Oracle VM is a server virtualization software (similar to VMWare) that allows a physical server to be partitioned into several virtual servers. Each virtual machine looks like an independent system with its own virtual CPUs, network interfaces, storage and operating system.
Oracle VM was announced at the 2007 Oracle OpenWorld Conference in San Fransisco where Oracle described it as one of the biggest software launches in the company's history.
The product was made available as a free download on 14 November 2007.
OS and product support
Oracle VM runs on x86 and x86-64-based systems. It can support Linux,Solaris and Windows as guest operating systems (although Windows applications might not perform well on it).
Most, if not all of Oracle's products are certified to run within Oracle VM's virtual machines. This includes the Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications.
Oracle VM consists of 2 components:
- Oracle VM server - install on all physical servers
- Oracle VM manager - manages the VM Servers
Some of the more interesting features:
- Hypervisor technology (based on Xen) that installs directly on the empty hardware (bare metal)
- Can run several Windows,Linux and Solaris instances on a physical server
- Move virtual machine from one physical host to another without the application going down
- Manage pools of virtual servers across grids of hardware
- Integrated Web browser-based management console
Oracle VM is open source and provided free of charge, just like Oracle Enterprise Linux. However, if you want support, you need to pay for it. Supported customers will receive patches, updates and fixes via the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN).
Oracle VM will be fully supported regardless if you run Oracle or non-Oracle applications on it.
Customers should also be aware that Oracle Licensed Manage Services (LMT) does NOT permit Oracle products to be licensed for virtualized environments. This includes OVM. LMT does not acknowledge CPU affinity or clustering configurations at the virtualization application layer. For more information see Oracle's "Oracle Partitioning Policy".
XenSource was bought by Citrix for $500 million in October 2007. Further, there are rumors that Microsoft might buy Citrix in future. Microsoft at least had operated a close technology partnership with Citrix for more than a decade and with XenSource on the design of its own virtualisation hypervisor. This leads to questions about the future of xen and the possibility of Oracle having to fork the code base to maintain support for its Oracle VM offering.