Thursday Nov 03, 2011

Easier to Remember URLs for TCO

If you haven't seen them before, you should have a look at our calculators for both server and desktop virtualization. These online calculators let you experiment with different scenarios and see the total cost of ownership in real world dollars for various solutions:
These tools have been available for a little while, but remembering the URLs to them may have been difficult. To make this easier, we now have direct access URLs for both TCO calculators. They are:


Just login with your Oracle online account (or sign up for one, it's free!) and experiment with different inputs to the see the effects on TCO.

Monday Oct 10, 2011

Virtualization Session Slides for Oracle OpenWorld 2011


Thanks to everyone who made Oracle OpenWorld 2011 a great success! If you missed the show or want to review content you saw during the sessions, you can now download many of the presentations from the OpenWorld site here:

https://oracleus.wingateweb.com/scheduler/eventcatalog/eventCatalog.do

Most of the virtualization sessions can be found by simply selecting Oracle Virtualization (under "Server and Storage Systems") in the Track field. Or if you'd prefer, keyword searching and other mechanisms are available as well.

This site is open to the public, not just OpenWorld attendees. So even if you weren't able to join us in San Francisco, you can go download PDFs of the content that was presented. 

Friday Oct 07, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011 Wrap-up Video

Oracle OpenWorld 2011 is now in the books and we appreciate all the folks that attended our virtualization sessions and kept track of us through our social media channels!

We have posted a few videos and have several more in the pipeline for you, but for now, have a look at this video from Adam Hawley (Senior Director, Virtualization Product Management), mentioning some of the highlights of the show.


Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

Oracle VM at Oracle OpenWorld 2011

If you're interested in server virtualization, please go have a look at our post over on the OpenWorld 2011 blog where we describe some essential Oracle VM Sessions. Hope to see you in San Francisco next week!

Wednesday Sep 07, 2011

Changing the ovs-agent password on Oracle VM Server 3.0

The Oracle VM Server password is used by Oracle VM Manager when you discover an Oracle VM Server. You set this password during the Oracle VM Server installation. I've had a few users ask me how to change the ovs-agent password on an Oracle VM Server after installation. This post will detail how to change the password on an existing Oracle VM Server, as well as generate an Oracle VM Server password for use in a kickstart file for automated installs of Oracle VM Server.

Changing an existing agent password

To change an existing Oracle VM Server's password, use the ovs-agent-passwd command:

# ovs-agent-passwd <username> <password>

The username used by Oracle VM Manager to communicate with the agent is oracle, so the command would look like this:

# ovs-agent-passwd oracle MyNewPasswordIsVerySecure

To enable batch discovery of Oracle VM Servers in the Manager, ensure that the agent password is the same on all the servers you want to discover in a single job.

Creating an encrypted password for kickstart

The ovs-agent-passwd utility can also be used to generate an encrypted password hash that can be used in kickstart files for automated builds of Oracle VM Server:

# ovs-agent-passwd --encrypt <password>

This will output the encrypted password hash that can be used by adding the following line in the kickstart file:

ovsagent --iscrypted <password hash>



Tuesday Aug 23, 2011

Great Things Come in 3s: Announcing Oracle VM 3.0

Let me hit you with some quick highlights for Oracle VM 3.0, announced today:

  • All the management you really need to support your entire data center:  Network management, storage management, dynamic resource scheduling (triggered on network not just CPU!)
  • An even more scalable server: Support for 128 vCPUs per guest VM vs. 32 vCPUs for VMware.
  • A more scalable budget (your's)Save about $2.5million dollars over 3yrs vs. VMware (license + support.  See configuration details below but their pricing is here).  Would you like to have that in your pocket right now? Or maybe just have it for one of these?

And that's just the beginning.   The definition of what represents "value" in a virtualization solution just changed.  Oracle has been focused on delivering an increased feature set at the same price ($0 license, pay only for support) while others have been focused on delivering increased pricing (though perhaps "focus" is not the right word here).

Since the day we created Oracle VM, we've focused on exceptional price:performance and scalability.  That focus continues, hence the support for 128 vCPUs and up to 160 physical CPUs, but with Oracle VM 3.0, we're introducing a massive set of enhancements to manageability and ease-of-use that will transform the way you can think about your options for deploying Oracle VM:  Now you get not-only exceptional price:performance but also all the management features you really need to deploy Oracle VM across your entire data center and not just for your Oracle software.  In the past, Oracle VM required some configuration from the manager and some configuration at each individual server, which meant a little more work to get going and to maintain things in very large environments.  For some customers, this meant they mainly focused on doing that only for their Oracle applications and directly related things, but not much beyond that.

