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 13, 2011

Webcast: Best Practices for Speeding Virtual Infrastructure Deployment with Oracle VM

We announced Oracle VM Blade Cluster Reference Configuration last month, see the blog. The new Oracle VM blade cluster reference configuration can help reduce the time to deploy virtual infrastructure by up to 98 percent when compared to multi-vendor configurations. Customers and partners have shown lots of interests. Join Oracle's experts to learn the best practices for speeding virtual infrastructure deployment with Oracle VM, register the webcast (1/25/2011) here.

Virtualization has already been widely accepted as a means to increase IT flexibility and help IT services align better with changing business needs. The flexibility of a virtualized IT infrastructure enables new applications to be rapidly deployed, capacity to be easily scaled, and IT resources to be quickly redirected. The net result is that IT can bring greater value to the business, making virtualization an obvious win from a business perspective.

However, building a virtualized infrastructure typically requires assembling and integrating multiple components (e.g. servers, storage, network, virtualization, and operating systems). This infrastructure must be deployed and tested before applications can even be installed. It can take weeks or months to plan, architect, configure, troubleshoot, and deploy a virtualized infrastructure. The process is not only time-consuming, but also error-prone, making it hard to achieve a timely and profitable return on investment. 

Oracle is the only vendor that can offer a fully integrated virtualization infrastructure with all of the necessary hardware and software components. The Oracle VM blade cluster reference configuration is a single-vendor solution that addresses every layer of the virtualization stack with Oracle hardware and software components, see the figure below. It enables quick and easy deployment of the virtualized infrastructure using components that have been tested together and are all supported together by Oracle.

Oracle VM Blade Cluster Reference Configuration

To learn more about Oracle's virtualization offerings, visit http://oracle.com/virtualization.

Tuesday Nov 30, 2010

Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager

Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine with Oracle VM ManagerIn my previous blog, I talked about Installing Solaris 10 Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager. Oracle Solaris 10 support under Oracle VM begins with Solaris 10 10/09, and it's documented in the Oracle VM Server 2.2.1 Release Note.

Recently Oracle Solaris 11 Express was released. I'd like to share my experience of installing Oracle Solaris 11 Express virtual machine with Oracle VM Manager. Similarly, Solaris 11 Express runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform, and Solaris 11 Express has the paravirtualized (PV) I/O drivers as part of the OS installed by default.

Prerequisite
You need to check if the server has the HVM support. If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. Usually you'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the hardware virtual machine (HVM) feature. If you already have Oracle VM Server 2.2.1 installed, you can run xm info command to verify if HVM is enabled. For example,
# xm info
release : 2.6.18-128.2.1.4.27.el5xen
virt_caps : hvm
xen_major : 3
xen_minor : 4
xen_extra : .0
xen_caps : xen-3.0-x86_64 xen-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_32 hvm-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_64

Step 1. Set up Oracle VM Environment
First you need to set up the Oracle VM 2.2 environment, you can refer to Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation.

Step 2. Prepare Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 Install Media
Place the downloaded Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 ISO image under a sub-directory of /OVS/iso_pool. Here I'm using the LiveCD ISO image as the example.
  • /OVS/iso_pool/Solaris11Express/sol-11-exp-201011-live-x86.iso
You import the ISO file from Oracle VM Manager and approve the imported ISO image. The status of the ISO image will be changed from "Pending" to "Active". See Documentation of how to managing ISO files. Now you are ready to create a Solaris 11 Express virtual machine.
Import the ISO Image from Oracle VM Manager

Step 3. Create a Solaris 10 Virtual Machine
From the Virtual Machine tab of the Oracle VM Manager, you proceed to "Create Virtual Machine"; then choose "Creating a Virtual Machine From Installation Media". You can refer to Oracle VM Doumentation.
    • Select Install Media
    • Choose Server Pool        
    • Pick the Solaris 11 Express ISO file, and select the virtualization method "Fully Virtualized"                
    • Fill out the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine information, and select the OS type the same as Oracle Solaris 10.
Create Virtual Machine
    • Confirm the Solaris 11 Express VM that you are going to create. Before you install the Solaris 11 Express OS, you need to confirm that the network type of the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine is set to "Paravirtualized" since the Paravirtualized I/O drivers are part of the OS and will be installed by default.

