Oracle VM takes on VMware

Oracle VM takes on VMware

Oracle dives into the virtualisation game

Oracle is taking on virtualisation market leader VMware with the launch of Oracle VM, an implemenation of the open source Xen virtualisation technology.

Speaking at today's keynote at Oracle Open World Chuck Rozwat, Oracle's executive vice president of product development, said that the software was certified to run Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications and touted it as one of the biggest software launches in the company's history.

"Enterprises of all sizes are increasingly embracing virtualisation to consolidate resources, better leverage commodity hardware and further reduce computing costs," said John Humphreys, vice president of Enterprise Virtualisation with analyst firm IDC.

"Products like Oracle VM can be excellent tools that enable IT to increase their server utilization, and dramatically reduce complexity and overall total cost of ownership."

Oracle VM will available as a free download here from Wednesday.

Xen is best known through XenSource, a Citrix subsidiary which markets an implementation of the open source virtualisation platform. Sun Microsystems is preparing to release a preview of xVM in January. The platform is yet another Xen implementation.

Oracle VM is designed to allow virtualisation of both Linux and Microsoft systems in both environments. Non-Oracle applications can also be cleared to use the code Rozwat told delegates.

The introduction reminds of last year's launch of Oracle Linux. Oracle at the time released its own implementation of the Red Hat Linux distribution while undercutting Red Hat on price. The operating system however has limited appeal because it lacks broad support from third party application developers. Oracle has shown off a few early customers, but Red Hat said that it hasn't seen any real impact.

The virtualisation space is currently dominated by VMware, a subsidiary of storage vendor EMC. The technology is considered on of the top priorities within IT departments.

"To describe virtualisation as a revolution is not overstating the issue," said Hector Ruiz, chief executive of AMD.

"Virtualisation is accelerating the shift in control from vendors to customers. This announcement only demonstrates the opportunity virtualisation provides the IT community and our customers."