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Oracle Is Latest To Take On VMware 109

Posted by kdawson
from the virtual-virtual-everywhere dept.
BobB writes "Oracle is going after its piece of the hot virtualization market by introducing an open source Xen-based hypervisor to compete against those from Novell, Red Hat, and VMware. Oracle VM, unveiled Monday at the Oracle OpenWorld convention in San Francisco, enables virtualization on Oracle and non-Oracle software applications and on the Linux and Windows OSs. It also operates on industry-standard x86- and x86-64-based servers. Oracle claims it offers virtualization at a lower cost than competitors can." VMware stock dropped over 10% on the news; Oracle's stock rose. The market was not punishing Oracle for the unpatched zero-day vulnerability (public exploit available) that the company won't patch until Jan. 15.
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Oracle Is Latest To Take On VMware

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  • Relevance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R15I23D05D14Y (1127061) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:33AM (#21333695)
    I can't see the link between a Xen-based hypervisor and and a company being punished for a "unpatched zero-day vulnerability" that doesn't look like it is part of the hypervisor. Also, I can't see why the stock price would drop based on critical bugs. Stock prices should reflect number of people buying the software anyway. Hence Microsoft stock have value.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      never let facts or logic get in the way of bashing a big company!
    • Re:Relevance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @06:53AM (#21334439)
      No stock prices reflect the number of people who want to buy the >stock as compared with the number of people who want to sell it. Stock prices may have nothing to do with the viability of the products and services the company sells (at least in the short run). That's why there was a dot com bubble in the first place.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        At the lowest level you are correct. However, what is the reason for people wanting to buy the stock vs. sell the stock. Sure what it really comes down to is that they believe that they will be able to sell the stock for a higher price at some later date, but there has to be some product behind it, or it will eventually collapse, like the dot com bubble. People actually thought all those dot com companies were worth something, and had a chance of selling some kind of product, otherwise, they would have n
        • by Spleen (9387)

          People actually thought all those dot com companies were worth something, and had a chance of selling some kind of product, otherwise, they would have never bought the stock in the first place.

          You give people way to much credit. I agree that people thought the dot com companies were worth something.

          There are at least 2 groups of people here though:

          The first group though the company they were investing in had a product they would be able to sell and be profitable.

          The second group simply saw the value of the company as being the rising stock value. The second group didn't have any idea what the product they would sell might be, or how viable it was. The second group most likely caused the bubble

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:33AM (#21333703)
    Please try to keep stupid statements like "The market was not punishing Oracle for the unpatched zero-day vulnerability (public exploit available) that the company won't patch until Jan. 15." out of the summaries. the market is NOT a technical forum, so unless this exploit can demonstrate some kind of loss for oracle, they have no reason to "punish"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evanbd (210358)

      Exactly.

      And why would we expect the market to "punish" them? Does anyone actually expect it to cost them sales or other revenue, or increase their costs, or otherwise have a relevant impact on their financial status?

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        bugs etc are just a part of doing business in the software world. if the market punished every vendor with a bug we wouldn't have an industry
      • by Znork (31774)
        "Does anyone actually expect it to cost them sales or other revenue,"

        Personally I have no idea. You'd have to ask the virus writers if someone's planning on writing a database transmitted virus. If one of them decides a guaranteed unpatched hole with a finished exploit available is just too good an opportunity to pass up, well, then I could certainly see how the subsequent fallout would affect Oracle's financial status.

        I mean, sure, anyone who's actually dealt with Oracle on a daily basis has a fair idea of
    • by fatrat (324232)
      Bit of a sense of humour failure there....
    • by c (8461)
      I think the comment was a sort of "yet another 'me too' product, markets rejoice. Consistent failure to handle major security problems in flagship product, markets... meh?"

      But, then, Oracle's poor security track record (they certainly redefined "unbreakable") isn't anything new and I'd hope that both markets and customers have long ago corrected for it.

      c.
    • by leonbev (111395)
      Exactly. Unless a massive worm can exploit that security hole and deletes a few billion dollars worth of data, I doubt that it will have any impact on Oracle's bottom line.