Step 4. Set the Network Type of the Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine
From Virtual Machine tab, you need to configure the newly created Solaris 11 Express virtual machine and set the Network Type as Paravirtualized. Then the Network Interface will be shown as "netfront".
Configure Network

Step 5. Install Solaris 11 Express OS
Start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 11 Express guest VM. To continue Solaris 11 Express installation, you follow the regular Solaris 11 Express installation instructions and See the Getting Started With Oracle Solaris 11 Express document for more details.
Solaris 11 Express Installation

Once you complete the installation, the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine will be shut down and shown as "Powered Off" status.

Step 6. Start the Solaris 11 Express Virtual Machine
You power on the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine from Oracle VM Manager and start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine.
Log into the Solaris 11 Express virtual machine:        
Oracle Solaris 11 Express Login
  • The PV drivers (SUNWxvmpv) are installed by default in Oracle Solaris 11 Express, see        
# pkginfo -l SUNWxvmpv
   PKGINST:  SUNWxvmpv
      NAME:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
  CATEGORY:  system
      ARCH:  i386
   VERSION:  11.11,REV=2009.11.11
   BASEDIR:  /
    VENDOR:  Oracle Corporation
      DESC:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
  INSTDATE:  Nov 05 2010 08:03
   HOTLINE:  Please contact your local service provider
    STATUS:  completely installed

  • Verify the network has been set up correctly:    
# ifconfig xnf0
xnf0: flags=1004843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DHCP,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 2
        inet xx.xx.xx.xx netmask fffffc00 broadcast xx.xx.xx.255

Now you have a fully functional Solaris 11 Express virtual machine in Oracle VM.

For more information, please visit:

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.

Sunday Sep 12, 2010

More Oracle VM Templates to Accelerate Application Deployment

We have a few new Oracle VM Templates that are available for customers to download, as pointed out in Wim's blog.

Oracle VM template is a fully pre-installed, pre-configured virtual machine that can be downloaded onto an installed Oracle VM server. An Oracle VM Template may include a single virtual machine, with a single Oracle product such as a single-instance database or WebLogic Server or multiple VMs with multiple Oracle products to facilitate rapid deployment of even the most complex composite applications such as Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, or E-Business Suite.

Customers benefit from the rapid application deployment with Oracle VM Templates; for example, they can deploy new technology to their customers 90% more quickly, eliminating a previously cumbersome manual process. To learn more, you can watch the flash demo.

Here's a list of new templates that were newly added over the last few months:
For a complete list of available Oracle VM Templates, please visit:
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/vm/templates-101937.html

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.

Monday Feb 15, 2010

Installing Solaris 10 Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager

Certification of Solaris 10 as a guest OS on Oracle VM is in progress. Some of you may have already be playing around, so here are a few tips of how to install Solaris 10 OS as a virtual machine under Oracle VM 2.2 environment.

Solaris 10 OS runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform, but Solaris 10 OS has the paravirtualized (PV) drivers as part of the OS installed by default.

You need to check if the server has the HVM support. If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. Usually you'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the hardware virtual machine (HVM) feature. If you already have Oracle VM 2.2 server installed, you can run xm info command to verify if HVM is enabled. For example,

# xm info

release : 2.6.18-128.2.1.4.13.el5xen

virt_caps : hvm

xen_major : 3

xen_minor : 4

xen_extra : .0

xen_caps : xen-3.0-x86_64 xen-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_32 hvm-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_64


The Solaris 10 virtual machine installation is similar to other types of operating system (Linux or Windows) install. I'm using Oracle VM Manager to illustrate the steps that you'll go through.

Step 1. Set up Oracle VM Environment

First you need to set up the Oracle VM 2.2 environment, you can refer to Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation.

Step 2. Prepare Solaris 10 10/09 Install Media

You place the downloaded Solaris 10 10/09 (update 8) ISO image under a sub-directory of /OVS/iso_pool:

     /OVS/iso_pool/Solaris10/sol-10-u8-ga-x86-dvd.iso

You import the ISO file from Oracle VM Manager and approve the imported ISO image. The status of the ISO image will be changed from "Pending" to "Active". See Documentation of how to managing ISO files. Now you are ready to create a Solaris 10 virtual machine.

