Friday Aug 30, 2013

Friday Tips #43

Happy Friday, folks! If you've been keeping up with this blog, you've been seeing a lot of posts on Oracle VM Templates. With the recent updates to the Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database, it's been a pretty exciting time! But I thought I'd take this opportunity to point out that in addition to these, there are many more templates you can choose from. There are templates for Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Secure Global Desktop, and much more. It's the fastest way to get up and running with Oracle software.

This page is an index of the many Oracle VM Templates you can choose from:

Oracle VM Templates on Oracle Technology Network

See you next week!

-Chris 

Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

New reasons why Oracle VM is best for Oracle Databases

Many thanks to those who stopped by our booth #330 at VMworld! For many of you, we will meet again at Oracle OpenWorld in just a few short weeks. Virtualization related content at Oracle OpenWorld can be found in our Focus On Virtualization document.

We received quite a few inquiries and interest from long time Oracle Database users looking to migrate from physical to virtual environments. Following up on our discussion on why Oracle VM is best for Oracle Database are new releases of the Oracle VM Templates that fully automate the creation of Single Instance, Oracle Restart and RAC configurations. Wim’s detailed blog showcases the elegance and simplicity of the templates.

How does deploying Oracle Database using Oracle VM Templates different from deploying Oracle Database with traditional virtualization technology? The complexity and intricate dependencies of Oracle Database deployment is fully encapsulated in a simple script that you can run. Simply, we’ve done the work so you don’t have to. You can deploy the Oracle Database single instance or in a clustered environment in a matter of minutes…..the right way!

The Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database are completely pre-configured, pre-tested and pre-packaged in a VM along with Oracle best practices so you have peace of mind that you can indeed deploy and forget. As for performance, read what independent benchmark findings have to say in the Revera benchmarks in a side-by-side comparison, or the most recently posted benchmark results on Oracle Database performance on Oracle VM from Open Universities Australia.

For more information on the new templates visit the Oracle VM Templates home page on OTN

For a more interactive learning option, there are a couple of opportunities coming up soon that you can take advantage of. First, Saar Maoz will be hosting a webinar this Thursday (8/29) where he will be discussing Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Database. Head on over to the Real Application Clusters Special Interest Group to learn more and register.

And If you'd like to learn how to deploy a 4 node RAC cluster within 1 hour, join Oracle field implementation experienced experts in a 1 hour step-by-step hands on lab at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 for this session: 

Friday Aug 23, 2013

Friday Tips #42

Happy Friday! With this week's release of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1, it's a perfect time to offer a tip on how to upgrade your systems to the latest version. Oracle's Jeff Savit had this to say about the upgrade process:

"Updating to Oracle Solaris 11.1 to include Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 takes little effort - it only requires a few commands and a few minutes per server. This can be done with the CLI or with Oracle VM Manager."

For the complete step by step guide, check out Jeff's blog detailing the procedure here: 

Upgrading to Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 using Solaris 11.1

See you next week!

-Chris 

Thursday Aug 22, 2013

“Why use Oracle VM for Oracle Database” at INSYNC13

For the Oracle IT community in Australia, the INSYNC13 Conference in Brisbane is happening on September 2nd and 3rd, 2013.

For the Oracle DBAs considering virtualization of the Oracle Database, check out the session from Francisco Munoz Alvarez on Why Should I Use Oracle VM for Oracle Databases. Also from the same Oracle ACE Director, learn about What’s New in Oracle Database 12c Backup and Recovery and Tips and Best Practices for DBAs. If you are in the region, the conference is one of the most cost-effective ways to gain practical knowledge and tried and true tools and techniques that you can put to work to be a DBA hero! 

Wednesday Aug 21, 2013

Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2013, Part 2

If you're attending Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (and we hope you are!), the Schedule Builder tool is now available for you. Schedule Builder lets you register for the sessions you want to attend during the show. If you're interested in Oracle Virtualization, there are a number of sessions, hands on labs, and product demos that will be interesting to you. I covered several of the sessions in part 1 of this series, and in this one I'm going to cover a few more sessions. In the 3rd part of this series, I'll cover the Hands On Labs and demo stations that you can visit.


What's New with Oracle VM Server for x86 and SPARC: A Technical Deep Dive (CON9544)
Oracle VM Server virtualization solutions provide users the best combination of price, performance, certification, and advanced features tailored for ease of deployment and management. Spanning both x86 and SPARC architectures, it's designed to support a diverse set of OS workloads such as Linux, Solaris, and Windows to meet the wide ranging demands of modern IT environments. Join us to get the latest technology updates on Oracle VM Server.

