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.