By all appearances Oracle has made big moves towards embracing a hybrid cloud strategy. Oracle’s most recent press release entitled, “Oracle Licenses VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Oracle Storage” is very positive news. In this press release Oracle has licensed VMware Storage APIs to enable customers using VMware virtualization to more effectively manage Oracle on Pillar Axiom and ZFS Storage. This means Oracle storage solutions joins EMC and other vendors in offering integration with VMware vSphere. What might customers expect from Oracle using VMware APIs?


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vSphere API for Array Integration (VAAI): Offloads traditionally expensive resource management of clones and snaps from the hypervisor to the storage array. Let’s say that you are ready to upgrade from 11gR2 to 12c (checkout this EMC proven solution for upgrading Oracle) and you have three recovery points built into the upgrade plan. Through VAAI these snapshots will take much less time as the storage array will do the job! Faster clones and snaps will reduce the database upgrade time.

 

VMware vSphere API for Storage Awareness (VASA): This enables Oracle and other storage vendors to provide vSphere with information from the storage array. Information around disk array features like snapshot, replication, thin provisioning and RAID levels represents some of the configuration and status information presented up to vSphere. Having the storage information in vSphere can mean the VMware administrator can more easily use Oracle storage for virtualized databases.

 

Site Recovery Manager (SRM): automates recovery plans from vCenter Server. Using SRM the VMware administrator can collaborate with the Oracle DBA to include databases and applications in the automation plan. This means with some scripting the databases and applications can start-up at a secondary site. This is very important as all the manual steps can be scripted and coordinated with interconnected systems for a holistic disaster recovery plan.

 

Most importantly this gives customers choice; no lock-in! This seems a positive step in the direction of enabling customers to build the infrastructure they choose to run their Oracle databases and applications. Adding VMware to the list of vendors also has value for Oracle. Now when working with customers Oracle Sales doesn’t have to explain “why not VMware” rather the conversation takes a much more positive “we work with VMware.”  In the press release some positive comments included, “expanded support of VMware environments” and “deepening the integration of VMware infrastructure with Oracle storage systems” hopefully this is the beginning of continued collaboration.

 

Optimistically, this is also the end of any Fear Uncertainly and Doubt (FUD) relating to using VMware to virtualize Oracle databases. I’ll provide this link, “EMC & Oracle Customer References Virtual Rolodex” to see how many customers use EMC and Oracle together. Here are some highlights:

 

Seacore on Virtualizing Oracle with EMC: Watch Ben Marino, Director of Technology, talks about virtualizing Oracle. In this video virtualization improved Oracle database provisioning from 2 weeks to about 2 days.

 

AAR Corp. on the Private Cloud with EMC: AAR Corp is a company that is in the aerospace industry and in the video Jim Gross, Vice President of IT, talks about performance gains with the VMAX 10K, RecoverPoint for lower RPO and Avamar in its VMware and Oracle environment.

 

Zebra Technologies paper: Zebra Technologies is a global leader known its printing technologies, including RFID and real-time location solutions.  A great quote, “All of Zebra’s storage resides on VMAX 10K, as well as EMC VNX unified storage. Zebra uses VMware vSphere to virtualize its server environment.”

 

You might ask why I’m I talking about Oracle storage and its integration with VMware on the EMC Oracle community? After all it Oracle storage competes with EMC, right? In my opinion EMC storage solutions are best in class and customers stand to benefit from more competition. Did you see the new VNX? Here is the press release “Accelerates Virtual Applications and File Performance Up-To 4X; New Multi-Core Optimized VNX with MCx Software Unleashes The Full Power of Flash” and some metrics:


  • More-than the performance of 4 previous generation systems combined
  • More-than 3X performance for transactional NAS applications (such as VMware over NFS) with 60% faster response time than previous VNX systems (thinking dNFS is going to rock on the new VNX)
  • More than 735K concurrent Oracle and SQL OLTP IOPS—4X more than previous VNX systems
  • More than 6,600 virtual machines—a 6X improvement from the previous generation
  • More than 3X the bandwidth—up to 30GB/second for Oracle and SQL data warehousing than previous generation.

 

It’s time to bring the “virtualizing Oracle” FUD to the curb for garbage collection and focus on customer value: broad integration and performance. Oracle using VMware Storage APIs is awesome and gives the customers more choices. Well done Oracle!

 

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