OracleVM-ISO.png
Step 3. Create a Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From the Virtual Machine tab of the Oracle VM Manager, you proceed to "Create Virtual Machine"; then choose "Creating a Virtual Machine From Installation Media". You can refer to Oracle VM Doumentation.

    • Select Install Media

    • Choose Server Pool

    • Pick the Solaris 10 ISO file, and select the virtualization method "Fully Virtualized"

CreateVM-ISO.png
    • Fill out the Solaris 10 virtual machine information

CreateVM-Info.png
    • Confirm the Solaris 10 VM that you are going to create. Before you install the Solaris 10 OS, you need to set the network type of the Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized" since the Paravirtualized drivers are part of the Solaris 10 OS and will be installed by default.

Step 4. Set the Network Type of the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From Virtual Machine tab, you need to configure the newly created Solaris 10 virtual machine and set the Network Type as Paravirtualized. Then the Network Interface will be shown as "netfront".

OracleVM-NetworkType.png

Step 5. Install Solaris 10 OS

Start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 guest VM. To continue Solaris 10 installation, you follow the normal Solaris 10 installation instructions and please refer to Solaris 10 Installation documentation.

Once you complete the installation, the Solaris 10 virtual machine will be shut down and shown as "Powered Off" status.

CreateVM-SolarisInstall.png

Step 6. Start the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

You power on the Solaris 10 virtual machine from Oracle VM Manager and start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 virtual machine.

    • Log into the Solaris 10 virtual machine:

Solaris10-Login.png
    • The PV drivers (SUNWxvmpv) are installed by default in Solaris 10, see

    # pkginfo -l SUNWxvmpv
       PKGINST:  SUNWxvmpv
          NAME:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
      CATEGORY:  system
          ARCH:  i386
       VERSION:  11.10.0,REV=2008.02.29.14.37
       BASEDIR:  /
        VENDOR:  Sun Microsystems, Inc.
          DESC:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
        PSTAMP:  on10ptchfeatx20090902230750
      INSTDATE:  Feb 11 2010 21:49
       HOTLINE:  Please contact your local service provider
        STATUS:  completely installed
         FILES:       23 installed pathnames
                       1 shared pathnames
                       7 directories
                      14 executables
                    1512 blocks used (approx)
  • Verify your network has been set up correctly:

# ifconfig xnf0
    xnf0: flags=1004843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DHCP,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 2
            inet xx.xx.xx.xx netmask fffffc00 broadcast xx.xx.xx.255
            ether 0:16:3e:17:60:47 
If you are not using Oracle VM Manager to set the network type of Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized", you need to modify the vm.cfg (change the vif type from ioemu  to netfront, vif = ['type=netfront, mac=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, bridge=xenbr0']) located at /OVS/running_pool/Solaris_10_VM_directory/. You may also need to configure the network interface manually (using DHCP as an example below)

# touch /etc/hostname.xnf0

# touch /etc/dhcp.xnf0

# ifconfig xnf0 plumb up

# ifconfig xnf0 dhcp

Now you have a fully functional Solaris 10 virtual machine in Oracle VM. For more information, please visit:

Friday Jan 22, 2010

New Oracle VM Templates

We released several new Oracle VM Templates this week. They are Oracle VM Manager 2.2, Oracle VM Server 2.2 SDK, and Oracle VM Server 2.1.5 SDK.

NewTemplates.png

Oracle VM template is a fully pre-installed, pre-configured virtual machine that can be downloaded onto an installed Oracle VM server. An Oracle VM Template may include a single virtual machine, with a single Oracle product such as a single-instance database or WebLogic Server or multiple VMs with multiple Oracle products to facilitate rapid deployment of even the most complex composite applications such as E-Business Suite, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, PeopleSoft HCM, or Siebel CRM.

