Support Policies for Virtualization Technologies and Oracle E-Business Suite

We've previously written about our certification and support stance for virtualization technologies with the E-Business Suite in a series of related articles (see below).  Our Applications Platforms Group has revisited this subject and has published an official statement in a new Metalink Note:

If you've been looking for an authoritative Metalink Note that summarizes our previous blog articles succinctly, this is what you've been waiting for.

This new Note discusses our general support strategy for third-party platform virtualization technologies such as:

  • Sun Solaris 10 Containers
  • IBM AIX Workload Partitioning (WPAR)
  • HP Integrity Virtual Machines (Integrity VM)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server
  • VMWare
  • Citrix

The Note emphasizes that the list above is meant to provide some illustrative examples of the types of virtualization products and technologies covered by this policy.  It's not meant to be a comprehensive list of products, of course.  The Note covers the support implications of using generic virtualization technologies with the E-Business Suite, and is worth reading to refresh your understanding of what kind of support you can expect from us when using these types of tools.

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Comments:

Steven,

You reference Metalink Note 794016.1 which used to state that Oracle E-business applications are "not explicitly certified, but supported" on "both software and hardware based" virtualization technologies. The link to the note in your blog, though, is no longer active as Oracle's support policy was changed to no longer include software-based virtualization technologies.

Many of our clients run Oracle on VMware today, and we anticipate that number to rapidly escalate now that Oracle 11G and even large Oracle OLTB applications run faster as virtual machines on vSphere 4 than they do on physical servers.

You make a point of emphasizing your "Blogging Code of Ethics" which specifies that, "This blog's "first priority is the needs of the Oracle community." Given that this post is no longer accurate, and on behalf of the 18,000 VMware partners, I'd appreciate you clarifying Oracle's support stance so that we in turn can report back to our enormous base of Oracle customers who deserve to know your intentions.

Respectfully,

Steve Kaplan

Note: A more complete version of this response is posted as an "Open letter to Steven Chan" on http://roidude.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Posted by Steve Kaplan on May 16, 2009 at 02:47 AM PDT #

Hi, Steve,

I just returned from a multiweek vacation and am working through my backlog.

My blog's first priority remains the needs of the Oracle community. I am a generalist, so this blog spans my broad areas of responsibility and interest.

There are, however, topics that I'm required to defer to specialists, either due to the lack of my own expertise or authority. Oracle's stance on virtualization technologies has turned out to be one of those topics.

Our Linux Engineering team and our Applications Platform Group have spent a fair bit of time going over Note 794016.1 after its initial publication. Its content has been updated. I can't comment on the internal discussions leading up to those changes.

Wim Coekarts is Oracle's Vice President of Linux Engineering and is better-able to comment on Oracle's policies on virtualization technologies. You're welcome to post a comment on Wim Coekarts blog if you'd like to engage in a deeper discussion about Oracle's positioning of virtualization technologies. Wim's blog is here:

http://blogs.oracle.com/wim/

Thanks for drawing my attention to your open letter on your blog. I appreciate your ongoing contributions to our Oracle community. Good looking blog! I've added it to my RSS feeds.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on May 21, 2009 at 03:56 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

I have been checking your note: 465915.1 Using Oracle VM with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i or Release 12 periodically for updates on advanced configuration (DMZ, RAC, and Shared $APPL_TOP)...

For about a year now, We have been using 8 physical servers with VMWare sessions in a test environment to mimic the production of 19 servers (14 AS10g servers + 5 EBS servers). The process of refreshing this test environment is fast and simple (1 - 1, OS TAR/UNTar plus RMAN restore/recovery). We are planning to build a Disaster Recovery site with a similar process but smaller footprint server-wise. Because the DR site is a production environment, we would prefer to implement an Oracle-certified configuration. Is this something that you would explicitely certify? Something like your AS10g/EBS certification, but an Oracle VM version? If yes, is there a chance that this might be one of your near-term priorities?

Best Regards,
Jennifer.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on June 10, 2009 at 12:59 PM PDT #

Hi, Jennifer,

Thanks for the update on your plans.

We have no plans to conduct formal testing with VMWare. OracleVM is the only virtualization solution that is explicitly certified with the E-Business Suite.

We're currently reviewing the various disaster-recovery and business continuity documents published for the E-Business Suite. We're actively debating how many of those configurations need to be refreshed or revisited, and whether new DR-related architectures need to be formally investigated and documented.

