Thursday Jul 09, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 Officially Released!

We are proud to announce the availability of:

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0.

This release contains significant improvements, with a large number of enhancement and bug fixes.

See the official Oracle announcement here.

New data sheet with all features available on Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 is already available here.

I would like to highlight just a few of the many new features:

Paravirtualization support for modern Windows and Linux guests

Oracle VM VirtualBox is able to expose a paravirtualization interface to facilitate accurate and efficient execution of software. Once the virtual machine platform is defined, Oracle VM VirtualBox improves guest OS performances by leveraging built-in virtualization support (KVM on Linux guests and Hyper-V on Windows guests).

xHCI controller to support USB 3.0 devices

Guest operating systems are now able to directly recognize USB 3.0 devices and operate at full 3.0 speeds. Guest can now be configured to use USB 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 devices.

Improved Drag & Drop support

Starting from Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 we improved the support of a bi-directional drag&drop between guest and host operating system; drag and drop support is available with latest guest-additions installed.

Disk image encryption

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 allows for encrypted virtual disk images by leveraging AES algorithm in XTS mode (128-bit or 256-bit); since the DEK is stored as part of the virtual machine configuration file, encryption introduces a further security feature that will ask for a password while starting the virtual machine.

Headless and Detachable start options

Oracle VM VirtualBox now supports starting virtual machines in the background with a separate front-end process that can be closed while the virtual machine continues to work.

Further GUI improvements:

  • VM guest-content scaling support (including 3D acceleration)

  • New User Interface settings page for customizing status-bar, menu-bar and guest-content scaling

  • New Encryption settings tab for customizing encryption options for disk images

  • HiDPI support including application icons and optional unscaled HiDPI output on Mac OS X (including 3D acceleration)

  • Hotplugging support for SATA disks

  • Improved HID LEDs synchronization for Mac and Windows hosts

  • Take the guest screen aspect ratio into account for the preview window

  • Provide direct access to storage media in the VM selector

If you need further details, please refer to Official Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 data sheet, User Manual and virtualbox.org website.

The Oracle VM VirtualBox Team

Monday Jul 06, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 3 (RC3)

Oracle is pleased to announce the release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 3 ( RC3 ).

All details available here .

This release improves stability and fixes regressions from Release Candidate 2.

Please do NOT open bug reports at our public bugtracker but use our VirtualBox Beta Feedback forum here .

Please do _NOT_ use this VirtualBox RC3 release on production machines. A VirtualBox RC should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team

Friday Jul 03, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Adopting Oracle VM Manager for Oracle VM Server for SPARC guests

Customers using Oracle VM Server for SPARC (formerly called 'logical domains') are increasingly looking at Oracle VM Manager to provide a unified management platform with Oracle VM Server for x86.  While most customers use Oracle VM Server for SPARC's native command line interface or Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, Oracle VM Manager provides

  • a management solution focused on Oracle VM virtualization supporting server pools, advanced VM life-cycle and policy management, and control over the networks and storage they depend on.
  • a graphical user interface, command line interface, and API common to Oracle VM on the x86 and SPARC platforms. Administrators can use the same interactions to control servers, VMs, networks and storage on both platforms from a single screen.

The natural question is how to move existing Oracle VM Server for SPARC guests domains (virtual machines) and servers to Oracle VM Manager for their existing guests.  There is no direct way to "adopt" existing servers and VMs, but there are ways to move them to Oracle VM Manager control.

The first step is to set up at least one SPARC server in an Oracle VM Manager server pool - more servers can be added later. Guest domains can be individually moved to the server pool. This is a "cold" process (guests must be down while being moved) and applies only to guest domains (domains using physical I/O like SR-IOV cannot be moved).  Optionally, servers can be redeployed under Oracle VM Manager as capacity requirements shift from the original deployment to the new pool.

The main consideration for moving a guest is storage. Virtual disks may be on SAN LUNs (typical for production use), physical disks, ZFS volumes, or files in a file system. Oracle VM Manager supports LUNs defined as "physical disks" presented from storage arrays, so moving those virtual disks is straightforward. If virtual disks are ZFS volumes or files they must be copied to storage under Oracle VM Manager control, typically an NFS-based Oracle VM repository. File-based virtual disk images are easy to import using the Oracle VM user interface. If the virtual disks are based on ZFS volumes or internal disks, use the 'dd' command to create virtual disk images that can be imported. (The virtual disks should not be in use while being copied). 

