Friday Nov 30, 2012

Friday Tips #4

It's time once again for our Friday tip. Our question today is about how to determine how much video RAM to allocate for your virtual machines in a VDI deployment:


Question:
How much video RAM do I really need on my VirtualBox VMs?

Answer by John Renko, Consulting Developer, Oracle:
The answer is in the VirtualBox admin guide but it's seldom followed correctly, usually resulting in excess unused RAM to be allocated. The formula for determining how much RAM to allocate is shown below for a 32 bit fullscreen 22" monitor supporting 1680x1050:

bit depth / 8 x horizontal res x vertical res / 1024 / 1024 = MB RAM

Which translates to:

32 bits / 8 x 1680 x 1050 / 1024 / 1024 = 6.7 MB

If you wanted to support dual 22" monitors, you would need twice that, so 13.4 MB.

Anything in excess of what is needed is readily allocated but not used and would be better suited for running more VMs!


Thanks John, that tip should help folks squeeze a little more out of their VDI servers. And remember, if you have a question for us, use hash tag #AskOracleVirtualization on Twitter.

We'll see you next week with another tip!

-Chris 

Tuesday Nov 27, 2012

IDC Client Virtualization MarketScape 2012

IDC recently published their annual "MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Vendor Analysis" report. Customers use this document to compare desktop virtualization vendor offerings. In the 2012 report, Oracle is categorized as a "Major Player".

For details about the Oracle evaluation, click here to read the report!

Friday Nov 23, 2012

Friday Tips #3

Even though yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US, we still have a Friday tip for those of you around your computers today. In fact, we have two! The first one came in last week via our #AskOracleVirtualization Twitter hashtag. The tweet has disappeared into the ether now, but we remember the gist, so here it is:


Question:
Will there be an Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for Android?

Answer by our desktop virtualization product development team:
We are looking at Android as a supported platform for future releases.


Question:
How can I make a Sun Ray Client automatically connect to a virtual machine?

Answer by Rick Butland, Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle Desktop Virtualization:
Someone recently asked how they can assign VM’s to specific Sun Ray Desktop Units (“DTU’s”) without any user interfaction being required, without the “Desktop Selector” being displayed, or any User Directory.  That is, they wanted each Sun Ray to power on and immediately connect to a pre-assigned Solaris VM.  

This can be achieved by using “tokens” for user assignment – that is, the tokens found on Smart Cards, DTU’s, or OVDC clients can be used in place of user credentials.  Note, however, that mixing “token-only” assignments and “User Directories” in the same VDI Center won’t work.  

Much of this procedure is covered in the documentation, particularly here. But it can useful to have everything in one place, “cookbook-style”: 

1. Create the “token-only” directory type:

From the VDI administration interface, select:

 “Settings”, “Company”, “New”, select the “None” radio button, and click “Next.”

Enter a name for the new “Company”, and click “Next”, then “Finish.”

2. Create Desktop Providers, Pools, and VM’s as appropriate.

3. Access the Sun Ray administration interface at http://servername:1660 and login using “root” credentials, and access the token-id’s you wish to use for assignment.  If you’re using DTU tokens rather than Smart Card tokens, these can be found under the “Tokens” tab, and “Search-ing” using the “Currently Used Tokens” tab.  DTU’s can be identified by the prefix “psuedo.”   For example:


4. Copy/paste this token into the VDI administrative interface, by selecting “Users”, “New”, and pasting in the token ID, and click “OK” - for example:

5. Assign the token (DTU) to a desktop, that is, in the VDI Admin Gui, select “Pool”, “Desktop”, select the VM, and click "Assign" and select the token you want, for example:


In addition to assigning tokens to desktops, you'll need to bypass the login screen.  To do this, you need to do two things: 

1.  Disable VDI client authentication with: 

/opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda settings-setprops -p clientauthentication=Disabled

2. Disable the VDI login screen – to do this,  add a kiosk argument of "-n" to the Sun Ray kiosk arguments screen.   You set this on the Sun Ray administration page - "Advanced", "Kiosk Mode", "Edit", and add the “-n” option to the arguments screen, for example:

3.  Restart both the Sun Ray and VDI services:

# /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utstart –c
# /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda-service restart


Remember, if you have a question for us, please post on Twitter with our hashtag (again, it's #AskOracleVirtualization), and we'll try to answer it if we can. See you next time!

