not complex.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend Oracle VM instead of VMware or some other Windows native solution to virtualize Linux servers. It's performant for Linux.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The Red Hat KVM is better than the OVM in terms of performance and simple support.

What is most valuable?

We were curious and wanted to test the product since we were standardizing our virtualized environment. 

We knew that VMware was feature-rich, and we wanted to look as others as well to avoid vendor lock in.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for one years.

How was the initial setup?

It was complex.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We were not happy with the aggressive licensing model of Oracle and thought we would end-up in a similar situation to the Database where we have to pay the license fee for passive nodes as well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We selected VMware and KVM.

What other advice do I have?

The Red Hat KVM is better than the OVM in terms of performance and simple support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1017
eCommerce Expert at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Makes enterprise applications easier to deploy, manage, and support.

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides enhancements for network and storage configuration, policy-based management for delivering application resource flexibility, and a GUI."
  • "Oracle's VM VirtualBox is a powerful, free, and open-source virtualization tool. However, you'll have to read a lot of documents and perform experiments in test environments to make it work for you."

What is most valuable?

  • It provides enhancements for network and storage configuration, policy-based management for delivering application resource flexibility, and a GUI.
  • Distributed Resource Scheduling for capacity management, providing real time monitoring enabling re-balancing of a server pool.
  • Distributed Power Management for reduction of powered-on servers.
  • Centralized network configuration and management, using Oracle VM Manager
  • Storage connect framework enabling direct leveraging of resources and functionality of storage systems from Oracle VM Manager.
  • Plug ins are available for Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems and NetApp and are  in development for SUN ZFS Storage Appliances and the Pillar Axiom 600 SAN storage system
  • Supports up to 160 CPUs and 2 TB memory for physical servers
  • Supports up to 128 vCPUs for Virtual Machines
  • Browser based Oracle VM Manager GUI
  • Job management framework
  • Extensive event logging
  • Performance statistics for CPU, memory, disk, and network for physical server and VMs

What needs improvement?

  • Oracle's VM VirtualBox is a powerful, free, and open-source virtualization tool. However, you'll have to read a lot of documents and perform experiments in test environments to make it work for you.
  • Oracle VM is the only certified solution for use with all Oracle software.
  • Oracle VM: Virtualization is a key technology used in data-centers to optimize resources. Oracle VM provides an easy-use-centralized management environment for configuring and operating your server, network, and storage infrastructure from a browser based interface (no Java client required). It is accessible from just about anywhere.
  • Oracle Virtualization comes with Desktop Virtualization and Server VirtualizationServer Virtualization.
  • Designed for efficiency and optimized for performance, Oracle's server virtualization products support x86 and SPARC architectures. They nclude hypervisors and virtualization built into the operating system and hardware.

What other advice do I have?

Desktop Virtualization: Oracle's comprehensive desktop virtualization solutions, from secure thin client devices to highly optimized virtual desktop infrastructure software, offer ease of administration, higher security, and better access.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436146
President at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We've noticed that when working with Citrix with our Oracle clients who also use Oracle Linux, the monitoring and testing is simpler and easier for us to do.

Pros and Cons

  • "We've noticed that when working with Citrix with our Oracle clients who also use Oracle Linux, the monitoring and testing is simpler and easier for us to do."
  • "It doesn't monitor everything, which is a little bit more difficult. It doesn't seem to have as many features or metrics to monitor as some others do, so you have to make some homemade scripts to do it."

How has it helped my organization?

It's similar to being Citrix-based with a little bit of difference on the technology side. It seems to handle some of the database mechanics better. Again, that's probably just the sampling size we've done, which may not be big enough, but it does seem to work with those a little bit better in our experience.

What is most valuable?

We've noticed that when working with Citrix with our Oracle clients who also use Oracle Linux, the monitoring and testing is simpler and easier for us to do.

What needs improvement?

It doesn't monitor everything, which is a little bit more difficult. It doesn't seem to have as many features or metrics to monitor as some others do, so you have to make some homemade scripts to do it. There are richer APIs out there that are able to pull the data back.

Also, finding files and downloading them and installing them can take a little bit of time. Once they've got it installed, it seems to work pretty good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Operationally from a stability perspective, it has been pretty good. Some of the monitoring that we do will show when it starts getting stress, but then creating new ones has been effortless and it hasn't really been a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been able to scale using it just fine.

How was the initial setup?

It's a little bit cumbersome. To know exactly how to install it and the management pieces wasn't as straightforward as some of my admins have said.

What other advice do I have?

Try it our and test it, and make sure it's going to be exactly what you need first versus the other options because they all have their own little idiosyncrasies, and you want to make sure it's going to be a fit for your organization.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
GO
Sr. Linux Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The management console manages resources, virtual machine templates, and virtual machine images.

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of server provisioning, it only takes a few clicks of a button and a bit of install automation."
  • "With our current OVM Manager version, migrating a VM from one repository to another repository was really complicated, especially editing and manually matching the configuration."

How has it helped my organization?

It simplifies server management. In terms of server provisioning, it only takes a few clicks of a button and a bit of install automation. The server can be delivered in less than an hour, compared to physical machines.

What is most valuable?

The integrated web-based management console manages resources, virtual machine templates, and virtual machine images.

What needs improvement?

With our current OVM Manager version, migrating a VM from one repository to another repository was really complicated, especially editing and manually matching the configuration.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For the past three years, most of the issues we encountered were related to hardware issues. Based on our experience, I can say it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of the visualization perspective, scaling was not an issue. You can scale without affecting the applications. You can even reconfigure WM hardware specs without affecting the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 8/10. Most of the calls I placed with Oracle for support were handled as expected.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In our current infrastructure, we have both ESXi and OVM Manager.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. All you have to do is to choose the right options.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I was not involved in the procurement phase.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in the procurement phase.

What other advice do I have?

Based in my experience, I would recommend this product in terms of:

  • Support
  • Stability
  • Scalability
  • Overall ease of management
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Adnan Nasir
Senior Hyperion Systems Architect at Loudoun County Govt.
Real User
The valuable features are the cost and the convenience of the physical machines, meaning that you can have multiple virtual machines that you can use for many other different tools.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are the cost and the convenience of the physical machines, meaning that you can have multiple virtual machines that you can use for many other different tools, not just Hyperion. We work with different Oracle products such as EBS, OBIEE, and Hyperion and they're all integrated so we don't have to have different physical servers located in our datacenter. What you can do is create different virtual machines in the same physical server and use that for any of our products.

How has it helped my organization?

For example, we are going to upgrade our Oracle BI product, so that needs to have more servers. What we are thinking to do is to create more VM's in the same physical server instead of buying more physical servers. It's just a matter of creating a new virtual machine, which is not a big task for the administration team. Probably within an hour they're able to build up a new server for us, so it's easy, faster and cheaper that way.

What needs improvement?

Initially, you did not have an option in Oracle VM to build an image and just restore into a different physical or virtual environment, but now the option is included. That's one thing I thought wasn't there and wanted to have, because we are planning to move our Essbase database server from physical to virtual, and I thought it's not going to be easier because you can't just export the physical server and just import everything into the virtual machine. Now the integration is there. You can export the physical server's configuration, their registries and everything, the databases and then just import them to virtual machines. That's the only lacking feature I thought was with VM, but they have included it. 

It still takes some time and the valuations have to be done by the admin, so it still is taking more time. That's, I think, one of the challenges that we recently had when we were talking to our administration team. The Windows and Linux admins took some time, like a couple of days, to build servers for us, which as far as I think being an IT person, it's a virtual machine. Once you have the image it should be easy enough to import it into the new virtual machine, built up like a snapshot. 

I think they could make the implementation faster. It's still taking some time, which should be eliminated in the future, I think, and it will be because I've seen a lot of improvement already.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

If deployment could be more faster, that would good, but right now it's fine. It solved my problem of migrating from physical to virtual, so initially I had to reinstall Essbase and it's a big challenge in the Linux machine.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't seen any big issue with the stability. There have been no issues with instability that I've seen.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

How was the initial setup?

Within one day, we had migrated a physical to virtual server and then we had a database working, and it was like seamless transition. We just changed the alias of that machine to whatever the listing server alias name was, and the application picked up right away.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it with our in-house team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked into vSphere and Hyper-V, and then decided that we could not go with any other non-Oracle virtual technology. It had to be Oracle VM, so that's one thing I wanted to make sure was that we had Oracle VM as a new server, otherwise Hyperion is not going to be supported on non-Oracle virtual servers.

For us, the biggest thing I think is the compatibility with all the other Oracle products. We have ERP and EPM and all these reporting tools like BI. The most important factor for us is when you talk about the compatibility of all these different products, it has to have compatibility with dependent operating systems, the servers, the database, Internet Explorer browsers, Java, and all those different tools that are integrated in our system.

