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oracle 11g standard on vmware, or physical server?

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi, will need to setup an oracle database server soon, and I've heard conflicting views from different people in regards to installation on a VM, instead of a physical server.

Are there performance considerations when running Oracle on a VM, versus running it on physical hardware?

The application accessing the DB is not going to be very demanding, but if there are specific metrics I can request from the application vendor about the database performance, I can ask them and post another message here with their response

Also we only expect to have 6 to 12 users in the next year.

My vmware setup consists of 2 esxi hosts and a sas 6gb san, they are quite underutilized at the moment.

Thank you
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Question by:darkbluegr
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14 Comments
 
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

by:
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 200 total points
ID: 36713731
The biggest issue is Oracle Support.  Their official position is they will not support you in VMWare unless you can reproduce the issue on a physical server.

There is a Support Note on it if you search around.  On mobile and cannot provide the number.

That said, Oracle runs fine on VM's including VMWare.  It all comes down to Support.
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LVL 120

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 200 total points
ID: 36713754
Be aware that Oracle's official position is that they do not support Oracle in a virtualized environment beyond the operating system.  If there is a problem and you need Oracle's support, they may very well tell you to put it on a physical server before they will support you.

Whether you use VMDK's, NFS, or LUNs is going to depend a lot on which OS Oracle is running on 11g could use Direct NFS.

So the usual performance parameters, apply, SAS disks, RAID 10, Fast performing underlying datastores.

There are lots of debates, about using RAW RDMs versus VMFS (vmdk).

Block alignment set up properly, using jumbo frames.

share the volumes by IO type – so one volume that has all the archive logs, one for all the redo etc.

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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 36713765
Thank you - i have read this support note and I remember the main point is that if we can prove it's not a vmware issue, then oracle support has to deal with it . So if vmware support takes care of all vmware-related issues (if any), and oracle support takes care of all oracle-related issues (if any), then we should be fine, I assume?
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LVL 120
ID: 36713778
Yes, but you may have to move it to a Physical Server to prove it's not VMware!
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 36713796
That's crazy.

Is there any way to convert from VMware VM to Oracle VM for support purposes? Or would it be faster to run the VM on physical hardware?

I saw on Oracle VM that it will automatically convert a VMware image V2V? and then Oracle will officially support it?

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E11081_01/doc/doc.21/e10901/resources.htm#CACGDFCI

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LVL 120
ID: 36713842
That's how Microsoft used to play it out! You have to assess the Risk, if you are likely to have issues.
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LVL 120
ID: 36713852
I've not seen any V2V utils from VMware to Oracle VM, I'm sure they must be around.
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 36713864
It appears Oracle VM Manager itself supports it.. I will try to download it and see how quickly it can import a VMware VM and convert it to Oracle VM.. I believe this would be the fastest solution in case I have to contact Oracle support...
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LVL 120

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 200 total points
ID: 36713870
It would be.
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LVL 77

Assisted Solution

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 200 total points
ID: 36713929
Sounds like you are trying to rationalize running on VMWare.

The time it would take to convert VMs when I have moved between VMWare and Hyper-V and Virtual PC is the amount of time it takes you you copy the VHD and run it through any conversion process.

This is not time I want to take at 3AM when my database is down and management is waiting on me.

Since your database seems small will a $1,000 workstation not perform the same and eliminate the hastle?
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 36713984
thanks slightwv for the suggestion, however in that case I would need to make sure I can backup the cheap workstation as part of our overall strategy (veeam backup), and also I would have to worry about hardware failing.. also would need redundant power supplies like our servers have.. and it would also require having a similar "backup" workstation to be standing by in the event of a major problem (there are no local suppliers of brand name workstations on my island - i'm not in US)

so with these in mind I was thinking it might not be a bad idea to go with Oracle VM (given that the likelihood of major DB errors in Oracle is not high).. thoughts?
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 36714079
Oracle kind of has to support their own VM product don't they?  I've not seen anything where they do not.  If you can use their VM over VMWare you should be OK.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 36714080
>>likelihood of major DB errors in Oracle is not high

Sarcasm I hope?  I run into bugs all the time.
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:schwertner
schwertner earned 100 total points
ID: 36714848
If you are not in Data Center environment then use physical server.
The advantagaes of a physical server are:
1. With one OS and one Oracle Home (Oracle software) you can create as much Oracle instances as you need (RAM and disk space is not wasted!)
2. It is easy to upgrade the Oracle server (only one instance of the software)
3. It is easy to change the physical parameters (add RAM, disk space, etc) to the server. In VM environment it is not easy task.

Disadvantages:
1. It is hard and time consuming task to move the oracle server on a new machine
2. All instances run under same version of OS and Oracle
3. Oracle bugs reflect on all instances

Of course there are also other considerations, but these are the main.
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