Monday Jul 27, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack

With the release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0,  I've seen more customer interests in VirtualBox, which has become the de facto software development choice. I also received some questions about the software licensing and the extension pack.

The base package of VirtualBox, beginning with 4.0, consists of all open-source components and is licensed under the GNU General Public License V2.

Oracle provides the extension pack with the following added functionality such as the virtual USB 2.0 (EHCI) device, the virtual USB 3.0 (xHCI) device, VirtualBox Remote Desktop Protocol (VRDP) support, host webcam passthrough, Intel PXE boot ROM, experimental support for PCI passthrough on Linux hosts. The 5.0 release delivers encryption of disk images feature via the extension pack. 

The extension pack is under the Personal Use and Evaluation License. So for corporate users, you can purchase commercial licenses from Oracle to access the above enterprise features and receive support to cover both the base and the extension pack.

To view the extension pack that is currently installed, please start the VirtualBox Manager (on any of the host OS). From the "File" menu, please select "Preferences". In the window that shows up, go to the "Extensions" category which shows you the extensions which are currently installed and allows you to remove a package or add a new one. See the screenshot below:

Alternatively you can use VBoxManage on the command line (on any of your host OS):

$ VBoxManage list extpacks
Extension Packs: 1
Pack no. 0:   Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack
Version:      5.0.0
Revision:     101573
Description:  USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Host Controller, Host Webcam, VirtualBox RDP, PXE ROM, Disk Encryption.
VRDE Module:  VBoxVRDP
Usable:       true
Why unusable:


Monday Oct 06, 2014

Secure Oracle VM Deployments

Just published a blog to talk about how to apply latest security fixes to Oracle VM and Virtual Compute Appliances.

Friday Oct 03, 2014

Hightlights from Oracle OpenWorld 2014

At Oracle OpenWorld 2014, Renée J. James, President of Intel Corporation, shared her keynote on, "The Future of the Data Center in a Software-Defined World". She talked about Intel's Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) for Oracle VM.

Intel's Next Generation Firewall for Oracle VM

During the keynote, Steve Grobman, Intel Fellow and CTO of Intel Security Platforms showed the NGFW demo with Oracle VM Manager:

Steve explained how NGFW is going to address the security threat. Here's the value of the joint solution from Intel and Oracle.

  • Scalable and fast deployment of the virtual firewall instances powered by Oracle VM Templates

  • And better datacenter protection.

You can watch the keynote replay here.

Friday Sep 26, 2014

Oracle VM 3.3 - Integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c

With the latest virtualization plug-in update (, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c works seamlessly with Oracle VM Manager 3.3.

For more details, read the announcement at Oracle's virtualization blog. 

Thursday Sep 18, 2014

New update to Oracle VM Server for SPARC

We just released a maintenance update See the announcement at Oracle's virtualization blog:

The changes for this maintenance update are as follows.

For details, please review the documentation for the software/hardware requirements by following the documentation: What's New.

To download the software, read the instructions from OTN page.

For those who are using Oracle VM Manager 3.3, please review installation guide for requirements.

Friday Sep 12, 2014

Validated Configurations on Oracle VM 3.3

Oracle Validated Configurations program offers pre-tested, validated architectures — including software, hardware, storage, and network components—along with documented deployment guides, available on many different hardware platforms. Check the latest submissions:

Monday Sep 08, 2014

Oracle VM Manager OS and Usage Survey

We have a short survey that I'd ask our customers how you use Oracle VM Manager today. Click the link here.  It would just take a few minutes to complete the survey. Thank you for providing your valuable feedback.

Saturday Sep 06, 2014

Oracle VM Manager 3.3 - Improvements on Virtual Machine Console Access

Oracle VM 3.3 introduces the new virtual machine console access which uses JavaScript and HTML5 features. There is no longer any requirement to install or run software locally on the client computer. This change reduces complexity and provides a more reliable console tool.

VNC access to a virtual machine:

Serial console access to a virtual machine:

To use the new virtual machine console access feature, ovmcore-console package needs to be installed on the server running Oracle VM Manager 3.3 in order to gain VNC and serial console access to virtual machines. We just released an updated version of ovmcore-console package (ovmcore-console-1.0-41) to ULN and public-yum.

