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Oracle, VMware Team to Support Virtualized Database Environments

Oracle and VMware announced this week that they will work together to market solutions that combine the two companies’ products. Under the agreement, Oracle will develop, test and support its 10g database and applications products to run on VMware’s operating environment virtualization products.

The deal includes both working to optimize the companies’ products to work together as well as providing support for Oracle products running on VMware. Both companies’ aim is to enable customers to more easily deploy and manage applications based on Oracle products.

“[With the combination, customers] will be able to provision a new Oracle server in a matter of minutes instead of hours,” says Dan Chu, director of global ISV alliances at Palo Alto, California-based VMware.

As part of the agreement, Oracle and VMware say they plan to work together to provide customers with problem resolution for Oracle’s 10g database and for 10g versions of its application server, Collaboration Suite and Enterprise Manager running on VMware.

While Oracle has used VMware virtualization software internally for some time, this will be the first time that the database firm officially supports Oracle products on VMware’s environments.

“Some of our customers have asked if we support VMware [so] we decided it was a good fit both internally and for our customers,” says Prem Kumar, vice president of server technologies engineering at Oracle of Redwood Shores, California. The move comes as an extension of already existing partnerships between the two companies.

“Over, 12,000 [evaluation] copies of 10g have been delivered with VMware [already],” says VMware’s Chu. Internally, Oracle also has proposed to standardize on VMware’s virtual infrastructure as part of the standard Linux and Windows configurations on Intel x86 computers used on as many as 7,000 machines in the company’s primary development group, according to company statements.

“That level of development, testing, and validation means that this is something that [customers] can count on,” Chu adds.

At the same time, Oracle is working to optimize performance of its products on VMware. The first product to come out that has been tuned especially to work with VMware will be release 2.0 of Oracle 10g in the first half of 2005, Kumar says. New releases of the other three Oracle products will also ship in the first half, he adds.

Additionally, VMware says it is shipping version 2.5 of its ESX Server virtual server product as well as version 1.2 of its VirtualCenter virtual systems management tool, which also includes VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure SDK. One of the new features of ESX Server 2.5 is the ability to boot diskless servers as well as blade servers off of a Storage Area Network (SAN) environment.

VMware ESX Server 2.5 and VMware VirtualCenter 1.2 are available now. Pricing for ESX Server starts at $3,750 for a two CPU machine; pricing for VirtualCenter starts at $5,000. Customers who have purchased earlier versions of ESX Server and VirtualCenter and have current support and subscription contracts will get the two as free updates.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.