      Investors don't care how secure Oracle's products are, as long as they make money. If you need an example of that mentality, just look at the rise of Microsoft's stock after the release of Windows 95 and 98.
    • To be fair though, the market value jumped because they announced a new product. If those investors were aware of the total and complete 'shittiness' of their existing products (hell, 11 freaking versions and the interface still sucks donkey balls, unpatched exploits, etc...), they may not have been so interested in the new product.

      Educating investors on what exactly they are investing in, and what the new product's likelihood of success is, is a very appropriate thing to do. Who wants to invest in a softwa
      • by jonbryce (703250)
        Does it matter to the investors how crap it is, as long as they sell lots of copies of it?

        What the investors would be interested in is if their customers discovered there was a better product out there.
    • by aerotux (898095)
      In fact, any dba can easily patch such "threat". First, it's in a package used for XDB, a feature that 99.9% of the database users do not use (so just restringing access to it for db users is enough). Second it's a local explote, you have to have a username and password plus execute priviledges on the package. And third, if you use that package and you are concerned about your users you can: a) audit the execution of the package or b) create a wrapper package, with appropiate synonyms and grants, and saniti
  • It seems like everyone is trying to jump into too many new markets these days. Google with Android, OpenSocial, Microsoft with the Zune ... you get the idea. Does have what it takes? I don't know, but it does seem odd that they have jumped into such a different market for them.
    • by KillerCow (213458)

      It seems like everyone is trying to jump into too many new markets these days.


      That's really the only way for a large company to grow.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Not really. Let's look at Oracle's core business. Databases. They currently have a super huge enterprise level database and that's about it. If they really wanted to corner the market on databases, they would put out products to compete with Access, SQLLite, as well as an object oriented database. Or maybe they do have these products, but they just aren't that popular. But them they just need to do more marketing. There's plenty of ways to expand your customer base, without creating completely differe
        • by andreyw (798182)
          No. You do not want to be tied down to any particular market niche. Because at some point your schoon will become a sinking barge. Diversification is the only way for a company to reliably grow. Doing the opposite of diversification (*cough* Motorola *cough* by exiting as many markets you were even slightly competitive in *cough* damn I seem to have gotten a bad cough, or something) is a surefire way to die. ...which is why Microsoft is a booming business. Which is why Google is not sitting in the search c
          • by Znork (31774)
            This is a really classic management philosophy conflict (and one that appears to go in popularity waves), and the 'right' answer really depends on your position in the market. For an employee who doesnt want to change jobs, or for a family/few-owner business, diversification and protection of total assets is a priority.

            But for the diversified stock-owner you dont want each and every one of your stocks weighted down by the dead fat they're trying to protect. You want lean companies generating high profits in
            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              Most of the time, when we see companies try to diversify, and go outside their area of expertise, they end up doing a really poor job at it, and losing a lot of money in the process, or even if they get a profit, the money spent to obtain the profit could have been better invested in their core business, and returned a bigger profit. Look at some examples like the Zune, XBox, and Corel Linux. Plus there's other examples of places where a company gets too many products and has internal conflicts ruining it'
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              But for the diversified stock-owner you dont want each and every one of your stocks weighted down by the dead fat they're trying to protect. You want lean companies generating high profits in a single area. If you wanted diverse, you'd _buy_ diverse. And then _sell_ it when a niche looked about to tank.

              That's a pretty good point, but I think we can take it further.

              If you're an investor, you have two ways to diversify your investments:

              1. You can buy into the stocks of a wider, more diverse set of companies.
          • Doing the opposite of diversification (*cough* Motorola *cough* by exiting as many markets you were even slightly competitive in *cough* damn I seem to have gotten a bad cough, or something) is a surefire way to die.

            You're seeing it from the point of view of the continued existence of a single company, and not from the point of view of an investor that has thousands of different stocks to choose from.

