Oracle customers are still learning how VMware virtualization changes the way they manage their Oracle database environments.  One common customer misperception is to compare Oracle RAC One Node to VMware virtualization. Oracle RAC One Node  is not a comparison to virtualization, it's a comparison of a few features, vMotion and HA.  Oracle RAC One Node does not provide:

  • vMotion, HA, Storage vMotion, Templates, Snapshots, Cloning, Distributed Resource Scheduling, Distributed Power Management, etc, etc.
  • A high level of standardization that you can achieve across the entire software stack due to being able to abstract out the hardware. 

 

There are less and less reasons for running Oracle RAC to meet SLAs, but other alternatives are usually more attractive than RAC One Node. I almost never have a discussion with customers about the Oracle RAC One node environment.  The reasons are:

  • With RAC One Node you're basically running a single instance that can failover to another RAC node.  Customers do not like the fact that it is still an additional licensing fee even though it is less than the full RAC licensing. 
  • From an administrative perspective, there is still the required skill set to set up a RAC environment, manage cluster ware, RAC configuration, Interconnect, patching , and pay for additional hardware (interconnect, additional hardware for the additional RAC nodes, etc.). 
  • RAC One node does not have a high ROI compared to other alternatives.
  • DBAs love it because they maintain marketable skill sets, but most of our customer base is no longer letting technology define the design their infrastructure, they are having business requirements define what their infrastructure needs to be.
  • VMware virtualization abstracts out the hardware.  Customers have paid a lot of money in the past due to being dependent on hardware.   It's a significant business risk to base an infrastructure on hardware dependence.  Customers are moving away from hardware dependence for all the obvious reasons.
  • It's not just about who you are going to pay, Oracle or VMware.  Virtualization allows a lot of tasks to be performed with right clicks and automation versus complex skill sets to manage the details of complex software that Oracle provides.  Oracle technology drives design of infrastructure, where virtualization allows business requirements to drive infrastructure design. 

 

Financially, RAC One Node does not make sense to most of our Oracle customers that is why is almost never comes up in conversations:  For example:

  • List price is $10k / processor in addition to database licenses (Enterprise Edition only).  This puts you at $33,500 / core just to get started.  Its cheaper than “real” RAC ($23k / core, plus Enterprise Edition for a total of $46,500 / core).  Support, of course, is extra - $2,200 per core for One Node.
  • For that kind of pricing, it should be fixing you breakfast.
  • The math is simple – for a single 4 proc / 4 core machine, One Node is a surcharge of $160,000 at list price over and above Enterprise Edition.  Assuming you need two nodes for failover, total is $320,000 for the licenses, plus $70k/yr support.
  • For that kind of money, you could fully license the second 4x4 machine with Enterprise Edition and vSphere and have money left over.

 

On the technical side RAC One can be deployed on vSphere. Check Oracle Databases on VMware RAC Deployment Guide -