Oracle VM Manager 2.2 template is intended to be installed on a new Oracle VM 2.2 server; If you have a new Oracle VM 2.1.5 server and want to deploy Oracle VM Manager template, you can use the Oracle VM 2.1.5 Manager template. With the Oracle VM Manager template, you can quickly set up the Oracle VM Manager to manage the Oracle VM server environment.

The Oracle VM Server SDK Template provides an environment for third party drivers to be built for the Oracle VM server 2.2 or 2.1.5. This environment is being provided because the Oracle VM dom0 (management domain) only contains a minimum set of packages, and it does not provide the additional development packages needed for building modules. 

Oracle VM Templates are downloaded from Oracle's E-Delivery website: Just download and copy the software images onto your server that has Oracle VM installed on it, import and deploy the Template VM(s) and, after answering some one-time queries relating to the customer's desired environment (DHCP or static IP, passwords, etc.) within minutes you will have a fully installed and configured Oracle environment that you know is completely correct without having to install products from scratch. In most cases, deployment times for complex applications can be reduced from weeks to hours.

For more details about how you can benefit from Oracle VM Templates or start to build you own templates, please visit Oracle VM Templates web site:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/vm/templates/index.html


Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

Announcing Oracle VM Manager CLI 2.2

We are pleased to announce that Oracle VM Manager Command Line Interface (CLI) 2.2 has been released to Oracle Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and Oracle's Public Yum Repository.

The Oracle VM Manager CLI 2.2 is the updated version to work with newly released Oracle VM Manager 2.2, and it can also work with Oracle VM Manager 2.1.5. The CLI is written in Python and uses the Oracle VM Manager Web Services API to communicate with Oracle VM Manager. You can use the CLI to perform the same functions as Oracle VM Manager, such as managing all your server pools and guests. The CLI commands can be scripted, thus bring more flexibility to help customers deploy and manage Oracle VM environment.

1. Download required RPMs from ULN or Oracle's Public Yum Repository.

Package

ULN Channel / Public Yum Repository
ovmcli-2.2-9.el5.noarch.rpm el5_i386_oracle_addons and el5_x86_64_oracle_addons
python-ZSI-2.1-a1.el5.noarch.rpm

el5_i386_addons and el5_x86_64_addons

2. Install the RPMs onto a server running Oracle Linux 5:

# rpm -Uvh ovmcli-2.2-9.el5.noarch.rpm python-ZSI-2.1-a1.el5.noarch.rpm

3. Configure CLI by running "ovm config". The user will be asked for the following information:

- Oracle VM Manager hostname

- Oracle VM Manager port number

- Deploy path (use default)

- Location of vncviewer (required for vncviewer command)

- Enable or disable HTTPS support (depends on Oracle VM Manager setup)

4. Oracle VM Manager CLI is now ready for use. Just type the command "ovm". For example,

# ovm help
# ovm help all
# ovm -u admin -p password svrp ls
# ovm -u admin -p password shell 

See additional resources:

Monday Oct 26, 2009

Oracle VM 2.2 New Feature: CPU Scheduling Priority and Cap

One of the new features in Oracle VM 2.2 is the ability to set virtual CPU scheduling priority and cap per VM from Oracle VM Manager, which enables you to control access to CPU between multiple virtual machines to align with your IT/business priorities. With this enhancement, users can now control the Quality of Service (QoS) for CPU, network, and disk I/O through the intuitive Oracle VM Manager browser interface.

You log into Oracle VM Manager, then proceed to configure the VMs.

OracleVM-Deployment.jpg


Scheduling Priority -- You can select High (100), Intermediate (50), or Low (1) priority for the virtual CPUs. You can also enter a custom priority by selecting Customize and entering a value out of 100 in the text area. If more than one virtual machine is running on the same managed node, use the Priority setting to give highest priority to one virtual machine, and less (or equal) priority to others. Priority levels determine which virtual machine is allowed to run first, in the event two or more are contending for the same physical processors. 

Scheduling Cap -- The cap optionally fixes the maximum amount (percentage) of CPU that can be consumed by the virtual machines, even if the host has idle CPU cycles. Use the cap to keep low priority virtual machines from consuming too many cycles on a node. You can select a High (100%), Intermediate (50%), or Low (10%) percentage of scheduled time for the virtual CPUs. You can also enter a custom percentage by selecting Customize and entering a percentage in the text area.