If we go with any other virtual servers or virtual products, let's say VMware, it is compatible but it's not 100% guaranteed that we'll be supported by Oracle support. Let's say in the future if we have a problem, Oracle support might say we are not able to support because you are using third-party tools. That's the most important factor and advantage over other tools in the market available when we choose to go with Oracle.

We just did the upgrade of our Oracle Hyperion, so one thing I learned is we could not go with any other tool because we have all these Oracle products integrated tightly and we cannot just install them on some other non-Oracle products. I think we are also talking about to move from physical to virtual for one of our Essbase databases. Right now it's on Essbase, which is under Hyperion, on a physical server, so again, just to take advantage of the cost and the recovery and the disaster recovery and all those benefits that virtual machine has to offer.

What other advice do I have?

Prepare for the development time and the allocation of resources. That's the key thing. When you're building an image or a Oracle VM server, how much resources are you allocating? Let's say for example, the storage and buffer memory and the processor speed for each of your instance for that physical server capable of 100 gigabyte of memory, and then you're trying to build 10 servers out of it that are virtual servers. You need to analyze and review, out of those 10 servers, which server needs more resource and more hard space based on your application growth. That is the key thing that I've seen. Some admins don't pay attention when they're building the package. It really depends on the factor of what tool is going to be implemented on what server. How much space and how much processor speed is it going to need?

For example, the Essbase database in Hyperion needs a lot of memory and processing speed. It needs more threads to calculate the data, so for that you need to allocate as much resources as you can as compared to maybe other tools which don't need that much of resources.

Planning to build your package for your client for the virtual machine on the physical server is the key thing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521604
Manager, ERP Technical Support at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
You can scale VMs without affecting the software applications. You can still reconfigure the hardware.

What is most valuable?

Virtual machines are much cheaper than having physical machines. They are rolling out new machines very quick and fast. It saves time and saves cost, that’s how we feel; and also the systems are more reliable.

How has it helped my organization?

Saves time for procuring the new hardware. No more physical space sitting on the data centers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. There are still ways you can break the system, but it's very minimal, compared to a physical system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For real hardware, scalability is challenging. But with virtual, you can scale without affecting the software applications, you can still reconfigure the hardware. Whenever we ask them to increase the RAM or other things, they can do it, and never come back and say well, it's VM's role. But every two years, we need to update the VM build; that we know. After four years, our VMs get old, so we need to replace them.

How is customer service and technical support?

So far the response is good. Our team never comes back and says Oracle is giving us a hard time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's a challenge for us to keep investing in it. We are a manufacturing company, not an IT company. Whenever Oracle comes, say every three to five years, and says everybody change the system, you need to find the budget for that. And in a year, it’s going to be outdated again, right? After four years, my system has become completely outdated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm sure there is one product, Oracle Data Integrator for loading bulk data from one system to another. We just starting using it. It’s a very good product, but we haven’t used all the features. Once we explored all the features, we got feedback from the company. I know so far that it’s good.

What other advice do I have?

I know that everything is on the cloud; but eventually, if you are a new startup company, go to the VM. You have control over what you have, while at the same time, not dependent on the hardware.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521643
Project Manager & PeopleSoft Administrator at CMPA
Vendor
I can quickly provision PeopleSoft instances.

What is most valuable?

Quick provisioning is the most valuable feature. It comes bundled with Oracle Database Appliance and we use it for our PeopleSoft instances. You could basically create an instance for your dev environment, QA, UAT and production, and do it quicker than doing it from bare metal.

How has it helped my organization?

As I’ve mentioned, it’s all about speed, quickness; do it pretty quick. We also have customizations. If we have a base image, we can take that base image, apply customizations, take a snapshot, and then we can copy it with a cookie-cutter approach for other environments as well.

I like the idea of, snap, and everything's available to you. You can tweak it, make another image again and you can copy it.

What needs improvement?

We're using NFS, which I've been informed might not be the best file system to be using. However, with the latest version, apparently, there are supposed to be some updates that will help with the drivers to use NFS; it would make it more stable and better, performance-wise, as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. For the most part, it's the guys I work with who use it. I'm a project manager, but they're pretty happy with the technology.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had to scale it that much.

How are customer service and technical support?

The guys I work with are not too keen with the Oracle support. They tend to find their own solutions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The reason we decided to invest in this new solution was all about cost. We were going with an n-tier architecture. We had 12 physical servers. Now, with the ODA, we have two chassis that run on a virtualized platform and it makes it a lot easier to manage.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty good. It was basically out of the box because the Oracle Database Appliance is being promoted as out of the box. You turn on a switch and a login script starts up the whole process; that worked out well. We had a few glitches in terms of learning how it all works together. We certainly overcame some of those challenges and we're really happy with the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Insert linkThere were no other vendors on the shortlist, because we're an Oracle shop.
Nonetheless, when I do think about working with a vendor like Oracle, I look for depth of knowledge, reliability and whether they have a pretty good clientele out there. It's always good to compare notes or see what other people are doing out there and help one another.

What other advice do I have?

Look at what other people are doing, take notes and talk to your Oracle rep. They really come on board and help you out through the process.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Principal Engineer/Architect, Oracle ACE Director at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Oracle has published VM templates for most Oracle products, and you can also build templates by yourself.

What is most valuable?

There are many valuable features. I'm only naming a few here.

First, it provides the enterprise-level hypervisor that supports virtual machines to run enterprise applications. It allows virtual machines to use a specific number of physical processors and cores to handle complex application. It also provides a high-available virtual infrastructure for applications as the virtual machines can be migrated or failed over to a different physical server to avoid a system down time.

Oracle VM simplifies the application deployment with a large number of predefined VM templates. Oracle has published VM templates for most Oracle products, and you can also build templates by yourself.

Oracle VM allows application users to pay for the software license by virtual CPUs instead of the physical CPU.

Oracle Enterprise Manager can manage and monitor the entire Oracle VM virtualization stack.

How has it helped my organization?

I am on a team that is responsible for validating and architecting Oracle VM on Dell servers and storage. For example, we helped a customer design a private cloud system based on Oracle VM, Dell's latest 13g servers and Dell flash-based storage. The private cloud system was designed to offer Database as a Service (DBaaS).

What needs improvement?

The product works well for all its intended purposes. I would prefer that Oracle provide more backup capability for the Oracle VM stack, including the applications running on virtual machines.

It would be even better if Oracle Enterprise Manager could directly manage the Oracle VM stack, without needing the Oracle VM manager sitting in middle.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on Oracle VM since 2009 when Oracle released Oracle VM release 2.1.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is easily to deploy and very well scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

It has been a good experience working with Oracle support on Oracle VM. I didn’t have too many issues with that. Once in a while, we have to log bugs or issues in Oracle Bugzilla, which is Oracle's bug tracking system for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup of Oracle VM and the rest of stack was very straightforward. The steps in Oracle documentation were very easy to follow.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented Oracle VM stack by ourselves. One of my words of advice is, if you need to implement complex applications such as an Oracle RAC database on an Oracle VM stack, it takes some learning curve. You need to understand both Oracle VM and Oracle RAC stack, and would need to design the special networking and shared storage that are required by Oracle RAC database. An Oracle white paper such as https://www.oracle.com/technetw... will definitely be helpful. Here are a couple of screen shots from one of our previous Oracle RAC POC projects:

Oracle Infrastructure Cloud based on Oracle VM and Oracle EM 12c

Oracle VM architecture designed for Oracle RAC database

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

With Oracle VM, you only pay for the software license based on the # of the virtual CPUs on which the application runs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521613
Sr. Unix System Administrator at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It allows hard partitioning to control the number of cores you’re licensing.

What is most valuable?

Oracle VM allows you to control your licensing costs for Oracle because Oracle allows hard partitioning to control the number of cores you’re licensing.

How has it helped my organization?

You save vast amounts of money.

It's also very robust and it allows you to better use your hardware.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to include greater flexibility. I would like them to include multitudinous users and permissions capabilities. I would like them to design the system so that it is optimized for 10GB Ethernet at a minimum as opposed to 1GB Ethernet.

Oracle VM does not have what is commonly called role-based user permissions.
Everyone logs into the management console as an ‘admin’ and has full control over everything, as opposed to VMware, where you can (for example) give a particular user control over a certain virtual machine but no others. You can even give different grades of control, so a user would be able to reboot ‘his’ virtual machine but could not add disk space to it; or a storage administrator might have the right to add and delete storage but not affect any virtual machines at all.

I had a problem with Ethernet timeouts on my 10gb Ethernet connections and when I contacted them, they informed me that they had optimized their settings and values in the operating system kernel for 1gb Ethernet as was standard at the time. They gave me a listing of changes to the operating system that might optimize it for 10gb, but that might cause problems if and when I were to upgrade the system. The Oracle VM Server is not meant to be modified by the user; it is the hypervisor, and I didn’t wish to engage in the danger of modifying my base system.

