Monday Jun 27, 2016

Xen Project Hypervisor 4.7 Released

We are happy to share that the upstream development from the Xen Project, a project hosted at The Linux Foundation. As many of you know that the Xen Project Hypervisor has been customized and optimized to integrate into the larger, Oracle-developed virtualization server - Oracle VM Server for x86. Oracle's contributions to Xen Project and the collaboration with the community have demonstrated Oracle's commitment to help our customers build their open cloud infrastructure.

Xen Project 4.7 is the latest release that minimizes downtime and improves the user experience with non-disruptive security patching, and includes security enhancements for embedded, automotive, IoT and new security use cases.The Xen Project powers more than 10 million users across enterprise and cloud computing in addition to embedded and mobile devices. Major contributions for this release come from AMD, ARM, Bitdefender, Bosch, Broadcom, Citrix, Fujitsu, GlobalLogic, Huawei, Intel, Linaro, Netflix, Novetta, NSA, Oracle, Red Hat, Star Lab, SUSE, Xilinx, and a number of universities and individuals. Xen Project’s functionality continues to evolve to serve new compute infrastructures such as mobile, hyper-scale computing, massive workloads, security-intensive applications, embedded computing, cloud computing, hosting providers, and hardware appliances.

For more details about the Xen Project 4.7, read the announcement.

Friday May 20, 2016

Friday Spotlight: Integrating Oracle VM with Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux

Oracle’s contribution and participation in Docker and OpenStack bring more flexibility and openness to Oracle VM deployment. Customers can take advantage of Oracle VM 3.4 and Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux 2.1 when building an open cloud infrastructure

Oracle VM Server for x86 incorporates an open source Xen hypervisor component, which has been customized and optimized as a virtualization and management solution for x86 servers. The libvirt driver is part of Oracle VM Server 3.4 to integrate with OpenStack. On an Oracle VM Server based compute node, the native libvirt driver is used (libvirt is not run in a container). All other OpenStack compute node services are run in Docker containers on Dom0.

The Dom0 kernel of Oracle VM Server 3.4 has been updated to Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4, based on the 4.1 mainline kernel, not only to enable Docker container deployment, but also to bring performance improvements and rapid driver availability and streamlined partner certifications with Oracle Linux.

To get started, refer to the Installation and Deployment Guide and Release notes.

Friday Feb 26, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: TechCast Video about Xen and Oracle VM

Join Logan Rosenstein, OTN Systems Community Manager, as he chats with Kurt Hackel, Software Development Senior Director for Oracle VM Server and Private Cloud Appliance, and John Priest, Product Management Director for Oracle VM, about Oracle VM, the Xen Hypervisor, and working with the Open Source community.

In this great interview they talk about :

  • Xen as the core component of Oracle VM
  • How Oracle VM is optimized for high scalability and availability
  • Advantages of using Xen as the hypervisor like resource control, isolation and performance
  • How our developers mentor women engineers in Xen community 

To Learn More:

Xen Hypervisor

Have a great weekend. 

Friday Jan 16, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Xen 4.5 Released

In today's spotlight, we are happy to share that Xen 4.5 was released. This is the latest upstream development release that continues bringing increased usability, simplicity and innovation to the leading Xen hypervisor that powers some of the world largest cloud services in the world today.

The 4.5 release has the richest feature set in Xen Project’s history with major contributions coming from AMD, Bitdefender, Citrix, Fujitsu, GlobalLogic, Intel, Linaro, Oracle, SuSE and Cavium, as well as several individual and academic institutions. You can read the details here.

As many of you know Oracle VM Server for x86 incorporates the open source Xen hypervisor component, which has been customized and optimized to integrate into the larger, Oracle-developed virtualization server. Note that this is about the upstream Xen development, so the feature is not immediately available in the current Oracle VM release. For What's New in the Oracle VM releases, visit here.

