Friday Jan 23, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance: Past Reflection and Future Vision

Today's spotlight is a year in review of Oracle's Virtual Compute Appliance and a look to the future.

Virtual Compute Appliance is a converged infrastructure solution that combines preconfigured networking, servers, and storage into a convenient package that system administrators can easily deploy into an existing data center. Combined with the virtualization power of Oracle VM, the Virtual Compute Appliance provides the perfect general-purpose solution for a wide range of applications and operating systems. Customers around the world are using Virtual Compute Appliance systems for their virtualized environment of mixed workloads or private cloud.

The most visible benefit of the Virtual Compute Appliance is rapid deployment. The Virtual Compute Appliance automatically configures compute, storage, and network resources when it is powered up, and users can start running virtual machines in a matter of hours. "Time-to-application with Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance was remarkable. In a matter of minutes, not days or weeks, we were operational and in a position to instantly respond to our customers’ needs,” said Raul Chico, head of business development, BT Spain. View the complete story.

The Virtual Compute Appliance can be used with Oracle VM Templates, which provide pre-built virtual machines containing OS images and pre-installed application and database software. Together, they provide ready-to-run physical and virtual infrastructure, so customers can start running workloads in hours, not days or weeks. Secure-24, a managed services provider based in Michigan, United States, was able to deploy Oracle Database 12c within 10 minutes by using template. Watch the video here.

The Virtual Compute Appliance leverages wire-once Software Defined Networking (SDN) using Oracle Virtual Networking over an InfiniBand backplane and the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance for robust, high performance networking and storage.

Since its release in 2013, the Virtual Compute Appliance has been updated with several product enhancements. Among the most notable are:

  • Addition of X4-2 servers, providing investment protection for customers by supporting a mixture of X4-2 servers and X3-2 servers in the same rack.
  • Support for external storage using either InfiniBand or Fibre Channel technology. Customers now have more options to expand storage to the Virtual Compute Appliance. Customers can now connect the Virtual Compute Appliance to their Fibre Channel storage (e.g. EMC, HDS, NetApp storage), in addition to their existing NFS or iSCSI storage. They can also expand storage of the Virtual Compute Appliance by connecting to Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance externally, using InfiniBand.
  • Management VLAN support: The VCA management network now supports the use of VLANs.
  • Improved management capabilities, including an Integrated Command Line Interface: Several command line utilities are now consolidated into a single command line interface (CLI), which is accessible from the Oracle Linux shell on the management node. Customers can use the CLI to script actions that may need to be performed on a regular basis, or to write integration scripts for existing monitoring and maintenance software not directly hosted on the appliance.
  • Synchronization Service to eliminate configuration mismatches: Throughout the life cycle of the Virtual Compute Appliance, software updates, capacity extensions and configuration changes will occur at different points in time. To eliminate configuration mismatches, we implemented a synchronization service to allow configurable parameters to be set and maintained across different components within the Virtual Compute Appliance.

At a live event on January 21, 2015, Larry Ellison announced the Virtual Compute Appliance X5, offering highest performance at the lowest price. Watch Larry's video or read the press release.

With this announcement, Oracle continues to provide further product enhancements to deliver more value for customers purchasing the Virtual Compute Appliance.

Friday Oct 24, 2014

Friday Spotlight: New assets for Winning Combo: Virtual Compute Appliance and ZFS Storage Appliance

Happy Friday. In today's spotlight, we want to share some great assets about Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.

Virtual Compute Appliance is a converged infrastructure solution that combines preconfigured networking, servers, and storage into a convenient package that system administrators can easily deploy into an existing data center. Combined with the virtualization power of Oracle VM, the Virtual Compute Appliance provides the perfect general-purpose solution for rapidly and easily bringing online a new rack into a cloud environment. Customers can expand storage of the Virtual Compute Appliance by connecting to Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance externally. We published a new white paper that describes how to increase the storage capacity of the Virtual Compute Appliance by adding a new rack containing a larger Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance cluster.

To learn how the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance is optimized to work efficiently with Virtual Compute Appliance and understand how the Virtual Compute Appliance together with the ZFS Storage Appliance benefits customers by providing storage expansion and backup capabilities, watch this 12-minute Youtube video for a condensed presentation by Premal Savla and Michael Wojnar.

Friday Jul 11, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Oracle VM Storage Connect Plug-in for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance

The Oracle VM Storage Connect framework provides a storage discovery and provisioning API that enables the provisioning and management of storage platforms directly from within Oracle VM Manager. The abstraction provided by the Storage Connect framework allows administrators to perform provisioning operations without the need to know the specific behavior of any storage platforms that are being used within the Oracle VM infrastructure. The Storage Connect API allows third party storage vendors to develop their own Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins that enable their storage appliances to interface with the Storage Connect framework.

With the release of Oracle VM 3.3, the storage connect plug-in for Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance has been updated to enable Oracle VM 3.3 to provision and manage the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. To download the software and read the documentation, visit

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/sun-unified-storage/downloads/zfssa-plugins-1489830.html

For additional details, visit

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