Download the package from public-yum:

The package is also available at the ULN channels:

  • ol6_x86_64_addons
  • el5_x86_64_addons

The new package has integrated a few bug fixes:

  • Bug 18089107 - Fixes the issue of non-US keyboard mapping when accessing virtual machine console.
  • Bug 18969505 - Fixes the issue that the serial console fails to display long entries correctly.
  • Bug 18085387 - Fixes the issue that the cursor is not displayed in the serial console for SPARC guest.
  • Bug 19004079 - Fixes the issue that Control-C is mishandled in serial console.
For install/upgrade instructions, read the documentation:

Wednesday Jul 02, 2014

Oracle VM Manager 3.3 - Improvements on MAC Address Allocation

We announced Oracle VM 3.3 earlier today. Here I'd expand one feature enhancement which was delivered as part of the large networking implementation, and it brings significant benefit to simplify virtual NIC creation. Now with Oracle VM Manager 3.3, you can coordinate with other Oracle VM Manager 3.3 instances to avoid any potential MAC address collision.

  1. By default MAC addresses are automatically created using random numbers

    Oracle VM Manager chooses a MAC address using random numbers within the specified range when the user doesn't supply a specific MAC address. The default range has an OUI (Organizationally Unique Identifier), of 00:21:F6 and uses the remaining portion of 00:00:00 - FF:FF:FF from which to randomly choose a specific MAC address. This default range is used because the OUI prefix (00:21:f6) is officially registered to Oracle and should not conflict with any other vendors devices. However, that range can be changed.

  2. Have the ability to manually configure specific MAC addresses

    When a vnic is created, the user can specify any MAC address. The user supplied MAC address does not have to fall within the default range. The manager will validate that this MAC address is not already used by another vnic created in that manager.

  3. Allow to program your own OUI

    The manager allows the specification of an OUI other than the default and a range of addresses to use for the device specific portion of the MAC address.

  4. Range based allocation of MAC for each Oracle VM Manager instance to avoid collision

    The users need to explicitly set the range that they want to use. With coordination among Oracle VM Manager instances, you can set the range so that each Oracle VM Manager won't conflict with other Oracle VM Manager instances.

Sunday Apr 21, 2013

Use Local VNC Viewer to Access Guest VM Console

Here I'd like to explain how to configure the Java RAS proxy so that you can use your preferred local VNC client to access the guest VM console when using Oracle VM 3.2. For more details and the background, please consult Oracle VM 3.2 Installation and Upgrade Guide where it explains the VNC console used to connect virtual machines in x86-based server pools.

To configure which VNC viewer to use with the Options > Configuration menu item of the Java RAS proxy window, enter the path to the VNC client on the client desktop computer.

On a Windows desktop, for example,  specify the parameters $host and $port if the VNC client requires these parameters in a different format than the default host:port, then click OK.

If you don't have a local VNC viewer, be sure to get the latest TightVNC package from Oracle's public YUM repository to be installed on the server running Oracle VM Manager:

# rpm -ivh tightvnc-java-1.3.9-5.noarch.rpm

Fore more details, visit the documentation:

Saturday Jul 07, 2012

Best Practices to Accelerate Oracle VM Server Deployments

IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group) Virtualization SIG is hosting the webcast on the best practices of Oracle VM server virtualization.

  • July 11, 2012 - Webcast: Best Practices to Accelerate Oracle VM Server for SPARC Deployments, see the recording and slides.

For more white paper about best practices, visit Oracle VM OTN page here.

Sunday May 27, 2012

Full Stack Story with Oracle VM

Full Stack Story with Oracle VMWhen we talk about the server virtualization solution from Oracle, Oracle VM has the server virtualization and management components in one solution. One of the reasons that differentiate Oracle from others is the full stack story

Thursday May 24, 2012

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.2 was released

See the announcement at Oracle's virtualization blog.

Wednesday Aug 03, 2011

Setup SunRay at Home

SunRay at home

I just set up a SunRay 3i thin client at home. I used to have SunRay 270 at home, but I had to use a dedicated router for VPN connection. With the updated firmware, it's now easy to configure VPN from the SunRay built-in pop-up GUI options.

The SunRay thin client does not have a wifi connection. A simple workaround is to use a wifi client device, such as Asus Wireless-G Access Point (WL-330GE).

It's pretty cool that we have SunRay at work, SunRay at home, and the soft client for a regular desktop and the app for iPad.