But no longer.

With Oracle VM 3.0, everything is done centrally from the management server:  discovery, server-, storage-, and network set-up all from a browser (no client software required, no logging in to each individual servers).  And then, once you've got it set-up, it has a rich feature set for managing and maintaining your environment:

  • Dynamic resource scheduling to load balance across server pools based on network (and CPU):  trigger live migration (migration of running VMs) based on CPU and/or network load.  Note that I think triggering DRS on network load is a first amongst the major vendors anyway.  This capability combined with one of our network management features that allows the separation of different traffic types onto different, independent networks (e.g. separate guest IP traffic from storage traffic and others) means that you can trigger live migration to occur over a dedicated live migration network based on hitting a load threshold on the guest IP network.  This separation is important because if you start a live migration over a shared network that is already overloaded, you risk making things worse.  But we make it better instead.  Very important for enterprise loads that are very I/O intensive
  • Dynamic Server Power Management:  automatically power-off underutilized servers without disrupting your applications; power them back-on when needed.
  • Comprehensive Event Logging: Event logging sometimes sounds like something pretty boring, but its not.  It's really not.  Just ask any admin trying to track down a change in the environment in the middle of the night whether he or she thinks they'd like to have access to event logs that can tell you basically anything that triggered, who did it, and whether it succeeded or failed and why and I'm very sure they'd say "yes please".  And we put this all nicely available centrally in the UI in calendar form:  click a date on the calendar to see what happened in the environment instead of having to dig through a bunch of obscure logs that you need to "tail" to try to understand what happened.

There is so, SO much in 3.0 I could write a massive entry here going on-and-on but, instead, the best thing to do is to watch the replay of the live event (once posted...it is being processed today for replay but should be on the site here any minute), including the tech webcasts featuring myself and my team that focus on different aspects of the product.

Oh yeah...the config that will cost you an extra $2.5 million from VMware is for 250 2-socket servers, with 96GB of "vRAM" per server on Oracle VM 3.0 vs. VMware vSphere5 (VMware's revised pricing).  You can compare any configuration you want by trying out our cost-calculator here.

In the coming days and weeks, keep an eye on this blog.  We'll be focusing on entries that go into the details in the various feature sets of Oracle VM 3.0.  But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting as they say so the best test of all is to get the software and try it out for yourself.  The software is available today for existing customers through My Oracle Support.  For users without a My Oracle Support account, the software is expected to be available on Oracle's eDelivery website in the next 24hrs.

Monday Aug 15, 2011

Oracle Virtualization Launch Event: Application-Driven Virtualization

On August 23, 2011 at 10AM Pacific Time, we'll be hosting a virtualization launch event on application-driven virtualization. The event will be held live from Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores and you can join us online or, if you're in the area, in person! The lineup for the event is extremely impressive:

Hector Garcia-Molina
Professor, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University and Member Oracle Board of Directors

Edward Screven
Chief Corporate Architect, Oracle

Wim Coekaerts
Senior Vice President, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle

Hasan Rizvi
Senior Vice President, Fusion Middleware and Java, Oracle



Or

Hope to see you there!

Monday Jun 20, 2011

Announcing the latest update to Oracle VM Server for x86 2.2 Release

More and more customers have discovered that Oracle delivers more value with Oracle VM compared with other server virtualization solutions, and we've seen the momentum that customers succeed with Oracle VM and leading partners support Oracle VM.

Recently, Oracle VM server for x86 with Windows PV Drivers passed Microsoft SVVP requirements for Windows servers, which provides customers more confidence to deploy Microsoft Windows guest OS onto Oracle VM server for x86.

Today I'm pleased to announce the Oracle VM server for x86 2.2.2 release. See the new features introduced in the 2.2.2 release.

  • Expand the guest OS support to include Oracle Linux 6.x and Oracle Solaris 11 Express OS. For a complete list of guest OS support, please refer to the Oracle VM server x86 release note.
  • The VMPInfo system information and cluster troubleshooting utility is provided with this release. Additional information on VMPInfo is also available in the following My Oracle Support Notes:
    • 1263293.1 Post-installation check list for new Oracle VM Server

    • 1290587.1 Performing Site Reviews and Cluster Troubleshooting with VMPInfo

The Oracle VM Server for x86 ISO image is available for download at Oracle's E-Delivery site. If you've subscribed to Oracle's Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN), you can simply run up2date command to update the server. Please refer to Oracle VM Upgrade Guide: Upgrading Oracle VM Server. There's no change to Oracle VM Manager, which remains at 2.2.0 with the patch 2.2-16.