            Yes, companies without internal diversification have a bigger risk of going south. But for you as an inve

    • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:48AM (#21333769)
      I don't see how it could ever be conceived as anything bad for us consumers. Too many thumbs in the pie is what drives competition for a bigger slice. They will compete on price, features, stability, etc.

      Never question the stupidity of a corporation when it's only ever going to improve the products you actually buy (or buy into).
      • by jsolan (1014825)
        It may not be bad for consumers in general, but for Oracle customers it limits choice.
        While virtualizing a database may not be the best idea from a performance standpoint, virtualizing a middle tier or 2 may be very attractive.

        Oracle is only supporting virtualization with their VM product. While this makes sense from their perspective, consumers are now choiceless if they use Oracle. For instance, we've implemented open source Xen to consilidate several other servers, if we planned to virtualize any of ou
    • Of course they cant. They can't compete with serious distro's and they wont be able to compete with serious Xen players. Thats not the point. wearing my tin foil hat, I'd say that their point is to fragment, or at least give the illusion to fragment, open source work. Oracle has lost a hell of a lot of real money to open source, and have been been brought to the enterprise open source table kicking and screaming. There is no money to be made here for them, they will gain little to no credibility in this spa
      • Re:Unbreakable Xen (Score:5, Insightful)

        by prichardson (603676) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:32AM (#21333919) Journal
        Are you suggesting Oracle is doing this out of spite? Entities run by committee aren't exactly the breeding grounds of emotional decisions.

        I'd wager that Oracle is just adding another product for the purposes of presenting some sort of purely Oracle virtualized database solution. Petty grudges are not profitable.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cerberusss (660701)
          Say what you want about Ellison, but he's the boss and he's very much a human being. If he has a petty grudge then there can be a hundred committees in Oracle but none will be in the way.
        • I think you underestimate the influence, and ego of Ellison.
      • Oracle is the #3 contributor to the Linux kernel, behind Red Hat and IBM.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          are you pulling that number right out of your ass? This survey [lwn.net] from feb 2007, begs to differ. It puts Oracle on 0.8% contributions. That means Oracle comes after(Unknown), RedHat, (None) IBM, QLogic, Novell, Intel, MIPS Technologies, Nokia, SANPeople, SteelEye, Freescale, Linux Foundation, MontaVista, Simtec, Atmel, HP, and SGI (in order of contributions) in terms of contributions.
      • by jadavis (473492)
        Oracle has lost a hell of a lot of real money to open source

        Not due to linux, nor virtualization. In fact they have probably gained a lot from linux, and why not? The less someone spends on their operating systems, the more they can spend on Oracle licenses.

        They may have lost a few sales to MySQL and PostgreSQL, but that's no reason to attack linux or Xen.
    • by martyros (588782) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:23AM (#21333885)

      I think this quote from their Oracle VM FAQ is more telling:

      Recognizing enterprise customers' demand for fully supported server virtualization, Oracle now offers Oracle VM backed by a world-class support organization, as well as a full suite of Oracle product certifications.

      In other words: they recognize that customers want virtualization. But, they don't want to support running on just any hypervisor. Doing so places them in the position of having to rely on another company's software product to run well, which is just not a good idea from Oracle's point of view. The solution? Take an open-source solution and tweak it to their own specifications. Since they have control, they're not dependent on anyone else for good performance.

      They claim to do Windows virtualizaiton, but the fact is that without paravirtualied Windows drivers, any performance is going to royally stink. I'd be surprised if they invest the time to actually make those work.

      What would be a good idea for them in the long run, I think, is to allow their management tool to integrate with some others -- RedHat's or XenSource's, for example -- so that customers can manage all their servers from one console, while taking advantage of Oracle's specialized distro.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cerberusss (660701)
        I'd be surprised if they invest the time to actually make those work.

        Yeah, me too. I spent some time at Oracle and while marketing paid lip service to the Microsoft stack, the division that did projects couldn't be less interesting. In a big department meeting, I asked the department head whether we will do something with C# besides Java. The room actually laughed. The department head didn't know what C# was.
        • In a big department meeting, I asked the department head whether we will do something with C# besides Java. The room actually laughed.

