Oracle Goes on VMware Offensive with Latest VM Offering
Can VMware compete with free? That’s what Oracle is betting on with its launch of Oracle VM 3.0. It’s free to download and loaded with a slew of hot features designed for demanding virtualization workloads. Tech specs on the new technology, along with the all-important channel perspective are right here …
Oracle VM 3.0 is designed to be an all-encompassing virtualization management suite, which is being launched in tandem with Oracle’s VM Storage Connect API, that allows for interoperability across a range of virtualization storage technologies (including NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems and Sun ZFS) since it uses the OVF (Open Virtualization Format). Oracle VM 3.0 also is outfitted with new management, policy and provisioning capabilities that help deal with users, VMs and data center overhead during heavy loads. Oracle has also endeavored to make IT admins’ lives easier by adding VM application templates to enable a quick deployment of mission-critical Oracle software.
Sounds cool, right? But wait, there’s more: Oracle boasts VM 3.0 is “four times more scalable than the latest VMware offering, supporting up to 128 virtual CPUs per virtual machine, at a fraction of the cost,” when compared to other VM solutions such as VMware. But let’s be realistic — Oracle’s unit is running Oracle’s own servers, so mileage and performance may vary depending on the comparable hardware vSphere is deployed on. But performance may not be a match for price. Oracle stressed that even when up against vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle VM 3.0 is “four times less expensive.” Oracle isn’t shy on pushing that price tag differential. There is an obvious caveat, however; it comes at the cost of investing in the Oracle ecosystem of hardware and software, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris and the Sun Fire X4800 M2 servers. Cost savings on a virtualization deployment are likely something seen over time, since an initial investment could be expensive.
For those just getting into the virtualization game, Oracle could be extremely appealing, especially since it has Microsoft’s blessing when it comes to virtualizing Windows. But for the channel as a whole, this may be a tough sell, since VMware is a name synonymous with leading virtualization technology. And with VMware VMworld around the corner (Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2011) there are likely newer technologies and VMware partnerships yet to be announced. But it’s obvious Oracle’s VM 3.0 launch was purposely right before the event.
We’ll keep our eyes open for any swings VMware takes to counter Oracle’s virtualization moves, and we’ll keep track of how well-received Oracle VM 3.0 is in the channel. For the deep-dive on VM 3.0 features and technologies, check out the press release.