Friday Mar 28, 2014

Friday Spotlight: New Features in Oracle VM Server for SPARC

The latest release of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 3.1.1 was announced recently. It has extended Single Root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) benefits beyond Ethernet and Infiniband devices by adding support for Fibre Channel devices. In addition, it provides the ability to control the amount of physical network bandwidth consumed by virtual network devices, thus prevents guest domains from consuming excess bandwidth. To take advantage of the latest features to benefit your virtualization deployment, read Jeff Savit's blog here.

Friday Mar 21, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1

Happy Friday, everyone! Our Friday Spotlight this week is a blog entry from the Oracle Secure Global Desktop engineering team, with some info on what they've been up to: 


Hadn't noticed that this blog has been quiet for a while.  Time to catch-up!

So, what's been happening with Oracle Secure Global Desktop recently?  The biggest event was the release Oracle Secure Global Desktop version 5.1 in November 2013.  This version builds on the tablet support for iPads introduced in version 5.0 and extends it to Android devices.  It also supports the use of the tablet client, using HTML 5 technology, in Chrome browsers.  The traditional Oracle Secure Global Desktop clients are not being neglected and a Patch Set Update was delivered in February 2014 to support their use in Internet Explorer 11.

Talking of "Patch Set Updates", that's the other big, recent development.  In early 2014, we released 'tarantella patch' commands that can be retro-fitted to Long Term Support (LTS) maintenance releases of Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle Secure Global Desktop Gateway to patch existing installations.  Using these commands, you can keep current with third-party components, like the JVM, and apply bug fixes to Oracle Secure Global Desktop.  It's not an alternative to upgrading to the latest version to get the latest features, but helps alleviate immediate problems until an upgrade can be scheduled.

Finally, the other big change is the relationship between Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VDI, but that's a big topic that needs an entry to itself...


We'll see you next week with another Friday Spotlight!

Friday Feb 28, 2014

Friday Spotlight: What's in a Name?

This week’s spotlight is an Oracle VM tip from Greg King, our best practices engineer. While the tip may appear to be straightforward, a well thought out naming convention is critical in helping system administrators better organize, manage and eliminate mistakes made by other administrators.

Oracle VM is designed to be a highly availability computing platform for your Oracle VM guests. However, high availability is not just about ensuring you have eliminated as many single points of failure as possible, it also means making your Oracle VM platform easy to understand and maintain. An easy to understand Oracle VM environment makes all the difference in managing and maintaining a fault tolerate environment for your Oracle VM Guests when the chips hit the fan.

The use of meaningful descriptions and simple names is a frequently overlooked key to maintaining a reliable highly available computing platform. One goal of high availability is reducing the occurrence of mistakes that cause outages through human error. Using cryptic naming schemes, relying on default names of objects and failing to use descriptions effectively all contribute to overly complex, hard to understand Oracle VM environments; this in turn can completely undermine all the effort you put into eliminating single points of failure in your hardware and operating systems.

The easier it is to understand things at a glance, the faster tasks can be done with less explanation and less chance for critical mistakes. So, let’s take a look at a few examples of things you can do to make your Oracle VM object naming scheme more powerful.

People often leave the simple name for the server management network as the dotted decimal notation of the subnet. Even worse, they use the dotted decimal subnets as names for all their other networks they create. This is pretty cryptic and quite meaningless to anyone but a few in your organization. The default name is meant to be changed to something meaningful in your environment and a naming scheme should be developed that is simple yet meaningful for the remaining networks you create. We have a network naming white paper available on OTN that might give you some good ideas.

You should also take the time to create meaningful naming schemes for Oracle VM servers, server pools, physical disks, virtual disks, guests and guest resources such as assemblies, ISO images and templates. You want to be able to relate various objects to each other without having to search through different tabs and sub-tabs so take the time to create and use meaningful simple names.

If nothing else, the more time you spend making your naming scheme easy to understand, the faster you can detect issues from Oracle VM Manager at a glance. This can save you time on maintaining tedious documentation that you don’t like to write and most people don’t like to read.