          I can see supporting MS, as in making their software run on that platform. I can't see them locking themselves into MS's proprietary development system, though. What possible benefit would that have for them?

          • I wasn't really clear, but I was working at the time in the business unit that did projects (for hourly rates) for customers. So there is no lock-in argument there. I agree that such a business unit could have the purpose 'no projects with MS software', that seems a bit odd. What was especially funny was the PHB not knowing about C# at all.
      • by CandideEC (953336)
        They mention that the windows performance is garbage and that they are working on paravirtualized drivers. Obviously this thing is half baked until they get there.
        • Why half baked?

          Are you trying to claim that anyone (in their right mind, of course) would run a real database server on Windows?

          Nah - Oracle know their market, and Windows is and always has been a very low priority for them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CandideEC (953336)
            Do you work in the real world? Who the hell have you met with a *right* mind? Everything I see is backwards and upside down...and people seem happy to have it that way. Plenty of places run mission critical systems on Windows. Nobody said it's smart or recommended. When I see something done smart around the businesses I work with, I do a handstand. Its an amazing moment indeed. Its half baked because they are coming after VMWare. Not supporting the most used Operating System at a reasonable speed yet is ju
    • My question is why would you want virtualization on a database server?
      • by jaweekes (938376)
        The only reason I can think of, and have see companies do, is for VMotion fall over. Install an ESX server with just the DB running, and if it has problems, or you need to take down the physical box, you just move it to another one temporarily, without a break in transactions. Works well, but that is the only reason I can think of for doing it.
        • by iperkins (974060)
          Exactly. Fault tolerance. if the physical server tanks, you move the image to another box. This can also eliminate downtime due to hardware maintenance. Move the image to another box, take the physical box down, do what you have to do, bring it back up and move the image back. This can be done during normal hours - no waiting for nights/weekends, which makes the IT staff happy.
          • >Exactly. Fault tolerance. if the physical server tanks, you move the image to another box.

            Bzzzz! Wrong.
            There's nothing to move here - the OS and/or database remain on the shared storage, the OS can optionally be started on another box.
            (Apart from this, Oracle already has built-in RAC clustering which does not depend on 3rd party fail-over solutions for fault tolerance of database applications.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by deroby (568773)
        Testing, testing & testing ?

        You only need to set up a specific environment once. Then, in order to do any testing, take a copy of the environment, run whatever is needed and when happy about it, simply revert back to the original 'image' again. Do next test etc... rinse & repeat.
        It also makes it easier to spread the exact identical environment to different machines/people in order to do tests in parallel and still be 'certain' that they all will be done identically. If needed you can even (temporari
    • It seems like everyone is trying to jump into too many new markets these days.

      Yes, it's called diversifying your risk away. Companies do this so they don't have all of their eggs laying in one basket.
  • by BestNicksRTaken (582194) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:45AM (#21333757)
    Seems a bit strange how RHEL 5.1 offers Windows virtualisation with Xen 3.1 and just days later Oracle does the same.

    And how can this make VMWare stock drop by 10%? Xen ain't new (or great).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by I kan Spl (614759)
      Yup.

      "Unbreakable Linux" is simply RHEL with a bunch of tweaks to make Oracle apps run better.

      The tweaks are nice, but it is the same OS.
    • Yep. That is why Red Hat made these t-shirts [livejournal.com]. Red Hat does not seem to have problems with Centos, but I'm not so sure about Oracle's copy of their distribution...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        That's because CentOS isn't competing with Red Hat. Red Hat's market is the enterprise customers that *will* pay tens of thousands of dollars per year for support, and this is exactly the same market Oracle is catering too with Unbreakable Linux. CentOS is for users that can fix problems on their own and/or cannot afford an RHEL license. This is not the market Red Hat is aiming for.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @05:48AM (#21334193)
          Oracle aren't competing with Redhat either. Someone would actually have to be running Unbreakable Linux for them to be competing, and I haven't seen anyone doing it yet: if anything, the market seems to have treated Oracle as a slightly embarrassing uncle who wants to convince you that he's still "hip and cool" and can do Linux just as well as that upstart Redhat can. They just sort of wish they'd be quiet, go home & stick to what they know.

