Monday Jun 02, 2014

CMT Blog: Virtual IO gets better for LDoms

As we all know virtual IO is of great use in the IT environments of today but when it comes to performance we often have to pay the price.

In his Blog entry Improved vDisk Performance for Ldoms, Stefan Hinker explained how the new implementation of the vdisk/vds software stack in Solaris 11.1 SRU 19 (and a Solaris 10 patch sortly afterwards) significantly improves latency and throughput of the vitual disk IO.

Monday May 19, 2014

Oracle VM 3 - Overview of Disaster Recovery Solutions

Many roads leads to Rome. We all know this phrase. Often enough the question is which road should I take? Which one is the best for my environment. Answering this question when developing a Disaster Recovery Solution could get very complex because of the number of possible roads that could be taken.

The recently published white paper

Oracle VM 3 - Overview of Disaster Recovery Solutions

discusses different high level deployment architectures and strategies when integrating Oracle VM into a disaster recovery environment.

Thursday May 15, 2014

Announcing: OpenStack Support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM

On May 13, Oracle announced OpenStack support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. This support will be included as part of Premier Support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM at no extra cost.

[Read More]

Thursday Feb 27, 2014

Oracle VM 3.3 beta is now available for testing

The Oracle VM development-team has released a beta version of Oracle VM 3.3 for testing.

The beta software and documentation are available on OTN under Oracle VM Early Access Downloads

[Read More]

Friday Jan 24, 2014

Hands-On Lab: How to Deploy Oracle Software in Minutes Using Oracle VM Templates

Recently a new Hands-on lab was published on OTN, showing the capabilities of Oracel VM Templates.

How to Deploy a Four-Node Oracle RAC 12c Cluster in Minutes

[Read More]

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Technical Presentation: State of the LDom @ 3.1

Announcing a new technical presentation covering Oracle VM for SPARC on eSTEP portal.

For those of you, who want to have a brief technical overview to OVM for SPARC (aka LDOMs) have a look into Stefan Hinker´s just finished presentation. Based on the current 3.1 release, Stefan covers the following topics:

[Read More]

Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Announcing Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 Release

On August 20th the new Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 release was announced. The new release delivers significant virtual networking performance improvements, .....

[Read More]

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Announcing: Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance

On August 13th, Oracle announced its latest engineered system—the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance. Delivering a converged infrastructure solution for general purpose computing, Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance enables enterprises to rapidly deploy and easily manage virtual resources in production data centers and development environments.

[Read More]

Monday Aug 12, 2013

WP: Why use Oracle VM for Oracle Databases

Ever asked your self how an Oracle Database performs in a virtualized environment and how these numbers compare against a traditionally bare metal installation?

[Read More]

Friday Feb 24, 2012

eSTEP: Virtualization@Oracle (Part 3: Oracle VM Server for x86)

After the SPARC virtualization coverage in January we will now cover the x86 side by looking at the

Oracle VM Server for x86

Oracle VM Server for x86 is a technology that’s been inside Oracle even before the Sun acquisition, and is a virtualization product based on the Xen hypervisor.

Just like its SPARC counterpart it is a thin Type-1 Hypervisor and performs Hardware Virtualization on a x86-based system and uses para-virtualization.

To put it into perspective, let’s reuse the image from the first article:

As we can see and has been mentioned above, there is a similar product called Oracle VM Server for SPARC, which was covered in the last episode. Some of the general remarks there also apply to Oracle VM Server for x86, so, even if you’re only interested in the x86-side of things, it’s a good idea to recheck that last episode.

To start with the description, I shamelessly copied the introduction section from the docs at: which reads:

Oracle VM is a platform that provides a fully equipped environment with all the latest benefits of virtualization technology. Oracle VM enables you to deploy operating systems and application software within a supported virtualization environment. The components of Oracle VM are shown below:

  • Oracle VM Manager: Provides the command line interface or shell, as well as the graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI is an Application Development Framework (ADF) web application you use simply through your browser to manage Oracle VM Servers, virtual machines, and resources. Use Oracle VM Manager to:

    • Configure and manage Oracle VM Servers
    • Configure and manage networks
    • Configure and manage storage
    • Configure and manage resources such as virtual machine images, virtual machine templates, assemblies, and installation media
    • Create virtual machines from installation media, a virtual machine template, an assembly, or a virtual machine image
    • Manage virtual machines, including powering on and off, deleting, and live migrating
    • Import virtual machines created with Oracle VM or another solution for server virtualization

  • Oracle VM Server: A managed virtualization environment providing a lightweight, secure, server platform which runs virtual machines. At least one Oracle VM Server is required, but several are needed to take advantage of clustering. Oracle VM Server is based upon an updated version of the underlying Xen hypervisor technology, and includes Oracle VM Agent. It also includes a Linux kernel with support for a broad array of devices, file systems, and software RAID volume management. The Linux kernel is run as dom0 to manage one or more domU virtual machines, each of which could be Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Microsoft Windows.

