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back to article Virty market share race reaches the bend and heeeeere comes Oracle

Think virtualisation and it's hard not to think VMware. And Microsoft, which Gartner's vice president and distinguished analyst Thomas Bittman yesterday said has around 19 or 20 per cent of the market, compared to VMware's 75 per cent or so. Oracle, Parallels, Citrix and Red Hat scrap over the rest of the market, but Bittman …

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Of course their purchase of Sun Microsystems didn't hurt either. Not only did they pick up some Solaris VM technologies, but also the ever popular Virtualbox - the VM most people are much more more familiar with. No, not enterprise grade - but used by many more end users than VMware or Hyper-V.

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Mushroom

Virtualbox Vs. VMWare

Up until recently, I'd always used VMWare for virtualization. Lately, though, I use a mix of Vmware and Virtualbox. It really depends what I'm doing in the VM.

If I need to run Windows XP in a VM, then I always use VMWare, because it can run DirectX 9 games fairly well. I'd just dual boot, but I hate having to attend the morning bootup on days when I want to run XP.

If I want to run a desktop linux that utilizes OpenGL in the window manager or any of the programs I'm using, then I use Virtualbox.

If I want to run a server OS, then who cares, both are pretty damn good for a hobbyist's needs.

Both have their problems, although price is not one of Virtualbox's problems. TBH, the cost of VMWare was off-putting too, but when I need a feature, I will pay to get it.

I haven't had a go with Citrix, but I have heard that it's not good on the user end.

Explosion - because I'm NOT a trained professional, I'm the bloke who cleans the lavvies.

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Anonymous Coward

Oracle not supported on VMware? Not quite correct.

"thanks in part to the Big O's position of *not supporting* its applications being virtualised, but not forbidding it either"

Apologies in advance for the pedantry, but this is a fairly important point as Oracle are in the habit of using this to seed FUD to discourage running their apps on any hypervisor other than OVM. It's not quite accurate to describe Oracle applications or databases as being not supported on a competing virtualization platform. Oracle don't *certify* their applications on vSphere which is totally different to not supporting it. Their applications including Oracle RAC from 11gR2 onwards are supported running on vSphere and Oracle will only refer you back to VMware if the problem is being caused by the hypervisor. (Refer to Oracle support doc ID 249212.1)

In addition to this, VMware provides it's own "Total Ownership" support for customers running Oracle workloads on vSphere, ensuring that anyone running Oracle on vSphere is fully supported.

Refer to http://www.vmware.com/au/support/policies/oracle-support.html for details.

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It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

Things like RAC licensing on a per-core basis kills Oracle on VMware for us. It's not "per vCPU assigned to the VM" but rather for each and every physical core the VM could possibly run on. I have 96 cores in my vSphere cluster. To run RAC on that would be prohibitively expensive. We've been down this road with them before, we can do it all we want but it'll cost us big.

Oracle VM allows you to do hard partitioning of the CPU cores to avoid that. The new Oracle Database Appliances allow you to use Oracle VM to deploy database nodes and use leftover compute resources for middleware or business logic, locking VMs to specific cores and driving up resource utilization, while maintaining licensing compliance with Oracle at the same time.

They've created a value proposition, which is mighty big of them because it'll save us money in the long run. We still run our application servers and core infrastructure bits in VMware and leverage that highly developed ecosystem (virtual appliance support, SRM replication, SAN integration, hardware monitoring plug-ins, etc) but now we have an easy way to consolidate the formerly unconsolidatable Oracle apps on a different platform that allows us to get the most out of the hardware.

That's what will get them market share, offering value. It's a strange thing coming from Oracle but I think it could work to a point for organizations like ours running Oracle software and wanting to get the most out of our new ODAs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

"I have 96 cores in my vSphere cluster. To run RAC on that would be prohibitively expensive."