To learn how Oracle VM is used in the public cloud services, a case for study is Oracle Managed Cloud Services team that serves up thousands of Oracle applications to thousands of end customers on a daily basis. With nearly 20,000 of Oracle VM instances powering this operation, maintaining a highly available environment continuously. Curious how this is done? Register to view this webcast on-demand to gain valuable insights into architectural design and management best practices to build and run this highly successful hosted cloud operation, and view the Oracle Managed Cloud Services infographics for a sense of scale of this operation.

Monday Oct 06, 2014

Secure Oracle VM Deployments

One of the principles of good security practice is to keep all software versions and patches up-to-date. To keep you and your customers informed about any errata update, please subscribe to you can sign up here to receive notification on software update delivered to ULN for Oracle VM, or you can browse the email archive.

We've released fixes to address the recent security vulnerabilities. Please review the instructions to apply those fixes.

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance Software - My Oracle Support (MOS) note 1930502.1
Oracle VM 2.2, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3  -  MOS note 1929782.1
  • Xen Security Advisory CVE-2014-7188 / XSA-108
CVE-2014-7188 / XSA-108 Patch Availability Document for Oracle VM - MOS Note 1931331.1
CVE-2014-7188 / XSA-108 Patch Availability Document for Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance - MOS Note 1931380.1
The Oracle VM security architecture, by design, eliminates many security threats. The guidelines for secure deployment of virtualized solutions based on Oracle VM are largely based on network security. As these guidelines are generally applicable, they should always be reviewed for applicability in the context of each implementation and the security requirements and policies of the broader environment in which Oracle VM is deployed. Please review Oracle VM Security Guide to apply to your environment.
  • Oracle VM Security Guide for Release 3.3 HTML
  • Oracle VM Security Guide for Release 3.2 HTML

Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

PVH - Best Characteristics of All Virtualization Modes

We all know that Oracle VM Server for x86 incorporates an open source Xen hypervisor component, which has been customized and optimized to integrate into the larger, Oracle-developed virtualization server. At the same time, Oracle is behind the Xen project and has made a variety of contributions. PVH is just one of the examples.

In the latest release of Xen 4.4, Oracle has contributed a functional preview of a new virtualization mode called PVH currently available to virtualized guests. PVH is an extension to the classic Xen Project Paravirtualization (PV) that uses the hardware virtualization extensions available on modern x86 processors. PVH uses PV drivers for boot and I/O, and Intel hardware virtualization extensions for page table operations, system calls and other privileged operations. This not only improves performance and security, but also simplifies the architecture and Xen Project Hypervisor-Linux interface significantly.

The feature was made possible thanks to Mukesh Rathor. He talked about his work at the Linux Collaboration Summit last week. For more technical details, you can read Konrad Wilk's blog entry at You can learn more about Oracle's technical contributions to Linux and open source communities.

Note that this is about the upstream Xen development, so the feature is not immediately available in the current Oracle VM release. For What's New in the Oracle VM releases, visit here.

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 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.

Saturday Jul 11, 2009

Oracle VM Blog: Xen Virtualization with Oracle: Commitment, Integration, Mission-critical Virtualization

The Xen Directions 2009 event was recently held in Berlin, Germany. Christian Rothe from Oracle presented the topic of Xen Virtualization with Oracle: Commitment, Integration, Mission-critical Virtualization at the event. I'd like to summarize the key points in this presentation.

Oracle is committed to Linux and has contributed significantly to the open-source communities to help make Linux better. Oracle's Linux commitment began in 1998 with the first commercial database on Linux. Not only does Oracle run the whole business on Linux, but also run the base development on Linux for all our products. Today Oracle has over 9,000 developers working on Linux and provides Global Linux Support in over 100 countries. Oracle provides comprehensive indemnification for intellectual property claims raised against our customers, available to all Oracle-supported customers so that customers can deploy Linux with confidence. Moreover, Oracle has made significant technology contributions to the Linux as well as Xen community. You can see community contributions from Oracle at There's nice blog The Real Story on Oracle Unbreakable Linux.

