Running Oracle Applications on VMWare - Is It a Good Choice?

For any virtualization, the assumption is that virtualization vendors ensure complete transparency to anything at and about the OS layer. In fact all major virtualization vendors, such as VMWare and Microsoft, meet such assumption; if they don't they would be out of business already. VMWare as an early and significant virtualization leader has built a sizable user base for Oracle applications (database, CRM, ERP, etc.) on VMWare virtualization.  The search for VMWare in Oracle Support Knowledge Base returned 476 topics; for comparison, the search for Hyper-V returned only 44 topics.  The volume of VMWare topics may indicate that VMWare is much more popular for Oracle products than virtualization technologies either from Oracle itself or third parties.

VMWare is not cheap; we think it is the most expensive virtualization solutions.  Here's some cost figures:

VMWare vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus Production License Price: 4,245.00
1 Year Support & Subscription Price: 1,061.00 (Technical Support, 24 Hours/Day, 7 Days a week.)
Total: $5,306.00
License entitlement: Per 1 CPU (a license is required per physical processor).

VMWare - Not Certified by Oracle

A common question is, do we still get Oracle's technical support if we run Oracle software on the virtualized platform by VMWare?  Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware. Technical Support will assist customers only when it can be reproduced on a standard, supported platform without VMWare. (Doc ID 1307968.1, 2013).  The same statement was repeated in 2014 regarding “Support Position for Oracle Products Running on VMWare Virtualized Environments” (Doc ID 249212.1).  Specially, Oracle (2014) stated that “Oracle Products are not certified to run on VMware vSphere (ESX Server)” (Doc ID 417770.1).

Comparing to Oracle's attitude towards Microsoft Hyper-V, we can see that Oracle states general virtualization support on the basis of certifications of non-virtualized OS versions, except for VMWare: Oracle explicitly denies Oracle products’ certification on VMWare in three recently published documents.  Oracle seems to discriminate VMWare for either competition reasons or technical/support reasons.  Thus VMWare may not be a considerable candidate for Oracle products.

VMWare Alternatives

Instead of VMWare, virtualization for Oracle database and applications can be implemented on Oracle's own VM solutions, Microsoft Hyper-V, or open source VM solutions.  The predominant open source VM is Xen.  According to the Xen Project website, Xen is a powerful virtualization platform for large cloud environment.  Xen users include Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Public Cloud.  Oracle Products are not certified to run on Virtual Machines/guests provided by Xen or KVM offerings by Red Hat, Novell or XenSource. (Doc ID 417770.1).


Oracle (2013). Master Note: Server Virtualization and Siebel Software (VMs) (Doc ID 1307968.1).

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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