You don't need to license every core in the cluster - only every core within each host that will be running Oracle workloads. DRS affinity rules can help you to achieve this goal. If Oracle try to tell you any differently, ask them to point out where in your Oracle License and Services Agreement (OLSA) it states that you have to license hosts that will never run Oracle applications. They can't and you don't. DRS affinity rules are a perfect method for ensuring you only have to license a subset of hosts within a cluster. You still need to license every core (**) within each host you select to run these VMs but there is no need to license every physical server that makes up the cluster (** or socket depending on whether you are running RAC on Standard or Enterprise edition)

(Note: This is different to CPU affinity which, as you correctly state, Oracle does not recognise as a method to reduce your licensing costs)

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Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

"You don't need to license every core in the cluster - only every core within each host that will be running Oracle workloads. DRS affinity rules can help you to achieve this goal. If Oracle try to tell you any differently, ask them to point out where in your Oracle License and Services Agreement (OLSA) it states that you have to license hosts that will never run Oracle applications."

They actually have told us differently! I thought it was pretty ridiculous that they would charge us for every host in the cluster, even when only two 6-core hosts would run RAC nodes. They insisted that was the case, even after asking about CPU affinity specifically they offered nothing around configuring host affinity. F@cking b@stards.

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Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

spoke to them about a similar issue a couple of months ago, and was told that if a given host will never, under any circumstances, run Oracle, it does not need to be covered but (big but) if VM mobility / migration to a given host is possible so that it might run Oracle, it does need to be covered.

Customer went with a different solution anyway :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

There's a video from VMworld 2012 where Richard Garsthagen from Oracle discussed this precise situation and he was pretty clear in stating that DRS affinity is definitely a valid method. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ5Qip29Yt8

There's also another good video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuXBMS2UwyE where a lawyer specializing in software licensing and another licensing specialist discuss Oracle on vSphere.

I'd also recommend looking into standard edition. You still get RAC but, unlike enterprise edition, you are licensed per socket - not per core.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

"if VM mobility / migration to a given host is possible so that it might run Oracle, it does need to be covered."

That's where you use the "must run on" rules to ensure that DRS will only ever migrate the VMs between particular hosts.

If you're really paranoid and think that an admin might manually migrate the VMs to an unlicensed host you can just zone your storage so that the LUNs used by the VMs running Oracle are only presented to the licensed physical servers. That way there's no possible way for those VMs to end up on an unlicensed host.

Their licensing is pretty clear in that you only have to pay for servers where the Oracle workloads have executed. An audit will determine where the workloads have run and you need to be licensed accordingly. I really struggle to understand how their account teams appear to be incapable of comprehending such a fairly simple concept.

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Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

It's biuriful...

But you just got me invited to 2 meetings to discuss Oracle licensing since I dropped the bombshell on my director this morning about Glassfish licensing (also per-core).

I don't know if I'm winning or losing today.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It strikes at the core of the small enterprise space...

This sort of behaviour from Oracle doesn't surprise me... generally their sales grunts interperet licensing policy to their own advantage - you wouldn't believe the levels of inconsistency you get when you get a bunch of Oracle customers together discussing this without Oracle present...

...and from the original article:

"VMware may also unwittingly help Oracle – and Microsoft - to gain market share, because Bittman feels users are increasingly wary of the company's need to turn its core virtualisation wares into a cash cow and therefore seek out a second vendor to gain some leverage and save some cash."

ah because Oracle certainly don't have a track record of turning their wares into cash cows do they? Whilst you might be right about VMware, I certainly wouldn't trust Oracle not to leverage this if they ever get to crticial mass with Oracle VM.

posted anonymously, because I don't want another Oracle license audit as revenge for having the audacity to complain!

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Thumb Down

Features

“They are not close to Microsoft or VMware, but it is pretty good if you are not trying to do dramatic things like moving virtual machines around.”

If by "dramatic" you mean "essential," this is an accurate statement.

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Pint

well, without amazon, rackspace, nasa, NSA ......

and a few others vmware is indeed quite big.

but the main x86 virtualisation technology when it comes to serious, commercial cloud / massive datacenters, where businesses small and large are going, is still Xen.

Look for ubuntu to fill a lot of space. they've been chosen by the chinese government...........

Look for citrix/xen to steal from vmware, as a logical next step for those who are afraid of simply going

the full opensource monty do-it-yourself to cut some cost.......

now, where s my boat....?

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