I also am skilled in VMware. VMware costs about 10 times as much but also is about 10 times more usable. If they could learn that usability that VMware has, that would be wonderful.


What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have been using the product since it came out in version 3.0. We're now at version 3.4.1. In version 3.0, many portions of it were unstable, especially when upgrading. They have made great strides and now at version 3.4.1, all the bugs seem to have been worked out.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The whole point of Oracle VM is that it allows me to access modern-day computers with large number of cores and large amounts of memory. Most users are not going to run into something that it cannot handle.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had to use tech support quite a bit, over the many iterations of the program. In the beginning, they were not so great. Now, they've also made great strides and learned their own product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were previously using Oracle on HP-UX. They ceased support on HP-UX and we cut over to Linux. We needed to control our licensing costs and Oracle VM was the way to do it.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. It was relatively simple. There were just Linux installs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Oracle is the only vendor that sells this. That is all there is to choose. Oracle are the only ones who can provide it.

What other advice do I have?

Hire me for consulting. That's the big one.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Video Review
Consultant
One of the most intriguing things about Oracle VM is that it's a free enterprise-grade hypervisor.

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?

For about 5 years now

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Just issues on my part

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?

Customer Service:

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.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
ITCS user
Systems administrator - Microsoft, Redhat, VMWare, Oracle VM at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Oracle VM was chosen mostly due to licensing issues and it is based on the stable Xen.

What is most valuable?

It reduces the licensing cost for other Oracle products, and because it's based on Xen, it has no performance problems.

How has it helped my organization?

We've been able to use it successfully for deployment of our online application.

What needs improvement?

It needs automatic migration that's similar to VMware vMotion. The DRS feature in VMware migrates virtual machines based on the load on the hosts. Oracle VM does not have this feature, and I don't want users complaining about the performance bottleneck due to the load on the host.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I deployed it within a week and didn't have any issues with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Thankfully, everything was stable in spite of my limited knowledge.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no issues scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service was good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use VMware products, which I personally prefer. VMware products are an administrator's dream. They have thought of everything, including DRS, HA, templates, and virtual machine deployment. It is very easy to do all these tasks.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit of both straightforward and complex, but it's easy if you know VMware.

What about the implementation team?

I carried out the implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It reduces the licensing cost for Oracle products, though I still prefer VMware.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Oracle VM was chosen mostly due to licensing issues and it is based on the stable KVM product of Red Hat.

What other advice do I have?

VMware is the best, but for saving license costs for Oracle products, Oracle VM is good and stable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user448686
Oracle Middleware Specialist at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
While it is a good solution for virtualization, it is less flexible than other market solutions like VMware.

Valuable Features:

The CPU pinning feature that allows to link a virtual CPU (VCPU) to a physical CPU core. This feature is very useful in a virtualized environment who has on premise applications licenced by restricted number of CPU cores.

Improvements to My Organization:

As a virtualization solution, this product help us to build and deploy development environments more quickly.

Room for Improvement:

Resizing of Virtual disk needs to be improved, as does hot swap for VCPU and RAM.

Use of Solution:

I've been using it for years.

Deployment Issues:

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've experienced no issues with performance.

Scalability Issues:

It's been able to scale for our needs.

Other Advice:

While it is a good solution for virtualization, Oracle VM is less flexible than other market solutions like VMware.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Our company is Oracle Platinum Partner and provides IT services based on Oracle Products like Database, Middleware as well as Virtualization.
it_user448731
Oracle DBA at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It’s helped to decrease hardware and software license costs. It's missing an option to create a snapshot backup.

Valuable Features:

For most customers we have is the main reason avoiding license issues with Oracle. Most customers already have VMware vSphere running. Another reason is to have the complete stack from the same vendor, if any issues occur then only vendor has to be contacted for support to help fixing the issues.

Improvements to My Organization:

It’s helped to decrease hardware and software license costs to use Oracle VM as most of our customers are running a lot of small applications and databases. They use Oracle VM to create small VMs to install Weblogic and the Databases on seperate servers. Also, to split the OTA database and application servers from the production databases and applications. Advantage: less hardware to buy, and most software licenses are CPU based, by using hard partitioning you can save on license costs.

Room for Improvement:

Backup: It's possible to clone a VM (Virtual Machine) or make a template from it, but the option to create a snapshot backup from OVM Manager is missing. This option is available in VMware vSphere If you want to make snapshots using Oracle VM then it must be done by the storage product.

Jobs, the OVM manager handles only one job at the time. For a lot of actions, for example, starting or stopping a Virtual Machine, a job is created. If I start a couple of VM's at the same time I only see one job for starting the first VM. The other five jobs are in an invisible queue, after finishing the first job the second job starts and becomes visible at that moment. What to improve: make at least visible which jobs are in the queue and make it possible to run multiple jobs at the same time.

Security: there is no role based access control available in OVM Manager, if it’s needed then you have to use Oracle Enterprise Manager with the right plugin.

Use of Solution:

I've been using it for years.

Deployment Issues:

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've experienced no issues with performance.

Scalability Issues:

It's been able to scale for our needs.

Other Advice:

The product is good for the things we want to do with it, but there is room for improvement.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Platinum Oracle Partner.
it_user446694
Senior Apps Database Administrator at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
When we migrate physical servers to virtual ones, it reduces the amount of licenses needed.

Valuable Features:

  • Scalability
  • Administering/managing
  • Simplified network/storage operations.

Having these features in place, a DBA admin can easily able to build VMs, migrate on the fly, assign network ports, and segregate the networks according to levels.

Improvements to My Organization:

It's improved our licensing. When we migrate physical servers to virtual ones, it reduces the amount of licenses needed. Not only that, Oracle Linux on Oracle VM are certified to run, also UEL is tuned to provide fast performance compare to other Linux.

Room for Improvement:

There are some minor bugs with the manual admin from Hyp versus GUI Admin.

Deployment Issues:

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues:

We have had no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues:

It's scaled for our needs.

Other Advice:

I personally like working on Oracle VM rather than other virtualization, because of the simplified setup, and probably I am attached to Oracle products maybe, as being an Ex-Employee of Oracle Corp.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436065
IT Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
​We can run software on a host separate from other hardware resources, which is important when we need to take a snapshot and restore it later on another VM.​

Valuable Features:

With Oracle VM, the most valuable feature is the virtualization of the hardware, making it easier to maintain and support than actual OS's and networks resources. 

Improvements to My Organization:

We can run software on a host separate from other hardware resources, which is important when we need to take a snapshot and restore it later on another VM.

But it also comes down to the fact that it's a product by Oracle, the industry leader. We know we can rely on it and that it'll be supported by an established company.

Room for Improvement:

The fact that it cannot do a hot snapshot is a problem for us, but we work around it. We need to have good backups, while the system is up, which don't don't right now with Oracle VM. Our workarounds are fine for now, but we'd prefer to be able to just do hot snapshots when we need to.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues:

I think it's fine, there are no issue there. We haven't had any big issues with it being unstable.

Scalability Issues:

The scalability has been there for us as well. We've been able to scale as needed.

Initial Setup:

It's implemented just fine. The setup was pretty easy and straightforward. It was a combination of an easy product to install and technical expertise as well.

Implementation Team:

We implemented it ourselves with our in-house team.

Other Solutions Considered:

We didn't really evaluate other products because we already run a lot of other Oracle solutions. Obviously, Oracle VM is supported by Oracle, which makes things easier than if we had used, for example, vSphere or Hyper-V.

Other Advice:

Study ahead of time so you know what you're working with. Also, plan your implementation.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
ITCS user
CTO/Architect at Viscosity North America
Consultant
The primary benefit of virtualization is reduced CapEx by getting rid of old hardware and then consolidating them on a defined set of platforms.

Valuable Features

Although not necessarily a feature, but rather a capability of virtualization, is the possibiltles to have high consolidation density and to take new or legacy applications and put them on high-performance computing platforms.

Improvements to My Organization

The primary benefit is that it reduced CapEx by getting rid of old hardware and then consolidating them on a defined set of platforms. And while it's pretty well automated and if your IT department is well-versed in virtualization technology, it can reduce OpEx as well.

Room for Improvement

I think it needs a more simplified way of provisioning external storage networks. Those areas in performance, especially triaging performance at the hypervisor layer, need some improvement.

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues with deploying it.

Stability Issues

It's come a long way. So, by the time you get to v3.3, it's a pretty stable platform. It's much easier to use than the previous versions and I'd say it's at a good place right now.

Scalability Issues

It scales well. I think a primary use case of this would be in the private cloud appliance, a PCA, which is where it really gets leveraged.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The primary benefit I see is that most of the people who are doing support for Oracle VM come from database and virtualization backgrounds, and they sit together. If you have a problem with a database, since it's virtualized, they'll know exactly how to triage it.

