Announcing Oracle VM 3.3

Oracle VM 3.3 was announced today, providing substantial enhancements to Oracle's server virtualization product family. I'll focus on a few enhancements to Oracle VM Manager support for SPARC that will appeal to SPARC users:
  1. Improved storage support: The original Oracle VM Manager support for SPARC systems only supported NFS storage. While Oracle VM Server for SPARC has long supported other storage types (local disk, SAN LUNs, iSCSI), the support in the Manager did not. This restriction has been eliminated, so customers can use Oracle VM Manager with SPARC systems with their preferred storage types.
  2. Alternate Service Domain: A Best Practice for SPARC virtualization is to configure multiple service domains for resiliency. This was also not supported when under the control of Oracle VM Manager, but is now available. Customers can control their SPARC servers with Oracle VM Manager while using the recommended high availability configuration.
  3. Improved console: Oracle VM Manager provides a way to access the guest domain console without logging into the server's control domain. In Oracle VM Manager 3.2 this was provided by a Java remote access application that depended on Java WebStart, and required that the correct software be installed and configured on the client's desktop. The new virtual console just requires a web browser that correctly supports the HTML5 standards. The new console is more robust and launches much more quickly.
  4. Oracle VM High Availability (HA) support: This release adds SPARC support for Oracle VM HA. Servers in a pool of SPARC servers can be clustered, and VMs can be enabled for HA. If a server is restarted or shutdown, then HA-enabled VMs are migrated or restarted on other servers in the pool.

There are many other enhancements, and in general the other improvements in 3.3 are beneficial to SPARC systems too, but these are the top ones that stand out for SPARC customers.

For a video demonstrating this in action, please see Oracle VM Manager 3.3.1 with Oracle VM Server for SPARC

Installation/Documents

After posting this, I was asked how to install the Oracle VM Server agent on a SPARC system, and how to set up Oracle VM HA clustering. The basic flow is to install the Oracle VM Server agent on a control domain running Solaris 11.1 and Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 or later, optionally installing the Distributed Lock Manager (DLM) first if you plan to use HA features.

Here are direct links to the software and documents:

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