Oracle now supports RAC on VMware…kinda

Oracle is finally starting to get it, earlier this week they updated Metalink note 249212.1 to include support for Oracle RAC 11.2.0.2 and later. But as we all know this document also leaves a lot of open ends in terms of supportability.

The document states;

Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware virtualized environments. Oracle Support will assist customers running Oracle products on VMware in the following manner: Oracle will only provide support for issues that either are known to occur on the native OS, or can be demonstrated not to be as a result of running on VMware.

If a problem is a known Oracle issue, Oracle support will recommend the appropriate solution on the native OS.  If that solution does not work in the VMware virtualized environment, the customer will be referred to VMware for support.   When the customer can demonstrate that the Oracle solution does not work when running on the native OS, Oracle will resume support, including logging a bug with Oracle Development for investigation if required.

If the problem is determined not to be a known Oracle issue, we will refer the customer to VMware for support.   When the customer can demonstrate that the issue occurs when running on the native OS, Oracle will resume support, including logging a bug with Oracle Development for investigation if required.

NOTE:  Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware.  For Oracle RAC, Oracle will only accept Service Requests as described in this note on Oracle RAC 11.2.0.2 and later releases.

What does this mean? Well like I said it is a huge step forward (in the right direction) for Oracle. They will provide best effort support for the native (guest) OS and if the problem isn’t resolved they will deflect to VMware (or you need to recreate on physical). The thing is, I’m unaware of any circumstance where someone needed to recreate an issue on physical hardware. If you have heard otherwise, please let me know in the comments.

As far as what I’m telling my customers….the story hasn’t changed. Oracle runs GREAT on VMware and I highly suggest virtualizing it. Of course there will be exceptions to the rule, but all you gotta do is try it.


Created on November 11, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Good Reading, vSphere.

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5 Comments so far

  1. GB
    11:57 pm on November 23rd, 2010

    Oracle may run great on VMware but licensing makes it unsuitable for virtualization.

  2. Rick Scherer
    1:05 am on November 24th, 2010

    I don’t see how licensing on a soft partition (Oracle’s definition of VMware) is any different.

    If you’re installing Oracle physically on a server with 8 cores, you’re paying for 4 licenses….but you can only install one OS and one install of Oracle.

    If you’re installing Oracle virtually on a server with 8 cores, you’re paying for 4 licenses…but you can install multiple virtual machines/Oracle copies for proven better overall performance.

    Also, in some circumstances going from physical to VMware virtualization you can also change from RAC to standard single instance Oracle which tremendously reduces your license/maintenance costs.

  3. GB
    1:30 am on November 24th, 2010

    As far as I remember they said you had to have licenses that cover all possbile cpu’s (think they said cores, but not sure about that) that Oracle might run on. For the sake of argument, lets say you have a VMware cluster with a totalt of 20 cpu’s. Even though you have a virtual machine running Oracle with 1 vcpu configured you need licenses that cover all possbile cpu’s that virtual machine might run on.

  4. Rick Scherer
    2:27 am on November 24th, 2010

    Even though your statement is true, it definitely wouldn’t be the best practice for deploying Oracle virtually while being cost conservative.

    You wouldn’t have massive clusters mixing all of your workloads along with Oracle, you’d most likely have separate clusters dedicated to Oracle – mixing dev/test/prod to reap the benefits.

  5. GB
    3:19 am on November 24th, 2010

    For a rather small company like mine, having separate VMware clusters for Oracle would not be cost-effective. There are of course other benefits of virtualizing.

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