High Availability and Infrastructure Best Practices with Oracle VM (CON11258)
This session will provide practical details and best practices on building and scaling an Oracle VM environment for High Availability for Database and infrastructure best practices. From information gathering and planning to analyzing needs of your environment, you will learn to plan for growth in infrastructure components to accommodate failover, DR, HA and migration. This session will also cover the methods to reduce downtime during events like system upgrades and migration and troubleshooting during system outages.

And in the Develop track:

What's New in Oracle VM VirtualBox (CON9550)
Oracle VM VirtualBox is the world's most popular cross-platform virtualization software, with nearly 100 million downloads. Optimized to run on desktop systems, Oracle VM VirtualBox is an ideal choice for development and testing, and can help ease cross-platform headaches by allowing you to run multiple platforms on your laptop or PC. In this session Oracle experts will cover the latest advancements in Oracle VM VirtualBox, including information on features such as VM Groups, guest automation, resource controls, and more.


One of my favorite features for attendees of Oracle OpenWorld is the "Focus On" documents that group together similar content as kind of a quick reference guide. This year, Focus On documents are done with a cool dynamic web page, so any changes that happen in the next few weeks (for example, when the Hands On Labs signups open up in the next week or so, or if a session gets oversubscribed and is moved to a bigger room), the Focus On page will automatically update. So, please go here to have a look at the most up to date Focus on Virtualization, and then bookmark it for future reference:

Focus on Virtualization

This year's show is shaping up to be a big one! Most of the folks that post on this blog will be there along with a large number of folks from the Oracle virtualization team, and we're very excited to meet you in person!

-Chris 

Best Virtualization Technology for Oracle Database

Oracle VM is the best virtualization technology for Oracle Database and enterprise applications workload. To help you plan and implement your virtualization solutions with Oracle VM, take Oracle VM training. You can choose to use Oracle VM on x86 and SPARC infrastructures and there is a training course for each choice.

During this training you will learn to:

  • Install and configure Oracle VM
  • Implement the infrastructure for cloud computing
  • Increase availability and add flexibility for data center virtual environments

You can take the instructor-led training as a:

  • Live-virtual event: Take this course from your own desk, no travel required. Choose from a selection of events on the schedule to suit different timezones.
  • In-class event: Travel to an education center to follow the training. Below is a selection of events already on the schedule for each course.

Oracle VM Administration: Oracle VM Server for x86

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 Zagreb, Croatia

 11 November 2013

 Croatian

 Prague, Czech Republich

 21 October 2013

 Czech

 Ballerup, Denmark

 28 August 2013

 English

 Bordeaux, France

 18 September 2013

 French

 Paris, France

 9 October 2013

 French

 Strasbourg, France

 11 September 2013

 French

 Hamburg, Germany

 30 September 2013

 German

 Munich, Germany

 28 October 2013

 German

 Budapest, Hungary

 9 September 2013

 Hungarian

 Milan, Italy

 30 September 2013

 Italian

 Riga, Latvia

 30 September 2013

 Latvian

 Oslo, Norway

 16 September 2013

 English

 Warsaw, Poland

 28 October 2013

 Polish

 Bucharest, Romania

 14 October 2013

 English

 Istanbul, Turkey

 23 December 2013

 Turkish

 Dhaka, Bangladesh

 25 August 2013

 English

 Jakarta, Indonesia

 19 August 2013

 English

 Singapore

 16 October 2013

 English

 Canberra, Australia

 14 November 2013

 English

 Melbourne, Australia

 6 November 2013

 English

 Perth, Australia

 26 August 2013

 English

 Sydney, Australia

 25 November 2013

 English

 San Francisco, CA, United States

 16 November 2013

 English

 Denver, CO, United States

 23 January 2014

 English

 Roseville, MN, United States

 21 October 2013

 English

 St Louis, MO, United States

 11 November 2013

 English

 Reston, VA, United States

 26 March 2013

 English

 Buenos Aires, Argentina

 21 August 2013

 Spanish

Oracle VM Server for SPARC: Installation and Configuration

 Location

 Date

 Delivery Language

 Prague, Czech Republic

 9 September 2013

 Czech

 Paris, France

 9 December 2013

 French

 Stuttgart, Germany

 28 October 2013

 German

 Budapest, Hungary

12 September 2013 

 German 

 Madrid, Spain

28 November 2013 

Spanish

Istanbul, Turkey 

 30 September 2013

Turkish 

 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

 17 October 2013

English

 Melbourne, Australia

 31 October 2013

 English 

 Sydney, Australia

 10 February 2014

 English 

To register for a course or to learn more about Oracle's Virtualization curriculum, go to http://education.oracle.com/virtualization.

