Part 2: VMware vSphere vs. Oracle VM: Hypervisor War game: Decide where to put your Oracle DB… continues

Thank you for the patience folks. Again Players in the game are VMware & Oracle.

vmware vs oracle

In Level 2, we will see how Oracle DB in particular is licensed on physical world , virtual and pointers around support & certification by oracle.

Oracle Licensing: Either by CPU/core, or by User(may vary for customers depending on their agreement with Oracle). Here we will not look at user based licensing

 Physical world

Primarily Editions look like as below, there are mode editions available apart from below.


Licensed by

Sockets limited

How it works

Standard One



License all sockets




License all sockets




Apply x86 factor of 0.5 to cores

Hard partitioning of physical systems is allowed in case if you want to license only 1 socket out of 2 sockets available on the server

Oracle is virtualization friendly to a good extent. 🙂 Lets see how

 Virtual world

  • License FULL server Once “fully licensed” you can deploy unlimited VMs AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE! This is a good use case if you need more than 2 instances of DB. A HUGH SAVING FOR YOU!!!
  • Software partitioning is not allowed by Oracle


  • Oracle certifies DB & RAC on OVM , but not on VMware. (Obviously they can’t deny certifying on their hardware)
  • PLEASE NOTICE that Customer not just run DB on Sun servers but also with other OEM’s as well like HP, IBM, Dell etc and Oracle never certifies anything below OS. So make sure that underlying OS which you will run on hypervisor is certified on that hypervisor. If it is certified we know what other certification matters. 🙂 Also one important point to be noted is that VMware claims that they don’t make any changes to the Guest OS which is another plus point.


  • Oracle support DB on OVM & on VMware.
  • Oracle will fix the bug/problem and will do so if the problem is known and independent of the underlying hypervisor (Specific to VMware). If it is not, you need to migrate oracle software to bare metal
  • Not sure if Oracle support ever denied support to customers running oracle on VMware
  • As per VMware claims that VMware Support will accept accountability for any Oracle-related issue reported by a customer. By being accountable, VMware Support will drive the issue to resolution regardless of which vendor (VMware, Oracle, or others) is responsible for the resolution.

Other points to consider in using Oracle in virtual world

  1. How many DB instances can I run on 1 box: Majorly depends on underlying hypervisor, lower the footprint of hypervisor, better it is.
  2. High Availability: If 99.999% of availability is required, you do need an Oracle RAC, else HA features of hyper visors should suffice the purpose. BEWARE HA feature of Oracle & VMware does differ with respect to their functionalities, latter one gives better control & ease of management. More robust features like storage load balancing, prioritizing storage I/O’s etc needs to be considered while deciding on the hypervisor. Please check before you select virtualize you business critical application.
  3. Scalability :Hypervisor should support HOT ADD OF CPU, MEMORY, DISK & NETWORK without bringing application down.
  4. No. of reference customers: Another important aspect to consider. Ask each vendor to give reference customers who has virtualized their DB’s.

 I hope above points gave some fair idea to choose your hypervisor…. Decide your own WINNER.

Stay tuned for LEVEL 3 in the WAR GAME

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