Monday Aug 19, 2013

Open Universities Australia uses Oracle VM to Virtualize Oracle Database and PeopleSoft

Open Universities Australia Realizes Valuable Savings and Simplifies IT with Oracle VM

Deploys Virtualized Oracle Database and Oracle’s PeopleSoft Applications to Production, Development and Disaster Recovery Environments in Campus-Wide Infrastructure Upgrade

Read the entire press release.

Open Universities Australia (OUA) director of ICT, Anthony Russo, was faced with a 3 year cycle of systems upgrade. With tightening budgets to meet growth targets, needing to deliver on cost efficiencies while staying within constraints of existing license footprints and implementing a zero outage operations model, Anthony had to re-evaluate his traditional IT approach with bare metal computing.

Virtualizing Oracle Database and Oracle PeopleSoft Campus applications were a remote option for Anthony due to fear of loss in performance and managing the complexity of the environment with a small IT staff. The environments that would be affected were the hosted development, and cloud based environments for both Production and Disaster Recovery.

However, the looming hardware refresh and software upgrade costs of over $300,000 convinced Anthony to evaluate Virtualization.

Oracle VM claims as the best virtualization technology for Oracle Database and enterprise applications workload were not sufficient data to decide on this important refresh. Anthony embarked on a performance testing validation exercise. To his surprise, his own performance results debunked the performance myths about virtualizing database workloads -- in fact in some cases virtualized workloads on Oracle VM performed better than even on bare metal!

As for the fear of complexity introduced to his IT process by virtualization, this was also debunked with Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Enterprise Manger 12c. His IT team provisioned a multi-node Oracle RAC environment all within a few hours using the Oracle VM Templates with pre-configured Oracle Database, RAC and Oracle Linux. With Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, the team is able to manage and monitor Oracle VM servers and virtual machines across multiple locations from a single console.

Anthony shares his report findings in a whitepaper “ Oracle VM on Oracle Real Application Clusters, Physical vs. Virtual Database” hosted by the Independent Oracle User Group. Here is a sample of some of the key findings in the report:

To access the complete report, visit the IOUG Website sign up for a Free Associate Membership and join the Cloud Computing SIG.

Monday Jun 24, 2013

Oracle VM on OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day

Looking for quick summer education to become an Oracle VM power user and still make your beach run? Join us in the OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day July 15th to learn how you can deploy a 2 node Oracle RAC cluster in an hour. You can also get familiar with step by step hands on lab for Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris.

Thursday May 23, 2013

Oracle VM Template Now Available for Sun Ray Software 5.4

Oracle VM Templates provide an easy, fast, and cost effective approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images. The Oracle VM Template for the latest release of Sun Ray Software version 5.4 is now available for Oracle Linux 6.3 (64-bit).

The Oracle VM Template for Sun Ray Software is a fully pre-installed, pre-configured virtual machine that can be downloaded onto an installed Oracle VM server. It allows you to quickly create and manage a Sun Ray environment.

The requirements are as follows:

  • The Oracle VM template for Sun Ray Software 5.4 is intended to be installed on Oracle VM 3.0 server or later
  • The OS for the Sun Ray Software 5.4 template is Oracle Linux 6.3 (64-bit)
  • 15GB free space on Oracle VM Server storage repository and 2GB free memory size on an Oracle VM server will be required

For more information on Sun Ray Software, please visit OTN.

Purchase support at the Oracle Store

Oracle Software Delivery Cloud Instructions:

  1. Visit
  2. Complete your registration information (Name, Company Name, Email Address and Country) and click on the download agreement.
  3. Select "Oracle VM Templates" from the "Select a Product Pack" pull-down menu.
  4. Select "x86 64-bit" from the "Platform" pull-down menu.
  5. Click "Go" and then select from the list of Oracle VM Templates.
  6. Download and unzip the files and read the readme for installation instructions.

For large downloads, or for functionality such as download resuming, the use of a download manager is highly recommended.