Oracle provides customers an integrated software stack, top to bottom, from applications to Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM. With Oracle VM Templates, you can simply download and import pre-configured virtual machines containing pre-installed Oracle enterprise applications or other software to get up and running in hours not weeks. We also provide a pre-packaged, small foot-print Oracle Enterprise Linux image for x86 and x86-64, along with a script to customize the image. This minimal install of Oracle Enterprise Linux is also known as JeOS (Just Enough OS). It's the same Oracle Enterprise Linux that is freely re-distributable and backed by enterprise-class support, but has been secured and minimized to facilitate Oracle VM Templates creation - for any software (Oracle or non-Oracle) you want to deploy. Furthermore the entire stack can be managed by a single console Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control.

Oracle VM is about mission-critical deployment. The software certification is based on real-world testing – supported for use with the most sophisticated enterprise workloads under real-world conditions and backed by world-class support organization to cover the entire software stack. Oracle VM has proven production deployments across multiple industries. See Customers Succeed with Oracle VM.

Friday May 08, 2009

Oracle VM Blog: Basics of Oracle VM

I'd like to cover some basics about Oracle VM, what's the difference between Oracle VM and RHEL Xen and how it's related to the open source Xen hypervisor.

Oracle VM ( is Oracle's server virtualization and management solution for x86/x86-64 platforms. The components of Oracle VM are Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM Server.

* Oracle VM Manager: Provides the web based user interface to manage Server Pools, Oracle VM Servers, virtual machines, and resources. Oracle VM Manager not only provides life cycle management of virtual machines such as creating and configuring guest VMs, but also performs advanced functionality to load balance across resource pools and automatically reduce or eliminate outages associated with server downtime.

* Oracle VM Server: A self-contained virtualization environment designed to provide a lightweight, secure, server-based platform for running virtual machines. Oracle VM Server is based on open source technology (Xen hypervisor for example) tailored by Oracle, and includes Oracle VM Agent to communicate with Oracle VM Manager for management of virtual machines. Oracle VM Server is installed on bare metal server hardware.


Although Oracle VM server uses the Xen hypervisor, it's not the same as the one used in RHEL Xen. Similarly, both RHEL and SLES use the Linux kernel, but you won't say that one is repackaged from the other. Our development team compared the Xen source code between RHEL 5.2 Xen (3.1.0+ patches) and Oracle VM Server 2.1.2 (Xen 3.1.4), the diff file is 1.6MB, or 48,880 lines of code. It's not just a set of bug fixes or patches, there are big differences in what's actually deployed.

From a deployment perspective, 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. The underlying core technology to form a server pool is the OCFS2 that Oracle developed and contributed to the Linux community, and accepted into Linux kernel 2.6.16. Obviously it's different in how the server pool is implemented in RHEL Xen or other Xen based solutions.


Oracle is a member of the Xen Advisory Board which serves in an advisory capacity to the Xen project leader for all community and development activities as well as management for the Xen trademark. Oracle's Linux and Oracle VM engineering team contributes heavily to feature development of Xen mainline software. The most significant contributions are in the area of hardware virtualized timers, guest and hypervisor debugger and bugfixes, transcendent memory, SSL live migration and xend locking, as well as participation in XenAPI changes; Oracle is also working on Windows Paravirtualized drivers. The Oracle QA team also provides stabilization efforts through testing Xen configurations with Oracle workloads and Oracle Enterprise Linux kernels.

See additional resources:

* Oracle's technical contributions to Linux and open source communities
* May 2009, OTN TechCast Linux Engineering Update with Wim Coekaerts: Part 2 - Virtualizing the Oracle Stack (8 minutes)
* May 2009, OTN TechCast Linux Engineering Update with Wim Coekaerts, Part 1 - Linux Kernel Development at Oracle (8 minutes)


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