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Re: vmware & Oracle

From: Job Miller <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 04:42:55 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

If there is any confusion about vmware and other soft partitioning schemes, the licensing doc covers it pretty well I thought.

Soft Partitioning:

Soft partitioning segments the operating system using OS resource managers. The operating system limits the number of CPUs where an Oracle database is running by creating areas where CPU resources are allocated to applications within the same operating system. The database administrator can set the number of CPUs to the number of licensed CPUs. This is a flexible way of managing data processing resources since the CPU capacity can be changed fairly easily, as additional resource is needed.

Examples of such partitioning type include: and Solaris 9 Resource Containers, AIX Workload Manager, HP Process Resource Manager, Affinity Management, VMware, etc. This is not a comprehensive list of all the different types of technologies or resource allocation devices/programs that would fall into the category of Soft partitioning. For technologies not listed, please consult

As a result, soft partitioning is not permitted as a means to determine or limit the number of software licenses required for any given server.

If you need to stand up 15 dev environments that need to be logically separate and none of them use any volume resources, and a 4 cpu server with 15 vms can handle that, you'll save some hardware and oracle licensing costs, IF the alternative was to buy 15 2-cpu machines for that logical separation.

That seems to be the sweet spot for vmware and oracle to me. There are surely other use cases I am overlooking, but better server utilization of otherwise unutilized hardware seems to be a key motivator.

Mark Brinsmead <> wrote: Let's not forget potential licensing issues...

Where Oracle Corp is concerned, VMware is a "soft partitioning" technology (or was the last time I checked, about 3 years ago). This means that you need to Licence your Oracle software for the entire machine, not just for the VMs in which you run Oracle.

This can be a bit painful for sites who plan to take a 16-way i86 box, run HTTP servers on VMs consuming 14 CPUs, and run Oracle on the "remaining" 2 CPUs. You have to licence Oracle EE for all 16 CPUs ($640,000), versus potentially licensing Oracle SE-1 for a 2-way physical server ($10,000; $5,000 if it uses multi-core processors).

Sites planning to run Oracle in all VMs will be less affected, except for being compelled to use EE where SE (SE-1) may have otherwise been permitted.

This information might be out of date. I encourage people to double check. Preferrable with at least 3 independent sources within Oracle -- I have historically found it to be extremely difficult to get correct answers to questions like this.

On 7/19/07, Peter McLarty <> wrote: There is now bug fixes for time issues with vmware, clocks running away with themselves.


My 0.02c


-----Original Message-----

From: QuijadaReina, Julio C [mailto:] Sent: Friday, 20 July 2007 10:50 AM
To:; List, Oracle-l Freelists Subject: RE: vmware & Oracle


I used to have a Linux VM as a node on development RAC enviroment. On a regular basis - about twice a week - the node was evicted, fenced which would panic the kernel and cause a reboot. I did not dig to deep on the cause - I took the VM out of the cluster. But as far as I remember the reason was that the guest OS (RedHat 4) would continually miss the VM host's clock ticks. That really messed up the time on the guest - making it lag behind up to 3 hours every week. I did not have this problem with the other 2 physical nodes in the cluster.


From: on behalf of O'Neill, S. (Sean) Sent: Thu 7/19/2007 9:18 AM
To: List, Oracle-l Freelists
Subject: vmware & Oracle

Hi Folks,

Has anyone had much experience (good or bad) with running their Oracle DB's on the "vmware" product from VMware Inc. Speaking to local re-sellers there appears to be a division of opinon as to whether or not there are performance hits when doing so. We've a mixed bag of Oracle versions ( 8.1.7 to, underpinning various applications on our site all running on Windows Server 2000 or 2003. Any feedback, pointers, or links to useful papers would be appreciated, though I'm really interested in "real life" experiences with the product.

Se´┐Żn O'Neill,

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-- Received on Fri Jul 20 2007 - 06:42:55 CDT

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