If you have any questions about Oracle VM Server for x86, you may post your questions at OTN discussion forum; or purchase support for Oracle Unbreakable Linux and Oracle VM. For Oracle's x86 systems, Oracle VM support as well Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris support are included in the Oracle Premier Support for Systems.

For more information about Oracle's virtualization, visit oracle.com/virtualization.

Wednesday Apr 20, 2011

Webcast: Ultra-Fast Application Deployment with Oracle VM

Join us for a webcast on Tuesday, April 26th at 9am US PT and find out how Oracle VM can help you accelerate application deployment and provisioning.

Enterprise applications are increasingly being deployed in virtualized environments to gain the benefits of consolidation, flexibility and cloud computing. However, administrators still follow the same time-consuming, manual steps for installing, configuring, and deploying all software such as operating system, database, middleware, and applications, in virtual machines. You don't need to do this anymore!

Join Oracle's virtualization experts and learn how the combination of Oracle VM server virtualization and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder helps enterprises significantly reduce this time-consuming and error-prone work and automate deployment of multi-tier software assemblies!

Day and Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Time: 9am US PT

Register Now!

Monday Feb 14, 2011

Two Virtualization Webinars This Week

If you're interested in virtualization, be sure to catch our two free webinars this week. You'll hear directly from Oracle technologists and can ask questions in a live Q&A.

Deploying Oracle VM Templates for Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Applications
Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011
9AM Pacific Time
Register Now
Is your company trying to manage costs; meet or beat service level agreements and get employees up and running quickly on business-critical applications like Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Applications? The fastest way to get the benefits of these applications deployed in your organization is with Oracle VM Templates. Cut application deployment time from weeks to just hours or days. Attend this session for the technical details of how your IT department can deliver rapid software deployment and eliminate installation and configuration costs by providing pre-installed and pre-configured software images.


Increasing Desktop Security for the Public Sector with Oracle Desktop Virtualization
Thursday, Feb 17, 2011
9AM Pacific Time
Register Now
Security of data as it moves across desktop devices is a concern for all industries. But organizations such as law enforcement, local, state, and federal government and others have higher security ne! eds than most. A virtual desktop model, where no data is ever stored on the local device, is an ideal architecture for these organizations to deploy. Oracle's comprehensive portfolio of desktop virtualization solutions, from thin client devices, to sever side management and desktop hosting software, provide a complete solution for this ever-increasing problem.

Monday Feb 07, 2011

We're Hiring! - Server and Desktop Virtualization Product Management

There is a lot of exciting stuff going on here at Oracle in general but the server and desktop virtualization group in particular is deeply involved in executing on Oracle's strategy for delivering complete hardware-software solutions across the company, so we're expanding our team with several open positions. If you're interested and qualified, then please send us your resume.

The three positions in Virtualization Product Management can be found by going here or going to the Employment Opportunities Job Search page, clicking on 'Advanced Search' and typing the job opening numbers (include 'IRC'... see below) in the 'Keywords' field. Click Search.

Current openings are...
IRC1457623: Oracle VM Product Management
IRC1457626: Desktop Virtualization Application Solutions Product Management
IRC1473577: Oracle VM Best Practices Implementation Engineer (Product Management)

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday Jan 26, 2011

Secure Deployment of Oracle VM Server for SPARC

Oracle VM Server for SPARC is the server virtualization solution for SPARC T-Series server. A typical Oracle VM Server for SPARC installation based on best practices is already well secured against unauthorized use. In many cases this level of security turns out to be sufficient. Nevertheless, there is an attack surface that remains. There are risks, how unlikely they might be. Thus many customers want to learn more to secure their virtualization environment.

We just published a technical white paper: Secure Deployment of Oracle VM Server for SPARC written by Stefan Hinker, an Oracle solution architect.

This paper helps you understand the general security concerns in virtualized environments as well as the specific additional threats that arise out of them. It discusses these threats, their relation to Oracle VM Server for SPARC and how to mitigate the risk with a set of appropriate counter measures. Based on these, some general recommendations for secure deployments - both for Oracle VM Server for SPARC and for virtualized systems in general - are given, using a generalized model of security classes as an example.

For more information about Oracle VM Server for SPARC:
Visit oracle.com/virtualization to learn more about Oracle's virtualization solutions.

