Friday May 30, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Ronen Kofman on OpenStack Network Architecture

Happy Friday!

Oracle's Ronen Kofman kicked off a fantastic series this week on OpenStack network architecture. Our Spotlight today is the first article in that series, "Diving into OpenStack Network Architecture - Part 1."

For more OpenStack info, be sure to bookmark Ronen's blog, and follow him on Twitter.

See you next week!


Wednesday May 28, 2014

PARTNER WEBCAST (June 4): Enhance Customer experience with Nimble Storage SmartStack for Oracle with Cisco

Live Webcast: Enhance Customer experience with Nimble Storage SmartStack for Oracle with Cisco

A webcast for resellers who sell Oracle workloads to customers 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 8:00 AM PDT /11 AM EDT 

Register today

Nimble Storage SmartStack™ for Oracle provides pre-validated reference architecture that speed deployments and minimize risk.  IT and Oracle administrators and architects realize the importance of underlying Operating System, Virtualization software, and Storage in maintaining services levels and staying in budget.  In this webinar, you will learn how Nimble Storage SmartStack for Oracle provides a converged infrastructure for Oracle database online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) environments with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.

SmartStack delivers the performance and reliability needed for deploying Oracle on a single symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) server or if you are running Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) on multiple nodes.

Nimble Storage SmartStack for Oracle with Cisco can help you provide:
  • Improved Oracle performance
  • Stress-free data protection and DR of your Oracle database
  • Higher availability and uptime
  • Accelerate Oracle development and improve testing
  • All for dramatically less than what you’re paying now


Doan Nguyen, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle

Vanessa Scott , Business Development Manager, Cisco

Ibrahim “Ibby” Rahmani, Product and Solutions Marketing, Nimble Storage

Join this event to learn from our Nimble Storage and Oracle experts on how to optimize your customers' Oracle environments.

Register today to learn more!

Friday May 23, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM Server for SPARC Virtual Disk Performance Improvement

A new Solaris update dramatically improves performance for virtual disks on Oracle VM Server for SPARC, providing near-native I/O performance. With this change, virtual I/O is suitable for the most demanding I/O intensive applications under Oracle VM Server for SPARC. Read this article to see more details.

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Live Webcast: Oracle VM - Design Considerations for Enterprise Scale Deployment

The Oracle Managed Cloud Services team serves up thousands of Oracle applications to thousands of end customers on a daily basis. With nearly 20,000 of Oracle VM instances powering this operation, maintaining a highly available environment continuously. Curious how this is done? Join the Oracle Managed Cloud Services expert in this live webcast to gain valuable insights into architectural design and management best practices to build and run this highly successful hosted cloud operation. 

Oracle VM: Design Considerations for Enterprise-Scale Deployment 
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
10:00 AM PDT / 1:00 PM EDT


Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3.12 Released


Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3.12 has just been released. This maintenance release improves stability and includes some new experimental features.

For more details see the ChangeLog, or just simply download it now at the community or Oracle download sites.  

- The Oracle VM VirtualBox team

Friday May 16, 2014

OpenStack Summit - What a Great Week This Was

Close to 5000 OpenStack developers, customers, vendors and technology enthusiasts met this week in Atlanta Georgia for the semi-annual OpenStack summit. It was an exciting event, there is something about the OpenStack project that make people more passionate than any technology I have seen before. The metaphor commonly used at the summit describing OpenStack as the “Rebel Alliance” seems to accurately capture the mindset the OpenStack community. The feeling is that we are making something big and revolutionary, changing the world in a big way. As a technology conference veteran I felt that this one was very different. There is a vibrant discussion inside the OpenStack community about what to do and how to do it. There are different schools of thought but everyone has a common goal, to make OpenStack successful.

The sessions covered any and every aspect of OpenStack and allowed anyone to learn about what is happening in the different projects and how will they evolve. An interesting aspect of the OpenStack community is the openness and how people feel comfortable having a completely open discussion about what works well and what doesn’t, what is better handled differently and what can be improved. Many of the sessions and discussions revolved around genuine analysis of the best path forward suggesting improvements and changes encouraging a discussion and involvement from the audience.

The future direction of networking in OpenStack came up in many sessions and discussions. While Neutron provides a lot of features and built as a way that abstract networking implementation from user interface there are still many challenges to overcome. The main challenges with Neutron are the complexity that has grown significantly with Neutron as well as scalability. While there are technical challenges to overcome the community is working together towards a common goal, despite disagreement and different mindsets everyone is looking how to make OpenStack better.

