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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 -

VMOverEasy ( is a new Special Interest Group (SIG) that will be starting over the next month.  The VMOverEasy SIG is an independent group that spans the VMware, Oracle, EMC, Cisco, NetApp and VCE user communities.  The membership will initially be made up of Oracle ACEs, Oracle ACE Directors, Oracle Certified Masters, vExperts, MMVP, industry experts and authors who are recognized leaders in the VMware user community.  This includes VCAPs and VCDXs that are recognized experts in the Oracle, Microsoft and BCA space.

This SIG is a natural extension of the strong business relationships and friendships that have grown from VMware,  EMC, Cisco, NetApp, VCE, strategic VMware partners and VMware industry leaders who are constantly sharing knowledge and expertise in the VMware ecosystem.  The membership will define the direction of this group over time.  Initial goals of the VMOverEasy SIG include:

  • Defining a consistent message, vision and direction for VMware knowledge around Tier One Platforms within the  Oracle, VMware, EMC, NetApp and Cisco user communities.
  • Be an independent group but fully participate in the Oracle (IOUG), VMware (VMUG), EMC, Cisco and Microsoft (PASS) communities.
  • Maintain a consistent set of reference architectures, best practices, examples, customer experiences that span the VMware ecosystem that is made up of multiple separate vendor user groups.
  • Vet knowledge and set a standard of skill sets and expertise.
  • Set a brand for VMware expertise across the entire VMware ecosystem.
  • Define consistency across VMware (VMUG), Oracle (IOUG), EMC, Cisco, VCE and Microsoft (PASS)  user communities.
  • Be a Center of Excellence (COE) that spans the entire VMware virtualization and cloud eco-systems.

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