Initial Setup

It's been a struggle. Over the years, it's gotten better and better. I think what's helped tremendously is the integration of OVM with PCA, and so all the setup has really been taken out of the hands of the administrator. It's really more of a deployment thing than it is a setup thing. That's helped a lot.

Other Solutions Considered

We looked at quite a few vendors and we support different vendors as well, too. We're not a one-vendor shop. We use quite different vendors and it's all-purpose for us. For Oracle-based technology, we use Oracle VM. For non-Oracle stuff, we use VMware.

Other Advice

The first thing I would suggest is that if you have a test environment, the best thing to do is learn. Get certified hardware and then play with it, test it. Make sure you're comfortable with the whole provisioning setup and configuration of it. Then use it on a much more wider scale.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're reseller and partner.
ITCS user
Oracle Database Administrator at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Live migrations work as advertise and, if set right, it moves VMs around to balance out the resources.

What is most valuable?

Live migrations work as advertised and, if set right, it moves VMs around to balance out the resources.

What needs improvement?

Development of the product seems slow, but then again, I do not want a rushed product. Oracle states that this is their solution for their products, but Windows is fully supported. It may not have all the features of VMware, but those features come at a cost (monetarily and performance-wise). I want a rock solid foundation, and I don't want a bunch of hooks into the foundation of my Windows infrastructure.

For how long have I used the solution?

The system we set up has two nodes (hosts) and one manager. We are using an HP DL 380 for the manager and 385s for the hosts, which, at the time, were not on the compatibility list, but it still works.

We have most of our Windows domain on OVM. One host has one domain controller, the other host has another domain controller. So just in case we lose a host, we do not loose an authentication server.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had problems with the PV drivers setting CPUs above eight, but this limitation is noted in the ReadMe file.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once the system was up and running, the VMs ran great! We have Windows 2003, 2008 and 2008R2 servers. At the time, in July 2013, 2012 was not supported.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues scaling it for our needs.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I was using Oracle OEM and Dell Foglight on virtual machines that were already on the market. When Oracle came with its own VM product that was better suited to an Oracle environment and easy to use with Oracle builds, we switched.

How was the initial setup?

I set up the manager first. Since this is an Oracle installation, I chose to install the manager software on Oracle Linux 6.1. Nothing fancy needed, but I installed the desktop to make things easier for me. I have two NICs set up, one to connect to my network, and the other to connect to the hosts (for management, VM live migrations, and the heartbeat). I then installed the manager software and you just need to click Next>Next>Next. Be sure to write the password down, as this is the password needed to gain access to the management console (via web).

The hosts were a snap. We do not have any hard drives in the host, but do have a flash card to boot from. So I chose the "minimal" install for the flash card install, and you need to set a root password and a discover password. Make note of them as you will need the discover password to make the connection in the manager. Keep the discover password the same for all hosts to make it easier. Once in the manager, before you discover all the hosts you need to manage, you will need to set what the VLANs are, bonds to the network, how many virtual NICs you will need, etc. After you discover the nodes, you will need to set up a pool repository that keeps all the info on the VMs. This repository should go on the SAN. Another repository should be set up for all your ISOs and other VM volumes if you chose not to use raw LUNs. Connect all the storage you will use (we have HP P4300s). We use all raw iSCSI LUNS for our VMs. We lose some functionality in OVM, but gain others via the SAN (snapshots, etc).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You get enterprise features for no cost or low cost if you chose to purchase support.

What other advice do I have?

Do not attempt to run OVM on old hardware as it only runs on 64-bit systems. Check with the hardware compatibility guide for more details.

This is a great solution and, in my opinion, it's a rare jewel that more Windows shops should be looking at.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436125
Lead Product Dev at a tech company
Vendor
It's essentially Xen technology that runs on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, all of which runs on a base supported by Oracle, which is great.

Valuable Features:

We use Oracle VM in our datacenter, which helps us run some hard core stuff. It's essentially Xen technology that runs on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, all of which runs on a base supported by Oracle, which is great.

Room for Improvement:

Xen running on Oracle VM differs greatly depending on whether you're using version 2 or version 3 in terms of directories, images, etc. So it takes some getting used to because they weren't release with consistent interfaces.

Use of Solution:

I've been using it since v2.x when it really went into production grade.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

Xen technology running on Oracle VM is rock solid. Again, versions 2 and version 3 are completely different, and it takes some time to…

Valuable Features:

We use Oracle VM in our datacenter, which helps us run some hard core stuff. It's essentially Xen technology that runs on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, all of which runs on a base supported by Oracle, which is great.

Room for Improvement:

Xen running on Oracle VM differs greatly depending on whether you're using version 2 or version 3 in terms of directories, images, etc. So it takes some getting used to because they weren't release with consistent interfaces.

Use of Solution:

I've been using it since v2.x when it really went into production grade.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

Xen technology running on Oracle VM is rock solid. Again, versions 2 and version 3 are completely different, and it takes some time to get used to. But for users, it's still a rock solid product and works perfectly.

Scalability Issues:

So far, we've been able to scale it. We haven't had any issues with scalability.

Initial Setup:

The initial setup wasn't complex.

Implementation Team:

We implemented it ourselves with our in-house team.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
it_user418149
Infrastructure Projects Director at a non-profit with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
We can move VM’s while keeping the most important ones available. Oracle must improve their support skills and knowledge base to help clients with issues.​

What is most valuable?

I find the VM server features useful for moving VM’s while keeping the most important ones available.

How has it helped my organization?

With Oracle VM we can deliver new infrastructure much faster by deploying from templates and cloning it after customizing.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a proper and stable client to access Oracle VM Manager. Installation documents should be improved regarding storage details and shared cluster disks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for three years for many US, UK and European clients.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The issues I found were related to cluster disk shared on our SAN. It was about detailed storage configurations.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The issues I found were related to cluster disk shared on our SAN. It was about detailed storage configurations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The issues I found were related to cluster disk shared on our SAN. It was about detailed storage configurations.

How are customer service and technical support?

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the same level of expertise as I see regarding Oracle Databases. Oracle must improve their support skills and knowledge base to help clients with issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also use VMware vSphere, but for Microsoft based solutions (Windows Servers, Sharepoint, MSSQL, etc). Oracle VM is a better choice and cheaper one when we are using Oracle Solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very hard and required me to create a build doc to my company so anyone could do it again. The cluster documentation is not straightforward when we use 3rd party SAN hardware.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it for British and European clients using my own build document as there was not enough information for Hitachi SAN storages. I would advise you to create a proper POC and test all hardware pieces. Also, Oracle Linux is a must have on these kind of environments.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Well, this is the most important factor on Oracle VM as it is a free solution to implement, and very cheap to license. If you also use Oracle VM as operating system, then all makes sense regarding pricing, support and performance.

What other advice do I have?

It still lacks a reliable Oracle VM Manager able to also report performance. Also, Oracle Support knowledge base is still growing. My advice is to have skilled people to implement it. Although it is cheap, it needs the correct skills for a proper cluster implementation and to resolve issues.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I implement it for our clients.
ITCS user
IT Manager at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
This product is directly related to hardware, so it is a complete technology with hardware, operating system, and virtualization software.

What is most valuable?

  • Bare metal virtualization
  • SR-IOV
  • Live migration
  • Hardware compliance

How has it helped my organization?

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 -

  • Robustness
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • High performance

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.

What needs improvement?

  • The SR-IOV technology should be improved more as it only supports basic functions.
  • It does not have a graphical maintenance screen. The OVM manager interface has so little functionality for managing control domains only. It is not a big problem if you have experienced administrators, but it would be nice to have a beautiful screen to use for everything which guides you into not making mistakes.
  • Error handling takes the safest way, but safest way may cause business discontinuity. A few bad experiences occurred in this manner and should be fixed. For example, if you restart the server and resources assigned to virtual systems are more than available, it removes all virtual system definitions and resource assignments like WWNs. You have to redefine everything from backups. This takes time and the system is out of service in the meanwhile.
  • Virtual WWNs were lost in one of the PDOMs while it was in maintenance mode. The system continued with other servers, but all disk access paths had to be re-defined from scratch for some LDOMs. It was so annoying because this was not accepted as a bug by Oracle.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had errors, but they were fixed. The hardware and software work perfectly with the new SPARC technology.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no issues with scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and no more complex than PowerVM.

What about the implementation team?

Our main effort was using in-house resources. The vendor team only supported training.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

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.

What other advice do I have?

