vCenter Server Heartbeat and Oracle VM Manager with Oracle Clusterware

Earlier today I was doing my usual daily tech industry news review and ran into a story that talked about how VMware announced a new product to configure their management software stack for high availability, which according to the article is called vCenter Server Heartbeat.

You can find the article here:
http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid94_gci1347468,00.html

Previously one had to take a set of servers, install Microsoft Windows, install Microsoft Cluster Services (so you need at least an Enterprise edition Windows server version), then install the VMware management components and a database on top. Then you had to set up all those components from the various vendors to get it to offer server, application or OS failure protection. Then configure MSCS and register the various components. With this new announcement, it seems that it will now be possible to do this without the need for Microsoft Cluster Services.

All this comes, again according to the article, at an extra cost: "Pricing was listed at $9,995 per existing vCenter instance – including the database -- or $12,995 when bundled with a vCenter license." So one has to purchase a license for VMware vCenter, Microsoft Windows Server, vCenter Server Heartbeat, times 2, and support for these products. I believe this will really add up.

Now let's looks at Oracle VM.
Oracle VM, has Oracle VM Manager which is our own management server to manage pools of Oracle VM Servers with their virtual machines. Oracle VM Manager runs on Linux (Enterprise Linux) and uses an Oracle database (by default we even use/can use the free version Oracle XE) for its backend database server and OC4J for the J2EE application container.

Oracle VM Manager can easily be set up in an HA environment where it is possible to protect it against hardware failures or (unlikely) crashes of the application, including the database or the operating system, through the use of Oracle Clusterware. The white paper at the link below describes how to use Oracle Clusterware to protect Oracle VM Manager in a 2 server setup on Enterprise Linux:
http://www.oracle.com/technologies/virtualization/docs/ovm-clusterware-whitepaper.pdf

Basically Oracle offers all the software components required to set up – an HA Management server environment, with no need for third party products and multiple vendor licenses. Additionally, if you have a Linux OS support subscription from Oracle (which starts at $499 for a one year Basic Limited support subscription, per server), the Oracle Clusterware usage is included at no extra cost. This means that for two servers, Oracle VM Manager, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle Clusterware, the whole thing comes at just about $1,000 with 24/7 support for a year. For detailed pricing, visit: http://store.oracle.com/linux. And on top of that Oracle Clusterware has been around for many years and is the software used by Oracle Real Application Clusters.

Everything is provided and supported by Oracle. That's a pretty good deal. And we're not yet talking about the server side (Oracle VM server or VMWare ESX server).


Comments:

Hi Wim, Have you released the drivers to run Windows guests efficiently yet? We did a run off with VMWARE against Oracle VM - I wanted Oracle VM, but the lack of the windows drivers made Oracle VM for windows guests almost unuseable. Oracle VM, based on Xen. is a little behind (in terms of releases), with Xen, no? jason.

Posted by jason arneil on February 13, 2009 at 03:47 AM PST #

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About

Wim Coekaerts is the Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering for Oracle. He is responsible for Oracle's complete desktop to data center virtualization product line and the Oracle Linux support program.

You can follow him on Twitter at @wimcoekaerts

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