Friday Feb 21, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Amitego's Tools Updated for latest Oracle Secure Global Desktop

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our spotlight this week is on a fantastic tool, VISULOX Helpdesk from Amitego. If you’re a user of Oracle Secure Global Desktop, you have probably heard of Amitego. They provide tools that extend the feature set of Oracle Secure Global Desktop.

Whereas Oracle Secure Global Desktop is primarily designed for secure remote access to applications and desktops for a single user, Amitego provides extra, complementary tools to control and manage secure access for multiple users to the same session. This is really useful in situations such as where a manager needs to approve a transaction, or if two people with trusted information are needed to complete a task, or, perhaps the most common scenario, providing helpdesk services.

Their new tool, VISULOX Helpdesk, is based on the new VISULOX 3 framework and helps solve this last problem. It allows controlled assisting of a user by another user, without opening up the security risks associated with doing this on your desktop PC. You can do things like assign a group of users that a supervisor can assist with, and then the users can request help from the supervisor, and that supervisor can view their session in tandem. And the user still has control, too -- they can even switch off the cooperation view temporarily to enter a password, for example. And, of course, all of the clients and applications supported by Oracle Secure Global Desktop are supported by VISULOX Helpdesk, so you can even use your tablet device to remotely view and participate in a session.

If you need to do any sort of tandem work or helpdesk services and you’re using or looking at using Oracle Secure Global Desktop, you should go have a look at Amitego and read about their various offerings. Their tools have recently been updated to work with the latest Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1.

Have a great week!
-Chris

Friday Feb 14, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Upcoming In Person Events in EMEA

Happy Friday!

The team in EMEA has put together some wonderful in person events for potential or existing Oracle VM and Oracle Linux customers. In these events, there are expert presentations, and then time to mingle and chat with the Oracle folks. It's really a great opportunity to get your questions answered firsthand. If you live near any of these cities, consider registering for the events!

Feb 18, Munchen, Germany
Register Now

Feb 19, Dreieich, Germany
Register Now

Feb 24, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Register Now

Feb 25, Istanbul, Turkey
Register Now

Feb 26, Berlin, Germany
Register Now

Mar 6, Paris, France
Register Now

If you're anywhere near these cities, you won't want to miss these fantastic events.

We'll see you next week!

-Chris

Friday Jan 31, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle BigDataLite Virtual Appliance powered by Oracle VM VirtualBox

Happy Friday! Our spotlight this week is a post from our Oracle VM VirtualBox product team on a brand new virtual appliance:


Oracle has released the Oracle BigDataLite virtual appliance allowing developers to focus on what they do best, which is developing applications.

With the Oracle BigDataLite virtual appliance, there is no need to install the Big Data platform components or configure them, that's already all done for you. Simply download the Oracle BigDataLite appliance for Oracle VM VirtualBox, start it up on your desktop or laptop and you are ready to go. Can it be easier than that?

If you like to get more details about the Oracle BigDataLite virtual appliance please check this announcement. Or even better, register for the Virtual Developer Day scheduled next week Tuesday, February 4th to get first hand answers to all your questions or to make your hands dirty during one of the hands-on-labs.

Have a great day,

-The Oracle VM VirtualBox team

Friday Jan 10, 2014

Friday Spotlight: 10 Oracle VM Myths from 2013 Debunked

New year greetings, everyone!

Reflecting on 2013, we thought we'd do a summary of the many myths that were debunked in 2013. Here are the top 10:

1. Oracle VM has no benchmarks
Internally the Oracle VM team runs hundreds of benchmarks in every one of our releases. In addition, our integrated Oracle Engineered Systems team, such as Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Virtual Networking perform their own benchmarks with Oracle VM.

Over the years, we’ve commissioned 3rd parties to report on Oracle VM performance. For many of you, all that is great, however the internal efforts lack “arm’s length” objectivity. So instead, we’ve been letting our customers speak for us on the performance benchmarks of Oracle VM.

For Oracle VM performance on Oracle Database as well as compared to other virtualization solutions, there is the benchmark document from Revera Limited. The report shows Oracle VM performs better than other solution in all categories.

