Infrastructure at your Service

The DOAG 2018 is over, for me the most important topics were in the field of licensing. The insecurity among the users is great, let’s take virtualization on the ODA, for example:

The starting point: The customer uses Oracle Enterprise Edition, has 2 CPU licenses, uses Dataguard as disaster protection on 2 ODA X7-2M systems and wants to virtualize, he also has 2 application servers that are also to be virtualized.

Sure, if I use the HA variant of the ODA or Standard Edition, this does not concern me, there OVM is used as a hypervisor and this allows hard partitioning. The database system (ODA_BASE) automatically gets its own CPU pool in Virtualized Deployment; additional VMs can be distributed to the rest of the CPU.

On the small and medium models only KVM is available as a hypervisor. This has some limitations: on the one hand there is no virtualized deployment of the ODA 2S / 2M system, on the other hand, the operation of databases as KVM guests is not supported. This means that the ODA must be set up as a bare metal system, the application servers are virtualized in KVM.

What does that mean for the customer described above? We set up the system in bare metal mode, we activate 2 cores on each system, set up the database and set up the Dataguard between primary and standby. The customer costs 2 EE CPU licenses (about $ 95k per price list).

Now he wants to virtualize his 2 application servers and notes that 4 cores are needed per application server. Of 36 cores (per system) but only 2 cores are available, so he also activates 4 more cores (odacli update-cpucore -c 6) on both systems and installs the VM.

But: The customer has also changed his Oracle EE licenses, namely from 1 EE CPU to 3 CPU per ODA, so overall he has to buy 6 CPU licenses (about $ 285k according to the price list)!

Now Oracle propagates that in the future KVM in the virtualization should be the means of choice. However, this will not work without hard partitioning under KVM or the support of databases in KVM machines.

Tammy Bednar (Oracle’s Oracle Database Appliance Product Manager) announced in her presentation “KVM or OVM? Use Cases for Solution in a Box” that solutions to this problem are expected by mid-2019:

– Oracle databases and applications should be supported as KVM guests
– Support for hard partitioning
– Windows guests under KVM
– Tooling (odacli / Web Console) should support the deployment of KVM guests
– A “privileged” VM (similar to the ODA_BASE on the HA models) for the databases should be provided
– Automated migration of OVM guests to KVM

All these measures would certainly make the “small” systems much more attractive for consolidation. It will also help to simplify the “license jungle” a bit and to give the customers a bit more security. I am curious what will come.

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Thomas Rein
Thomas Rein

Senior Consultant