Friday Apr 15, 2016

Friday Spotlight - building a demo Oracle VM environment using VirtualBox

Learning a new software stack or test a new release is challenging enough without having to spend multiple cycles on the install process and, between many of possible use cases, Oracle VM VirtualBox can be used to create demo environments where to test or verify Enterprise products.

On Oracle Technology Network website you can find a list of Appliances, deployed and pre-built by Oracle Experts at no cost, ready to deploy more solutions on top of Oracle VM VirtualBox. Due to the high interest, one of the most downloaded appliance is Oracle VM Server & Manager.

This Appliance, thanks to VirtualBox, allows to create a real and complete Oracle VM environment on your laptop/desktop; these pre-built environments are also the foundation of Hands On Labs that we usually propose by webcasts or at important events like Oracle Open World. 

We also created a dedicated WhitePaper on this, where you can follow a step-by-step guide to build and Oracle VM Clustered Pool:

  • Import Oracle VM VirtualBox pre-built appliances
Once VMs are imported you'll have the complete management of them using VirtualBox GUI.

  • Prepare VirtualBox network interfaces 
Thanks to VirtualBox GUI you can manage your vNICs and point them to a specific configuration (bridged, host-only, NAT,....)

  • Initialize Oracle VM Server & Manager

  • Prepare Virtual Storage
Setup the storage that will guest the entire demo appliance.

  • Configure HTTP Server and NFS Server for their purposes

Exploit VMs pre-configured services like NFS-Server and HTTP-Server. 

This solution will allow you to try all interesting Oracle VM features and, at the same time, evaluate the product without any kind of investment in term of hardware purchase and installation time.

For further informations you can also visit:

If you have any question, feel free to post them on this blog entry.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Mar 25, 2016

Friday Spotlight: OTN Virtual Technology Summit, April 5th

OTN Virtual Technology Summit is coming and we are going to attend this important virtual-class meeting.

Hear from Oracle ACEs, Java Champions, and Oracle product experts as they share their insight and experience (through technical demo's/presentations and hands on labs) in meeting today's IT challenges in the upcoming Oracle Technology Network Virtual Technology Summit. These interactive, online events offers four technical tracks, each with a unique focus on specific tools, technologies, and tips. Between them you can find:

Operating Systems and Virtualization Track covers best practices for implementing, optimising and securing your operating system, management tools and hardware. In addition we will also discuss best practices related to Oracle VM and Oracle VM Templates.

Between the others, under the "Operating Systems and Virtualization Track" you'll find a session dedicated to Oracle VM Templates.

On this session we are going to present one of the most requested Hands-on Labs related to Oracle VM Templates:

Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) is a cluster database with a shared cache architecture that overcomes the limitations of traditional shared-nothing and shared-disk approaches to provide highly scalable and available database solutions for all your business applications. In this hands-on lab, learn from Oracle experts about how to deploy Oracle RAC in just minutes by leveraging the power of Oracle VM Templates.

Deploying Oracle RAC on other virtualization solutions, or on a bare-metal system, could request days of work and more steps involved, like:

  • Operating System Software Installation (Oracle Linux)
  • Operating System Patching (Update kernel and user-space packages)
  • Operating System Configuration and Requirements (Apply kernel configuration and packages needed for Oracle RAC)
  • Oracle Cluster & Database Software Installation (Oracle Grid Infrastructure & Database software)
  • Oracle Cluster & Database Software Patching (CPU, PSU and Interim Patches on both Cluster and Database software)
  • Oracle Database creation and configuration

    As you can see on the picture above, deployment time is drastically reduced thanks to Oracle VM Templates; all activities related to installation, configuration, patching and maintenance are already executed by Oracle Experts that grant to have all best-practices in place and, at the same time, a fully supported and certified system available. 

    If you are interested to see how Oracle VM Templates can drastically reduce deployment time of your applications, following links will help you to schedule and register yourself on this interesting session:

    At the end of the session, all participants will have the opportunity to make questions or clarify any kind of doubt with the help of Oracle product experts.

    Hope to virtually meet you over there.