Another interesting session and completely non-technical was a one by Thierry Carrez, Chair of the Technical Committee and Release Manager of OpenStack. This session discussed the challenges of managing a community and how to create the right governance structure and the right process to assure proper evaluation of ideas and foster a merit based community. The rapid growth of the OpenStack community with many participants who have different goals has made the management of OpenStack into a very challenging task in of itself. You can watch the recording here

On Tuesday of this week we announced the technology preview for Oracle’s Distribution of OpenStack which was very well received by our customers, partners and the community. Our goal is simple, work with the OpenStack community to make OpenStack an enterprise grade platform capable of running enterprise applications. We want to work with our partner to integrate their solution with Oracle’s Openstack distribution. We are also striving to be open and collaborative providing full support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM to anyone who deploy OpenStack whether from Oracle, DIY or any other OpenStack distribution. More details can be found on Wim’s blog.

It was an exciting week and we are looking forward for the weeks and months ahead working with our partners and customers making Oracle OpenStack distribution available as well as working with the community to make OpenStack better. You are welcome to try the Oracle OpenStack technology preview here and we look forward to your feedback.


Wednesday May 14, 2014

Oracle at Cisco Live Conference in San Francisco on May 18-22

Cisco Live is Cisco’s premier education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide. Oracle will be part of the largest gathering of Cisco customers, experts, and partners anywhere in the world, on May 18-22 in San Francisco.

Cisco is one of our closest partners with more than 20 years of partnership, which covers engineering, joint solutions, sales engagement, support for mutual customers and more. As part of our engineering engagement, Cisco is constantly qualifying and supporting Cisco UCS hardware on Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and Oracle VM.  

Oracle had been collaborating with Cisco and Netapp to validate the FlexPod solutions for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. The combined products give customers access to infrastructure designs that are pre-tested and pre-validated building blocks for application consolidation, private cloud migration or data center modernization. In addition to the benefits of the integrated design and validation, there are specific unique benefits that Oracle VM and Oracle Linux add to Cisco products. You can get more information about these solutions as well as other key advantages of using Oracle Linux and Oracle VM if you visit our booth.

Come and see us at Booth 2229 – Cisco Application Partners Pavilion. 

Register today

Tuesday May 13, 2014

Oracle Announces OpenStack Support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM

Today we are announcing OpenStack support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. This support will be included as part of Premier Support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM at no extra cost.

Existing customers can deploy OpenStack with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM and receive support for the entire software stack. This support includes base operating system which OpenStack installs on, the OpenStack bits, hypervisor and guest operating system with Oracle Linux.This complete end to end support which includes all the components of the stack is a key requirement for enterprise customers and therefore we will be providing it as part of Oracle Linux / Oracle VM Premier Support.

Today we are releasing a technology preview which allows customers and partners to test OpenStack with Oracle VM and Oracle Linux. The technology preview is available here. Together with the tech preview we are providing a Getting Started guide which walks the user through the steps of setting up an OpenStack deployment, the Getting Started guide is available here. The technology preview and Get Started guide give users a simple and easy way to deploy OpenStack and make their first steps exploring the features available with it. The technology preview is also suitable for vendors who would like to integrate with OpenStack from Oracle.  

 As OpenStack matures and evolves it provides a solution which can meet the growing need for standardization in the IT infrastructure. With the wider adoption of OpenStack customers are looking to leverage it to a broader set of applications including enterprise applications. One of our main goals is to work with the community and help OpenStack take the next step into the enterprise application space, allowing customers to deploy enterprise applications in a reliable, supportable manner.

The press release is available here

To those of you at the Atlanta OpenStack conference we will be happy to discuss this further, we are located at booth D14 and we are looking forward to see you there. 

Friday May 09, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM 3 - Overview of Disaster Recovery Solutions

Oracle offers a complete product portfolio that includes servers, storage, applications, middleware and database products that will allow you to piece together a custom disaster recovery (DR) solution for your business systems. Oracle VM 3 is simply one piece of a very complex puzzle that must be integrated along with other disaster recovery software and applications into an overall business continuity solution for your enterprise.

There are several different approaches to integrating Oracle VM into a disaster recovery environment all of which work with SAN or NAS. Greg King,  Principle Best Practices Consultant from Oracle VM Product Management wrote the white paper to discuss different high level deployment architectures and strategies. Use this white paper to choose a DR solution that best fits your needs.