Thursday Jan 20, 2011

Oracle Virtualization Best Practices Seminars

We're very excited to tell you about our virtualization event series that are currently touring around the US. The seminars are free half-day events covering Oracle's server, desktop, and hardware virtualization products and strategy.

If you're looking to expand virtualization in your enterprise or understand more of Oracle's view on virtualization, these seminars aren't to be missed. Here is a complete list of the upcoming events:

Virtualization Best Practices Seminars Schedule

Wednesday Nov 17, 2010

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 - Supporting More Platforms

Oracle VMWe announced Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco 2010 to support SPARC T3 systems with Oracle Solaris 10 9/10. Now we are excited to announce that customers who rely on UltraSPARC T2 Plus and UltraSPARC T2 servers can upgrade the server virtualization software to Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 and enjoy the great benefits immediately.

See a complete list of supported platforms for Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0:

Many customers have deployed Oracle VM Server for SPARC for mission critical
enterprise workloads. Be sure to check the updated technical white paper:
There are a number of updated Oracle Support Notes that are related to Oracle VM Server for SPARC:
  • Virtualization support for Oracle Solaris (Doc ID 1145275.1)
  • Supported Virtualization and Partitioning Technologies for Oracle Database and RAC Product Releases (Doc ID 1173831.1)
  • Oracle E-Business Suite Installation and Upgrade Notes Release 12 (12.1.1) for
    Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit) (Doc ID 761568.1)
  • PeopleTools Certification FAQs - Additional Components (Doc ID 756831.1)
Please refer to Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 Release Note for specific details of required and minimum software and supported platforms as well as the procedure to upgrade the software.
Oracle Solaris 10 download
Sun System Firmware download
Oracle VM Server for SPARC (Logical Domains) 2.0 download from E-Delivery (see instructions below)

Oracle E-Delivery Download Instructions - Oracle VM Server for SPARC
Visit http://edelivery.oracle.com/
Complete your registration information (Name, Company Name, Email Address and Country) and click on the download agreement
Select "Oracle Solaris Virtualization Products" from the "Select a Product Pack" pull-down menu
Select "Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit)" from the "Platform" pull-down menu
Click "Go" and then select the software - Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0
Read the readme, download and unzip the file
Visit Oracle Technology Network Patching Center to obtain required system firmware patches, Solaris OS patches, and any Oracle VM Server for SPARC software patches.

Monday Sep 20, 2010

Announcing Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0

Oracle VMToday, at Oracle OpenWorld, we are pleased to announce Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0. Oracle VM Server for SPARC allows you to create up to 128 virtual servers on one system to take advantage of the massive thread scale offered by the SPARC T-Series servers. The combination of Oracle Solaris and SPARC helps to increase flexibility, isolate workload processing, and improve the potential for maximum server utilization.

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 delivers:

Enhanced performance: A low-overhead architecture provides scalable performance under increasing workloads.  The performance is further accelerated by the PCIe direct I/O that assigns individual PCI cards to guest domains, removing the restrictions to only assign an entire PCI bus, while also providing native I/O throughput. CPU whole core allocation and core affinity enable organization to optimize the assignment of virtual CPUs to deliver higher and more predictable performance for all types of application workloads.
Advanced resource management: Dynamic memory reconfiguration allows memory to be added or removed on an active domain. Customers now have the ability to add/remove vCPU, virtual I/O, cryptographic units (aka MAU), and memory on an active domain. These capabilities help organizations to better align IT and business priorities.
Improved power management: CPU clock speed adjustments, memory power management and power limit settings ensure that energy consumption is optimized with utilization.
  • CPU clock speed adjustments - increase or decrease clock speed based on CPU utilization (per socket)
  • Memory power management - put under-utilized memory in a deeper idle mode
  • Power limit - set a power limit for the system and reduce the power state of manageable resource if the limit is reached.

Greater flexibility: Oracle Solaris has been optimized for guest domain migration with Oracle VM Server for SPARC, enabling more flexible migration of an active domain.
Higher availability: Improvements to virtual disk multipathing enhance the availability of a virtualized environment by helping to ensure that the virtual disk failover capabilities can handle I/O domain, storage and storage-path failures.
Faster processing of secure data: Oracle VM Server for SPARC takes advantage of SPARC T-Series systems' integrated on-chip cryptographic accelerators that deliver wire speed encryption capabilities, providing customers with critical data and services protection and delivering better response times.

Read more:
Attend the session:
Meet with Oracle's virtualization experts at Oracle Demogrounds during the Exhibition hours.

Look forward to seeing you there at Oracle OpenWorld.
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