Oracle Virtualization and Oracle VM

In IT,virtualization is evolving from a promised solution into accountable manifestations of benefit measures including reduction of storage cost, increased availability and reliability, better systems performance, easier storage management, and overall improved cost of ownership.  Enterprise users are convinced that virtualization offers significantly better return on investment (ROI).  Since many enterprises run Oracle database and various Oracle applications, these users are very concerned about Oracle's position in support of virtualization, - is there any changes on the current support contract if we implement virtualization for Oracle products?  how does Oracle Support handle virtualization issues?  what are the requirement and restrictions to ensure we get the same level of support for the virtualized environment?  Well, we've done some research to address these questions and would like to share with you here.

Oracle Support Requirements  

Oracle Support (2014) stated that Oracle does not certify virtual machine (VM) platforms directly, but it will support virtualization as long as the Operating System is certified.  Oracle (2013) assumes that virtualization vendors ensure complete transparency to anything at and about the OS layer, thus Oracle only certifies OS but not the state of OS virtualization (Doc ID 1307968.1).

According to Oracle (2013), Siebel Support will accept service requests from customers running Siebel CRM on VM environments as long as the operating system running on the virtual machine meets the requirements specified in product guide, however, Siebel Support will not duplicate customer’s environment by using a VM product (Doc ID 1512649.1).

For Siebel environment deployed on virtualized servers, Oracle (2013) requires that future issues must be reproducible in a supported (non-virtualized) environment because Technical Support will not replicate customers' virtual environments.  Also, Technical Support may ask customers to reproduce behaviors on non-virtualized systems (Doc ID 1307968.1).

Inaccurate and Inconsistent Information for Oracle Product Certification

Regarding Oracle products, support and certification are two different concepts, however sometimes the line between them is not clear enough.  Even from Oracle, the information about support and certification is not consistent.  In our conversation with Oracle Support, the Oracle Support staff acknowledged that information regarding Oracle product certification may be inconsistent because various documents were created by different support teams.  For example, Oracle (2013) stated that it does not certify virtualization with RAC; furthermore, Oracle will not accept Service Requests on Oracle RAC and later releases on virtualized systems (Doc ID 1307968.1).  However, by checking with the product management team, Oracle Support conformed that RAC indeed is certified on both Oracle VM (Doc ID 464754.1) and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (Doc ID 1563794.1).  Of course, you should not be surprised if Oracle tells that its own virtualization solution is the best for Oracle products.

Oracle VM - Oracle's Virtualization Solution

Oracle (2012) positions its VM technology as a scalable, low-cost server virtualization solution that fully supports both Oracle and non-Oracle applications (Doc ID 466538.1).  Oracle (2009) summarized the following advantages of Oracle VM:

  • Single source of support for all Oracle products.
  • Easy to use, simplified installation and fast deployment. 
  • Support for both Linux and Windows.
  • High efficiency: “three times more efficient than other server virtualization products” (Doc ID 548858.1).
  • Low total cost of ownership:  “a fraction of the cost when compared to other vendor products” (Doc ID 548858.1).

Oracle VM is supported by the support team in the Linux Engineering Team (Doc ID 466538.1).

Oracle VM License is free. Oracle VM Premier Support cost is $599.00 per system. System is defined as the computer on which the Oracle VM–Server programs are installed.

Oracle VM Certification

Oracle (2013) documented a list of certified software on Oracle VM (Doc ID 464754.1).  Oracle (2012) also stated that “if a product is supported and certified on OEL or RHEL, it is also certified and supported in the virtualized installation of the same version of OEL or RHEL running on Oracle VM” (Doc ID 942852.1).

Siebel on Oracle VM

Oracle (2013) specified Siebel to be certified on Oracle VM as “Siebel 8.0 and above on Linux x86” (Doc ID 464754.1), which means Oracle certifies Siebel to run on Linux-based Oracle VM but not Windows-based Oracle VM.  However, Oracle (2012) also stated that “every Oracle product that is certified on Windows is also certified and supported when running on Windows in a virtualized environment with Oracle VM as long as the Windows OS is supported with Oracle VM” (Doc ID 942852.1), which implies Siebel is certified on Oracle VM for Windows because Windows platform is certified for Siebel and supported on Oracle VM.

Oracle provides Oracle VM template for Oracle Siebel CRM to assist Siebel configuration, but indicates that the template scripts are provided "as is" and no support is provided for them.  Oracle (2013) recommended to “work with Oracle Application Expert Services if there is need to apply Siebel templates to your production environment” (Doc ID 951872.1).

Oracle VM for Windows

Oracle (2013) explained that Oracle VM server is installed on bare hardware and it cannot be installed on Windows, thus Oracle VM is not comparable to VMWare; Windows can be run in either full-virtualized mode (slower) or para-virtualization (faster); para-virtualization configuration is more complicated due to kernel modification (Doc ID 468634.1).

Oracle's Preference for Virtualization Selection

there is no doubt that Oracle wants you many, - running your Oracle applications on Oracle VM, which is portrayed as the best VM solution. Oracle on Oracle, that does make sense, especially if the OS is on Linux.  However, if users insist to implement a third party virtualization, what would Oracle recommand at all?  From our research we found that Oracle does have preference, - Microsoft Hyper-V over VMWare.  Although documents published in Oracle Support site have shown Oracle’s differentiation of preference on VM choice, and Oracle Support staff accepted this fact, the response from Siebel product management made it clear that “Siebel Team will not certify these VM platforms, and we do not have any preference or recommendations to use which VM platform on Siebel CRM”,  thus Oracle Support staff (2014) suggested us “to approach your Oracle Sales Rep or TAM, since they have more exposure  to customers’ requirements and they will be the best person to provide you the recommendations”.


If you are an existing customer with multiple Oracle products, Oracle offers single source of support for Oracle VM implementation.  Regarding to Oracle VM advantages, you may want to quantitatively verify Oracle’s claim of being “three times more efficient” and “only a fraction of total costs” comparing to other vendors.

Oracle VM is highly integrated with Oracle Linux platform, and it is supported by the same Linux engineering team.  On the other hand, Oracle VM may not be a good choice for Windows because the support team may not have sufficient knowledge on Windows.  Also, the full-virtualized mode for Windows may have performance issues (slower) and is more difficult to configure.

You may also consider and analyze virtualization solutions from other vendors including VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V, and open source technologies.


Oracle (2009). New Oracle VM Software Delivers Single Point of Enterprise Support for Virtualization Environments (Doc ID 548858.1).
Oracle (2012). Oracle VM General Policy Description (Doc ID 466538.1).
Oracle (2012). OBIEE: Oracle VM and VMWare Certification (Doc ID 942852.1).
Oracle (2013). Master Note: Server Virtualization and Siebel Software (VMs) (Doc ID 1307968.1).
Oracle (2013). Certified Software on Oracle VM (Doc ID 464754.1)
Oracle (2013). Certified Software on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (Doc ID 1563794.1)
Oracle (2013). Oracle VM and Microsoft Windows (Doc ID 468634.1).
Oracle (2013). Oracle VM template for Oracle Siebel CRM - Quick Start Guide (Doc ID 951872.1).
Oracle (2013). Virtual Machine Environments for Siebel Business Applications Version 8.1.1 and Higher (Doc ID 1512649.1).
Oracle (2014). Oracle Linux Support Policies for Virtualization and Emulation (Doc ID 417770.1).
Oracle (2014). Support Position for Oracle Products Running on VMWare Virtualized Environments (Doc ID 249212.1).

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