          The idea of Oracle supplanting VMWare in the enterprise virtualisation market is even more laughable. No one is rushing to replace VMWare with Xen, and if they were, they wouldn't do it through Oracle. Oracle make databases (Oh and they do middle wear now too. Buying WebLogic was a rare smart move, provided they can stop JBoss commoditizing their market) Honestly though, Oracle should leave the rest of the software stack to the rest of the industry.
          • middle wear is a belt. middle ware is software.
    • by jsolan (1014825)
      Actually Oracle's VM is much more akin to the xenserver product from citrix or ESX from vmware. Its not a hypervisor that runs on an existing OS, it is a stand alone OS. Oracle's VM is not a rebrand of RHEL this time. And btw, I'm pretty sure oracle's "unbreakable linux" (the red hat clone) already has Xen as a virtualization option, as it is based on RHEL 5 which includes Xen (even in the 5.0 release).
    • by tjjfv (994025)

      It wasn't just Oracle's announcement. It was the market press trumpeting the relatively insignificant entry of Oracle, coupled with MSFT's announcement of Hyper-V (and 28$ pricing), causing investors to realize that the share price of VMW had been hyperinflated based upon poor understanding of the virtualization market and presumption that their current market-share dominance was largely unassailable despite competition from every other industry player, both software (MSFT, IBM, RHAT, CTXS) and hardware (

    • There's probably more here than rebranding. Oracle has the resources to create their own Xen-based solution, and is certainly not going to rely on Red Hat's work.

      That said, you're right to wonder at all the reaction to this announcement. Everybody and his dog are doing virtualization solutions, and the Oracle version is hardly groundbreaking. Indeed, since Xen only supports guest OSs that are hypervisor aware, it's not quite as robust as the "pure" virtualization that VMware does. And yet Oracle has managed
    • Our company uses VMWare simply because it's still the best virtualization platform I've been able to find for the x86 Linux platform and has the best upgrade path. We'd love to use open source but we've yet to see an open source product that can offer the same stability and features and host so many platforms.

      When an open source competitor can run as reliably and fast on my dual quad-core Xeon server, can host at least Linux, FreeBSD, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, and Windows XP, can do clustering with
  • Sorta makes sense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:53AM (#21333789)
    for Oracle to get into the VM business.

    Then they can ship pre-built VM images with oracle already installed and configured. Thus, the database server becomes a VM appliance (not quite a dishwasher yet...)
    Easier to support (ie lower costs) especially if the VM runs Linux. As much as I hate Oracle, this following their 'legal theft' of RHEL it all starts to hang together.
    However, it remains to be seen if they can build up their support side so that is basically 'sucks less' than it does now. There is a danger that they are spreading themselves too thin.

    I don't think VMWare should get too worried by this. The overall market for VM's is huge. As long as the quality of their product stays high then their market will grow along with the overall market for VM Systems.

     
    • One of the major selling points for VMWare is that it is ideal for development and if a major player in the development world, which Oracle is because they have the database, then there is much more appeal and legitimacy to doing virtualization through Xen. Now, personally I just got our company to buy a VMWare license for a couple of us because it is so easy and we're working with Macs. The issue wasn't a question of which VM system was better, it was a simple question of which was cheaper. I preferred VMW

    • They already did that [blogspot.com]. They seemed to have moved it though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:04AM (#21333809)

    "Oracle is going after its piece of the hot virtualization market by introducing an open source Xen-based hypervisor to compete against those from Novell, Red Hat, and VMware.

    Sun is also rolling out a Xen-based virtualization solution called Sun xVM [sun.com].

