Oracle ups server virtualization ante with Oracle VM 3.1

New capabilities in free server virtualization/management solution improve ease-of-use, storage availability, backup support, and hardware compatibility

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  • Automatic creation of multiple virtual machines from a template. Supports the automatic creation of multiple VMs from a single Oracle VM template in one step.
  • Move VM storage repositories between server pools. Oracle Cluster File System version 2 (OCFS2) virtual machine storage repositories that are tightly connected to their respective clusters can now be easily removed and then rejoin any cluster. The process of moving a storage repository from one server pool to another is streamlined to facilitate faster and easier disaster recovery and more storage agility.
  • Backup/restore access to VM storage repositories. OCFS2 virtual machine storage repositories that are strongly coupled with their respective cluster can now be served as an NFS share to allow easy access to the OCFS2 repository and enable external tools to easily connect and interact with the repository for backup and restore of VMs, assemblies, templates, and ISOs.
  • Multipath boot from SAN. Oracle VM Server can be installed to perform boot from multipath SAN without requiring any type of local storage enabling administrators to use their enterprise class storage to install the servers and use diskless servers for easier maintenance and better availability.

At the same time, Oracle also announced three new prebuilt, preconfigured Oracle VM Templates for the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3, Oracle PeopleSoft Financials and Supply Chain Management 9.1, and Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c. These templates join the download collection of more than 100 other templates also designed to enable faster application deployment. Oracle VM templates provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully pre-configured software stack (includes both the OS and application) that is fully tested and deemed production ready and certified.

VMware vSphere still dominates as the most popular x86 server virtualization solution on the market, but things could change because some in the industry have expressed a growing concern over what is now being called "hypervisor vendor lock-in." With alternative hypervisor solutions maturing (often coming in at a much lower price point), organization decision makers have become more interested in finding opportunities to deploy alternative or secondary solutions into their data centers.

Back in November, InfoWorld reported on some significant findings from a survey conducted on behalf of Veeam Software, a third-party multihypervisor backup, disaster recovery, and management solution provider. While the survey validated VMware as being the current ruler of the roost, it also showed that other virtualization platforms were finding their way into the data center. Unfortunately for Oracle, in this particular survey anyway, its percentage of usage was too small to list on its own, and instead was more than likely lumped into the broader classification of "Other" hypervisors. But the good news for Oracle (and other VMware competitors) is that 38 percent of companies questioned in that survey stated they were planning to change the hypervisor platform currently being used for server virtualization workloads for reasons such as cost, issues with the licensing model, and because of an improved feature set and increased maturity of alternative hypervisors on the market.

The question now is can Oracle do the right things needed to capitalize on this possible dissent and in turn woo those organizations over to its platform and away from VMware and other hypervisor challengers who are also trying to maintain or grow their own market share? Technology aside, that remains to be seen.

Is Oracle VM on your radar screen or short list of server virtualization platforms? If your organization is running other Oracle applications, does that come into play for your decision making process?

This article, "Oracle ups the server virtualization ante with Oracle VM 3.1," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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