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Announcing Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1 Release

We are pleased to announce the availability of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1. The new release delivers significant virtual networking performance improvements, more flexibility to configure I/O virtualization, and further enhancements for cross-CPU secure live migration to help customers take advantage of the massive thread scale offered by SPARC servers and the Oracle Solaris operating system.

See the key features and benefits delivered in Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1:

  • Virtual network performance improvements: Significantly improve the virtual networking performance up to 5 times faster. For example, guest to external network approaches wire-speed at ~9Gb/s; while for the guest to guest within the same host, it's measured up to 16Gb/s. For more details, read the blog.


  • Dynamic Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV): Bringing configuration flexibility to I/O virtualization with native I/O throughput. For more details, read the blog

  • Cross-CPU secure live migration enhancements: Perform secure live migration across different generations of SPARC servers, including the new SPARC T5 and SPARC M5. For more details, read the blog.
  • Extends the Direct I/O and SR-IOV features to non-Primary root domains. For more details, read the blog
  • Adds InfiniBand device support to the SR-IOV feature in addition to the Ethernet devices.
  • Adds the Fault Management Architecture (FMA) blacklisting feature. When FMA detects faulty CPU or memory resources, Oracle VM Server for SPARC places them on a blacklist. A faulty resource that is on the blacklist cannot be reassigned to any domains until FMA marks it as being repaired.
  • Adds a recovery mode feature that automatically recovers domain configurations that cannot be booted because of faulty or missing resources.
  • Adds the ldmpower command to show per-domain, power-consumption information.
  • Adds support for VNICs on virtual networks.
Read the blog to learn the in-depth details of the new release and how to upgrade to the latest release. Please review the What's New section and the documentation about specific details of required and minimum software and supported platforms. Visit the download page for instructions to download the required software.

Oracle Premier Support for Systems provides fully-integrated support for your server hardware, firmware, OS, and virtualization software. Visit oracle.com/support for information about Oracle's support offerings for Sun systems.

For additional resources about Oracle VM Server for SPARC

For more information about Oracle's virtualization, visit oracle.com/virtualization.

Monday Aug 19, 2013

Open Universities Australia uses Oracle VM to Virtualize Oracle Database and PeopleSoft

Open Universities Australia Realizes Valuable Savings and Simplifies IT with Oracle VM

Deploys Virtualized Oracle Database and Oracle’s PeopleSoft Applications to Production, Development and Disaster Recovery Environments in Campus-Wide Infrastructure Upgrade

Read the entire press release.

Open Universities Australia (OUA) director of ICT, Anthony Russo, was faced with a 3 year cycle of systems upgrade. With tightening budgets to meet growth targets, needing to deliver on cost efficiencies while staying within constraints of existing license footprints and implementing a zero outage operations model, Anthony had to re-evaluate his traditional IT approach with bare metal computing.

Virtualizing Oracle Database and Oracle PeopleSoft Campus applications were a remote option for Anthony due to fear of loss in performance and managing the complexity of the environment with a small IT staff. The environments that would be affected were the hosted development, and cloud based environments for both Production and Disaster Recovery.

However, the looming hardware refresh and software upgrade costs of over $300,000 convinced Anthony to evaluate Virtualization.

Oracle VM claims as the best virtualization technology for Oracle Database and enterprise applications workload were not sufficient data to decide on this important refresh. Anthony embarked on a performance testing validation exercise. To his surprise, his own performance results debunked the performance myths about virtualizing database workloads -- in fact in some cases virtualized workloads on Oracle VM performed better than even on bare metal!

As for the fear of complexity introduced to his IT process by virtualization, this was also debunked with Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Enterprise Manger 12c. His IT team provisioned a multi-node Oracle RAC environment all within a few hours using the Oracle VM Templates with pre-configured Oracle Database, RAC and Oracle Linux. With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, the team is able to manage and monitor Oracle VM servers and virtual machines across multiple locations from a single console.

