OPENWORLD - Oracle restricts app support to its virtualization platform

VMware, Red Hat and such need not apply, but customers shrugging

Buried under the surface of Oracle's Monday announcement that it plans to get into the virtualization market is the fact that the company won't support its database and many other applications if they are running on virtualization software from VMware, Microsoft or even Red Hat.

That effectively limits enterprise users who want to run their Oracle applications more efficiently through virtualization to just one platform: Oracle's new VM.

Oracle VM is based on the Xen hypervisor and its Unbreakable Linux, itself a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It costs US$999 a year per system.

"We have no current plans to support our apps" on other virtualization platforms," said Ed Screven, Oracle's chief corporate development architect. Instead, Oracle has "priced Oracle VM very aggressively so that customers can afford it."

By contrast, Red Hat's Xen-based virtualization, which became available with the release of RHEL5 in March, comes free.

"Oracle is trying to monetize a separate product," said Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO. "We just want to make virtualization ubiquitous."

About 18,000 servers are being virtualized via RHEL5 so far, Stevens said, who said that Red Hat will support RHEL-certified applications on VMware.

"We will support IT choice, even while we try to compete with and out-innovate VMware," Stevens said. Oracle is not recognizing VMware at all... this is the company you trust to have your best interests?"

VMware offered its own response in a detailed blog post entitled "Ten reasons why Oracle Databases run best on VMware" in which it claims that its VMware ESX Server can deliver "near-native performance."

Competition or customer service?

Screven asserts, however, that Oracle is choosing to support only its own virtualization platform for customer service reasons, rather than for some competitive edge.

"The very hardest bugs for us to address are those that span the operating system and the virtualization layer," Screven said. "To provide the best performance and quality-of-service, we didn't think we could support all of the third party virtualization solutions. So we decided instead to provide Oracle VM."

Supporting RHEL's virtualization, despite its shared Xen roots, is not easy, Screven said.

"Even if they are using the exact same hypervisor as us, there is still the Dom O and management console," Screven said.

Other verboten virtualization platforms include Containers, a feature of the Solaris 10 OS from Sun Microsystems Inc., which announced several partnerships with Oracle at this OpenWorld.

"Just because they are a partner doesn't mean we will certify our products on every single combination of their platforms," he said.

Brad Maue, CIO with legal procurement firm Stuart Maue Co., felt that Oracle had "the best of intentions."

"When you build your own hypervisor, you know how to design it efficiently," he said. Stuart Maue has been testing Microsoft's Virtual Server 2008. Despite that, "we don't feel our choices are being limited," he said.

The Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Co. runs Oracle database and middleware on top of Suse Linux from Novell. The retailer has done very little virtualization so far. But if the company moves to Unbreakable Linux -- which it is testing now, according to CTO Michael Prince -- it would also likely adopt Oracle VM for its Oracle applications, rather than a competing virtualization solution.

The lack of support "would be a detriment to us running VMware," Price said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?