    Tuesday Jan 05, 2016

    Virtualization Training in Oracle Systems Learning Subscription

    The Oracle Systems Learning Subscription is now available. In this portfolio of digital training, you learn to administer virtualization technologies such as Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle VirtualBox and Engineered Systems such as Oracle Private Cloud Appliance. This Learning Subscription also brings you learning opportunities on Oracle's operating systems, Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris, as well as on Servers and Storage solutions. Preview the training available in this subscription.

    In this learning subscription, Oracle experts provide you with learning tracks as well as easily consumed learning nuggets on product offerings, insights into product releases, best practices and more.

    Access information on all Oracle's Learning Subscriptions at

    Thursday Dec 10, 2015

    Oracle Private Cloud Appliance 2.1.1 Released

    We are pleased to announce the latest software release 2.1.1 of Oracle Private Cloud Appliance which simplifies the way customers install, deploy, and manage converged infrastructures for Linux, Windows, or Oracle Solaris applications. The latest  release delivers enhanced networking, improved flexibility and better security. 

    • Custom networks at the appliance level are enhanced by adding custom networks at the appliance level, thus enable additional connectivity.
    • Memory configuration is more flexible by supporting the installation of additional physical RAM. New RAM modules will be detected during reboot and the appropriate configuration will be changed automatically.
    • Component firmware upgrades are automatically performed for the ZFS Storage Appliance as part of the Oracle PCA software update. The storage configuration is now updated to active-active for storage head cluster. This makes the storage hardware easier to service and maintain.
    • Authentication management has been improved with a finer-grained and robust password management functionality.
    • The Oracle PCA Command Line Interface (CLI) has been enhanced with the integration of the controller software update and password management functionality.
    • Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM Server have been upgraded to Release 3.2.10, to include the latest security and errata bug fixes available.

    You can review the list of changes and improvements in the release notes of the documentation set. To download the software update, search patch ID 22185511 from My Oracle Support. To attend a training offered by Oracle University, read the news here.

    Thank you to the readers of the UK IT news who voted the best products for 2015. Oracle Private Cloud Appliance won the award as the Best virtualisation Product under Cloud Computing category.

    Best Virtualisation Product

    For additional information about how customers benefit from Oracle Private Cloud Appliance deployment, visit here.

    Friday Jul 24, 2015

    FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Oracle Private Cloud Appliance: Key Benefits for Partners

    Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, formerly named Virtual Compute Appliance, simplifies the way customers install, deploy, and manage converged infrastructures for Linux, Windows, or Oracle Solaris applications. Oracle Private Cloud Appliance was built as a highly available system to run a range of workloads. To accomplish this, all the elements in the system are redundant, such as power, networking, compute, management & storage. All of your application services are configured in software and connected together using the built in Software Defined Network. If there is a node failure all of those services will be automatically moved to another node. Here are some key benefits for customers:

    • Turnkey cloud in a box at industry-leading price point
    • Simple path from on-premise to Oracle Cloud
    • From power-on to production in few hours
    • Enables linear scalability by adding one compute node at a time
    • Enhanced security with Oracle’s hardened software stack 

    It comes pre-installed with Oracle VM and Oracle VM Manager and choice of downloadable Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c.

    In this blog, we specifically wanted highlight benefits to Partners. We have interviewed Rich Mason, Sr. VP Oracle Linux, Virtualization and MySQL Sales, and Wim Coekaerts, Sr. VP Oracle Linux, Virtualization Engineering, to understand some of the key benefits for partners. Watch this video to learn about how Partners can take advantage of some of the features it offers.

    There are many service opportunities for partners with the Private Cloud Appliance. Here are just a few examples:

    In many cases end user customers will require some assistance to migrate their existing applications to the Private Cloud Appliance, and the Reselling Partners will naturally be in a good position to offer those application migration and consolidation services. Partners can also offer VMware to Oracle VM migration services

    Partners can also create software templates for their customers as well as customize Oracle VM templates for their customers’ specific workloads.  The use of templates dramatically speeds up implementation and rapid rollout of new applications and services.

    By using the Oracle Enterprise Manager software that comes as part of the Private Cloud Appliance, Partners can also build and manage private cloud services to their customers.

    We have seen partners using the Private Cloud Appliances for Managed Services, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). In North America, Secure-24 and Tier1 Inc. are examples.

    Visit Oracle Private Cloud Appliance website to get more details. 