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

Oracle VM and Oracle Linux pre-validated, pre-tested with FlexPod

As the Oracle community is gathering at IOUG this week sharing news, checking out the latest innovations, the Oracle VM and Oracle Linux team are also busy working to expand our platform validation support. In a collaborative effort with both Cisco and NetApp, we’d like to give you an early glimpse of the upcoming reference architectures for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM with FlexPod:

  • A FlexPod with Oracle VM is scheduled for the second half of 2013  – this Oracle VM architecture offers virtualization coverage for Oracle as well as non-Oracle workloads
  • A FlexPod featuring NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP with Oracle Linux,  coming Jun 30, 2013 – this is the second Oracle Linux bare-metal design
  • A FlexPod with Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne on Oracle Linux, coming April 9, 2013
  • A FlexPod with Oracle Linux, coming June 14, 2013 – this is one of two bare metal designs for running Oracle DB on Oracle Linux
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 FlexPod:
  • Oracle VM – Application-Driven Virtualization difference: Speed Dev/Test/Production application deployment – Using Oracle VM Templates, customers can deploy applications 7-10x faster than traditional virtualization approaches. Entire application stacks including guest OS with Oracle Linux can quickly be deployed or provisioned in hours or minutes. This empowers IT to have a direct impact on the business Quality of Service by enabling more test systems and or respond to end customer requirements more quickly.
  • Enhanced high availability with Oracle Linux: With Ksplice, Oracle Linux kernel updates are installed in seconds, without interrupting running applications or the people using those applications. You can quickly check on the current status of your systems before rolling out updates to your network. Installing updates requires no downtime, so your systems are more available than ever. 
  • Certified by Oracle: All Oracle applications are certified on Oracle VM. This gives customers peace of mind that FlexPod with Oracle VM running Oracle applications are both fully tested and  certified by Oracle
  • Reduce Licensing Cost: with zero licensing cost for both Oracle VM and Oracle Linux and low enterprise support cost, customers can dramatically reduce both capex and opex IT spending. 
We’ll keep you updated as these reference architectures get published. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay informed.

Thursday Mar 07, 2013

Enabling Private Clouds events in Canada

If you're looking at implementing a private cloud, we have a live seminar series that could be really helpful for you. Over the next couple of weeks in Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto, you can attend a free seminar that will help you learn about Oracle's complete cloud infrastructure solution, including Oracle Linux and Oracle VM.

One really unique thing about these seminars is that they are divided into morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning, you'll get a complete overview of the solution with use cases, deployment ideas, architecture discussion and so on. And if you are a hands-on technical type, you can stay for the afternoon session which features a hands-on lab of Oracle Ksplice on Oracle Linux and a live demo of Oracle RAC deployed using an Oracle VM Template.

These should be fantastic events, please attend if you are in the area and available!


Thursday Jan 03, 2013

Free Oracle VM Training for Sys Admins - Jan 15, 2013

Join us for the Virtual Sys Admin Days and get hands-on experience with Oracle VM, Oracle Linux, and Oracle Solaris. These free events will be hosted by Oracle experts who can guide you through your hands on labs and answer any questions via live chat.

See the complete Agenda.

Choose the date that is most convenient for you!

Americas - Tuesday January 15th, 2013

9:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. BRT

EMEA -  Tuesday January 29th, 2013

9:00 a.m – 13:00 p.m GMT / 10:00 a.m – 14:00 p,m CET / 12:00 p.m – 16:00 p.m AST / 13:00 p.m – 17:00 p,m MSK / 14:30 p.m – 18:30 p.m IST

Register Now.

To make the experience most productive some homework is required. Load the virtual machine images on your laptop, find the instructions, and make sure everything is working properly. The wiki explains what you need to do.

Register for the Sys Admin Day.

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 Oct 15, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld 2012, Live From The Show Floor Videos

At shows like Oracle OpenWorld, we like to catch up with the session speakers and other experts with short video clips that we post on our YouTube channel. For Oracle OpenWorld 2012, we put together this handy playlist of server and desktop virtualization related videos:

We were also able to catch up with a few Oracle Linux partners at the Oracle Linux Pavillion. You can find those videos here:

And if you'd like to look at the slides for any of our virtualization presentations or any other Oracle OpenWorld session, have a look at the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 content catalog. There's a lot of great information there!


Tuesday Aug 07, 2012

Join Us August 23 at the OTN Sys Admin Day in Broomfield, CO

OTN Sys Admin Days are live classroom events with two, parallel hands-on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux tracks designed for the System Administrator. In addition to the Oracle Solaris track and the Oracle Linux track, there will also be a session on Best Practices for Deploying Oracle VM. In this session our best practices engineer will go over specific steps to prepare an environment so you can quickly and easily deploy Oracle VM and virtualize your servers. Register now for this FREE event.