An optimization can be used for guest ZFS pools. Make the ZFS pool a mirror using a new virtual disk of equal size as ones already in the pool, Wait for the pool to resilver, and then 'zpool split' the new virtual disk from the pool, and upload the image file into Oracle VM Manager. The advantage is that resilvering copies only "in use" disk blocks, not residual erased data, so the resulting disk image may be substantially smaller.

Whichever method is used, customers already using Oracle VM Server for SPARC may further benefit from moving to Oracle VM Manager.


Friday Jun 26, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Online Oracle VM Training Now Available

The Oracle VM Server for x86: Administration course is now available as a Training-on-Demand offering. You can:

  • Start training within 24 hours of registration
  • Follow lecture material through streaming video at your own pace
  • Book time on a lab environment to perform lab exercises when suits your schedule

In the Oracle VM Server for x86: Administration course you learn to:

  • Plan a virtual solution
  • Install the Oracle VM software
  • Configure network resources to provide isolation and redundancy
  • Add SAN and NFS to provision storage for the virtual environment
  • Create server pools and repositories to support application workloads
  • Speed up virtual machine deployment with templates and assemblies
  • Use virtual machine high availability
  • Use server pool policies to maximize the performance of your server workloads

For more information on Oracle's virtualization curriculum, go to http://education.oracle.com/virtualization.

Thursday Jun 25, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 2 (RC2)

Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 2.

This release is a major improvement which include a large number of enhancement and bug fixes.

See all the details here with a complete list of enhancements, bug fixes and links to download the software.

Please do _NOT_ use this VirtualBox Release Candidate release on production machines. A VirtualBox Release Candidate release should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team

Monday Jun 22, 2015

Virtual Compute Appliance 2.0.4 Released

We are pleased to announce the latest release 2.0.4 of Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance. Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance is an engineered system with integrated and software-defined converged infrastructure designed to radically simplify the way customers install, deploy, and manage converged infrastructures for any Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Microsoft Windows applications on Oracle VM.

The 2.0.4 release is a maintenance update to provide bug fixes and add new hardware support for X5-2.

You can review the list of notable bug fixes in the release notes as part of the documentation set.

To download the software update, search patch ID 20828799 from My Oracle Support.

For additional information about how customers benefit from Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance deployment, visit here.

Friday Jun 19, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015


Happy Friday!

On the Oracle Linux blog a couple of weeks ago I highlighted that Oracle OpenWorld Latin America 2015 was coming up soon. Well, it is nearly here.

Starting Tuesday, June 23rd, you’ll be able to hear from Oracle experts across the entire stack, from severs and storage, operating systems, middleware, apps, and more. Of interest to the folks on this blog, there will be several Linux and virtualization related sessions as well as two demo pods where you can talk directly to our team. If you’re attending the event, please make note of these sessions and consider joining us!

June 23, 15:45

June 24 11:30

June 24, 16:30

June 25, 13:30

If you’re attending Oracle OpenWorld Latin America, our folks would love to see you there!

-Chris

Friday Jun 12, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Tier1 Delivers Private Cloud with Virtual Compute Appliance

Happy Friday! We are happy to share another customer success story. Tier1 Inc. used Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance as a foundation for expanding the firm’s offerings to include full lifecycle of services, not just managed services and application hosting — creating an important new revenue stream.

“Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance is an engineered system that includes everything we need to host our customers’ applications in a virtual environment—fully integrated compute, storage, software, and networking. Our customers know their systems are secure running on a pre-configured, pre-wired converged infrastructure platform built by Oracle. And, it is versatile enough to meet our diverse clients’ needs.”

“We chose Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance for a number of reasons. After evaluating various build versus buy options for our private cloud solution, we decided on Virtual Compute Appliance because it was prebuilt, easy to install, and we could get it up and running very quickly. Additionally, this turnkey solution provides everything from a single vendor that allows for superior product integration, simplified purchasing and management, and a single point of contact for support,” said David Busch, CEO, Tier1 Inc.

To learn more details how Tier1 Inc. moves rapidly into hosted application segment, expands business offerings, and ensures secure private cloud, read the full story here.

You may also watch the video where Tier1 Inc. talks about the benefits of using Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance to build a private cloud virtualization platform to host its customers' Oracle Enterprise applications and Windows applications.

Friday Jun 05, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Keep Your Virtualization Infrastructure Up to Date

It's important to keep all software versions and patches up-to-date, as one of the principles of good security practice. Oracle responds quickly to any potential security threat by incorporating the security fixes into errata updates. See recent security alert to address CVE-2015-3456 ("VENOM") here

The Oracle VM security architecture, by design, eliminates many security threats. The guidelines for secure deployment of virtualized solutions based on Oracle VM are largely based on network security. As these guidelines are generally applicable, they should always be reviewed for applicability in the context of each implementation and the security requirements and policies of the broader environment in which Oracle VM is deployed. Please review Oracle VM Security Guide to apply to your environment.