  • Plan everything at the beginning. Do not change plans after you start.
  • You must know what you are doing. Never leave any responsibility to the vendor or a third-party contractor.
  • Write what you do, do what you write. Never leave any detail undocumented.
  • Do something, validate documentation, then delete everything and make someone else do the same thing with the documentation.
  • Security becomes a big issue after setup. Plan your security requirements during design. The vendor does not care about it. It cannot be added later.
  • Plan your disaster recovery requirements and make your designs accordingly.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user427392
Oracle Database Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Quick and easy way to deploy new virtual machines from Oracle VM templates and your own templates.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this product is the quick and easy way to deploy new virtual machines from Oracle VM templates and your own templates. That is very useful to deploy new virtual machines in a few minutes with different Oracle products already installed and configured. For example, we can deploy a new virtual machine with Oracle Database installed and another virtual machine with Oracle WebCenter installed.

How has it helped my organization?

It reduced the time to deploy new machines and reduced the cost of licensing.

What needs improvement?

It would be very nice to improve the way to get hot backup clones of virtual machines and to schedule this jobs from Oracle VM Manager.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used it for three years and we stopped last year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I encountered some issues with virtual networks and live migration feature in v3.2.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

7/10

Technical Support:

7/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The company where I was used VMware solutions for virtualization of environments, and we migrated all Oracle products to an Oracle VM infrastructure.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complex because no one in the company knew about this product as it was something new at the time. My team and I did a successful installation of our Oracle VM environment and migrated all Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic application servers to this new infrastructure, which are now in our production environment for client deliveries.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was done by a local team of the company with some issues but finally with success.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This aspect was done by another team in our company.

What other advice do I have?

I think it is a good Oracle product, but it is necessary to have a dedicated team with the correct expertise for this task because it is different from other virtualization solutions. The team should include people who know about storage, networking, Oracle Linux OS, Xen Server, Oracle Database, etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user427425
Unix System Engineer / Oracle Pre-sales Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It supports diverse guest operating systems: Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, CentOS, and Microsoft Windows.

Valuable Features

  • Diverse guest operating system support: 10/10
  • Secure live VM migration: 8/10
  • Storage live VM migration: 8/10
  • High Availability: 10/10
  • Advanced management for zero extra cost: 10/10
  • Faster software deployment with Oracle VM templates: 10/10
  • Virtual Appliance support: 10/10
  • Rapid VM provisioning and cloning: 10/10
  • Full Stack management: 10/10

It supports diverse guest operating systems: Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, CentOS, and Microsoft Windows.

Modern, low overhead architecture based on the Xen hypervisor for leading price/performance. The Xen hypervisor has been improved and included with Oracle VM Server.

Speeds application deployment with Oracle VM Templates and virtual appliances

Full Oracle VM Manager command-line interface (CLI) and Web Services API (WS-API) allow greater automation and interoperability

Advanced virtualization features including:

  • Secure live migration
  • Storage live migration
  • VM high-availability (HA)
  • Distributed Resource Scheduler(DRS)
  • Distributed Power Management(DPM)
  • Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) and Virtualto-Virtual (V2V) conversion
  • Full Stack Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Ready for OpenStack

Room for Improvement

The only improvement that I want to see is more flexibility in configuring and managing Oracle VM server with a CLI if there is no Oracle VM Manager. Oracle restricts you to managing the Oracle VM server via Oracle VM Manager and not through a CLI on Oracle VM Server.

Use of Solution

I've been using it for three years. I've been implementing Oracle VM for x86 across various projects.

Deployment Issues

If I face any issues in Oracle VM deployment, with the help of Oracle support I can solve the issue.

Stability Issues

The first release of Oracle VM had issues, but now it's stable.

Scalability Issues

9/10 - It offers high performance and scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

You should implement Oracle Database or Oracle Application over a virtualized environment. I recommend that you implement Oracle VM for this reason, but this doesn't mean that Oracle products are not supported over VMware or Hyper-V; it is supported but not certified. It means that if there is any problem with the Database or an application over VMware, Oracle will try to simulate the error on an Oracle VM not on a VMware one. If there is no issue on Oracle VM, they will ask you to contact VMware support.

It's the best support ever as you can open one SR across Oracle hardware, Oracle VM Server, Oracle Solaris or Linux, Oracle Database, and any Oracle Application.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It comes with zero license cost. Unlike VMware, Oracle VM is free to download, use, and distribute. All you need to pay for is support, and support fees are affordable.

As an Oracle pre-sales engineer, when you buy Oracle x86 server, the server cost includes one year support for the following items:

  1. Oracle Solaris & Oracle Enterprise Linux
  2. Oracle VM Server
  3. Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c

Other Advice

We are a gold partner, and we use this product to compete with other virtualization products on the market like VMware and Hyper-V. Its features fit most of our customers.

You have to be familiar with hardware and Linux. From my experience in designing and architecting Oracle solutions, most customers implement an Oracle VM environment on Oracle X86 Servers with Oracle ZS3 NAS storage or Oracle FS1-2 flash storage.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an Oracle Gold Partner for hardware. We are specialists in hardware and systems .
ITCS user
IT Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Simple to deploy and configurations have been made simpler and cleaner in the latest release.

Valuable Features:

Stability has proven to be satisfactory. The deployment is simple, a lot of the configurations, particularly the network related ones, have been made much simpler and cleaner in the latest releases (3.3.2+), and the GUI has become more responsive. 

Room for Improvement:

At the moment the discovery of hosts and configuration can be performed only via the GUI and not by a command line on the hosts. To resolve some other issues, we decided to install Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud 13c to add monitoring capabilities, which OVM Manager lacks completely.

Oracle claims "whatever you can do via manager, you can do via EC", but in my opinion that's not true because a lot of tasks are simply too slow via EC than via the manager.

Use of Solution:

My first attempt with Oracle VM was around two years ago. I was asked to set up a four-node cluster with 3.3.1 release on top of Fujitsu hardware (Fujitsu Primequest 1800E).

Deployment Issues:

v3.3.1 was pretty much disappointing in terms of performance, especially when it came to migration. It took minutes for a VM with a lot of memory to migrate across different hosts. This led us to upgrade the environment to 3.3.2, and changing the underlying hardware. Fujitsu Primequest was dismissed in favor of Fujitsu RX 300 S8 due to a compatibility issue as Primequest were not certified on 3.3.2.

3.3.2 was a bit faster but it didn't take long for us to experience one of its major bugs - the migration of any VM with 64GB plus RAM failing with an OpenSSL error.
This was fixed in a short time with the help of Oracle support who suggested to upgrade the OpenSSL packet.

Stability Issues:

We only had a single crash on one host in more than two years as the kernel panicked. An SR was opened to Oracle, but it led to nowhere.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues scaling it to our needs.

Initial Setup:

It's fairly straightforward.  All you have to do is to install via script the so-called "OVM Manager", which is basically a Java administration GUI run on a WebLogic server with MySQL underlying it as a metadata repository. At the time, Oracle Database was a choice too, but it's no longer the case because, as an Oracle guy revealed, the Database engine has a major bug which corrupts lob data which prevents the the manager from working properly.

After that, you then install the OS, a Linux kernel running an Oracle-engineered Xen hypervisor, on top of the hosts. Again, this is quite a simple process and in the latest releases (3.3.2+), it has become more and more a "Next > Next" procedure where you have virtually no freedom of choice over a number of things such as file system layout. The Oracle guy who revealed the Database engine bug told me this is by design as most customers were messing up things during the installation. Finally, you have to discover the hosts via the manager and make all the necessary configurations storage discovery, network layout.

Other Advice:

While the software is still missing a lot of capabilities which its major competitor (VMware) has and a performance boost is highly recommended, it could still be a choice if you have to virtualize Oracle software.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Oracle Consultant & DBA - Cloud Support Engineer at Amazon Web Services
Consultant
You will have great flexibility in the x86 world. The product needs to improve the backup and snapshot functionality.

Valuable Features

Oracle license compatibility was the deciding factor for us. It's the only way to fulfill the Oracle license policy if you want to virtualize in a x86 environment.

Also, Oracle VM performance is one of the best that I've experienced. And the pre-seeded images that Oracle puts at your disposal makes your life really ease, i.e. you can have an Oracle RAC up and running within two hours with the OVM images.

Improvements to My Organization

I work in a consultancy, so I've deployed several OVM environments always with great results and high customer satisfaction. We've achieved the goal of being in line with the Oracle license, providing customers with better usage of their resources at better cost.

Room for Improvement

The product needs to improve the backup and snapshot functionalities. This is the main disadvantage compared to other hypervisors on the market.

Use of Solution

I've used it for at least eight years since version 2.1 was released.

Deployment Issues

We have had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

We've never found an instability problem with the hypervisor as it is simply rock solid.

On the other hand, the OVM Manager has had some problems and inconsistencies. The best option is to have the OMV Manager virtualized and to recreate it if there are issues as all the relevant info is stored in the hypervisor itself.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues scaling it to our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Oracle always works well in terms of support, and if you need extra assistance you can escalate your case, but at the moment I have never had to go so deep.