Here is what you can expect to learn:

Oracle Linux Track

  • Overview of Ksplice, zero downtime kernel updates that enable customers to apply security updates, patches and critical bug fixes without rebooting.

  • Installing and configuring Oracle VM VirtualBox, importing the Oracle Linux virtual appliance

  • Package management on Oracle Linux using RPM and yum.

  • Linux services and run levels, how to start and stop them, checking the status of a particular service.

  • Preparing block devices, creating physical and logical volumes.

  • Introduction to the Btrfs file system.

Best Practices for Deploying Oracle VM:

  • How to prepare your storage, network and planning of your guests for the deployment

  • How you can use Oracle VM to rapidly virtualize and deploy to production enterprise applications in minutes

  • Specific steps on how to validate and manage the server pools

Note: You'll need to bring your own laptop to follow the practical exercises that we will go through in an Oracle VM VirtualBox environment.

Event Details:

Thursday August 23, 2012
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

500 Eldorado Blvd
Building 1, 1st Floor, Room 1125
Broomfield, CO 80021

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.  

Sunday May 27, 2012

Full Stack Story with Oracle VM

Full Stack Story with Oracle VMWhen we talk about the server virtualization solution from Oracle, Oracle VM has the server virtualization and management components in one solution. One of the reasons that differentiate Oracle from others is the full stack story.

At the virtualization layer, we have Oracle VM Manager included with Oracle VM. Oracle Enterprise Manager is the enterprise management product providing an integrated management environment for the full software stack together with physical or virtual environment. Specifically, we have Oracle VM Server for x86 and Oracle VM Server for SPARC, both offer high performance server virtualization solution, with advanced capability to help customers accelerate application deployment. With Oracle Premier Support for Systems, the enterprise quality support includes server virtualization (Oracle VM) and the operating systems (Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris).

A combination of hardware, virtualization, middleware, database and packaged applications, when combined with integrated management across all layers, comprises the best building blocks for streamlined operations and maximum agility in the data center. It also creates the underpinnings for the future in cloud-based deployments. Only Oracle’s integrated stack represents a virtualization offering that is application-driven and can enable deployment of complete solutions as opposed to just servers and operating systems.

Moreover, it's very affordable to get started. The base installation of Oracle Enterprise Manager includes several features free of charge with the purchase of any Oracle software license or Support contract. Read Base Enterprise Manager Functionality for the list of features that are included with the base functionality of Oracle Enterprise Manager, including Server, Storage, and Virtualization Management Features.

To learn more, read the blog "The case for Oracle VM". 

Wednesday May 23, 2012

Server Virtualization for Dummies eBook - Get Your Copy Now

Server Virtualization for Dummies eBook - Oracle Special Edition

Get Your Copy Now.

Download your copy nowNeed to virtualize but concerned about complexity of the migration of your applications? Virtualization should make things simpler, from servers to deployment of the application workload.

To learn more about how Oracle’s server virtualization solutions can help you eliminate complexity, reduce costs, and respond rapidly to changing needs, download Server Virtualization for Dummies, an Oracle Special Edition eBook. 

Download your exclusive copy of Server Virtualization for Dummies, Oracle Special Edition today.

Friday Jul 01, 2011

Oracle Virtualization Eases Oracle Application deployment and Access

Oracle Virtualization, through simplified Oracle application deployment and access, is key to understanding the power and value of Oracle's full stack. Last week, I deployed and accessed an Oracle application using Oracle's virtualization products. As part of this exercise, I got to build a simple Oracle 'full stack' from ground up using bare metal servers, Oracle VM, NFS, Oracle VM application templates, Oracle Linux and Oracle Secure Global Desktop. In the end, what struck me is not only how easily I was able to deploy the application, but also how quickly I was able to simplify  problems related to the access of the application by 'publishing' it. 

Oracle VM Templates provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images.I started with the Siebel SIA 8.1.1 application template. Deciding what template you want to use early in the process is key, since it will help determine how many servers (memory), and IP addresses you need. In my case, the Siebel template consists of 2 virtual machines (each needing at least 2GB memory). My Dell servers have only 4GB memory each, so clearly I needed 2 servers and 4 static IPs (2 for the servers, and 2 for the VMs).