Adding OracleVM to that mix may be a bit ambitious at this point. I suspect that this won't be something that we'd be able to address in the near term. I'll definitely let our architects know that you've raised this as a requirement.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 11, 2009 at 03:23 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

I agree with you that putting all the pieces together is a bit ambitious at this point. We can be creative on the test site and keep up with the latest in terms of everything that you certified, but don’t want to move ahead of Oracle in production …

I met an Oracle employee in the RAC workshop in Reston last year who told me that there was a group within Oracle that was testing DR using vendor solutions and planned to publish a white paper at the end of last year (AS10g Guard is going away and they were only testing 1 physical server from the primary site to 1 physical server on the DR site to simplify the process). I was excited because at that time, we already built our mimic production environment using OS copy and VMWare to make it 1 server to 1 server replication in order to simplify the process. There was no Rapid clone or AS10g guard in the process. For the 11i DB part, we used RMAN instead of Dataguard because there was no network connection between prod and test and no real time update requirement. But the concept was the same…

I sent the guy a follow-up email, but didn't hear back. By any chance, would you happen to know if such a white paper was published or which Oracle group was testing DR solutions? Or which group is responsible for certifying this piece? We really want to build explicit certified architecture in production, but only if Oracle certifies it. If Oracle only tests or certifies 1 physical server to 1 physical server scenario, in our case, we would have to have 19 servers sitting idle on the DR site…

Would you agree that building a small footprint server-wise on the DR site is a perfect scenario using Oracle VM?

Thank you very much for your time and response.
Jennifer.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on June 15, 2009 at 04:52 AM PDT #

Hi, Jennifer,

I'm not familiar with the RAC workshop last year, so I can't comment on what might have been communicated there. If you drop me a private email with your contact's particulars, I could try and chase this internally.

Our OracleVM team agrees that there would be advantages to using that technology in a DR architecture. This would be useful in allowing the ability to use DR hardware for development and test purposes during normal operation and yet be able to quickly and cleanly switch to production usage during a disaster.

There's been some discussion of investigating these options internally. There would likely be few EBS-specific considerations, but we don't have any immediate plans to explore formal certification and documentation of these options yet.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 16, 2009 at 07:56 AM PDT #

Hi Steven,

Thank you for offering help.

From your response, you gave us a great idea: Oracle software binaries installed in a virtualization product session can be easily captured in snapshots. We can apply the production logs nightly or weekly in batches on the DR site and switch to a test environment during normal business hours using the same hardware. We have been using similar creative ideas to deal with high demands in DEV environments where it has 8 sites’ hardware, but 10 development efforts in parallel, e.g. but didn’t think the same practice can be used on the DR site…

Your insight and information provided to us are very helpful. As always, thanks for your help and follow-through.

Best Regards,
Jennifer.

Posted by Jennifer Chen on June 23, 2009 at 06:05 AM PDT #

we are looking to implement oracle e-business R12.1 on Solaris containers and have few questions regarding this implementation for E-Business R12.1. We are planning to buy 2 SUN 5140 servers for production side and planning to have Production and Prod-support environment on these servers. we are not considering RAC option initially but might be later on.

We are a little vague about the architecture for our production instance. Want to implement all the latest stuff like R12.2 with databse 11gR2 on Solaris 10 containers. There are no Notes or Technical Documents available on metalink or any other website for this. Few questions for which we are looking for answers are below. Let me know if you can help us in finding these.

a) Shd we run EBS R12.1 in Sun containers in Production? Is it fully supported ?
b) What could be the architecture for EBS in sun containers. Currently thinking to run 2 Mid Tiers in 2 separate containers on 2 different servers (Sun T5140) and database in one containers without RAC option with one hardware load balancer. Is this architecture feasible? Can we achieve some kind of availability here?
c) Shd we consider RAC option because Oracle deliver Cluster software free( oracle clusterware)? Again if yes, will it be supported by Oracle in solaris containers?
d) Any best practices to run Oracle R12 or R12.1 in Sun Solaris 10 containers.
e) Any whitepapers, technical docs for this kind of implementation?

looking forward for a architecture advice here and happy to share more details of you have any further questions regarding our setup.

Regards,
Rakesh Mittal
Presence of IT Australia

Posted by Rakesh Mittal on January 27, 2010 at 11:08 AM PST #

Hello, Rakesh,

As you can imagine, our certification teams are working on some new objectives following the official unveiling of our combined Oracle-Sun strategy. The short answer is that we are putting together plans to move the status of Sun virtualization technologies from "supported" to "fully certified." The timing and details are still being worked out, and I'll highlight those in a standalone article here as soon as they're publicly available.

In the interim, we don't have any E-Business Suite-specific guidance, sizing tools, or whitepapers for using Sun Containers yet. I've passed your questions on to our Applications Platforms Group, so that they can take these types of issues into account when establishing their plans for additional Sun+EBS certifications.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on February 01, 2010 at 02:40 AM PST #

Hi everyone,

We had been examining the option of running Oracle EBS on VMWare, but the advise from Oracle was to try out their OVM instead of VMWare. We were also told that Oracle does not certify EBS on VMWare.

We have been running EBS Version R11 on blade servers (Linux OS) and used the RAC for 'DR'. We were now in the process of upgrading our version to R12.