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Oracle VM networking under the hood and 3 new templates

We have a few cool things to tell you about: 

First up: have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in the network when you Live Migrate your Oracle VM server workload? Or how Oracle VM implements the network infrastructure you configure through your point & click action in the GUI? Really….how do they do this? For an in-depth view of the Oracle VM for x86 Networking model, Look ‘Under the Hood’ at Networking in Oracle VM Server for x86 with our best practices engineer in a blog post on OTN Garage.


Next, making things simple in Oracle VM is what we strive every day to deliver to our user community. With that, we are pleased to bring you updates on three new Oracle Application templates:

E-Business Suite 12.1.3 for Oracle Exalogic
Oracle VM templates for Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 (x86 64-bit for Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud) contain all the required elements to create an Oracle E-Business Suite R12 demonstration system on an Exalogic server. You can use these templates to quickly build an EBS 12.1.3 demonstration environment, bypassing the operating system and the software install (via the EBS Rapid Install). For further details, please review the announcement.  

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools 9.1.2.1 for x86 servers and Oracle Exalogic
The Oracle VM Templates for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne provide a method to rapidly install JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1  and Tools 9.1.2.1. The complete stack includes Oracle Database 11g R2 and Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.5 running on Oracle Linux 5. The templates can be installed to Oracle VM Server for x86 release 3.x and to the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. 

PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.5.2.10 for Oracle Exalogic
This virtual deployment package delivers a "quick start" of PeopleSoft Middle-tier template on Oracle Linux for Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud.

And last, are you wondering why we talk about “fast”, “rapid” when we refer to using Oracle VM templates to virtualize Oracle applications? Read the Evaluator Group Lab Validation report quantifying speeds of deployment up to 10x faster than with VMware vSphere. Or you can also check out our on demand webcast Quantifying the Value of Application-Driven Virtualization.

Friday tips #2

Welcome to our second Friday tips blog! You can ask us questions using the hash tag #AskOracleVirtualization on Twitter and we'll do our best to answer them.

Today we've got a VDI related question on linked clones:

Question: I want to use linked clones with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. What are my options?

Answer by John Renko, Consulting Developer, Oracle:

First, linked clones are available with the Oracle VirtualBox hypervisor only.

Second, your choice of storage will affect the rest of your architecture.

If you are using a SAN presenting ISCSI LUNS, you can have linked clones with a Oracle Enterprise Linux based hypervisor running VirtualBox. OEL will use OCFS2 to allow VirtualBox to create the linked clones. Because of the OCFS2 requirement, a Solaris based VirtualBox hypervisor will not be able to support linked clones on remote ISCSI storage.

If you using the local storage option on your hypervisors, you will have linked clones with Solaris or Linux based hypervisors running VirtualBox.

In all cases, Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure makes the right selection for creating clones - sparse or linked - behind the scenes. Plan your architecture accordingly if you want to ensure you have the higher performing linked clones.

Wednesday Nov 14, 2012

The November 12 Edition is Here - Oracle Virtualization Newsletter

We are pleased to announce the November 2012 edition of the Oracle Virtualization newsletter is now ready for you to read! It has a shiny new look and lots of great content, including:

  • Oracle OpenWorld 2012 highlights and videos
  • Advanced I/O Virtualization Architecture for Consolidating High-Performance Workloads video
  • What's New in Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7 video 
  • Self-paced Oracle VM hands on labs news
  • Information on the Oracle VM Storage Connect Plug-in For NetApp Storage
  • Webcasts, white papers, events, and more...

 

Read the November edition here.

Subscribe now

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

DOAG 2012 and Educause 2012

Oracle understands the value of desktop virtualization and how customers have really embraced it as a top tier method to deliver access to applications and data. Just as supporting operating systems other than Windows in the enterprise desktop space started to become necessary perhaps 5-7 years ago, supporting desktop virtualization with VDI, application virtualization, thin clients, and tablet access is becoming necessary today in 2012. Any application strategy needs to have a secure mobile component, and a solution that gives you a holistic strategy across both mobile and fixed-asset (i.e., desktop PCs) devices is crucial to success.

This means it's probably useful to learn about desktop virtualization, even if it's not in your typical area of responsibility. A good way to do that is at one of the many trade shows where we exhibit. Here are two examples: 

DOAG 2012 Conference + Exhibition

The DOAG Conference is fast approaching, starting November 20th in Nuernberg, Germany. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that we attended last year as well.

This conference is fantastic for us because we get to speak directly to users of Oracle products. In many cases, those DBAs, IT managers, and other infrastructure folks are looking for ways to deal with the burgeoning BYOD model, as well as ways of streamlining their standard desktop and access technologies. We have a couple of sessions where you can learn a great deal about how Oracle can help with these points.