Initial Setup

The hypervisor installation and setup is one of the most simple things that I have ever done. Just boot, select the proper installation method, configure (Linux-like), and you're done.

On the other hand, the Manager can be a little tricky, but the newer versions have become much easier. Just set up your OS and pre-requisites, database, and OVM Manager.

Implementation Team

I've implemented in my own company for internal use and as consultant engineer, I've performed several implementations for clients.

You always can get faster result going with consultancy services as they provide expertise and background from many previous implementations of the product.

ROI

The ROI is very fast.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

OVM has low impact and is licensed on a per-server basis. The cost is very affordable as you only have to pay support.

Other Solutions Considered

We evaluated VMware, Citrix, Hyper-V, and RHEV. The main feature was the "Oracle License Compliant" and after the wide library of images. The stability and efficiency of the hypervisor was always great therefore the previous mentioned factors comes to decide.

Other Advice

It's a great product and becomes better with every release. It is based on the rock solid Xen hypervisor.

It's an easy and great product. You can test it for free and you will have great flexibility in the x86 world. Go for it without doubt.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We perform implementations as consultants.
ITCS user
ATS - Database Lead at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We are able to build large hosts using Oracle Virtual Cloud Appliance. ​I’d like to see an improvement in read latency and write bandwidth to meet or exceed VMware's performance.

What is most valuable?

When deploying the Oracle database, you can license only the processors used for the database rather than all the processors on the box, as with VMWare. Plus, it’s free.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to build large hosts (using Oracle Virtual Cloud Appliance, for example) and wait to license CPUs for our databases until we need them. That translates into more money up front for servers and salespeople.

What needs improvement?

I’d like to see an improvement in read latency and write bandwidth to meet or exceed VMware's performance, and also smooth out the variance in both. People are choosing VMware over OVM left and right despite the licensing issues. OVM needs to be faster than anyone else, especially with Oracle’s own products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It’s a bit clunkier to deploy and manage than other systems, e.g. VMware.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has not been an issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle is very good at supporting engineered systems, so if you’re using OVM on a PCA, you get good service. Otherwise, it’s pretty typical tier-one/tier-two tech support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used VMware, Hyper-V, and AIX LPARs. I chose Oracle VM (when using x86) not only because it’s free, but because of the Oracle DB licensing benefits. Hyper-V is not really all there yet. VMware is awesome, but the Oracle licensing is a crippling problem.

How was the initial setup?

I would say it’s less straightforward than you’d expect. I haven’t installed it recently, but my impression was that it was about 70% ready for prime-time. Once you have it installed and sorted out, it runs pretty smoothly. Getting it there is another issue entirely.

What about the implementation team?

We mostly use a vendor to set up OVM, but occasionally we will do it in-house as well. My main advice is to practice it first, read all documentation, look at MOS documents, and review all blogs and community discussions you can find.

What was our ROI?

For our specific ROI, OVM allows us to buy larger systems to accommodate projected growth but not go broke on licensing. We can get new licenses on demand when we have a reason to buy them rather than all up front and hoping we expand into it. That means we can concentrate on selling new opportunities and buying the licenses after the sales are locked in. We don’t have money sitting out there idling.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The biggest benefit is being able to license Oracle products (especially the DB) based on the number of CPUs actually used rather than all the CPUs on the box as you have to do with VMware. This results in a lot more flexibility in the sizes of servers you can buy and how you plan for future growth. If you had to buy all Oracle licenses for every CPU, you might get a smaller server to start with and that doesn’t really help with expansion.

Properly sizing your equipment for growth often means buying equipment much larger than you need right away. The money you save with Oracle VM by not buying extra licenses means you can focus on preparing your hardware for the future rather than having to balance between licenses, hardware, and practicality.

Before speccing out your systems, it’s best to start figuring out how many CPUs you need now and in the future, then you’ll be able to decide what server/VM solution you need. If you’re looking at a small software footprint now, but in one to two years you expect to double or triple your transactions, you’ll definitely want to start with a big server and OVM to reduce software licensing costs.

What other advice do I have?

My main advice is not to do your first install when sitting at the client building a production system. Practice it beforehand and make sure you work the bugs out. Once you install it the first time, it’ll be far easier to breeze through it on subsequent installs.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Oracle Platinum business partner.
ITCS user
Senior Digital Technical Lead/Architect at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We can have one VM to share with the team that has all development tools set up.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the large number of available network configurations and its high degree of scalability.

How has it helped my organization?

We've improved a lot as I use it for creating VMs for software development purposes for our team. We can have one VM to share with the team that has all development tools set up so that when a new developer joins the team, they can be ready to work just by copying the VM. So it's saved lots of time for each developer to set up their development environment. Also, it keeps the team aligned with the different tools they use.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more improvements in the synchronization between the host machine and the VM especially in Mac machines. Also, more features around folder sharing would be an improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used VMware but switched because I got better support from Oracle.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on how deep I want to go, but normally the initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I used a mixed team of vendor and in-house personnel for the implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think the pricing is fair.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user410328
CISO at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It allows hard partitioning platforms, thus keeping the licenses intact.

Valuable Features

It allows hard partitioning platforms, thus keeping the licenses intact.

Improvements to My Organization

We have two datacenters, holding less than 15 physical servers and still running over 300 virtual ones.

Room for Improvement

With v2.X it was possible to do everything in the CLI or the shell. Now, on v3.X everything must be done either in the GUI or CLI, and there's no option to use the shell. I am old school, so I hate GUI. CLI is working well and I wish it to be that in future.

Use of Solution

We have been using it for the past seven years, and have created 10 different environments.

Deployment Issues

There have been no issues with the deployments.

Stability Issues

There was nasty bug on DomU UEK3 kernel year ago, which wiped virtual machine…

Valuable Features

It allows hard partitioning platforms, thus keeping the licenses intact.

Improvements to My Organization

We have two datacenters, holding less than 15 physical servers and still running over 300 virtual ones.

Room for Improvement

With v2.X it was possible to do everything in the CLI or the shell. Now, on v3.X everything must be done either in the GUI or CLI, and there's no option to use the shell. I am old school, so I hate GUI. CLI is working well and I wish it to be that in future.

Use of Solution

We have been using it for the past seven years, and have created 10 different environments.

Deployment Issues

There have been no issues with the deployments.

Stability Issues

There was nasty bug on DomU UEK3 kernel year ago, which wiped virtual machine disks if a certain combination was used. Now, it's fine.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues scaling it as needed.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I've never had to contact them.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is as easy as walking. After that, it gets a little complicated, but if one knows what one is doing, it is still easy.

Implementation Team

In-house. If you know Linux and Xen, you are good to go. If you don't, get a partner to do this for you.

Other Solutions Considered

As it's Oracle, there was no need to evaluate anything else.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Database Administrator at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The templates that are available for provisioning database nodes are very helpful. Using these pre-configured templates makes the deployment process quick and efficient.

What is most valuable?

We are using Oracle VM as the platform for running our Oracle databases. The templates that are available for provisioning database nodes are very helpful. Using these pre-configured templates makes the deployment process quick and efficient.

How has it helped my organization?

By virtualizing our database tier on generic x86 hardware, it lowered hardware costs, improved performance, scalability and maintainability. We now have more redundancy than we had with proprietary hardware.

What needs improvement?

Ease of upgrades is certainly a strong candidate for improvement. I started looking at an Oracle 12 template and I have to say I liked the Oracle 11 template better, not from a database perspective but from an OS perspective.

For how long have I used the solution?

We initially implemented version 2.2.1 in 2010 but never took it in to production. We had issues with stability that were ultimately traced to how the LUNs were presented to the guests. We went live with version 3.0 in 2011. We're currently on version 3.2.1.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability was a major issue initially and it was traced to how the LUNs were presented to the guests. Once that was resolved, the system was pretty solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did have an issue with the guests running out of swap space and located a procedure to expand swap space without having to disrupt the LUN numbering convention.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It was initially subpar.

Technical Support:

It was initially subpar. The issue with LUN presentation was discovered by us and not by tech support. I would think tech support would have been able to at least point us in that direction. Lately, it has been difficult to route issues to the correct group. Once there, however, support has been adequate.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For our database tier, we used proprietary hardware that worked well but we were limited to that type of hardware and it was reaching end-of-life. At the time, Oracle was adamant about their hypervisor being the only one that was license-compliant, so that took us in the direction of Oracle VM. I understand Oracle has backed away from that stance for other hypervisors, but at the time we didn’t want to double or quadruple or database licensing costs.

How was the initial setup?

