Oracle VM Consulting
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Oracle VM 3.0: Expectations and Release Date

If you have been anxiously waiting for Oracle VM 3.0, you're not alone! While I was on the Oracle VM team from 02/2008 through 02/2011, we expected to see a 3.0 release at the 2009 Oracle OpenWorld, then again at the 2010 Oracle OpenWorld. As we enter the second quarter of 2011, we are still anxiously waiting for Oracle VM 3.0!
 
In this post I'd like to review what we know about Oracle VM 3.0, what we expect from Oracle VM 3.0, and speculate about the Oracle VM 3.0 release date.
 
On May 13, 2009, Oracle announced that it agreed to acquire Virtual Iron Software, Incorporated. Virtual Iron was a US start-up that created a Xen/Java server virtualization product that was marketed as a low cost alternative to VMware. The Oracle marketing group reported that Oracle acquired Virtual Iron to bolster their Oracle VM team and to enhance Oracle VM with Virtual Iron technologies. Weeks after the Virtual Iron acquisition, Oracle informed the Virtual Iron sales channel via email: “Oracle will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.”, and effectively end-of-lifed Virtual Iron's product portfolio.
 
The Oracle marketing group reported that the Virtual Iron acquisition would add the following features to Oracle VM:
• Capacity and power management
• Open, comprehensive and scriptable API
• Enhances ease of use
• Provides a scalable, modular management framework for Oracle VM
 
Soon after the Virtual Iron acquisition, various sources reported that Oracle would release Oracle VM 3.0 in the first half of 2010 and that Oracle VM 3.0 would contain many of the Virtual Iron features. The first half of 2010 has come and gone, and we are still anxiously waiting for Oracle VM 3.0!
 
On December 20, 2010, we learned that Oracle launched a “by invitation only” Oracle VM 3.0 beta program and that no new invitations were available.
 

Oracle VM 3.0 Expectations

Its safe to say that customers and the Oracle Sun x86 hardware team expect Oracle VM 3.0 to compete with Red Hat and VMware in terms of management and advanced virtualization features. The 3.0 feature list shows that Oracle VM 3.0 will have the Virtual Iron Capacity and power management, an Open, comprehensive and scriptable API and ease of use, which will be a welcome addition to the Oracle VM product family. Missing from the 3.0 feature list are upgrades to Oracle VM's modest physical to virtual (P2V) and virtual to virtual (V2V) functionality. Physical to virtual (P2V) functionality migrates physical servers to virtual machines and virtual to virtual (V2V) functionality migrates virtual machines from one platform to another platform. Oracle VM 3.0 with the Oracle VM 2.x P2V and V2V functionality will impede customers’ ability to migrate physical and virtual workloads to Oracle VM.
 
Will Oracle VM 3.0 be able to compete against Red Hat? If Oracle VM 3.0 is released with the proposed features, Oracle VM 3.0 will have feature parity with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers (RHEV) and become a serious threat to Red Hat's virtualization, application server and Linux support business. Oracle competes directly against Red Hat for Linux support, virtualization and application server business. Most large Red Hat customers are also Oracle customers that have standardize on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for enterprise workloads including Oracle. The Oracle VM for x86 product line with Oracle VM 3.0, Oracle VM Templates, Oracle VM Template Builder, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder and Oracle JRockit Virtual Edition bundled with Oracle Linux support will be a compelling reason for Oracle/Red Hat shops to move to Oracle for their Linux, virtualization and application server support.
 
Will Oracle VM 3.0 be able to compete against VMware? If Oracle VM 3.0 is released with the proposed features, Oracle VM 3.0 will fall short compared to VMware vSphere' management and advanced virtualization features. Most large VMware customers are also Oracle customers using VMware for Windows virtualization and UNIX and Linux for Oracle. The Oracle VM for x86 product line with Oracle VM 3.0, Oracle VM Templates, Oracle VM Template Builder, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder and Oracle JRockit Virtual Edition will be a compelling option for VMware/Oracle customers to migrate their Oracle workloads to Oracle VM 3.0. When Oracle upgrades Oracle VM's modest P2V and V2V functionality, Oracle VM 3.0 “may” become a compelling VMware replacement option.
 

The Oracle VM 3.0 Release Date

When will Oracle VM 3.0 be released? The “by invitation only” Oracle VM 3.0 beta program started in November 2010, which means the 3.0 code is indeed moving towards a Generally Available (GA) release. Most beta programs run for six months. When beta programs ends, a GA release often follows in three to six months, which for Oracle VM 3.0 coincides with Oracle OpenWorld 2011. Oracle traditionally announces new products releases at Oracle OpenWorld. My bet for the Oracle VM 3.0 release is Oracle OpenWorld 2011.
 
I welcome your comments!
 
- Roddy
 
Please visit my blog to read more about Oracle VM, Oracle Linux and Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Please visit my book the Underground Oracle VM Manual to learn about Oracle VM and the Oracle VM product line. 

 
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Copyright © 2011 Roddy Rodstein. All rights reserved.
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