If you are using Oracle VM 2.1.2 or 2.1.5, you've had the I/O resource management features - setting bandwidth cap for each virtual network interface and prioritizing the virtual disks.

With network I/O traffic management, you can set bandwidth cap for each virtual network interface. All the virtual network interfaces (VIFs) share the physical network interface card (NIC) to communicate with the outside. If you have several VIFs, and you want to control how much bandwidth is granted to each VIF, you can configure the rate limit from Oracle VM Manager. The network traffic through the virtual network interface will not exceed the limit. The change will take effect without restart.

OracleVM-Deployment.jpg

With storage I/O prioritization, you can also prioritize the virtual disk and enable disk priority, and select an appropriate priority class. The priority class ranges from 0 to 7. The priority class 0 has the highest priority, and 7 the lowest. Rather than being confined to a particular virtual machine, the priority of a virtual disk is global on the entire Oracle VM Server. Virtual disks of the same priority class take the same priority on the Oracle VM Server, even if they belong to different virtual machines.

OracleVM-Deployment.jpg

CPU scheduling priority and cap along with I/O resource management features help assure that the CPU and I/O bandwidth usage are being used according to the priorities you want them to be. For more information about Oracle VM, please refer to the following resources:

Wednesday Oct 21, 2009

Deploying Oracle VM 2.2 and Upgrading Oracle VM from 2.1.5 to 2.2

Oracle VM 2.2 was announced last week, bringing customers more benefits by providing better performance, scalability and security. In the next series of blogs, I'd like to cover some new features of Oracle VM 2.2. But first, how can I get started with Oracle VM 2.2 or upgrade the existing Oracle VM 2.1.5 environment to 2.2?

If you read my previous blog - Basics of Oracle VM, you use Oracle VM Manager to manage many Oracle VM servers. Multiple Oracle VM Servers are grouped into Server Pools in which every server in a given pool has access to shared storage, which can be NFS, SAN (Fibre Channel) or iSCSI storage. This allows VMs associated with the pool to start and run on any physical server within the pool that is available and has the most resources free. Given the uniform access to shared storage, VMs may also be securely Live Migrated or automatically (re-)started across any servers in the pool. Each Oracle VM server or Manager installation just takes a few minutes. You can refer to the Oracle VM 2.2 documentation for details.

OracleVM-Deployment.jpg

In Oracle VM 2.2, it's much easier to configure the shared storage repositories. We provide an improved shared storage configuration and cluster configuration script (/opt/ovs-agent-2.3/utils/repos.py). This new script replaces the previous scripts, ovs-makerepo and ovs-offlinerepo in the /usr/lib/ovs/ directory, and the /etc/init.d/ovsrepositories script. The goal is to reduce storage repositories set up complexity. In addition, the /OVS directory is the cluster root and is a symbolic link mounted to the /var/ovs/mount/uuid directory. You can refer to the "Creating Shared Storage and Cluster" and "Managing Storage Repositories" chapter of the Oracle VM 2.2 Server User Guide.

If you upgrade your Oracle VM 2.1.5 server pool to Oracle VM 2.2, you should plan properly and ensure a smooth upgrade. There are some important factors to consider. You can not mixed Oracle VM 2.1 and 2.2 servers in the same server pool, so there would be planned down time during the upgrade; however, the stored VMs in the repositories remain intact. It only took several minutes minutes to upgrade the Manager, and each server node upgrade would just take a few minutes. So the entire upgrade process should not be long depending on the size of your server pool.

Before you start the upgrade, you want to make sure that your existing server pool has been configured properly:

  • The hostname in /etc/hosts must be associated with the public IP address instead of 127.0.0.1
  • You have all the server entries in your DNS server; If DNS is not used, make sure the correct setting in /etc/hosts for all the servers in the pool. If you plan to use DNS for all servers, but DNS was not specified during the server installation, please update /etc/resolv.conf file and add your domain name in it.
  • All the servers in the same pool must have the consistent name resolution, either by DNS or by file (/etc/hosts). You should not have mixed name services for the servers in the same server pool. For example, some have DNS, while others use /etc/hosts to resolve host names.