    Monday Jul 20, 2015

    Oracle Private Cloud Appliance 2.0.5 Released

    We are pleased to announce the latest software release 2.0.5 of Oracle Private Cloud Appliance.

    Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, formerly named Virtual Compute Appliance, simplifies the way customers install, deploy, and manage converged infrastructures for Linux, Windows, or Oracle Solaris applications.

    You can review the list of changes and improvements in the release notes as part of the documentation set.

    To download the software update, search patch ID 21288160 from My Oracle Support.

    For additional information about how customers benefit from Oracle Private Cloud Appliance deployment, visit here.

    Friday Jul 25, 2014

    Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM VirtualBox and PeopleSoft

    Happy SysAdmin day and happy Friday!

    Our spotlight this week is a very cool use case for Oracle VM VirtualBox. You’re probably familiar with Oracle VM VirtualBox, it lets you run multiple, different operating systems on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris. It’s really a fantastic tool for running, say, Windows on your Mac, or an Oracle Linux test environment on your Windows machine. But this is a unique use case for it, it’s used to host the PeopleSoft Update Manager.

    Our friends over at the PeopleSoft Apps Strategy blog have a blog post about PeopleSoft Update Manager, and links to several documentation videos. If you use PeopleSoft, this will be some great information for you. And if not, it might give you some ideas on how to leverage virtual appliances running in Oracle VM VirtualBox for your own projects!

    See you next week!

    Friday Feb 07, 2014

    Friday Spotlight: Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) 12.1.2 Demo Appliance Available for Testing!

    Happy Friday! Our Friday Spotlight this week is about a new virtual appliance for Oracle VM:

    The Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder team has been busy! You can now take a self-guided tour to see the power of Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder.

    For some background, let’s quickly revisit how Oracle VM enables rapid application deployment.

    Oracle VM Templates allow you to easily and quickly deploy pre-configured Oracle Database and applications. Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder accelerates and simplifies provisioning of complete multi-tier application topologies by packaging them as standard Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Assemblies for deployment into Oracle VM environments. It is capable of capturing application topologies comprised of Oracle and non-Oracle products. With a single keystroke, applications are fully deployed using application and user defined metadata. Two example use cases are replicating an entire application topology from one datacenter to another or deployment of entire stack of application into Oracle VM as a foundation for your private cloud environment.

    The OVAB Demo Appliance is a self contained Oracle VM VirtualBox appliance which includes both OVAB Studio and Deployer and a reference application topology that you can introspect to create Appliances and then compose them into an Assembly.

    Please note: this appliance is not meant for production use.

    The OVAB team has done a great job in packaging this appliance. Download the Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder Demo Appliance and take your self-guided tour today! 

    Have a great week and we'll see you next Friday!


    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 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 can be found here or by going to 

    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.

    Thursday Jul 26, 2012

    BriForum 2012 - Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Aligns with the Experts.

    BriForum 2012 in Chicago includes great sessions from industry experts and consultants focused on VDI and Server Based Computing.   One session delivered by Ron Oglesby of Unidesk presented "How you can solve common problems with VDI".  As VDI deployments have increased in size a major challenge as been optimizing storage to deliver the IOPS required for desktop workloads.  This requirement often is in conflict with the goals of reducing the CAPEX investment of implementing VDI.

    Ron Oglesby recommends the use of "Hybrid Storage Arrays" that provide a combination of large controller memory,  Solid State Disk (SSD) for high IOPS,  combined with lower cost array disks.   He then asks if anyone has heard of ZFS

    When you consider this general recommendation from Ron, it aligns with the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution that for years has taken advantage of the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance.  Otherwise considered a "Hybrid Storage Array" that as Ron generically suggests works very well for desktop workloads.

    Ron goes on to mention the option of using local storage for lowering the CAPEX cost for VDI that can provide high IOPS with the lower cost of internal disks within the hypervisor server.   Local storage is not for all deployments but can certainly be used for deployments such as flexible desktops without high availability requirements. 

    The latest release of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure aligns well with this recommendation by supporting fast local storage installed on servers running the Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor.   The Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor when installed on Oracle Solaris can provide the local storage with ZFS combined with the large server memory footprint available with Oracle Servers.  Additionally, the Oracle VM VirtualBox hypervisor can be deployed onto Oracle Linux and leverage the Oracle Cluster Files System V2 (OCFS2) combined with the large memory available with Oracle Servers.

