Friday Jan 27, 2017

Friday Spotlight: Oracle RAC on Oracle VM environments

Oracle products are engineered and tested to work together, providing distinct advantages when running Oracle Database and Oracle Application workloads on Oracle VM guests. That’s why Oracle deploys Oracle VM to support and certify virtualized implementations of Oracle Applications and Oracle Database, Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) included.

Oracle RAC is a cluster database with a shared cache architecture that provides highly scalable and available database solutions for your business applications. Oracle RAC has evolved over the years and, on top of Oracle VM, can be used as the foundation of a Database Cloud Solution for the applications in your data center.

Engineered for open cloud infrastructure, Oracle VM is a platform that provides a fully-equipped environment to better leverage the benefits of virtualization technology. Oracle VM enables deployment of operating systems and application software within a supported virtualization environment. Oracle VM complements the foundation of a Database Cloud Solution by providing an Oracle RAC certified virtualization environment. 

The combination of Oracle VM and Oracle RAC enables:

  • Better server consolidation: Oracle RAC databases with underutilized CPU resources or peaky CPU utilization can be consolidated with other similar workloads

  • Sub-capacity licensing
  • Rapid provisioning: with the Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database you can build an Oracle RAC architecture in hours instead of days

The combination of Oracle VM and Oracle RAC provides the cloud-ready architecture to consolidate data center infrastructure and, at the same time, provide the fastest provisioning technology for Oracle Database deployment thanks to Oracle VM Templates.

For x86-64 hardware platforms, Oracle VM is the only software-based virtualization solution that is fully certified for Oracle RAC on Oracle Linux.

To support strategic business applications, many Oracle Database workloads demand 24/7 continuity, requiring transaction failover. Oracle VM is the server virtualization technology that is fully certified for all Oracle products (including Oracle RAC) with Oracle hardware and software, providing an optimal virtualization solution for mission-critical Oracle Database deployments.

In cases where Oracle RAC is deployed on servers with low CPU utilization, Oracle VM enables workload consolidation and more efficient resource use. The Oracle VM administrator can define resource limits for each guest VM, designating specific resources for each Oracle RAC node. This is essentially how Oracle VM facilitates hard partitioning of CPU resources, which limits virtual CPUs and associated cores to the use of a particular VM guest.

Read the new "Oracle Real Application Clusters on Oracle VM Environments" for all the best practices and details you need to know to correctly deploy Oracle RAC on top of Oracle VM Environments. You'll learn about:

  • The latest technology available (Oracle RAC, Oracle RAC One-node, Oracle VM, Extended RAC ...)
  • Business continuity, high availability and scalability concepts
  • Hardware and software requirements
  • Best practices for CPU, memory, storage and network
  • Automated installation using Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database
  • Live-migration and Oracle Database relocation examples
  • References to technical documents for further details

Don't miss the new Oracle WhitePaper: "Oracle Real Application Clusters on Oracle VM Environments".

Tuesday Dec 20, 2016

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.12 is now available!

Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.1 Maintenance Release 12.

This release includes improvements and bug fixes for Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1. Between them we can mention:

  • Storage: fixed a couple of issue while using NVMe devices
  • E1000: fixed "cable disconnected" issue
  • Linux hosts: compile Linux 4.9 compile fix
  • GUI: fixed certain keyboard capture issues

See all the details here with a complete list of bug fixes; here you can find all the links to download the software.

The Oracle VirtualBox Team would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all VirtualBox users......stay tuned for next 2017!

Friday Dec 16, 2016

Friday Spotlight: Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Oracle VM 3.4.2

Oracle VM is engineered for open cloud infrastructure. This latest 3.4.2 release is focused on security along with new features and performance enhancements.

Below are the Top 5 Reasons why you should consider using this release or upgrading to it:

1. Security 

As part of Oracle's ongoing commitment to security, various components of Oracle VM Server and Oracle VM Manager have been patched with the recent security fixes

It's the best practice to keep Oracle VM environment up to date. Customers with an Oracle support plan covering Oracle VM may download the latest updates, including the latest software ISO releases, drivers, tools or utilities, from My Oracle Support or Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).