Thursday Jun 02, 2011

Live on

I'm glad that my old blog has been transitioned to For up to date information about Oracle's virtualization portfolio, and how Oracle's virtualization solutions can help you, please check

Monday May 26, 2008

Logical Domains Discovery Day

Systems Practice has rolled out  Logical Domains Discovery Day events, and many more to come in the next couple quarters. 

It's a great opportunity to learn the concepts of chip multi-threading and how this can be virtualized using LDoms. See a demonstration of a fully operational LDoms system and hear about the potential savings in total cost of ownership. Find out why Coolthreads servers with LDoms is not just a new technology - it's a compelling cost and efficiency story.

Please look for a city near you:
  • May 29, Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
  • June 3, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • June 4, Somerset, New Jersey, United States
  • July 16, New York, New York, United States

Thursday May 15, 2008

Logical Domains 1.0.3

Logical Domains Manager 1.0.3 was released. LDoms 1.0.3 adds a number of virtual I/O enhancements with Solaris 10 5/08 OS and supports all the current UltraSPARC T2 Plus, UltraSPARC T2 and UltraSPARC T1 based servers.

Tuesday May 13, 2008

SIA for new Sun x86 Systems

Today Sun announces quad-core availability for the newest additions to its x86/x64 product line - the Sun Fire X4140, Sun Fire X4240, and Sun Fire X4440 servers featuring AMD Opteron processors. I'm pleased to announce that we are shipping Sun Installation Assistant (SIA) with these new systems, and more Sun x86 platforms support will be available in the coming months.

SIA was created to address the demand for simple, easy and consistent OS installation experience. It allows enterprise users to easily load and preconfigure operating systems on Sun x86 systems. Additional functions have been added, such as SP/BIOS upgrade, HBA/Expander firmware upgrade, software utility installation, and so on.

Saturday Apr 26, 2008

Customer Adoption

Today it marks the anniversary of the release of Logical Domains.  We've seen thousands of customers across many industries who are evaluating Logical Domains, some have deployed LDoms into their data centers to achieve higher system utilization within such a short period of time.

Just to name a few:

  • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC): "For the portal phase of the project, ICBC is deploying the Sun software on Sun Fire T2000 servers with the Solaris 10 Operating System. The company is using Logical Domains (LDoms) to further increase server utilization, by running multiple copies of the operating system simultaneously."
  • Primus Canada: "Now in full production, the Primus team has proven the Logical Domains layout, become familiar with the T2000 server and is taking steps to consolidate the four platforms running VoIP onto virtual machines"

  • Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC): "The multi-threaded processors are ideal for juggling thousands of users on Blackboard’s Web tier, while their Logical Domains (LDoms) capacity and the Containers feature of the Solaris 10 Operating System support the swift, easy creation of new virtual servers. CTDLC can now offer firm SLA contracts to its customers by combining new technologies with greater monitoring capabilities, as well as near real-time provisioning."
  • DigiTar: "At DigiTar, using Logical Domains and the Solaris 10 Operating System opens up new possibilities for consolidating mission-critical systems.... Because Logical Domains do not share operating system instances, we can further leverage power-saving Niagara-platforms to consolidate diverse database applications without the risk of a single operating system flaw disrupting our 24x7 operations. Only Solaris 10 offers us the flexibility to alternate between lightweight and regimented virtualization technologies as our needs dictate."

  • Moodlerooms: "In addition to delivering high performance, the compact Sun Fire T2000 servers with CoolThreads technology enabled the company to run an energy-efficient datacenter with a near-zero-carbon footprint. Server virtualization and partitioning with Solaris Containers and Logical Domains (LDoms) technology also helped consolidate hardware and and strengthened data control and security."

Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

Logical Domains 1.0.2

We are pleased to announce that Logical Domains (LDoms) 1.0.2, bringing the benefits of more platform support, has been released and is freely available for customer download at NO EXTRA COST.

Logical Domains ( is Sun's server virtualization and partitioning technology. It's one of the key enabling technologies of Sun xVM ( on Sun CoolThreads servers. Logical Domains Manager 1.0.2 was released and adds support for UltraSPARC T2 Plus based platforms.