Session Schedule (look under "Infrastruktur & Hardware")

The two sessions focused on desktop virtualization are:
  • Oracle VDI Best Practice unter Linux (Oracle VDI Best Practice Under Linux)
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Implementierungen und Praxiserfahrungen (Virtual Desktop Infrastructures Implementations and Best Practices)
We will also have experts on hand at the booth to answer your questions on using desktop virtualization. If you're at the show, please stop by and say hello to our team there!

Educause 2012 

Another good example is Educause. We've gone the last few years to show off a slough of education oriented applications and capabilities in the Oracle product portfolio. And every year, we display those applications through Oracle desktop virtualization. This means the demonstration can easily be setup ahead of time and replicated out to however many "demo pods" that we have available. There's no need for our product teams to setup individual laptops for demos -- we can display a standardized Windows desktop virtual machine with their apps all ready to go on a whole bunch of devices like your standard trade show laptop, our Sun Ray Clients, and iPad.

Educause 2012 just wrapped, so we're sorry we missed you this year. But there is always next year! Until then, here are a few pictures from this year's show:

You can also watch this video to see how Catholic Education Australia uses Oracle Secure Global Desktop to help cope with the ever changing ways that people access their applications. 

-Chris 

Friday Nov 09, 2012

Welcome to our Friday tips series!

Today we're starting a brand new blog series. For your Friday afternoon reading, we'll be posting a technical tip or question and answer on a technical topic. We'll start by introducing ideas on our own, but we'd really like it if you were involved and asked us questions via Twitter! Tag your tweet with #AskOracleVirtualization and we'll consider your question for the blog.

Today's tip is on Storage and Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

Question: I run Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4.1 on Solaris and use a local ZFS storage pool.  How should I configure my ZFS ARC cache? 

Answer by John Renko, Consulting Developer, Oracle:

Oracle recommends about 5G of ARC cache per template in use to achieve up to a 90% disk read offload. Set your ARC min=max to reserve the maximum amount of your remaining memory for your running VMs. In /etc/system:

set zfs:zfs_arc_min = 5368709120
set zfs:zfs_arc_max = 5368709120

The amount you need to reserve will depend on your template but this has proven to be a great start for a typical windows 7 VM running productivity applications.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2012

Oracle VM at the IOUG Virtualization SIG – Online Symposium

Join the Oracle VM product managers and product experts for a day full of best practices and information on the latest product updates. A sampling of what you can expect:

  • Best practices from a customer’s perspective on deployment of Oracle VM and Oracle RAC.
  • How to simplify and accelerate the onboarding of your applications to the cloud with Oracle Virtual Assemblies and Enterprise Manager 12c.
  • The latest how-to and demo of DeployCluster Tool on Oracle VM 3.

Date: Tomorrow, November 7th, 10am CDT – 2:50pm CDT

Saturday Nov 03, 2012

virtualbox.org

We are aware that http://virtualbox.org is unavailable. For people that urgently need the binaries or source code for Oracle VM VirtualBox, you can always get to http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/virtualbox/downloads/index.html.

Friday Nov 02, 2012

Lots of great stuff going on with Oracle Secure Global Desktop!

You're probably familiar with Oracle Secure Global Desktop, our solution for providing secure, browser-based access to Oracle Applications and other enterprise software. It's a fantastic product and one I've been personally involved with for nearly a decade! I wanted to give you a quick update on all the fantastic things that are going on with it:

First, we have done a few videos with Oracle's Mohan Prabhala at trade shows recently. You can get a quick product refresher and an update on the latest new features by watching these:




Next, we talked at length with Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth on Brian and Gabe LIVE about Oracle Secure Global Desktop. Click here or on the screenshot below to go to the brianmadden.com video. Part 1 focuses on Oracle Secure Global Desktop.

Listen toward the end for Brian to say, “I kinda want this actually at TechTarget right now.”

The analysts are talking about us, too. When we released Oracle Secure Global Desktop 4.7, Chris Wolf over at Gartner had this to say on Twitter.

Last, just a quick reminder for existing Oracle Applications customers that Oracle Secure Global Desktop is easy for you to leverage for secure application access. Oracle Secure Global desktop is certified for use with Oracle browser-based applications such as Primavera, E-Business Suite and with Exalogic. Steven Chan over at the E-Business Suite Technology blog gives a great explanation of how Oracle Secure Global Desktop works with E-Business Suite, as an example.

As the title says, lots of great stuff going on!

-Chris

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