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September 22, 2009



How does this differ from VMWare wanting to collect a VM-tax?

And, why should I pay for closed virtualisation with overhead (VMWare), when I can get opensourced "no overhead" virtualisation for free (with Solaris)?

Chuck Hollis


I think you're missing the point -- it's all about choice.

If you think you can do the job with freebie tools, more power to you.

Oracle is trying to make that choice on everyone's behalf that their hypervisor is the ONLY hypervisor you'll ever need or want.

And we both know that's a non-starter.

-- Chuck

Al-noor Ramji

Chuck, I asked Oracle about this specific issue and what they say is pretty clear. There are too many hypervisors on the market to properly integration test all 4000 Oracle applications - end to end.

As a result Oracle offer Xen as a fully supported hypervisor option which is available in open source and free. It is exactly the same Xen that Red Hat and Citrix ship.

The issue here is not that you can't virtualise Oracle but that you might need to run more than one hypervisor. Exactly the same story is true of Microsoft and they support Hyper-v for all MS applications.

My best guess is most folks will need all three in much the same way as we needed Linux, Windows, Solaris and others in the physical world.

Whats the beef?



Oracle are digging their heels in for sure. Here is another example; SAP used to support SAP with an Oracle DB back-end on 3rd party hypervisors (VMware, Xen, whatever) when they look support calls directly. Oracle support is now outsourced to Oracle and the first SAP Technote they wrote was 1173954, killing off all support for SAP on Oracle with 3rd party hypervisors. On the positive side, DB2, MS SQL and MAXDB work just as well, are supported by SAP and SAP provides the migration tools. At least customers can choose with their feet.

Ethan Hill

Thank you for this post. Count me as another upset customer over this very issue. In my case, i'm an IT manager that has extensive VMWare in my data center. The BIG exception are my SAP systems, which use Oracle as their db layer.

SAP has embraced VMWare with open arms, however SAP/Oracle customers have been told that they will not get support from Oracle and that we should explicitly not use VMWare for the production db. They actually blame performance considerations in the SAP Note.

Why do they have to make my life so difficult ?? To think in my old days as an Oracle DBA before I entered the mgmt ranks, I used to brag to my friends about the superior oracle technology. If I could flip a switch to MS SQL Server 2008 right now, I would !!! Get real Oracle!!!

Ethan Hill

Chuck Hollis


The beef is that answer is total and unmitigated FUD. VMware now has greater than 90% market share in large enterprises, so there aren't lots of hypervisors to support, there's only one big one.

VMware's value proposition is simple: applications run unmodified. If something off-the-shelf doesn't work on VMware, it's VMware's problem to go fix, not Oracle. So far, the vast majority of commercial applications run unmodified.

Oracle has admitted that it isn't a technical issue, more a matter of business strategy. As in they don't like VMware upsetting their grand vision.

The enterprise goal should be to get to a single layer that supports as much of the environment as possible, and avoid the fragmentation we've seen with multiple UNIXes, for example.

I, for one, don't want to imagine a world with a half-dozen different hypervisors required to run a modern enterprise.

Thanks for writing.

Chuck Hollis


Performance issues? Give me a break! We've got hard data that shows otherwise. More FUD.

Thanks for writing!

-- Chuck



You are not going to believe this. Some VMware folks met with Charles Phillips, the president or CEO of Oracle and he said no customers had ever mentioned to him that they wanted Oracle to support their products on VMware. Or modify the licensing scheme. He offered if anyone knew of
customers who did want better or more support for Oracle on VMware, or virtualization friendly licensing, to email him directly. His email is Charles.phillips@oracle.com and he really needs to hear that customers run Oracle on VMware, and better support / licensing would be nice!


I'm not a current Oracle customer so I probably can't email the guy. Though I did forward it onto a Oracle consulting shop that also supports vmware(last I heard they hadn't tried Oracle on VMware yet though I was using it at my last company and they were supporting it). Hopefully they can get the word out to their customers who use both to email the CEO since it seems he's being kept in the dark by lower management perhaps.


Once upon a time, before Windows, there was OS/2. While I was working on OS/2 at the time and I realized that OS/2 was much more powerful and better than Windows. Somehow, the trend was reversed and I didn't hear about OS/2 any more. Not too long ago, before Oracle, there was DB2, which appeared to be promising. Then again, in due course, Oracle became much popular and powerful than DB2. All these things happened, in part, because IBM was not willing to open its grip to others.

Before, we used to use tapes to view movies rather than DVD. There were a couple of variant tape mediums then that we don't hear about now (remember Beta?). Just like running water, things naturally sort out according to the logical and natural progression whether you like or not. Originally, Oracle’s founder took $2,000 in 1977 with good luck and great dedication and turned it into the software powerhouse it is today. However, its dominance could wither as time passes just like your favorite garment gets worn out. In the future, you might not even remember what Oracle was about other than it is indeed a mouthpiece of the über-god.

Whether you like it or not, the paradigm in computing is about to be changed in big way. Integration and mashup is going to be much important than any specific affinity to any particular vendors. This will equally apply to any software or hardware suppliers including Oracle, VMW, or EMC. We need to be mindful not to stroke anyone's ego or accomplishments too much without understanding the history behind us.



I have exactly the same problem - our strategy is 100% virtualised data-centre using VMWare, but we have a large SAP-on-Oracle deployment and find ourselves constrained by technote 1173954.

Oracle needs to have a reality check that their database product is now an obstacle to our business, not an enabler.

Despite the significant business impact, we are evaluating switching to an alternative database (MS SQL 2008) and our relationship with Oracle is at an all time low due to this issue.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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