For Oracle VM performance with Oracle PeopleSoft and Oracle Database, Open Universities, Australia Director ICT, Anthony Russo performed the benchmarks in his evaluation of Oracle VM. The results and cost savings led him to decide on Oracle VM as the virtualization for a campus-wide deployment. Anthony shares his benchmark write up with the IOUG community. Read more about Open Universities Australia in the press release.

2. Oracle VM is not for serious enterprise applications
This is a myth long ago debunked. Oracle VM application-driven virtualization is designed and architected with enterprise applications in mind. Guided by our own in-house expertise on how sophisticated enterprise software deployment can be, we designed a hypervisor that not only serves the purposes of consolidation and abstraction from the hardware, but we also have a laser-focus on building in support into the hypervisor to simplify provisioning and management of enterprise applications in their entire lifecycle.

Oracle VM is an important foundation for many of our customers, with the Oracle stack as well as for mixed deployments. Adoption of Oracle VM is diverse, from helping to keep 24/7 online retail operations running (such as Overstock.comto massively compute intensive operations for Lawrence Livermore National Labs, enabling continuous Managed Services Operations for dcVAST or Data Intensity to scale and grow as business grows. See a sample listing of customers who rely on Oracle VM to power their business.

3. Complicated to deploy
This one is has long been debunked, with the built in support for Oracle Applications with Oracle VM Templates and tight integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager. However, it's worth recapping, as we’ve made huge advances in simplifying Oracle Database and applications even more. The Evaluator Group report has demonstrated that deployment of a 2 node Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) takes under 4 hours, compared to about 40 hours for the competition. This is old news! Our latest releases of the Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database Single Instance and RAC deployment is now even speedier. At OpenWorld 2013, we had a room full of attendees deploying a 4 node RAC cluster in under 60 minutes in a Hands On Lab session. And let’s not get carried away on just speed, according to one of our Oracle VM Templates engineers, Saar Maoz: “ACTUAL ELAPSED TIME is only mildly interesting, what really matters is that when you do download the template and run it, it just works. Oracle is the only vendor that can do this because we own the apps!”

To illustrate the power and simplicity, we’ve created a Hands-on Lab about deployment of an IaaS environment that showcases the use of chargeback. The environment is a contained Oracle VM VirtualBox appliance including Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager. To run this yourself visit our OTN post of the lab here.

4. Limited Enterprise Use
In addition to powering many critical enterprise operations, Oracle VM is the virtualization foundation for Oracle as well. Oracle VM is integrated into many of the Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance, Oracle Exalogic, Oracle Exalytics, and Oracle Database Appliance. In addition, Oracle VM is powering Oracle Managed Cloud Services with over 15,000 VMs in deployment and growing.

5. No complimentary tools for private cloud deployment
In addition to Oracle VM Templates for rapid application deployment, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder (OVAB) is one of the most powerful tools for multi-tier application deployment. OVAB is key to helping enterprises easily and reliably deploy their multi-tier applications to the cloud, or simply migrate their existing stack of physically deployed apps onto their new private cloud. The recent release of OVAB 12c includes an even more intuitive GUI and improved support for creation of base OS image. Want to get hands-on and take a test drive with the new release? Download the OVAB Oracle VM VirtualBox Demo Appliance, including documentation.

6. Oracle VM is expensive
Oracle VM is the most cost effective enterprise-proven hypervisor.

Oracle VM has zero license cost for and low enterprise support cost. Oracle VM Premier Support customers receive Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 12c management software Base Enterprise Manager Functionality, including Ops Center, for free! In addition, Oracle Hard Partitioning Policy and Hard Partitioning for x86 architectures may also help customers realize further savings in many cases. Test calculate the savings to see how much you can save using the Oracle VM Cost Calculator.

Wondering how difficult it would be to migrate your existing environment? Take a test drive with our Hands-on Lab to migrate your VMware vSphere deployment with Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Oracle VM and Oracle Linux. Then you can watch your savings grow!