I got 2 Dell servers, installed Oracle VM 2.2.2 on them, followed the instructions in the post-installation check-list for Oracle VM 2.2.2 and mounted my storage repositories (NFS). I installed Oracle VM manager on a 3rd machine running Oracle Linux. Using the Oracle VM manager, I created a pool and added the 2 servers into the pool. Once the pool is created - I followed the instructions in the template's installation guide on downloading, and installing the template. There's a bit of an upfront effort to get this going, but becomes much easier over time. Note: In case the template has an expired license key, you can get the latest key here and follow the instructions from the readme on edelivery (search for the Oracle VM template download) on updating the license key.

Once I got the application deployed, I launched it in a supported web browser (IE 7) on my PC and immediately noticed I had to install a Siebel activeX plugin, and fix some of my browser settings before I could start using the application. Imagine what the situation would be if users' PCs didn't have a supported browser or settings in the first place. I then installed Oracle Secure Global Desktop on my Oracle Linux system and added a Windows Server 2003 machine as a hosted application server (this version of Siebel requires IE7). Using Oracle Secure Global Desktop's webtop interface, I accessed the Siebel Application through a published browser (IE 7) that had Siebel's activeX plugin pre-installed and browser settings configured for Siebel . With that, I completed my full stack deployment.

I believe that setups similar to the one above would enable our customers and partners to evaluate Oracle Applications much quicker, and also obtain valuable insights during the evaluation period on how they could use Oracle Virtualization to simplify deployment and access for Oracle Applications.

Thursday May 26, 2011

Oracle VP Makes Shocking Revelation!: Xen Bits Actually *are* in Linux!

For those of you that relish a bit of technology deep-dive now and again, I've got a great entry for you from the Senior Vice President of Virtualization and Linux Development and Support at Oracle Wim Coekaerts (...and Linux Foundation board member.  And my boss.  Yes- that's his picture and, no, he doesn't have that beard anymore.  Well, not most days.)  It's about how, despite what you may have heard in the past, the bits that optimize Linux for running in Xen environments actually *are* now in mainline Linux.  Xen is alive and well, thank you and there are darn good reasons for that.

Perhaps one of the things we in the Xen community have not talked about loud enough and consistently enough is how Xen absolutely dominates public cloud infrastructures, including the biggest of them all Amazon, who use not only open source Xen but also Oracle VM (based on Xen) to underpin their Amazon Web Services EC2 offering.   For those of you contemplating implementing your own internal cloud fashioned on the model that has been so successful for the leaders in cloud computing, i.e. the public cloud guys, think long and hard about that:  why have nearly all the big and emerging cloud players chosen Xen?   Xen is here, it is a vibrant community, and it is a proven, robust technology that is more than ready for the enterprise as well.  And adoption of the various Xen optimizing kernel bits into the Linux mainline shows that it will continue to be maintained and enhanced for a long time to come, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

For the full story in glorious, geeky details, take a look at Wim's blog entry.

Tuesday Apr 19, 2011

NAB Builds Private Cloud with Oracle VM and Oracle Linux

Check out this recently published article in the CIO Magazine talking about National Australia Bank's (NAB) roadmap to building a private cloud, focused on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

NAB has standardized on Oracle VM and Oracle Linux as the enabling technoligies for their IaaS cloud efforts.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

The IT leaders at NAB aren't holding back when it comes to the full-scale deployment of a private Cloud. Ubank, NAB's online-only banking service launched in October 2008, is already the flagship 'tenant' and running almost exclusively on virtualised infrastructure -- from the operating system to Web portal.

UBank is the first 'user' of NAB's new enterprise technology platform, but plans for expansion into the rest of the bank are very ambitious.

From the hardware up, NAB engineered a private Cloud based on Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle's (Xen-based) virtualisation platform for infrastructure-as-a-service.

"So in our environment we're basically building up what we refer to as an infrastructure-as-a-service internal private Cloud, based on Oracle virtual grid technology and blade servers underneath that as well," Beer said. "It's a combination of both VMs and physical server deployments [and] operating systems in that environment.

Read the entire 3-part article to see how NAB is deploying their private cloud.


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