  • Oracle VM Server for x86 Security Guide for Release 3.3 HTML
  • Oracle VM Server for x86 Security Guide for Release 3.2 HTML
  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC Security Guide for Release 3.2 HTML

To be informed about any errata update, including security fixes, you can sign up here to receive notification on software update delivered to ULN for Oracle VM Server for x86, or you can browse the email archive.

To learn more about Oracle's virtualization solutions, visit oracle.com/virtualization.  

Tuesday Jun 02, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 1 (RC1)

Oracle is proud to announce the availability of VirtualBox 5.0 Release Candidate 1.

This release is a major improvement which include a large number of enhancement and bug fixes.

See all the details here with a complete list of enhancements, bug fixes and links to download the software.

Please do _NOT_ use this VirtualBox Release Candidate release on production machines. A VirtualBox Release Candidate release should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team

Friday May 29, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Develop in VirtualBox and Deploy to Oracle VM Server

Oracle has two widely used virtual machine technologies for x86: Oracle VM Server for x86 is oriented towards server applications, while Oracle VM VirtualBox is our popular desktop virtualization product. Each is designed for its target application: Oracle VM Server for x86 provides scale and performance for enterprise applications, while Oracle VM VirtualBox provides convenient and flexible desktop virtualization for end-users and developers.

VirtualBox makes it easy to share files between a host desktop or laptop and its VMs, so a programmer can develop code on the host and then test the software inside the VMs. A convenient use case is to develop a VM on VirtualBox, and then export it to Oracle VM Server for x86 where it can run in production. That leverages VirtualBox's graphic capability and ease of use for developer productivity with the ability to promote applications to the servers where they will run.

Converting a VirtualBox VM to an Oracle VM Server for x86 image has been described before, but it's even easier now than previously. First, remove the VirtualBox Guest Additions from the VM as documented in the VirtualBox User Manual. Then export the VM from VirtualBox (File -> Export Appliance). Copy the resulting .ova file to a web server that can be accessed by Oracle VM Manager, and import it as an assembly (Repositories tab, select the target repository, select the Assemblies directory, and click on the 'Import VM Assembly' icon). After the assembly has been imported, it can be used to create a template just as with other assemblies in Oracle VM.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a user and developer-friendly desktop virtualization technology ideal for creating and testing applications, and Oracle VM Server is a robust server virtualization technology for running enterprise applications. Together, the two are a highly effective combination.

To learn more about Oracle VM VirtualBox and how to use VirtualBox to help with your test/development use cases, you can watch the recent webcast replay.

Tuesday May 26, 2015

May 2015 Oracle Virtualization Newsletter

We're pleased to announce that the May edition of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available!

This issue includes information on:

You can read the online edition right now, or if you'd like to have the newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, you can sign up here

Friday May 22, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices White Paper Updated

The white paper Oracle VM Server for SPARC Best Practices has been updated to reflect enhancements introduced with Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2.

This paper shows how to configure to meet demanding performance and availability requirements. Topics include:

  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC definitions, concepts and deployment options.
  • Software, hardware, and firmware requirements.
  • Best Practices for optimal performance.
  • Best Practices for resiliency and availability.

The paper includes specific recommendations, describes the reasons behind them, and illustrates them with examples taken from actual systems.

The update for Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.2 describes enhanced multipath disk group performance, and I/O resiliency for SR-IOV devices. For further information, see the Oracle VM Server for SPARC document library page.

Tuesday May 19, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox: 3.2, 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 Maintenance Releases

Oracle has just released VirtualBox 4.2.30, 4.1.38, 4.0.30 and 3.2.28, maintenance releases which improve the stability and fix regressions. All changelog details available at the following links: 

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-4.2
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-4.1
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-4.0
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-3.2

You can download the binaries here:

http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.2.30
http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.1.38
http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.0.30
http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/3.2.28

You can find all informations related to "Venom Security Issue" on Oracle VM VirtualBox releases here

It's always suggested, whenever possible, to use our latest Oracle VM VirtualBox major release/maintenance pack.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team


Monday May 18, 2015

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 BETA 4 Released

Oracle has just released Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0 BETA 4.

This fourth beta release improves stability and fixes regressions from BETA 3 release.

See all the details at here with a complete list of enhancements, bug fixes and links to download the software.

Please do _NOT_ use this VirtualBox Beta release on production machines. A VirtualBox Beta release should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team

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