We decided to test it out ourselves and installed EBS Version R11 UAT server on VMWare and tested it with about 30 users logged in. We also tested 'DR' by turning off the server to see whether the parallel server works. Users did not notice the difference.We have now created development servers 1 and 2 and have been running them for over a month and working well. We intend to go Live on the Production environment on a virtualised environment. Will be happy to share more info if anyone is interested.

Regards,
S R Balasubramanian
EVP - IT & Corporate Development,
Godfrey phillips India Ltd.

Posted by S R Balasubramanian on September 05, 2010 at 07:40 PM PDT #

Hi, S.R.,

Thanks for sharing your experiences here. Good luck with your production cutover.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on September 07, 2010 at 02:02 AM PDT #

Hi Steve,

I endorse your views. We were also told that Oracle doesn't certify EBS & other products on VMWare. Oracle India also discouraged us from getting onto it.

We however decided to venture into the unknown and tested out EBS R12 version on VMWare. We put in our R11 UAT instance and have been running it for over 3 months applying patches from time to time. They run faster on the new platform. We got encouraged and installed our development instance 1 & 2 and are running well. Prior to that we had been running other Oracle products viz.BI, Portal, and SOA on VMWare besides our legacy applications on Oracle DB, over the last 4 months to one year. We have been running MS Exchange too for the past 20 months. We have now decided to go-Live with EBS R12 (under upgrade process) on VMWare.

Our logic is simple. When we get into the cloud, will it be necessary to get locked with one vendor. We are in an era of standardisation and virtual platforms are SW agnostic.

Regards,
S R Bala

Posted by S R Balasubramanian on September 29, 2010 at 06:16 PM PDT #

Hello Bala,

Can you please share the EBS modules and prod architecture of your environment on VMWARE?

We're in the process of evaluating VMWARE or OVM on RHAT Linux for EBS R12.1.3. Also, OBIEE.

Thanks in advance
Ravi

Posted by Ravi on February 23, 2011 at 02:24 PM PST #

Hi,

We are not clear by using so many notes and ref documents on what exactly is not supported (it has mentioned on one document that not explicitly certified but supported)

Do you mean
1) Oracle Apps will work properly on virtualization? (other than Oracle VM Ware)
2) If it is running fine and giving results ...when you say it is not certified ...are you not going to give any patches for enhancement of modules, to fix any
bugs?
3)What the exact things which may not work on virtulization other than Oracle VM Ware?
4)Could you share any knowledge base which tell some issues customers are facing using Oracle Applications (E-Business Suite) on virtulization other than Oracle VM.

Please note this is very important for us to run our business.
Thank you,
DBA

Posted by DBA on March 14, 2013 at 03:16 AM PDT #

Hello, DBA,

1. We only test the E-Business Suite on Oracle VM and Oracle operating systems. We've heard anecdotal reports of the E-Business Suite working on other virtualization products, but we can't make any claims of compatibility with those third-party products.

2. We will only issue EBS patches for issues that can be reproduced on Oracle products or in non-virtualized configurations.

3 & 4. We haven't tested EBS on non-Oracle virtualization products, so we don't have any data on this. You can check with the third-party vendor for data on their compatibility tests.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on March 14, 2013 at 08:25 AM PDT #

Hi Steven

we are currently using Oracle E-business suite release 12.1.1 on IBM Power 5 with AIX 6.1 OS. we will migrating from the current platform to Intel bases platform using Oracle VM, still waiting for the new servers to be shipped, but i have tested OVM 3.2.0 and migrated our E-business suite environment in our test environment and it was successfully completed.

My question is:

1. Is OVM stable? are we expecting major changes in OVM environment? The reason i am asking this is we will be migrating the whole environment within 2 months so we should be exactly sure that it is a stable environment.

Thank you

Posted by Shahrukh on June 17, 2013 at 12:10 AM PDT #

Hi, Shahrukh,

Oracle VM is fully certified and supported for production environments, including environments running the E-Business Suite.

Best of luck with your migration.

Regards,
Steven

Posted by Steven Chan on June 17, 2013 at 09:42 AM PDT #

Dear Steven,

I need your help regarding EBS R12.1.3 implementation on VM for our PROD environment. What would you recommends/suggest us and what kind of server sizing you suggest us as we are intended to implement EBS with separate machine over a single physical server. Further send me oracle recommendation MOS note Id's for server sizing for EBS with virtualization

Regards,
Mafaz Ahmed

Posted by guest on February 11, 2014 at 03:50 AM PST #

Mafaz-
The "hardware muscle" required to run a virtual installation is going to be much the same as for a non-virtualized environment, and will be very specific to your implementation.

Minimum sizing guidelines for E-Business Suite 12.1.x virtual machines are provided in Oracle VM Templates for E-Business Suite: Deployment Guide in the Sizing Requirements section.

There is an introductory discussion of Oracle E-Business Suite release 12.1.x sizing in the Getting Started chapter of the Oracle E-Business Suite Installation Guide.

Regards,
-Terri

Posted by guest on February 12, 2014 at 05:38 AM PST #

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