Unfortunately, I used my VMware experience and applied it to the Oracle VM setup. Looking back, that was probably not the right approach as some things in Oracle VM are very different. The LUN presentation issue came down to poor documentation as there were two ways to present the LUNs and the documentation made it seem the improper method was the way to go.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house, but ultimately had to get Oracle involved for the initial implementation. The version we are currently on is very stable. I should probably consider upgrading, but it’s a lower priority task right now.

What was our ROI?

The ROI was very low considering that the initial license was free.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Support costs are manageable.

What other advice do I have?

As a hypervisor, it is effective, however the functionality is a step down from VMware. Upgrades are getting easier to do, but still not as easy as VMware.

The current versions seem much more stable than the earlier ones. The best advice I have is to understand the documentation and don’t take prior experience with other hypervisors in to account.

A typical database node-guest configuration:

The disks for the O/S and swap are configured as Virtual Disks while the LUNs for ASM are configured as Physical Disks.

The environment was configured primarily to host our PeopleSoft implementation as well as several smaller databases. However, PeopleSoft is being replaced with another ERP solution so this environment will be used for historical purposes. The future of the other databases is yet to be determined.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
UNIX Engineer Advisor at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
If you need to put an Oracle Database on Linux or Windows and don't want to pay to license a whole VMware cluster, this is the next best option. There are several VMware features missing.

What is most valuable?

It offers live migration. It is the best virtualization option for Oracle databases for Linux as Oracle recognizes hard partitions for their database licensing.

How has it helped my organization?

If you need to put an Oracle Database on Linux or Windows for any reason, and don't want to pay to license a whole VMware cluster, this is the next best option.

What needs improvement?

There are several VMware features missing. I haven't done an in-depth analysis to understand which exact ones they are.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability was great. There were no issues with instability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I only deployed it to a small, three-node Oracle X5-2 cluster.

How are customer service and technical support?

Never had to open an SR. It's pretty stable. I did create ask some fairly technical questions about it on the My Oracle Support Community and got some great help there.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware which we had to use for licensing reasons, and to be able to own the full stack (hardware/virtualization/OS). My team had minimal permissions on the VMware side.

How was the initial setup?

It was fairly easy for an experienced Linux admin.

What about the implementation team?

I did the implementation myself.

What was our ROI?

I never did an ROI calculation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's much cheaper than paying millions for Oracle DB in VMware. Support for Oracle VM and Oracle Linux are included when installed on Oracle hardware, which makes it a very cheap option. There is a free, unsupported version available too. That might be attractive to some.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Engineer at a local government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
You get what you pay for
Oracle database licensing rules make licensing on VMware cost prohibitive. Instead Oracle prefers that you use their "enterprise" virtualization product, Oracle VM. Avoid it at all costs. Threaten to migrate to MS SQL... just don't use this thing. Pros: Free Relatively inexpensive support Cons: Poor and buggy Windows client support. PVM network drivers have a serious performance bug that has not been resolved in more than a year (and three versions updates!). Luckily, there is a workaround where you can disable some features of the virtual NIC to get it working. "High Availability" in the OVM world means that if you shutdown a VM from within the OS, OVM automatically restarts it. If you want to actually shut down a VM you have to disable…

Oracle database licensing rules make licensing on VMware cost prohibitive. Instead Oracle prefers that you use their "enterprise" virtualization product, Oracle VM. Avoid it at all costs. Threaten to migrate to MS SQL... just don't use this thing.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Relatively inexpensive support

Cons:

  • Poor and buggy Windows client support. PVM network drivers have a serious performance bug that has not been resolved in more than a year (and three versions updates!). Luckily, there is a workaround where you can disable some features of the virtual NIC to get it working.
  • "High Availability" in the OVM world means that if you shutdown a VM from within the OS, OVM automatically restarts it. If you want to actually shut down a VM you have to disable high availability, in which case you lose the ability to automatically migrate a VM if a host fails. It also means that you need to give your server admins access to the OVM Manager. For example, our DBAs can admin their Oracle servers... people who wouldn't normally have access to that level of enterprise management.
  • It took three weeks and a set of consultants who knew little more than us to get storage and network working properly in a fault-tolerant manner.
  • Non-existent best practices and no real community of support. Some Googling will find you the occasional blog or commercial site with tips and tricks, but they are few and far between.
  • Poor management interface. In order to see the status of an individual VM you have to drill down to the correct host. There is no way to see the status of all VMs on all hosts.
  • P2V is a multi-step process. Boot the server from a CD to turn it into a web server. Import web server into an OVM template. Create VM from template. Delete template. Essentially you need double the storage to get through the process.
  • Minimal troubleshooting or diagnostic information without diving into the Linux OS.
  • Training (virtual classroom only) was sub-standard and inconsistent. One member of our team was taught only to use the command line and was never shown the GUI. I was taught the GUI and some command line. And if you mention VMware in order to clarify concepts, prepare to get your head bitten off.
  • Migrating VMs to different storage is an adaptation of the process for deploying from a template. Some inputs are ignored, and yet you are prompted for them anyway.
  • You need an Oracle database to run the OVM Manager, which you install on the OVM Manager. So a key part of the infrastructure is a single point of failure.
  • The SAN disk for the server pool is a single point of failure.
  • If the OVM Manager goes down there is no way to manage the individual OVM hosts short of the Linux command line. The database (even when using Oracle Enterprise instead of the included Oracle XE) is prone to corruption, leaving you dead in the water. This has already happened to us once and the only solution from Oracle was to rebuild. Apparently this corruption is rather common. I know of other installations at my employer that have run into this corruption three times in the past nine months, requiring a rebuild each time. I do not feel that I can trust this product for a mission-critical production environment.
  • Oracle is aware of these corruption issues but does not know the source and has no fix. They have reduced the incidence of corruption in version 3.2.3, but it is not a question of if corruption will occur, but when. The difficult thing is that the OVM manager will appear to run fine with this corruption.... until you restart the OVM manager, at which point it fails.
  • The whole networking / storage / repository / configuration setup is needlessly complicated. I know this is an Oracle flavor of XEN, but... Citrix based their virtualization product on XEN and it isn't nearly as painful. Maybe Oracle should buy Citrix so they can drop OVM.
  • Configuring storage that does not support their management plugins (entry-level EMC products) is an exercise in trial and error.
  • If you already have another VM environment (VMware, Hyper-V) you are essentially setting up a parallel VM environment to manage.
  • Cloning a VM (or cloning from a template) duplicates *everything* so be sure you don't have any ISO images attached, as they will be duplicated as well, chewing up storage.
  • When you clone a VM the new files use the same name as the old with a number after it. If you don't think to rename them you will end up with a lot of files named "Windows 2008 Template (1)" "Windows 2008 Template (2)" and so on. The properties of the file will tell you to which VM it is linked, but (trust me) renaming them will save you a LOT of confusion. Things like this VMware just handles for you under the covers.

In summary: Do not use Oracle VM. If you must run Xen there are much better and manageable implementations (Citrix XenServer). If any reviewer has given Oracle VM more than two stars I seriously question whether they really have hands-on experience with the product (or have experience with a real virtualization product as a basis of comparison).

Update: After talking with other enterprises we are dropping OVM and setting up a separate VMware cluster in order to meet Oracle licensing requirements. While we will incur the expense of VMware licenses it is well worth it.

The licensing argument you will hear from Oracle regarding VMware is a scare tactic. You CAN run Oracle on VMware without breaking the bank on Oracle licensing if you plan carefully. VMware also guarantees that they will work directly with Oracle on your behalf to resolve any issues that may be linked to running on VMware.

Further update: When we gave up on Oracle VM about 9 months ago the central office tried to stick with it due to the Oracle DB licensing issues. Last week they got fed up and ordered the hardware to create a new VMware cluster dedicated to Oracle instead.

Another update: While I have not used Oracle VM since I posted this review, it is interesting to note that they have not released a new version since 2014. The latest version 3.3, did not fix any of the issues I don't think they are really serious about advancing or enhancing this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
flashdba
Consulting Manager (EMEA) at Violin Memory
Vendor
VMware ESX vs. Oracle VM
This is a very simple post to show the results of some recent testing that Tom and I ran using Oracle SLOB on Violin to determine the impact of using virtualization. But before we get to that, I am duty bound to write a paragraph of text featuring lots of long sentences peppered with industry buzz words. Forgive me, it’s just the way I’m wired. It is increasingly common these days to find database environments running in virtual machines – even large, business critical ones. The driver is the trend to commoditize I.T. services and build consolidated, private-cloud style solutions in order to control operational expense and increase agility (not to mention reduce exposure to Oracle licenses). But, as I’ve said in previous posts, the catalyst has been the unblocking of I/O as…

This is a very simple post to show the results of some recent testing that Tom and I ran using Oracle SLOB on Violin to determine the impact of using virtualization. But before we get to that, I am duty bound to write a paragraph of text featuring lots of long sentences peppered with industry buzz words. Forgive me, it’s just the way I’m wired.

