Tuesday Oct 15, 2013

Just released: Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3

This morning, Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 hit the wire. You can download it for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris here.

This is a great release, adding a unique virtual multi-touch feature (great for testing Windows 8.1 applications on your standard desktop PC), support for new platforms and some really fantastic networking enhancements.

Head on over to the FatBloke blog for a rundown of what's new, or read the news release.

 -Chris 

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Friday tips #2

Welcome to our second Friday tips blog! You can ask us questions using the hash tag #AskOracleVirtualization on Twitter and we'll do our best to answer them.

Today we've got a VDI related question on linked clones:

Question: I want to use linked clones with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. What are my options?

Answer by John Renko, Consulting Developer, Oracle:

First, linked clones are available with the Oracle VirtualBox hypervisor only.

Second, your choice of storage will affect the rest of your architecture.

If you are using a SAN presenting ISCSI LUNS, you can have linked clones with a Oracle Enterprise Linux based hypervisor running VirtualBox. OEL will use OCFS2 to allow VirtualBox to create the linked clones. Because of the OCFS2 requirement, a Solaris based VirtualBox hypervisor will not be able to support linked clones on remote ISCSI storage.

If you using the local storage option on your hypervisors, you will have linked clones with Solaris or Linux based hypervisors running VirtualBox.

In all cases, Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure makes the right selection for creating clones - sparse or linked - behind the scenes. Plan your architecture accordingly if you want to ensure you have the higher performing linked clones.

Monday May 17, 2010

Introducing Oracle VM Server for SPARC

Oracle VMAs you are watching Oracle's Virtualization Strategy Webcast and exploring the great virtualization offerings of Oracle VM product line, I'd like to introduce Oracle VM Server for SPARC --  highly efficient, enterprise-class virtualization solution for Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series Systems.
SPARC Hypervisor
Oracle VM Server for SPARC, previously called Sun Logical Domains, leverages the built-in SPARC hypervisor to subdivide supported platforms' resources (CPUs, memory, network, and storage) by creating partitions called logical (or virtual) domains. Each logical domain can run an independent operating system. Oracle VM Server for SPARC provides the flexibility to deploy multiple Oracle Solaris operating systems simultaneously on a single platform. Oracle VM Server also allows you to create up to 128 virtual servers on one system to take advantage of the massive thread scale offered by the Chip Multithreading (CMT) architecture.

Oracle VM Server for SPARC integrates both the industry-leading CMT capability of the UltraSPARC T1, T2 and T2 Plus processors and the Oracle Solaris operating system. This combination helps to increase flexibility, isolate workload processing, and improve the potential for maximum server utilization. Oracle VM Server for SPARC delivers the following:


  • Leading Price/Performance - The low-overhead architecture provides scalable performance under increasing workloads without additional license cost. This enables you to meet the most aggressive price/performance requirement
  • Advanced RAS - Each logical domain is an entirely independent virtual machine with its own OS. It supports virtual disk mutipathing and failover as well as faster network failover with link-based IP multipathing (IPMP) support. Moreover, it's fully integrated with Solaris FMA (Fault Management Architecture), which enables predictive self healing.
  • CPU Dynamic Resource Management (DRM) - Enable your resource management policy and domain workload to trigger the automatic addition and removal of CPUs. This ability helps you to better align with your IT and business priorities.
  • Enhanced Domain Migrations - Perform domain migrations interactively and non-interactively to bring more flexibility to the management of your virtualized environment. Improve active domain migration performance by compressing memory transfers and taking advantage of cryptographic acceleration hardware. These methods provide faster migration for load balancing, power saving, and planned maintenance.
  • Dynamic Crypto Control - Dynamically add and remove cryptographic units (aka MAU) to and from active domains. Also, migrate active domains that have cryptographic units.
  • Physical-to-virtual (P2V) Conversion - Quickly convert an existing SPARC server running the Oracle Solaris 8, 9 or 10 OS into a virtualized Oracle Solaris 10 image. Use this image to facilitate OS migration into the virtualized environment.
  • Virtual I/O Dynamic Reconfiguration (DR) - Add and remove virtual I/O services and devices without needing to reboot the system.
  • CPU Power Management - Implement power saving by disabling each core on a Sun UltraSPARC T2 or T2 Plus processor that has all of its CPU threads idle.
  • Advanced Network Configuration - Configure the following network features to obtain more flexible network configurations, higher performance, and scalability: Jumbo frames, VLANs, virtual switches for link aggregations, and network interface unit (NIU) hybrid I/O.
  • Official Certification Based On Real-World Testing - Use Oracle VM Server for SPARC with the most sophisticated enterprise workloads under real-world conditions, including Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).
  • Affordable, Full-Stack Enterprise Class Support - Obtain worldwide support from Oracle for the entire virtualization environment and workloads together. The support covers hardware, firmware, OS, virtualization, and the software stack.

