Oracle VM Manager support for SPARC

Oracle VM Manager support for SPARC

This post is one of a series of notes on Oracle VM Manager support for Oracle VM Server for SPARC (formerly named Logical Domains)

The News

Oracle recently announced general availability of Oracle VM Server 3.2. This introduces significant new features described on the Oracle virtualization blog and on Wim Coekaerts blog. Among the new features is support in Oracle VM Manager for Oracle VM Server for SPARC (formerly called Logical Domains). This is an important step in our plan to provide unified management and automation for Oracle VM on both x86 and SPARC platforms.

Family Overview

Oracle VM is enterprise virtualization technology consisting of Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and Oracle VM Manager.

  • Oracle VM Manager is a management platform for Oracle VM servers, virtual machines, and the network and storage resources they reside on. It provides a browser based graphical interface permitting full lifecycle control of virtualized environments. It uses Oracle Weblogic for its application platform, and uses a MySQL or Oracle database for its data repository.
  • Oracle VM Server for x86 is a virtual machine hypervisor that installs directly on 64-bit x86 hardware and can host virtual machines running Linux, Solaris, and Windows. It includes an Oracle VM Agent that communicates with Oracle VM Manager for configuration, control, and monitoring. Multiple servers are grouped into pools that can be managed for aggregate capacity under common resource policies.
  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC (previously called Logical Domains) is the server virtualization system for Oracle's SPARC servers, permitting multiple Solaris domains (virtual machines). With Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.0 and a new Oracle VM Agent for SPARC, SPARC servers also can be managed and monitored by Oracle VM Manager. Other new features in the 3.0 release are listed here.

Oracle VM Manager support for SPARC servers

A Oracle VM Manager Agent runs on the Control Domain on the SPARC Solaris host, and communicates with the Oracle VM Manager instance. After the agent is installed, the Oracle VM Manager browser interface can be used for server and virtual machine management without having to log into the control domain of each server. The administrator can perform these functions:

  • Discover and configure server, storage, and network resources
  • Define, edit, start, stop, live migrate and remove virtual machines.
  • Arrange servers into pools optionally governed by resource management policies. A pool can contain up to 32 servers, which must be either all x86 or all SPARC.
  • Define multiple virtual networks and assign them functional "channels" (live migration, management, VM usage, storage) for isolation.
  • Define storage repositories hosted on NFS containing virtual machine resources like virtual disks
  • Use templates and assemblies to create virtual machines from pre-defined images.
These will be demonstrated in later blog entries.

Prerequisites - how to get started

To run the Oracle VM 3.2 Agent software you will need:

  • SPARC servers supported by Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.0 or later. The control domain must run Solaris 11.1, which has Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.0 pre-installed.
  • A 64-bit Oracle Linux 5.5 OS or later, running on an x86 host outside the server pool. This can be either a physical server or a guest virtual machine of Oracle VM Server x86 host.
  • An NFS server to host the storage repository in which virtual machine images, templates and other files are stored.

A control domain must be initialized on each SPARC server and the Oracle VM Server agent installed on it, as described in the Quick Start guide, along with specific requirements and restrictions.

The software and documentation can be downloaded from The documentation for Oracle VM 3.2 is at This page describes what is in the download, details system requirements, and includes links for the documentation and software download. SPARC users should especially read the Oracle VM Manager 3.2: Quick Start Guide for Managing Oracle VM Server for SPARC which provides detailed installation instructions in elegant prose worthy of Vladimir Nabokov. You will have to accept the OTN Software License Agreement to download this software. After the software is downloaded, you can follow the steps in the Getting Started guide for performing initial implementation and testing.


This is an important step in integrating Oracle VM Server for SPARC and for x86 by uniting them with a common management interface. Administrators will be able to log into a single browser application and manage pools of x86 and SPARC servers in a single common, consistent manner. The next several blog posts will show how to use SPARC systems with Oracle VM Manager.


Are you guys moving away from Ops Center then? Is this going to overcome the big downside of Ops Center where unless the LDOMs are provisioned with Ops Center, the live migration cannot happen?

Posted by Murali on February 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM MST #

Hi Murali, No, we're not moving away from Ops Center at all. What we're doing is fulfilling a promise to provide unified virtualization management on x86 and SPARC via Oracle VM Manager. Ops Center certainly continues! The two products have somewhat overlapping functions, but Oracle VM family is focused on virtualization management, while Ops Center and Enterprise Manager have a broader scope including bare-metal discovery, provisioning, OS patching, cloud services. This provides choice so customers can select the management capability they require.

Posted by guest on February 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM MST #

So - the OVM Manager wont allow you to provision - just manage? I have just spent a bunch of time and effort getting Ops Center on Sparc working (Solaris 11) so I can use it for jumpstarts. The big downside is, all the Brown field LDOMs is useless with Ops Center other than for monitoring. The other big downside is Ops center downloads the Sun 10 Patches one at a time, and if I have 100's of servers to patch - its not possible to tell Ops Center not to download this stuff and instead just get the 10_recommended and things like that.

Is OVM Manager ever going to be available on Sparc / Solaris. I have almost no footprint on Linux and would rather keep it that way :)

Posted by Murali on February 20, 2013 at 12:04 PM MST #

Oracle VM Manager lets you create guests from pre-canned VMs in "templates" or collections of related guests in "assemblies" consisting of one or more templates. Alternatively, you can create VMs from scratch and then boot them off a virtual .iso image or jumpstart. From the manager GUI you can start, stop, migrate, etc, domains. For further info please see the docs at the URLs listed above. I can't comment on products that are not yet shipping, as you know, so all I can say is that "running the Manager on SPARC and Solaris makes sense" and leave it at that for now.

Posted by Jeff Savit on February 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM MST #

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