    2. Bug-Fixes

    See the list of bug fixes in Oracle VM 3.4.2 (from 3.4.1)

    3. Performance Improvements

    Oracle VM 3.4.2 introduced performance improvements for both Oracle VM Server and Oracle VM Manager:

    • Oracle VM Manager: The number of managed events that Oracle VM Server sends to Oracle VM Manager has been reduced when one system goes down. General performance improvements have also been addressed. 
    • Oracle VM Server: Xen hypervisor performance and scalability updates include:
      • Improved memory allocation
      • Improved aggregate performance
      • Improved performance for Windows, Oracle Solaris and Linux guests
      • Improved workload performance
      • Guest disk I/O performance improvements

    4. New Features

    In the past, each Oracle VM major release introduced a long list of new features, starting with the Oracle VM 3.4 release, our intention is to supply new enhancement and features into each minor release. The 3.4.2 release introduced new, very cool features like:

  • Support for NVM Express (NVMe) devices (both for repositories and devices presented to Guest VMs)
  • Extended SCSI functionality, available for virtual machines
  • dom0 kernel upgraded to the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux (Release 4 Update 2)
  • Oracle VM Manager Rule for Live Migration
  • Hot memory modification for HVM guests with para-virtualized I/O drivers (PVHVM)
  • Package additions and updates
  • 5. Easy Upgrade Path

    Oracle VM 3.4.2 introduced, for the first time, the option to have Oracle VM Manager able to manage older Oracle VM Server releases. This can provide you with an easier upgrade path. Further details on this new feature are available here:

    Oracle VM 3.4.2: why it's time to upgrade!

    When planning an upgrade, please review the following documents:

    Monday Nov 21, 2016

    Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.10 now available for download!

    Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.1 Maintenance Release 10.

    This release includes improvements and bug fixes for Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1. Between them we can mention:

    • Audio: fixed a few 5.1.x regressions by using the audio code from 5.0.x until the audio overhaul is completed
    • Windows hosts: hardening fix for Windows 10 build 14971
    • Linux hosts / guests: kernel 4.9 fixes
    • GUI: fixed various issues in Unscaled HiDPI Output mode

    See all the details here with a complete list of bug fixes; here you can find all the links to download the software.

    The Oracle VirtualBox Team

    Tuesday Oct 18, 2016

    Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.8 & 5.0.28 now available!

    Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.1 Maintenance Release 8.

    This release includes a number of improvements and bug fixes from Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.6. Between them we can mention:

    • Audio: various bug-fixes and Audio Queues on Mac OS X hosts
    • Windows: various bug-fixes and changes to adapt to Windows 10 build 14901
    • Snapshots: fixed regression while deleting and on snapshot delete
    • Windows Additions / VGA: if the guest's power management turns a virtual screen off, blank the corresponding VM window rather than hide the window

    See all the details here with a complete list of bug fixes; here you can find all the links to download the software.

    For VirtualBox 5.0 you can now find Maintenance release 28 available here and all the changes/fixes introduced into this release at this link.

      The Oracle VirtualBox Team

      Monday Aug 29, 2016

      Oracle VM 3.4: Enabling Rapid Migration to a Private Cloud Environment

      Oracle VM Virtual Appliances, also known as Oracle VM Templates, provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images. Use of Oracle VM Templates eliminates the installation and configuration costs, and reduces the ongoing maintenance costs helping organizations achieve faster time to market and lower cost of operations. Oracle VM Templates of many key Oracle products are available for download, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Database, Fusion Middleware, and many more; see the complete list below.

      Traditional data centers are typically fragmented environments, with various applications installed and Server virtualization is the first step to simplify this.

      However system administrators still follow the same time-consuming practices for installing, configuring, and deploying all software on top of a Virtual Machine; this is not only a time-consuming process: it's also error-prone.

      Using Oracle VM Templates is a step forward approach to deploy a fully pre-installed, configured and certified software stack (operating system, database, middleware, applications, and so on); so it's not only the OS but also the application running on top!

      While it's clear the advantage of this adoption when creating new environment on an Oracle VM Private Cloud Solution (like PCA), the same it's also valid for existing applications, also running on a bare-metal system; so, when migrating enterprise applications to a private cloud, a new approach is required: software components must be standardized and preconfigured in the form of software appliances to be rapidly deployed.

      Once the standard has been defined and the Oracle VM Template created, it can also be fully customized or tuned after installation and then saved again as golden image; all these templates can serve as a user's enterprise deployment standard to minimize risks and variation across multiple-instance deployments in the enterprise.

      This and further concepts and details are now available on this new Oracle WhitePaper:

      Oracle VM 3: Enabling Rapid Migration to a Private Cloud Environment

      If you are going to approach this type of innovative Virtualization, the Application Driven Virtualization, I would suggest also to pay attention on the following Oracle WhitePaper: 

      Oracle VM 3: Oracle VM Templates Automated Virtual Machine Provisioning

      As usual, feedback and comments are welcome! 

      Thursday Jul 21, 2016

      Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.2 now available

      Oracle has released VirtualBox 5.1 Maintenance Release 2.

      This release is a major improvement which include a large number of improvements and bug fixes from first release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.

        See all the details here with a complete list of bug fixes; here you can find all the links to download the software.

      The Oracle VirtualBox Team

      Tuesday Jul 12, 2016

      Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.0 is now available!

      Latest release provides improved multimedia support, increased Linux integration and new bug reporting helper tool.