It is increasingly common these days to find database environments running in virtual machines – even large, business critical ones. The driver is the trend to commoditize I.T. services and build consolidated, private-cloud style solutions in order to control operational expense and increase agility (not to mention reduce exposure to Oracle licenses). But, as I’ve said in previous posts, the catalyst has been the unblocking of I/O as legacy disk systems are replaced by flash memory. In the past, virtual environments caused a kind of I/O blender effect whereby I/O calls become increasingly randomized – and this sucked for the performance of disk drives. Flash memory arrays on the other hand can deliver random I/O all day long because… well, if you don’t know the reasons by now can I just recommend starting at the beginning. The outcome is that many large and medium-sized organisations are now building database-as-a-service platforms with Oracle databases (other database products are available) running in virtual machines. It’s happening right now.

Phew. Anyway, that last paragraph was just a wordy way of telling you that I’m often seeing Oracle running in virtual machines on top of hypervisors. But how much of a performance impact do those hypervisors have? Step this way to find out.

The Contenders

When it comes to running Oracle on a hypervisor using Intel x86 hardware (for that is what I have available), I only know of three real contenders:

Hyper-V has been an option for a couple of years now, but I’ll be honest – I have neither the time nor the inclination to test it today. It’s not that I don’t rate it as a product, it’s just that I’ve never used it before and don’t have enough time to learn something new right now. Maybe someday I’ll come back and add it to the mix.

In the meantime, it’s the big showdown: VMware versus Oracle VM. Not that Oracle VM is really in the same league as VMware in terms of market share… but you know, I’m trying to make this sound exciting.

The Test

This is going to be an Oracle SLOB sustained throughput test. In other words, I’m going to build an Oracle database and then shovel a massive amount of I/O through it (you can read all about SLOB here and here). SLOB will be configured to run with 25% of statements being UPDATEs (the remainder are SELECTs) and will run for 8 hours straight. What we want to see is a) which hypervisor configuration allows the greatest I/O bandwidth, and b) which hypervisor configuration exhibits the most predictable performance.

This is the configuration. First the hardware: 

Violin Memory 6616 flash Memory Array

This is the configuration. First the hardware

  • 1x Dell PowerEdge R720 server
  • 2x Intel Xeon CPU E5-2690 v2 10-core @ 3.00GHz [so that’s 2 sockets, 20 cores, 40 threads for this server]
  • 128GB DRAM
  • 1x Violin Memory 6616 (SLC) flash memory array [the one that did this]
  • 8GB fibre-channel

And the software:

  • Hypervisor: VMware ESXi 5.5.1
  • Hypervisor: Oracle VM for x86 3.3.1
  • VM: Oracle Linux 6 Update 5 (with the Unbreakable Enterprise v3 Kernel 3.6.18)
  • Oracle Grid Infrastructure 11.2.0.4 (for Automatic Storage Management)
  • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition 11.2.0.4

Each VM is configured with 20 vCPUs and is using Linux Device Mapper Multipath and Oracle ASMLib. ASM is configured to use one single +DATA disgroup comprising 8 ASM disks (LUNs from Violin) with external redundancy. The database parameters and SLOB settings are all listed on the SLOB sustained throughput test page.

Results: Bare Metal (Baseline)

First let’s see what happens when we don’t use a hypervisor at all and just run OL6.5 on bare metal:

IO Profile Read+Write/Second Read/Second Write/Second
Total Requests 232,431.0 194,452.3 37,978.7
DB Requests
228,909.4 194,447.9 34,461.5
Optimized Requests 0.0 0.0 0.0
Redo Requests 3,515.1 0.3 3,514.8
Total(Mb) 1,839.6 1,519.2 320.4

Ok so we’re looking at 1519 MB/sec of read throughput and 320 MB/sec of write throughput. Crucially, the lines are nice and consistent – with very little deviation from the mean. By dividing the amount of time spent waiting on db file sequential read(i.e. random physical reads) with the number of waits, we can calculate that the average latency for random reads was 438 microseconds.

Results: VMware vSphere

VMware is configured to use Raw Device Mapping (RDM) which essentially gives the benefits of raw devices… read here for more details on that. Here are the test results:

IO Profile Read+Write/Second Read/Second Write/Second
Total Requests 173,141.7 145,066.8 28,075.0
DB Requests
170,615.3 145,064.0 25,551.4
Optimized Requests 0.0 0.0 0.0
Redo Requests 2,522.8 0.1 2,522.7
Total(Mb) 1,370.0 1,133.4 236.7

Average read throughput for this test was 1133 MB/sec and write throughput averaged at 237 MB/sec. Average read latency was 596 microseconds. That’s an increase of 36%.

In comparison to the bare metal test, we see that total bandwidth dropped by around 25%. That might seem like a lot but remember, we are absolutely hammering this system. A real database is unlikely to ever create this level of sustained I/O. In my role at Violin I’ve been privileged to work on some of the busiest databases in Europe – nothing is ever this crazy (although a few do come close).

Results: Oracle VM

Oracle VM is based on the Xen hypervisor and therefore uses Xen virtual disks to present block devices. For this test I downloaded the Oracle Linux 6 Update 5 template from Oracle’s eDelivery site. You can see more about the way this VM was configured here. Here are the test results:

IO Profile Read+Write/Second Read/Second Write/Second
Total Requests 160.563.8 134,592.9 25,970.9
DB Requests 158,538.1 134,587.3 23,950.8
Optimized Requests 0.0 0.0 0.0
Redo Requests 2,017.2 0.2 2,016.9
Total(Mb) 1,273.4 1,051.6 221.9

This time we see average read bandwidth of 1052MB/sec and average write bandwidth of 222MB/sec, with the average read latency at 607 microseconds, which is 39% higher than the baseline test.

Meanwhile, total bandwidth dropped by 31%. That’s slightly worse than VMware, but what’s really interesting is the deviation. Look at how ragged the lines are on the OVM test! There is a much higher degree of variance exhibited here than on the VMware test.

Conclusion

This is only one test so I’m not claiming it’s conclusive. VMware does appear to deliver slightly better performance than OVM in my tests, but it’s not a huge difference. However, I am very much concerned by the variance of the OVM test in comparison to VMware. Look, for example, at the wait event histograms for db file sequential read:

Wait Event Histogram
-> Units for Total Waits column: K is 1000, M is 1000000, G is 1000000000
-> % of Waits: value of .0 indicates value was <.05%; value of null is truly 0
-> % of Waits: column heading of <=1s is truly <1024ms, >1s is truly >=1024ms
-> Ordered by Event (idle events last)

% of Waits

Hypervisor Event Total Watts <1ms <2ms <4ms <8ms <16ms <32ms <=1ms >1s
Baremetal db file sequential read 5557 98.7 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
VMWare ESX db file sequential read 4164 92.2 6.7 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Oracle VM db file sequential read 3834 95.6 4.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

The OVM tests show occasional results in the two highest buckets, meaning once or twice there were waits in excess of 1 second! However, to be fair, OVM also had more millisecond waits than VMware.

Anyway, for now – and for this setup at least – I’m sticking with VMware. You should of course test your own workloads before choosing which hypervisor works for you…

Thanks as always to Kevin for bringing Oracle SLOB to the community.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I work for Violin Memory
it_user3894
IT Administrator at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Beware using it with Web Services APIs

Valuable Features:

Oracle VM is open source so it is free and readily available for downloading. It saves a lot of money instead of purchasing multiple servers, and can allow you to load more than one operating system at a time. Use of Oracle VM and installation is quite simple. It has high security and works well with a wide range of hardware.

Room for Improvement:

Oracle VM has some of its versions supporting only English language. So you can think of what happens to non-English speakers. Using it on Web services APIs -- standard access is enabled by default, which is a security flaw.Although open source, downloading some of the applications is very tedious because they are too large.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1077
Developer at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Oracle VM is an extremely feature rich, high performance product, which provides an environment to leverage the benefits of virtualization technology.

Valuable Features:

1) It allows deploying operating systems and the application software’s within supported platforms and environments.2) It includes VM Server which is designed to provide a secure, lightweight, server based platform to run and execute virtual machines. And also includes VM Manager which manages VM Servers.3) The product is freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Room for Improvement:

1) Drag and Drop feature is not stable, at times the UI becomes inconsistent, when using this feature.2) Connecting VM Manager in a web browser twice in a different tab or window provides unexpected display issues.3) When upgrading the VM server to newer version from ISO image and CD, though new entries are created in Oracle Linux grub menu, however entries from previous installation are not removed.All and all the product offers number of benefits to the users who often use multiple platforms. Though there are some disadvantages of the product which can be fixed with some workarounds.

Other Advice:

Though the latest release 3.1.1 is quite mature and has more to offer in terms of performance, usability, security, and scalability.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.