\* Up to 128 domain support for UltraSPARC T2 Plus based systems
\* Up to 64 domain support for UltraSPARC T2 based systems
\* Libvirt management interface software included

The LDoms 1.0.2 is supported on the following systems:

o UltraSPARC T2 Plus based systems
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 Server
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 Server

o UltraSPARC T2 based systems
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 Server
+ Sun Blade T6320 Server Module
+ Sun Netra T5220 Server
+ Sun Netra CP3260 ATCA Blade Server

o UltraSPARC T1 based systems
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T1000 Server
+ Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 Server
+ Sun Fire T1000 Server
+ Sun Fire T2000 Server
+ Sun Blade T6300 Server Module.
+ Netra T2000 Server
+ Netra CP3060 ATCA Blade Server

See LDoms release notes in details for required system firmware and OS patches.

Exciting and fast moving roadmap will deliver ever more compelling functionality over the next few months - and for customers to exploit these new functions, you need to implement it today and start to learn what the technology can do for you. Please visit the LDoms web site for additional resources such as support, datasheet, blueprints, whitepaper, customer references, etc.

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

Logical Domains 1.0.1

Today we are pleased to announce that Logical Domains (LDoms) 1.0.1, bringing customers greater benefits in reliability, security and manageability, has been released and is freely available for customer download at NO EXTRA COST.

Logical Domains ( is Sun's server virtualization and partitioning technology, and a key element of Sun xVM Infrastructure on Sun servers with CoolThreads technology. LDoms software leverages the hypervisor to subdivide supported platforms' resources (CPUs, memory, I/O, and storage) by creating partitions called logical or virtual domains. Each logical domain can run an independent operating system. Specialized control domain allow the management of
these resources using the Logical Domains Manager.

LDoms technology is supported on Sun servers which utilize UltraSPARC T1 and UltraSPARC T2 processors. Currently the following servers are supported by LDoms 1.0.1:

\* Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server
\* Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 Server
\* Sun SPARC Enterprise T1000 Server
\* Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 Server
\* Sun Fire T1000 Server
\* Sun Fire T2000 Server
\* Sun Blade T6300 Server Module
\* Sun Blade T6320 Server Module
\* Netra T2000 Server
\* Netra CP3060 Blade

The following key components work together to deliver the LDoms 1.0.1 technology, and they are all available for download now:

1) Minimum level of Sun System Firmware 6.5 for UltraSPARC T1 systems; Sun System Firmware 7.0 at a minimum is required for UltraSPARC T2 systems.

2) Operating system that understands the sun4v platform and virtual devices. Currently it's Solaris 10 11/06 OS plus required patches. In addition, Solaris 10 8/07 OS is required to run in the primary domain of UltraSPARC T2 systems. Please reference the Logical Domains (LDoms) 1.0.1 Administration Guide and visit to obtain required patches and upgrade procedure from LDoms 1.0.

3) Logical Domains Manager 1.0.1 software that is used to create and manage logical domains on CoolThreads servers.


The LDoms technology provides system administrators the ability to create and manage logical domains; virtualize resources; create communications channels; and define network, storage, and other I/O devices as services able to be shared from one domain to another.

In addition to all the functionality introduced in LDoms 1.0, LDoms 1.0.1 brings customers greater benefits on reliability, security and manageability. Some key enhancements are:

1) Reliability differentiator for SPARC CMT virtualization

With LDoms 1.0.1, any domains, whether it's a guest domain or a primary domain, are independent virtual machines and they can be configured, started or stopped independently without requiring a power-cycle of machine.

2) UltraSPARC T2 platforms support (32 domains support at initial
release, 64 domains support following)

In addition to UltraSPARC T2, LDoms 1.0.1 supports all the current UltraSPARC T1 platforms.

3) LDoms MIB

The Logical Domains MIB (management information base) is delivered as an extension module to the System Management Agent of Solaris 10 running in the control domain. The LDoms MIB helps enable third party system management applications to perform remote monitoring and starting and stopping logical domains using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).

4) Domain minimization support

Minimal/reduced Solaris installation for higher security and ease of maintenance.

5) LDoms Browser User Interface (web console, unsupported freeware)


There's no additional license cost to use and deploy Logical Domains 1.0.1. Sun System Packs or Sun System Service Plans (SunSpectrum) are required for support.

Friday Jun 29, 2007

Linux as a guest

Dave Miller posted a blog on 6/27, and CNet picked it up on 6/28: Linux works on Sun server partitions.