      To enable organizations and developers to more easily and flexibly create and deploy on premises and cloud applications, we are pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1, the latest release of the world’s most popular free and open source, cross-platform virtualization software.

      A key tool for developers and users creating cloud and local applications without the overhead of using a full server environment, Oracle VM VirtualBox runs on standard x86 desktop and laptop computers. It allows users to set up multi-platform virtual machine environments for software development, testing, and general purpose operating system (OS) virtualization, with optional runtime encryption. Software engineers can develop for cloud technologies such as Docker and OpenStack from within Oracle VM VirtualBox VMs directly on their Windows, Mac OS, Oracle Linux and other Linux operating systems, and Oracle Solaris machines, making it easier to create multi-tier applications with just a standard laptop. Oracle VM VirtualBox also enables users to create and update virtual machines locally, including the OS and applications, and then package them into an industry standard file format for easy distribution and cloud deployment in conjunction with Oracle VM Server, or other server virtualization solutions. Oracle VM VirtualBox allows users to run nearly any standard x86 OS to run applications that are not available natively on their systems.

      With thousands of downloads for each day, Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1 continues to remain the best virtualization solution available for standard desktop and laptop computers and, at the same time, addresses the challenges to enable the use of a wide range of virtual machine environments and operating system with emulation of latest technologies available, improved performance and increased integration.

      The 5.1 release supports the latest guest or host operating systems including: Mac OS X Yosemite, Windows 10, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, other Linux operating systems, and legacy operating systems. New main capabilities in Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1 are:

      • Improved Performance: Significantly improved performance for multi-CPU virtual machines and networking.
      • Bug Reporting Tool: New utility able to collect all the information and logs related to the host and guest operating system, for debug or analysis purposes.
      • Improved Logging Window: New logging functionalities to highlight and filter information related to guest Virtual Machines.
      • Improved multimedia availability: Improved support for different USB devices and multi-channel audio availability.
      • Flash storage emulation: New NVMHCI storage controller emulation available, able to emulate NVME devices - Flash storage - on guest Virtual Machine.
      • Improved Linux integration: Automatic modules deployment in case of a Linux Kernel upgrade and improved systemd integration for the latest releases of popular Linux distributions.

      Supporting Resources

      Wednesday Dec 23, 2015

      Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c and Private Cloud Appliance

      Oracle Enterprise Manager offers complete cloud solution including self-service provisioning balanced against centralized, policy-based resource management, integrated chargeback and capacity planning and complete visibility of the physical and virtual environments from applications to disk. Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c further improves enterprise grade management, stack management and cloud lifecycle management.

      Among the new and exciting features integrated into Oracle Enterprise Manager 13c, the Oracle Virtualization (VT) plug-in has been extended to support monitoring and management of the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance. Through EM 13c, the various hardware components of the Oracle PCA rack (such as compute nodes, InfiniBand switches, and so forth) can be monitored.To learn more, read the documentation

      Wednesday Feb 04, 2015

      New Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database

      Oracle VM application driven architecture is designed to enable rapid application deployment. With the use of Oracle VM Templates, sophisticated applications such as Oracle Database or Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) can be deployed in minutes—10x faster than with other solutions. Today, we are pleased to announce the latest Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database.

    •  [Feb 2015] Single Instance & Oracle RAC 12c Release 1, including Oracle Grid Infrastructure ( & Oracle Linux 6 Update 6 - Available from My Oracle Support under Patch number 18888811 for 64-Bit Linux
    • [Feb 2015] Oracle RAC 11g Release 2, including Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patch Set three ( & Oracle Linux 5 Update 11 - Available from My Oracle Support under Patch number 14000033 for 64-Bit Linux

      NEW in 2015 Templates:

      • Yum@Deploy support(11gR2 & 12c) - Allows running yum install/update during first boot/deployment and subsequent re-builds.
      • Multi-Diskgroup support for Oracle ASM
      • Support for multiplexed Controlfile & REDO logfiles
      • Default kernel boot is Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel  Release 3 (3.8.13-55), seamless transition to HVM mode
      • Oracle Linux 7, BTRFS & KSplice Ready!

      The Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database provides a framework that fully automates the creation of a Single Instance, Oracle Restart (Single Instance/HA) or Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) configurations in an Oracle VM environment. In a matter of minutes the versatile and powerful Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database can be cloned into any number of VMs which could be deployed as a Single Instance, Oracle Restart (Single Instance/HA) or Oracle RAC of any number of nodes.

      To learn more about use cases for Oracle VM Templates and get in-depth knowledge to easily deploy Oracle Database 12c and Oracle RAC using Oracle VM Templates, please watch the webcast on-demand:

      • Oracle VM Templates Best Practices for Rapid Oracle Database Deployment, register here.
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