Once you know which direction you want to take using this paper, you will then follow other more technically detailed white papers describing exact steps for the DR solution path you choose.

For more information about Oracle's virtualization, visit   

Thursday May 08, 2014

Oracle VM's Growing Ecosystem

In the x86 server virtualization market, Oracle VM continues growing its ecosystem. 

Oracle VM supports a broad range of the guest operating systems such as Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Microsoft Windows.

For Windows guests, we have paravirtual (PV) drivers that provide improved network and disk throughput to run fully virtualized Windows guests on Oracle VM. Oracle VM Windows PV Drivers are signed by Microsoft. Oracle is a participant of  Microsoft Windows Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). Windows PV Drivers along with Oracle VM Server for x86 have passed the SVVP requirements, read the details here. The Microsoft SVVP program enables the vendor such as Oracle to validate Oracle VM Server for x86 along with Windows PV Drivers so that Microsoft customers running copies of Windows Server they have acquired and licensed from Microsoft directly can receive technical support for Windows Server in virtualized environments, learn the details of the supported Microsoft server software (e.g. SQL Server, Exchange Server, etc.) here.

Not just Oracle software, non-Oracle applications are certified to run on Oracle VM. For example, SAP products can be deployed in Oracle VM virtualized environments. You can read more at the SAP on Oracle page on the SAP Community Network. If you are an SAP customer, you can search for SAP Note 1808268 for more details. Oracle VM helps customers deploy enterprise software in a rapid, repeatable and error-free manner with many Oracle VM Templates or Virtual Appliances for Oracle applications, middleware and databases as well as 3rd party ISV applications. You can watch the recent webcast below.

Oracle VM has been integrated into many Oracle Engineered Systems with enhanced virtualization capability. Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is the latest example, which radically simplifies the way customers install, deploy, and manage converged infrastructures for any Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Microsoft Windows application.

Oracle VM is widely deployed on the x86 hardware across many vendors. For the complete list of certified hardware platform, visit Oracle Linux and Oracle VM certified hardware.

Oracle Validated Configurations program offers pre-tested, validated architectures—including software, hardware, storage, and network components—along with documented deployment guides, available on many different hardware platforms.

Furthermore, Oracle has been working with other vendors to offer Oracle VM as part of their validated configurations such as FlexPod. For example, Oracle VM with Oracle RAC as workload was validated on FlexPod published here as a Cisco Validated Configuration document.

To learn more, visit:

Friday May 02, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Keeping a Server in Reserve in the Event of a Server Failure

Q: How can I ensure I always have one server in reserve to use in the event of server failure?

A: Uncheck the VM server box on a server not running any virtual machines

Everyone should be familiar with the fact that Oracle VM will automatically restart Oracle VM guests on other servers in the pool if a single server reboots or panics for any reason. Oracle VM will attempt restart all virtual machines on other servers in the pool automatically as long as you have selected the “Enable HA” checkbox in the edit virtual machine dialog.

However, even this high availability feature will not execute if all of the remaining servers are out of computing resources such as RAM or CPU. There are a couple ways to ensure that the other servers in the server pool will have adequate computing resources to handle redistributing all the Oracle VM guests from a failed server.

You can distribute Oracle VM guests between the servers ensuring that you always leave enough resources free on each server to handle the additional Oracle VM guest load once another server has failed. This is the best option since it allows the HA process to occur automatically.

But, we all know that people tend to load up the servers to their maximum capacity over time, sneaking an extra virtual machine in here and there until all servers are running at maximum load. There is a way to force people to follow a resource loading scheme by devising an N+1 server pool so you always have one server running but in reserve.

This solution relies on temporarily disabling one of the Oracle VM servers in a server pool from being able to run any virtual machines. You can do this simply by unchecking the VM Server box in the Edit Server dialog. To do this, select and edit a server that has no virtual machines running on it, uncheck the VM Server box and then save the change by pressing OK as show below.

The inherent problem with this approach is that it requires manual intervention by the systems administrator to re-enable the ability to run Oracle VM guests and then restart the virtual machines manually.  So, this solution is not as good as simply ensuring the servers in a pool are running a balanced load of 75% or so across the pool, but it does enforce the rule of leaving at least one server ready to take on the entire load from a failed server.

Contributed by Greg King, Principle Best Practices Consultant, Oracle VM Product Management 


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