VMware answers Oracle threat

Despite official appreciation statements, Oracle announcement of its own hypervisor has probably been a bad hit for VMware.

Just the same day Oracle VM is made available in fact, VMware decides to publish a long and comprehensive post on the corporate blog about why ESX Server is the preferred choice to run Oracle database.

One of the best kept secrets is just how well Oracle performs on VMware ESX. This didn’t happen by accident – there are a number of features and performance optimizations in the VMware ESX server architecture, specifically for databases.

In this blog, I’ll walk through the top ten most important features for getting the best database performance. Here are a few of the performance highlights:

  • Near Native Performance: Oracle databases run at performance similar to that of a physical system
  • Extreme Database I/O Scalability: VMware ESX Server’s thin hypervisor layer can drive over 63,000 database I/Os per second (fifty times the requirement of a typical database)
  • Multi-core Scaling: Scale up using SMP virtual machines and multiple database instances
  • Large Memory : Scalable memory – 64GB per database, 256GB per host

We’ve continued to invest a great deal of work towards optimizing Oracle performance on VMware, because it’s already one of the most commonly virtualized applications. The imminent ESX 3.5 release is our best database platform to date, with several new advanced optimizations.

In this blog article we’d like to explain the unique and demanding nature of database applications such as Oracle produces and show the performance capabilities of ESX Server on this type of workload…

It’s highly relevant that VMware dedicates one my-solution-is-better-than-yours post on the corporate blog to Oracle rather than Microsoft, which announced final name, SKUs and (pretty aggressive) price, $28, for its upcoming hypervisor Hyper-V.

It’s also highly relevant that VMware details every single aspect of why ESX Server is the best solution for Oracle customers, but forget to face the support issue, the only real point of the story. Oracle VM FAQs report:

Will Oracle support customers who are using Oracle products on other x86 server virtualization environments?
Oracle VM is the only x86-based server virtualization environment on which Oracle products are supported.

Update: VMware is so serious in its answer that built up at light speed an entire portal about Oracle on ESX Server scenarios.

It’s clear that while the company has to preserve its customer base, it also sees a new opportunity to pitch its products to all those customers who refused so far to migrate databases into virtual machines. Oracle VM existence validates this scenario and VMware hopes to take advantage of it.