7. A "me too" hypervisor
In the strict sense of the word “hypervisor”, Oracle VM is a hypervisor. Beyond that the “me too” assertion is a complete myth. Oracle VM application-driven architecture is designed with enterprise applications and cloud services in mind. Tight integration with many of the infrastructure products and Oracle Enterprise Manager delivers the most integrated virtualization foundation for both the Oracle stack and non-Oracle stack. To learn more about how Oracle VM application-driven virtualization is different, and hear from customers on how they are able to benefit from this unique architecture, read the Oracle VM E-Book.

8. Oracle VM is only used in Test environments
Our customer list proves this to be a myth. Beyond this, however, we are very proud to be an enabler for the thousands of QA test environments out there. Oracle VM combined with the hugely popular Oracle VM VirtualBox product provide our customers a powerful way to build appliances that can help them to quickly deploy very complex environments for testing.

9. Not ready for Oracle Database
If our own internal deployment wasn't enough, and with so many proven customer uses, it's surprising that this continues to be a myth. Many of our customers do know this and performance testing is proven by our partners as well. Read the report Why Use Oracle VM for Oracle Databases.

10. No partner ecosystem
Oracle VM has an extensive technology partner network. We continue to drive deeper and stronger technology and business relationships with our partners. In the past year, we’ve collaborated with our partners such as Dell, Lenovo, SAP and many more to bring more choice and value to our customers. An example of our collaborative effort is the FlexPod validated configuration with Oracle VM and Oracle Linux. In addition, we also recognize that interoperability with industry technology is important to our customers. Oracle recently announced sponsorship of OpenStack.

Wishing all our readers a healthy and prosperous 2014, and watch for more great things to come!

Friday Jan 03, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Virtualization Management Podcast

Happy Friday and welcome to the first virtualization spotlight of 2014! To kick things off this year, I wanted to highlight an excellent podcast by Oracle's Doan Nguyen and Ronen Kofman that describes how Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c can significantly improve your server lifecycle management. Have a listen:

Listen to "Simplify Virtualization Lifecycle Management with Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager (15:05)" 

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Friday Dec 20, 2013

Friday Spotlight: KT and Oracle VM

Happy Friday!

Our spotlight this week is on KT and their use of Oracle VM.  

Oracle Helps KT with IT Transformation

In the first video, Jung-Sik Suh, SVP of Cloud Convergence at KT, discusses the IT challenges they recently faced. To support their next generation customers, they needed to diversify their product offerings and expand their capacity, and they had to do this while simultaneously merging with another company! They decided to design a private cloud using Oracle VM and Oracle Linux that resulted in a 70% reduction of infrastructure cost and 50% reduction in operation cost.

KT Benefits from Oracle's Integrated Solutions 

In the second video, Mr. Suh discusses how implementing an Oracle software stack that is designed to work together, including Oracle VM, Oracle Linux, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and more, allows them to save costs and pass the savings on to their customers, and in the future, will provide a profit center for them, as well.

Friday Nov 22, 2013

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM VirtualBox Receives Windows IT Pro Community Choice Award!

Happy Friday, everyone. We hope you've had a great week!

The results from the Windows IT Pro 2013 Community Choice Awards are in and we’re proud to say that Oracle VM VirtualBox was named one of the best virtualization products!

This community-voted award is great validation of our work to enhance the product. Learn more about the latest release, Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3.

We want to thank the Oracle VM VirtualBox community for their continued support as we work to make it easier and better than ever for users to run virtual machines on their desktop and laptop computers.

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Virtualization Friday Spotlight - November 1, 2013

Welcome to Friday, we hope you had a good week! It was exciting for us here (especially those with Android tablets!) due to the announcement of Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.1. So, our Friday spotlight is the news release "Oracle Secure Global Desktop Adds Support for Android Tablets".

Have a great week!

-Chris 

Friday Oct 04, 2013

Friday Spotlight - October 4, 2013

Happy Friday! During Oracle OpenWorld, we were able to do brief videos with a number of Oracle virtualization and Oracle Linux partners. We have more of these coming soon, but I wanted to highlight some that we just published:

Have a great weekend!

-Chris
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