Going back to the terminology and order used in the last episode, we still need to provide some information on the


in use here. Xen started as a university project and its architecture is similar to the architecture of the logical domains on SPARC, with one important difference. On the SPARC side the hypervisor is part of the OBP, whereas on the x86-side the hypervisor is a separate software entity and needs to be installed as a complete system directly from CD/DVD onto the server. This is usually just a matter of a few minutes. Once that’s done, the virtualization server platform is available. After that we need to look at the


side of things. Also unlike the OVM Server for SPARC approach here we need an additional management server called OVM Manager. Contrary to the way the server part is installed, the manager part is installed on top of an already installed operating system.

Both installation steps (Server and Manager) are described in detail in the documentation (link at end). Also the usage of OVM Manager is described there in detail.

Types of domains

In the last episode we had been describing different types of domains. Here, there is no such distinction, we’re only dealing with the dom0 (Control, Service and I/O Domain) and a domU (Guest Domain) (definitions see last episode).

The ease of use is even more simplified by additional tools like “OVM Templates” or “Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder”.

OVM Templates

OVM Templates are pre-installed and pre-configured ready-to-run images of diverse software stacks. These can also be downloaded (currently more than 90 such templates exist) directly from the same page were Oracle VM for x86 can be downloaded (link below). With this it gets real easy to setup and run for example a single Oracle Database server in less than 15 minutes. Download, import into OVM Manager, deploy and run.

Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder

In many cases single server environments aren’t enough, as multi-tier environments consist of many servers. So, the Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder is the tool to create such multi-virtual-server environments out of single systems, and allows such an assembly to be exported as one single building block and then be imported into OVM Manager. This then makes even the management of complex multi-tier environments very easy.

Things to consider

With features like Server Pools, virtual network switches and more, the setup and management of large virtualization environments gets complex. Therefore again here careful planning is needed. Specifically careful evaluation and TCO and/or ROI analysis is a good thing. Keep in mind, that over time the underlying infrastructure becomes more and more a commodity, therefore elements on higher levels become more and more important in the decision making progress and getting the “commodity” part from the same vendor supplying the higher level elements might become an advantage.


  • Easy installation and setup

  • No licenses needed

  • OVM Manager included free of charge

  • Support included in Oracle HW system support or separately
    available for non-Oracle Hardware

  • Ease of use due to templates

  • Physical-to-virtual migration/conversion tools available

  • Up to 128 virtual CPUs per virtual machine

  • Up to 1TB RAM per virtual machine

  • Up to 160 CPUs per physical server

  • Up to 2 TB RAM per physical server

  • Up to 128 virtual machines per physical server

  • Cold, warm and hot (live) migration possible

  • Accepted as licensing-limit/boundary (Hard Partitioning) by Oracle

  • All Oracle software certified

  • Many different guest OSes supported

  • Para-virtualized drivers for Microsoft Windows included


Oracle VM for x86 offers a complete, easy-to-use and affordable environment for all server virtualization requirements.

With that we'd like to close this article on Oracle VM Server for x86 and hope we've kept you eager to read the ones coming in the following newsletters.

With that we'd like to close this article on Oracle VM Server for SPARC and hope we've kept you eager to read the ones coming in the following newsletters.

Further Reading


This series already had the following articles:

  • December 2011: Introduction to Virtualization (Matthias Pfützner)
  • January 2012: Oracle VM Server for SPARC (Matthias Pfützner)

The series will continue as follows (tentative):

  • March 2012: Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers (Detlef Drewanz)
  • April 2012: Resource Management as Enabling Technology for Virtualization
    (Detlef Drewanz)
  • May 2012: Network Virtualization (Detlef Drewanz)
  • June 2012: Oracle VM VirtualBox (Detlef Drewanz)
  • July 2012: Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) (Matthias Pfützner)
  • August 2012: OpsCenter as Management Tool for Virtualization (Matthias Pfützner)

If you have questions, feel free to contact me: Matthias Pfützner

Read more:

<<< Part 2: Oracle VM Server for SPARC
>>> Part 4: Oracle Solaris Zones and Linux Containers

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