SPARC Server Virtualization

SPARC Server Virtualization

Oracle offers a f
ull portfolio of virtualization solutions to address your needs. SPARC is the leading platform to have the hard partitioning capability that provides the physical isolation needed to run independent operating systems. Many customers have already used Oracle Solaris Containers for application isolation.

Oracle VM Server for SPARC provides another important feature with OS isolation. This gives you the flexibility to deploy multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single Sun SPARC T-Series server with finer granularity for computing resources. For SPARC CMT processors, the natural level of granularity is an execution thread, not a time-sliced microsecond of execution resources. Each CPU thread can be treated as an independent virtual processor. The scheduler is built into the CPU, without the extra overhead for scheduling in hypervisor. What you get is a lower overhead and higher performance virtualization solution.

Your organizations can couple Oracle Solaris Containers and Oracle VM Server for SPARC with the breakthrough space and energy savings afforded by Sun SPARC Enterprise systems with CMT technology to deliver a more agile, responsive, and low-cost environment.


Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center


The Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center Virtualization Management Pack provides full lifecycle management of virtual guests, including Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle Solaris Containers. It helps you streamline operations and reduce downtime. Together, the Virtualization Management Pack and the Ops Center Provisioning and Patch Automation Pack provide an end-to-end management solution for physical and virtual systems through a single web-based console. This solution automates the lifecycle management of physical and virtual systems and is the most effective systems management solution for Oracle's Sun infrastructure.

Ease of Deployment with Configuration Assistant


The Oracle VM Server for SPARC Configuration Assistant can help you easily create logical domains. After gathering the configuration data, the Configuration Assistant determines the best way to create a deployment to suit your requirements. The Configuration Assistant is available as both a graphical user interface (GUI) and terminal-based tool.

Oracle Solaris Cluster HA Support


The Oracle Solaris Cluster HA for Oracle VM Server for SPARC data service provides a mechanism for orderly startup and shutdown, fault monitoring and automatic failover of the Oracle VM Server guest domain service. In addition, applications that run on a logical domain, as well as its resources and dependencies can be controlled and managed independently. These are managed as if they were running in a classical Solaris Cluster hardware node.

Supported Systems


Oracle VM Server for SPARC is supported on all Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series Systems.

UltraSPARC T2 Plus Systems

· Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 Server

· Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 Server

· Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 Server

· Sun Netra T5440 Server

· Sun Blade T6340 Server Module

· Sun Netra T6340 Server Module

UltraSPARC T2 Systems

· Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

· Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 Server

· Sun Netra T5220 Server

· Sun Blade T6320 Server Module

· Sun Netra CP3260 ATCA Blade Server


Note that UltraSPARC T1 systems are supported on earlier versions of the software.

Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series Systems come with the right to use (RTU) for Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and the software is pre-installed. If you have the systems under warranty or with support, you can
download the software and system firmware as well as their updates. 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 more information about Oracle's virtualization offerings, visit oracle.com/virtualization.

Tuesday Oct 13, 2009

Announcing Oracle VM Storage Connect Program and Oracle VM 2.2

At Oracle OpenWorld we had two major announcements for Oracle VM. One is the Oracle VM Storage Connect Program; and other one is Oracle VM 2.2 . Here I'd like to give a brief overview of the Oracle VM Storage Connect Program, also talk about What's New in Oracle VM 2.2. If you attend Oracle OpenWorld this year, please visit the Oracle's Demo booth W-142 at Moscone West (Oct 12-14).