    More info at http://opensolaris.org/os/community/xen/ [opensolaris.org]

    This is a feature separate from Solaris Zones (OS virtualization [opensolaris.org]) or
    Brands (run Linux or Solaris 8 zones on Solaris 10 [opensolaris.org]) or hardware domains.
    • I was going to say pretty much the same thing: Oracle Unbreakable Linux is positioned to compete with Solaris for database hotels. Will this be a cheaper database hotel solution than a Sun/Solaris solution? Does anyone know?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:25AM (#21333895)
    It's been my experience that the one thing Virtual Servers aren't good at it's io intensive applications like I don't know.... DATABASE SERVERS? At work we looked into virtualizing our development/testing environments the only thing we couldn't virtualize was the databases - too much of a performance hit. This seems interesting to me - why would oracle do this when they have fought the logical conclusion for so long - pre-packaged linux distro with their Oracle stuff built right in - deploy and go. Seems like one would be easier than the other.

    Also - really can we get more retarded biased comments about stock prices in the summaries. It's good for a WTF chuckle.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jobsagoodun (669748)
      We had interesting experiences of virtualising network services. Its all OK until you try to push lots of small interactions through your VM; then you start to push up against whatever way & freq the CPU is shared between VMs. Its less of a problem if you have more CPUs though.
      • by daem0n1x (748565)

        I used to work in a big Telecom supplier and they never dreamed about using virtualization. We already had enough performance problems using raw hardware and software.

        I moved to enterprise solutions and they are all happily using virtualization. Bad thing is that almost everybody here is a Microsoft drone, I miss my shell scripts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by larstr (695179)
      Critical servers are not typically virtualized because they get good performance or for consolidation reasons, but http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2006/bct9468.pdf [vmware.com] because of http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2006/bct0107.pdf [vmware.com] DR. Since storage IO is http://communities.vmware.com/thread/73745?tstart=15&start=275 [vmware.com] slower inside a virtualized enviroment you will need to spend some more time to plan your storage environment and implement it right in order to get the expected performance even if it migh
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cerberusss (660701)

      At work we looked into virtualizing our development/testing environments the only thing we couldn't virtualize was the databases - too much of a performance hit.
      Where did you put your storage then? I've seen a 5-10% performance hit with a Xen LVM'ed RAID-1 backend. When using a SAN of some sort (even cheap ass ones) this disappears.
      • >I've seen a 5-10% performance hit with a Xen LVM'ed RAID-1 backend.

        Well, someone else saw yet another different hit with a XYZ xyzVM'ed RAID-1 backend.
        The fact that you saw a single-digit hit doesn't mean that everyone will see the same hit.
        • My tone seemed a little harsh in the parent post. Anyway, the single digit LVM performance hit is pretty well known. But the main point is that this particular problem is pretty much solved.
    • disk and even network i/o is completely crap under virtualisation, so why people are virtualising databases and lately, storage (!) is beyond comprehension.

      vms are good for things that use mostly ram and cpu (which are easy things to upgrade - you can't really make disks just go faster)
      • You're thinking of VMWare, not Xen I suspect.

        With a VMWare machine all communication with the processor must be interpreted, that is how the machine essentially works, it provides a fake communication channel that it can control. It does a really slick job of that, but it is still having to go through the extra step.

        Not so with Xen, because it uses modified kernels that don't have to be interpreted (Which is why you can't just install your favorite OS in any old Xen like you can with VMWare.) This is why

    • by ultranova (717540)

      It's been my experience that the one thing Virtual Servers aren't good at it's io intensive applications like I don't know.... DATABASE SERVERS?

      Well, of course. With virtualization, each system call has to go through an extra layer before reaching the host kernel, and the cache might also be affected.

    • by ckaminski (82854)
      This was definitely true in the days of VMware code morphing where every kernel transition caused many extra thousands of CPU instructions. This is not necessarily true today in a hardware-assisted virtualization world.

      In fact, IBM mainframes have been doing this for decades, so I challenge your argument that databases and virtualization are incompatible. It is an immature practice in the x86 world, but it's fast evolving into the way to do business, especially for underutilized resources.
    • I'm guessing the reason for your poor DB performance was due to disk access. In vmware you can use a real partition rather than a disk image, not sure if you can with Xen.

