VMware may be boasting that its software is used by all of the Fortune 100 companies and 96 percent of the Fortune 1000, but the virtualization team at Oracle is either not listening or simply doesn't care. Companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and Citrix understand that VMware has a huge lead when it comes to server virtualization market share, but that isn't stopping any of these companies from trying to come out with what they hope will be a better mouse trap (especially if they can do so at a cheaper price).
During the recent VMware earnings call, the virtualization giant's new CEO Pat Gelsinger was asked about VMware's expectations for growth within the server virtualization market. Gelsinger stated that today there is a range of estimates anywhere between 50 to 60 percent on virtual workload penetration. He went on to say, "Our expectation is we can continue to drive that number and we do see that we can take it to 90 percent plus," adding they are far from done. While VMware is seemingly installed everywhere, there is evidently still room to grow and expand within each of these environments.
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Oracle must be a believer in this penetration availability as well because the company is continuing to challenge its server virtualization team to come out with new and better technology. It was only eight months ago when the company announced Oracle VM 3.1. Now it's back with a new upgrade to its Oracle VM server virtualization software. Once again, it's added a host of new enhancements and important updates to yet another dot release, bringing Oracle VM up to version 3.2.
Perhaps one of the more interesting updates in this release, Oracle specifically highlighted the management of the company's Sparc servers alongside its x86-based servers. Both hardware platforms can now be discovered and managed by the same instance of Oracle VM Manager. This creates a single management console for both Sparc and x86 virtual machines. Users can create Sparc server pools and virtual machines, as well as manage networking and storage in the same way that is also being done for x86 environments. And Sparc users can now quickly provision new virtual machines from assemblies and templates in the same simple way as it is done for x86. Doing so will greatly speed up the deployment of applications to within minutes and significantly improve productivity for Sparc users.
One of the other highlighted updates within this new unified management capability is its common management framework. Oracle VM Manager uses the same set of APIs that apply to both x86 and Sparc server virtualization, bringing a highly anticipated addition to Oracle VM 3.2: a new command-line interface (CLI) option. Oracle VM Manager CLI supports the same functions as the Oracle VM Manager browser interface, and that should provide a freeing experience for administrators managing large environments. No longer confined to the browser, common tasks can now be scripted and fully automated, thereby saving time and lowering the risk of human error. Even better, administrators only have to learn one set of APIs to be able to manage both x86 and Sparc server virtualization.