Oracle has been developing a storage discovery and provisioning API in consultation with various storage partners for over a year. The Oracle VM Storage Connect framework will enable Oracle VM Manager to directly leverage the resources and functionality of existing storage systems in the Oracle VM environment, supporting native storage services such as Logical Unit Number (LUN) creation, deletion, expansion, and snapshot. When a storage vendor enables the Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-in, their customers will be able to provision that vendor's storage through the Oracle VM Manager.

The integrated solutions will enable end users to reduce cost and simplify storage maintenance and set-up by allowing virtualization and storage management through a common user interface. This will enable simpler management of virtual infrastructure, as well as faster provisioning of solutions in a cloud environment.

Through the program, partners have access to Oracle's development resources, as well as benefit from joint marketing initiatives.The Oracle VM Storage Connect framework does not require storage vendors to change any of their hardware, array software or client software, thus allowing partners to improve time to market.

Please visit Oracle VM Storage Connect Partner Program web site for further details about the program, partners and schedule.

In addition, we are excited to announce Oracle VM 2.2 release which features the latest Xen-based, industry-standard hypervisor, Xen 3.4, and provides substantial performance enhancement for customers running the latest Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron based processors. For virtualization and management product developers, Oracle VM 2.2 with Xen 3.4 hypervisor and updated dom0 kernel provides a rich platform for "upstream" development of future solutions based on a broad array of new technology including CPU power management, memory management, and direct I/O capabilities.

 


  • Updated Xen 3.4 Hypervisor - More efficient power management capabilities, broader hardware support, and better performance, scalability and security for both hardware virtualized and paravirtualized guests;

  • Updated Dom0 Linux Kernel with Newer Drivers - Better hardware support for higher performance, including Intel Xeon 5500 series (known as Nehalem) and AMD Six-Core Opteron "Istanbul"-based processors;

  • Updated OCFS2 1.4 Cluster File System - Sparse file support in OCFS2 1.4 enables significantly faster virtual machine provisioning and cloning, also allows users more control over data allocation, improving performance and storage efficiency;

  • Importing Block Devices as Shared Virtual Disks - Block devices can be assigned to virtual machines, greatly improving performance of applications such as Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC);

  • Virtual CPU Scheduling Priorities and Caps per VM - Control access to CPU between multiple VMs to align with IT/business priorities;

  • Server Pool Master Auto-failover- Maximize the availability of Oracle VM management features including live migration, VM life-cycle management, and HA functions;

  • Virtual Machine Tree View - Gets a better view of the Oracle VM environment at-a-glance and to ease operation;

  • Changing the Group to which a Virtual Machine belongs - Saves time and space and improves ease of use;

  • Improved Shared Storage and Cluster Configuration - Provide new configuration script to streamline the shared storage and cluster setup, reducing setup complexity;

  • Placing a Server in Maintenance Mode - Better serviceability, prevents server from actively hosting VMs during maintenance;

  • Improved Logging - Enables easier audit support and troubleshooting of Oracle VM Manager operations;

  • Importing VHD Disk Images - Ease of migration from Virtual Iron, Citrix or Microsoft to Oracle VM in addition to the existing virtual disk image conversion from VMware;

  • Virtual CPU Scheduling Priorities and Caps per VM - Control access to CPU between multiple VMs to align with IT/business priorities;

  • dm-nfs Enhancement - "dm-nfs" provides loopback-style emulation for a block device using a regular file as backing storage, which resides on a remote system and is accessed via the NFS protocol. In Oracle VM 2.2, it has been augmented to use asynchronous and direct I/O for better performance;

  • Secure VNC Access - Changes in the underlying Xen implementation enable secure and authenticated communication with a guest's VNC console.

 

The Oracle VM Server 2.2 packages have been updated to ULN. You can refer to the FAQ on how to upgrade Oracle VM Server 2.1.5 to Oracle VM Server 2.2 via ULN. The ISO images including Oracle VM Server and Manager 2.2 will be available at Oracle E-Delivery site later this week. Please refer to the Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation on how to plan, install or upgrade your Oracle VM environment.

Update (10/15/2009): Oracle VM 2.2 ISO images are now available for download from Oracle E-Delivery web site.

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