Anthony shares his report findings in a whitepaper “ Oracle VM on Oracle Real Application Clusters, Physical vs. Virtual Database” hosted by the Independent Oracle User Group. Here is a sample of some of the key findings in the report:

To access the complete report, visit the IOUG Website sign up for a Free Associate Membership and join the Cloud Computing SIG.

Friday Aug 16, 2013

UPDATE: Sun Ray and VDI Last Order Dates

For important updates and clarifications on Sun Ray and VDI Last Order Dates, please click here to view the updated blog.

Friday Tips #41

Happy Friday, everyone!

As you might have heard, we introduced Oracle's latest engineered system, the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance this week. If you've been reading the blog over the last few days, you've seen quite a bit of information about it. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend Adam Hawley's post where he discusses it from the product management viewpoint.

Even with all this information, there is still a lot more to know. That's why I wanted to point you to the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance Frequently Asked Questions document, which contains even more info. For instance:

  • What is Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance?
  • What are the components of the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance (hint: it includes Oracle VM!)?
  • Can Oracle VM templates be used with Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance (short answer: Yes!)?
  • Which guest operating systems are supported?
  • What are the hardware specifications of the nodes?
  • And much more

Head on over to the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance FAQ document to learn the answers to these and many more questions.

See you next week!

-Chris 

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Creating a private cloud with Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c used together offer a complete, top to bottom, cloud solution. With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c (OEM) the user can control everything from provisioning an Oracle VM server through configuration of the virtual environment and all the way to metering and chargeback. And most importantly, all these capabilities are available as part of the Oracle VM support for no extra charge!

For users who have already deployed Oracle VM, adding OEM does not require any changes to the existing environment. The user can take an existing Oracle VM deployment, point OEM to it and from that point on all the functionality available in Oracle VM Manager is also available from OEM. If the user chooses to go back to Oracle VM Manager or temporarily use it for any other reason, he/she can do that at any point in time. 

So, if you have not yet taken the time to look at what Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can add to your Oracle VM deployment we gathered some resources to help you get started:

Oracle Open World is right around the corner, there we will have several sessions and hands on labs on how to deploy a private cloud using Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager. You are also welcome to meet the Oracle teams in person at the demo grounds where we will be happy to walk you through a live demo and answer questions.

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance: The View from Product Management

First, if you haven't already, read Chris Kawalek's fine summary of today's announcements below.   But, as the head of virtualization product management at Oracle, I thought I'd add some comments.

Our goal, and what we are delivering with the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, is to perform all the necessary installation and configuration for the hardware and software to allow you to go from power-on to a running application (or database or middleware) in about an hour.  Already, one press headline has declared "Oracle tar ledningen på nyckelfärdiga servrar".  Now, just in case your Swedish is a bit rusty, that translates to "Oracle Takes the Lead in Turnkey Servers"  So what's all the fuss about?

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance...or "OVCA" as it likes to be called....is a general-purpose, converged infrastructure appliance focused on providing rapid deployment of not-only your hardware infrastructure but also, by virtue of Oracle VM, of all the application stack it hosts.  Unlike anything else on the market, Oracle has a large portfolio of ready-to-run Oracle VM virtual machines with enterprise applications, databases, and middleware that have already been installed and configured. So you just need to download the VMs from Oracle and deploy them into your environment and they are ready to go as soon as the VM starts. 

Aside from fully automating it to allow it come up and be ready for use very, very quickly, OVCA has been designed to fit easily into your existing data center.  As a general purpose appliance, it supports all the OSes you want to run on x86:  Linux of various flavors, including our favorite Oracle Linux, but also Oracle Solaris, and Microsoft Windows. And it also provides choice and flexibility for external storage by supporting the use of the excellent Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance as well as storage from major 3rd parties including NetApp and EMC.

Oracle has a great line of engineered systems to pretty much meet your every need, whether it is the "Exa-" class systems that are engineered explicitly for extreme performance with specific applications/workloads or whether you are looking at the " -Appliance" class systems focused on extreme ease of use as we are doing with the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance.  We've been hearing from our customers how much they love their Exa- machines but then they ask us what we've got for "the rest of their stuff", by which they mean legacy software or versions of software, Microsoft servers, or just generally anything that does not demand the extreme performance of the Exa systems.

I tell people that the "Exa-" systems are the supercars of the engineered systems world:  exceptionally fast and very tailored for their purpose, while the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is sort of like your favorite minivan:  very easy and convenient to use, with a great set of general purpose features for every day, general purpose use.  Their focus is very different between them, but they are both excellent at what they do.  And, in this sense, they are also very complementary and we expect these products to be companions to each other in a lot of data centers.