      MySQL lets you store the whole DB in ram if your using NBD, which should be fine in a VM - I dont know if you can do that with oracle.
  • by MartijnL (785261) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:34AM (#21333927)
    Yadda yadda, if Oracle doesn't fix it's own licensing policy than they still will be looking to take you hard for database licenses. They don't recognize software partitioning as a valid means of buying less licenses than there are CPU's in the physical box and when you run VMware in a cluster they want you to license your whole cluster.
    • by lakeland (218447)
      That was exactly my thought. I'm betting this new Oracle virtualised linux will have proper licencing while none of the others do, but I can't find any details anywhere.

      I'm thinking of installing Oracle Linux on the server I'm putting together next week just in case it means I can try out virtulisation in case they fix the licencing. We run all servers on the bare metal entirely because of this... crazy!
    • I bet the licensing is a lot more flexible when you're not yet a customer.
      • by MartijnL (785261)
        Sure, but when they come around one year later the guy reviewing your licenses has nothing to do with the guy who sold them to you. He doesn't even report to the same manager.
        • Hehheh yeah I know the drill, I've worked at Oracle NL. The two guys doing License Compliance had nothing to do with Sales. I had a chat with the compliance guy once; he actually had lots of fun forcing clients into compliance :-/
  • On this topic, Oracle also refuse to provide support for Oracle installations on VMware hosts.

    I wondered why that was so, because VMware provides a common emulated hardware foundation, and logically ought to be *easier* to support than the wild variety of actualy physical hardware out there.

    Anyway, now I know why.
    • I've managed to run Windows 98SE stably and reliably in Win4Lin 9.x on a Fedora Core host and VMware Server on a Debian host, though this is a desktop, not a server environment.

      If virtualization can stabilize Windows 98, I'm sure that it can provide any help with stabilizing Oracle it can possibly use. If I had to run Oracle, I think I'd look for third-party support for Oracle and thumb my nose at Oracle Corp in the hope of getting more uptime than I can get with a native Oracle environment.

      Any Oracle
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm not the DBA here, but we have most of our Oracle servers running on Redhat ES on VMWare ESX 3, and they're perfectly fine. Which is exactly what you'd expect, frankly.

        I've not heard that Oracle refuse to support systems installed on VMWare though. I think the last time we actually tried to get support from Oracle was, er, never. Our developers report bugs to them, and that's about it.

        I suspect that if their refusal to support is true, then it's for bullshit reasons. Exactly what you'd expect from a
    • All the major application vendors recognize that VMs are valuable and they also recognize that by refusing support for 3rd-part VMs *AND* offering a VM (even if it is someone else's with a new paint scheme), they can both make more money and squeeze competitors. Microsoft is already doing this with Exchange 2007 (note coming hypervisor/VM tech in 2008 server), and I expect other major application vendors might try the same thing.

      This is clearly a monopolistic practice, but I don't expect our corporate over
  • by Alex (342) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @07:50AM (#21334749)
    Oracle Is Latest To Take On VMware

    Please - Xen does not a vmware copy make - vmware is so much more than a virtualization product, VMware are trying to make it THE datacenter management tool.

    Alex
  • Looks like a nice opportunity to buy some VMW stock.
  • Why is Oracle getting into so many new markets? I think it adds value to some of their customers. The reason is service contracts. Many companies will not buy software unless they can also get service with it. What they don't like is having to buy 15 different service contracts and then watch the various vendors all say "The problem is in the other guy's stuff, ours works fine." These customers want a single point of contact for software problems and Ocracle wants to be that single point.

    I used to work
  • Aside from the trendy corporate bashing that happens when any billion dollar crackpot-led company is on the menu, I lost all faith in Oracle the day they deprecated the term "database" in favor of "application platform", and added a couple zeros to the price.

    Oracle, much like Microsoft, has lost its purpose. They absorb, invade and cheapen every single area of computing with their predatory acquisitions. It used to be that Microsoft was an OS company, and Oracle was a DB company. Oh, and Google was a sea

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