    The Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure strategy that leverages hardware and software optimized for delivering virtual desktop workloads clearly is lining up with recommendations from virtual desktop experts.  

    Friday Apr 10, 2009

    Oracle VM Blog: Executing on the Promise of “Virtual Appliances”: Meet Oracle VM Templates.

    The industry has talked of the power of “virtual appliances” for some time but despite the promise of being able to just download, start-up and use software, virtual appliances have not been widely deployed in the enterprise, so why is that? First and foremost has been the lack of availability of anything other than toy appliances to use. If you look at VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace, you will see about 1,100 appliances. Spend some time clicking through there…go ahead …I’ll wait. What do you think? See anything you want to use in your production enterprise as-is? No? Me either.

    How can this be? Why can you find a lot of things like this…

    Mepis 8.0
    The virtualized Mepis desktop is the ideal supplement for Windows adepts. This cosmic location chose Mepis as the first distro to be VMware-packaged, because its pyramids have the right inclination and are pointing perfectly to Point Omega in the outer orbit. On top of that, you will find more info at the home of other coming virtual machines running under VMware.

    …and very little enterprise-class production software like this?..

    Oracle WebLogic Server 10g Release 3 Oracle VM Template (x86 32 bit and 64 bit):
    Oracle WebLogic Server is a standards-based lightweight application infrastructure designed to scale to the largest mission-critical deployments requiring the highest performance, manageability, reliability, security, and availability. This template contains the following components:

    -Oracle Enterprise Linux JeOS Operating System (Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 2 JeOS 1.0.1)

    -Oracle JRockit JRE (Oracle JRockit JDK 6.0 R27.6)

    -Oracle WebLogic Server (Oracle WebLogic Server

    -Read the Reference Instructions

    -Download Oracle WebLogic Server 10gR3 Template

    (By the way, I’m sure Mepis 8.0 is awesome and that they’ve done an excellent job at pyramid pointing so no offense intended: it just happened to be the first one on page 1 of VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace as I’m writing this...)

    The failure (so far) of Virtual Appliances to generate big volumes has not been in the concept but rather in the ability to execute: there simply have been few companies or communities that have all the components, the expertise, and the legal right to package and distribute everything you need to use it in real-world production (and if you can’t use it in production without redoing it, what’s the point?).

    For the production enterprise, you need an enterprise server operating system (not a workstation OS), that is supported by a real company (not just forums), and you need real enterprise applications (not “crippleware”) that are officially supported and licensed for production. Go ahead, go back and look at the Operating System Appliances category on VMware’s Marketplace: how many of these appliances contain server- (not workstation-) operating systems backed by a commercial company? What about the “Certified Production Ready*” appliances…surely that’s better, right? Er…well…some good software for sure, but again the included OS is almost always a workstation version and/or forum supported: not production-ready. (*Author’s Note: Couldn't link to that: Since I originally drafted this blog entry offline a few days ago, but before I got around to posting it, it looks like VMware got rid of the “Certified Production Ready” category and now just has the “VMware Ready Virtual Appliance Program” in its place as they describe here. I guess they didn’t like that “Production” word…)

    None of this is about the quality of the individual pieces of software in the Marketplace – not at all – but it is about ability to execute on the total solution. At Oracle, we’re the first to effectively deliver on the promise of enterprise-class virtual appliances today with Oracle VM Templates and Enterprise Linux from Oracle. The reality is that it is the OS, rather than the virtualization layer per se that is the key to creating and delivering successful enterprise appliances. Oracle has the whole stack: enterprise virtualization, enterprise OS, and enterprise applications: All configured and licensed for production server use. And, by the way, its not just for Oracle’s software. Oracle VM server virtualization and Enterprise Linux are free and can be freely redistributed (even without a distribution contract) so that anyone, not just Oracle can build and distribute Oracle VM Templates with their own software included, enabling the community even if the Template doesn’t include Oracle software.

    This is a core reason that Oracle is in the virtualization business: to deliver on products that make the total application solution easier to deploy, manage, and support.


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