One of the aspects about OVCA that is very interesting and increasingly important over-time is that the infrastructure it delivers is software-defined.  The hardware itself is "wire-once": We wire it up completely in the factory, including pulling cables for ethernet, InfiniBand, and power up to each individual slot in the rack regardless as-to whether you have ordered a server to go in that slot or not.  Everything is pre-positioned.  This means you will never have to add or move cables inside the rack as you grow.  If you add a new node in the field, you just push that node into the slot and the cables are already in-place to push into the connectors on the back of the server....Done.  To those of you reading this that have tried to do cabling in a completely full rack, you know why this is important.  Racks today are often packed so densely with cables, it is almost impossible to even squeeze two fingers through to connect or remove an ethernet cable, much less a thicker power- or InfiniBand cable.  

But let's get back to how the compute and network are software defined, which means you can more easily automate it to configure and expand and change it without ever having to walk into the data center to move cables.  This makes you more agile and flexible but also reduces risks of mistakes or damage that come with moving things around in a very densely packed rack.  It also presents the opportunities for adding capabilities down the road without having to change the hardware.

Some of the crown jewels of technology in OVCA that enable this are Oracle VM server virtualization on the Sun servers and Oracle SDN software for the Oracle Virtual Networking Fabric Interconnect hardware.  In effect, Oracle VM enables "software defined servers" while Oracle SDN enables "software defined networking".  This combination allows us to fully automate the system bring-up using the OVCA controller software that serves as an automation and orchestration layer to coordinate the bring-up and on-going configuration activities of OVCA, e.g. discovering servers, putting Oracle VM on them, discovering network hardware, putting software-defined private neworks on them, and then putting the servers into the newly created networks.

Collectively, these capabilities not only produce a great product today but also provide a powerful base for future enhancement and expansion through software.

Since I've only scratched the surface here, to learn more details, a replay of the webcast, including a demo showing the deployment of an Oracle 12c Database in about 52mins from power-on can be found here.

All the information on oracle.com can be found here or by going to www.oracle.com/ovca 

And for those of you that are thrilled by the gripping prose usually found in press releases, click here

So keep an eye out for new information over time on this blog or drop us a Comment below.  And, of course, your friendly Oracle account manager or partner would be glad to discuss how you might be able to benefit from standing up a complete application stack in about an hour.

Introducing the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance

Today, Oracle introduced the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance. This new engineered system is built, designed, and tested for rapid and repeatable deployment of business-critical application workloads. To enable this, the appliance is comprised of a full-stack virtual environment, including Oracle VM Server for x86 designed for application-driven virtualization. The hardware and virtualization layer are both fully integrated with a fast InfiniBand fabric to provide the needed throughput for enterprise workloads. The entire system arrives pre-wired and configured – customers can go from dock to data center “power on” in an hour and deploy ready-to-run virtual machines in just minutes.

With over 100 Oracle VM Templates pre-defined, pre-configured and certified for Oracle Applications, users can deploy Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) or Oracle E-Business Suite 7x-10x faster than the manual methodology with other virtualization technologies. And to further enable multi-tier application workload deployment for application migration or private cloud deployment, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder generated assemblies are also supported on the new appliance. Assemblies encapsulate application workloads along with deployment and management directives to simplify and standardize entire life cycle management which can be controlled from Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Whether you are looking to modernize your data center, migrate to private cloud, or looking for faster time to market in deployment of your application services in a pre-wired, virtualized infrastructure for development, QA, or production, you should have a look at the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance.

For more information: 


Monday Aug 12, 2013

The August 2013 Virtualization Newsletter is Here!

  • Find out about the latest Engineered System, being unveiled tomorrow, August 13, at 10am PT.
  • A summary of Oracle Virtualization content you can see at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.
  • Two new white papers: Why Use Oracle VM for Oracle Databases, and Deployment Considerations for Oracle Secure Global Desktop.
  • The new release of Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder 12c.
  • And more!

-Chris

Friday Aug 09, 2013

Friday Tips #40

Happy Friday, everyone! With all the discussion about Oracle VM Templates on this blog in the last week or so (here, here, and here), I thought highlighting a short video that summarizes Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder would be interesting. Click below to watch (it's just under 4 minutes):

See you all next week!

-Chris

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