You can follow the simple steps to upgrade your entire server pool:

1) Upgrade the Oracle VM Manager first.
You run the runInstaller.sh script and select the Upgrade option. You can read the Oracle VM Manager 2.2 Installation Guide for details. Note you should back up the Oracle VM Manager database before upgrade.

2) Upgrade non-master Servers, make sure that VMs have been shutdown before the upgrade; After the upgrade, no need to reboot the server at this time if you want to enable sparse file support for OCFS2 cluster in the next step.

Option 1: boot from Oracle VM 2.2 ISO (local or from the network), select the upgrade option, then follow the instructions; refer to the Oracle VM Server Installation Guide.

Option 2: if connected with ULN, you can read the instructions to upgrade the server via ULN.

3) The server pool master should be the last one to perform upgrade. Reboot the server after you complete the upgrade.
If you want to turn on the new OCFS2 1.4 feature support, such as sparse files and unwritten extents, you can enable the feature now: (the device must be unmounted from all nodes before performing the tunefs.ocfs2 command)
# umount <device>
# tunefs.ocfs2 --fs-features=sparse,unwritten <device>

Also, if the user encounters the following error, it means that the volume is still mounted on one or more nodes.
# tunefs.ocfs2 --fs-features=sparse,unwritten <device>
tunefs.ocfs2: Trylock failed while opening device "<device>"

4) Reboot the rest of the servers in the pool, the server pool master agent will communicate with the other nodes in the pool, populate the changes of the cluster and storage repository configurations.

5) If the server pool is HA-enabled and you want the server pool master fail-over feature, be sure to add the virtual IP address for the server pool from the Oracle VM Manager.


Now you've successfully upgraded your environment from Oracle VM 2.1.5 to Oracle VM 2.2. Have fun!

Update (10/23/2009): Roddy Rodstein provided a step-by-step upgrade manual, please refer to The Underground Oracle VM Manual:

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.

Wednesday Oct 07, 2009

Oracle VM Templates for 3rd Party Software

Oracle VM Templates are complete, pre-installed and pre-configured software packaged as Oracle VM virtual machines (VMs) complete with an OS (Oracle Enterprise Linux). Customers enjoy the benefits of faster application deployment with Oracle VM Templates - for Oracle software as well as non-Oracle software.

Zeus Technology recently announced the availability of the Zeus Traffic Manager Template - a pre-installed, pre-configured virtual machine, for Oracle VM. The Zeus Traffic Manager is an enterprise-class, layer-7 load balancing and application traffic management solution. It is now available for download as an Oracle VM Template.

Just download and copy the Oracle VM Template image(s) onto your server that has Oracle VM installed on it, import and deploy the Template VM(s) and, after answering some one-time queries relating to the customer's desired environment (DHCP or static IP, passwords, etc.) within minutes you will have a fully installed and configured application environment that you know is completely correct without having to install products from scratch.

To learn more, please visit Oracle VM Templates web site.

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Announcing Oracle VM Template Builder

We are pleased to announce the availability of Oracle VM Template Builder, an open source, graphical utility that makes it easy to use Oracle Enterprise Linux "Just enough OS" (JeOS) - based scripts for developing pre-packaged virtual machines for Oracle VM. Now, end-users and ISVs have the option to develop their Oracle VM Templates by using these JeOS-based scripts directly or via the graphical Oracle VM Template Builder.

Oracle VM Template Builder uses "JeOS" to facilitate building an operating system instance with only the absolute minimum packages needed for an Oracle VM Template, helping to reduce the disk footprint by up to 2GB or more per guest virtual machine, and to improve security and reliability. Oracle VM Template Builder is distributed as software packages via the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and Oracle's public yum repository

See related press releases on Oracle VM Templates:

 

Please refer to the Documentation: Oracle VM Template Builder Installation and User's Guide for more information.

Update: (10/6/2009) Oracle VM Template Builder is also distributed as an Oracle VM Template that you can download from Oracle E-Delivery site, see Oracle VM Template Builder page in details.

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