Tuesday May 15, 2007

11-Year Anniversary at Sun

I started my career at Sun 11 years ago in Guangzhou, China. The front building (World Trade Center) was the home for many high-tech companies including IBM, SGI, Sun, Tandem, etc. in the middle 1990's.

Monday May 07, 2007

Guest OS

Can I run Linux or FreeBSD as a  in an LDoms environment?

Some Linux distributions (e.g.  Ubuntu, Wind River, Gentoo, etc.) can run on CoolThreads servers (Niagara, UltraSPARC T1) natively, but not as a guest OS in a strict sense. Because the guest OS has to be modified by the nature of paravirtualization, namely to add virtual devices support, which was integrated into Solaris 10 11/06 (update 3).

However, you should be able to run Ubuntu on a domain that does not need any virtual devices. So you can try to create a new domain and assign a PCI bus to that domain. Then you need to have a disk and network card connected to this PCI bus and you can use the new domain as a regular sun4v system and install Ubuntu from the network. The limitation with such a configuration is that you can not use virtual devices (vdisk, vnet) on the domain running Linux, and some LDoms feature will not work (like dynamic reconfiguration of vCPU).

Also for the current Niagara servers, you can only create one domain running Linux because there is one PCI bus available to create a new domain, while the other is occupied by the control domain running Solaris.  Once the community brings the virtual devices functionality to Linux, FreeBSD, etc., then they are run as guests in an LDoms environment. Stay tuned.

Welcome your feedback on the use cases of Linux and FreeBSD leveraging LDoms on Niagara servers.

Sunday May 06, 2007

Get Started with LDoms

To get started with LDoms, you'll need a Sun server with CoolThreads technology. If you don't have one, check the Try and Buy program

Once you have the system ready, download the LDoms software, and it's free. You may want to read the architecture white paper and the BluePrints article to plan the deployment. Be sure to check the LDoms 1.0 documentation as well.

Want to see a demo? up to 32 independent logical domains - each with its own OS instance running on a single CoolThreads server. 

If you have a question, post it at the discussion forum or you can get support from Sun.

Meanwhile, you can explore the blogs for additional information.

Saturday May 05, 2007

Why Logical Domains

Logical Domains (LDoms) is Sun's new server virtualization and partitioning technology for CoolThreads servers. LDoms is free and the most open virtualization technology available. It runs on the free and open source Solaris which has the largest installed-base than any other commercial UNIX or Linux distribution on the planet. Unlike competitive systems with their proprietary virtualization technologies, LDoms can save you up to $3,600 per server - of course, the more servers that are virtualized, the higher the savings and the greater the benefits.

LDoms technology is supported on Sun servers which utilize UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara) and future chip multithreading (CMT) processors developed by Sun. Currently the following servers are supported by LDoms:

  • Sun Fire and SPARC Enterprise T1000 Servers
  • Sun Fire and SPARC Enterprise T2000 Servers
  • Netra T2000 Server
  • Netra CP3060 Blade

The LDoms technology provides system administrators the ability to create and manage logical domains; virtualize resources; create communications channels; and define network, storage, and other I/O devices as services able to be shared from one domain to another. The following are the key features for the 1.0 release:

  1. Up to 32 logical domains per server
  2. Guest domains can be configured, started and stopped independently
  3. Ability to dynamically add and remove virtual CPUs while OS is running
  4. Predictive self healing capability for each logical domain
  5. Control domain hardening

By deeply integrating Logical Domains with both the industry-leading CMT capability of the UltraSPARC T1 processor and Solaris 10 operating system, LDoms technology helps increase flexibility, isolate workload processing, and improve the potential for maximum server utilization.

Many customers have already used Solaris Containers on CoolThreads servers for application isolation. LDoms technology provides another important feature with OS isolation, giving customers the flexibility to deploy multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single platform. Therefore, organizations can couple Solaris Containers and LDoms software with the breakthrough space and energy savings afforded by CoolThreads servers to deliver a more agile, responsive, and low-cost environment. To summarize, LDoms technology, working with Solaris Containers on CoolThreads servers, breaks though typical space and energy data center constraints to serve millions of new customers.


Honglin Su manages the product management team that is responsible for Oracle VM and Private Cloud Appliance.

You can follow him on Twitter @honglinsu


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