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Oracle targets Windows workloads with virtualisation manager update

Big O SPARCs up its storage management offerings

Oracle Sparc T4 chip

Oracle VM has received an upgrade that makes the free tool better at managing Windows virtual machines and handling SPARC workloads.

Oracle's VM Server for x86 is free, but Big O isn't exactly throwing the kitchen sink at the product as evidenced by the fact it this week it released version 3.3, more than two years after January 2012's version 3.2 release.

Yet the product has fans who felt that even version 3.2 was sufficiently well-featured to challenge Vsphere and Hyper-V.

The 3.3 upgrade looks to give Oracle a decent chance of winning more converts, thanks to improved support for Windows guests, Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris. Workloads running under the latter operating system can now be pointed at storage sources using Fibre Channel, iSCSI, ZFS volume, local disk and NFS, which should be welcomed by those who dislike running separate storage pools for different environments.

Oracle says it has also tightened security, reduced I/O requirements generated by virtual machines and simplified network design with new ways to define and operate VLANs. There's even a new, HTML-5-powered, management console.

Oracle's been busy on the virtual front of late. A couple of weeks back it released a new version of its virtual compute appliance, a converged infrastructure play now capable of using more recent Intel chippery, and also announced new ZFS storage appliances said to be capable of booting 16,000 virtual machines in under seven minutes.

Will this all make Oracle a contender with the leading virtualisation purveyors? At present, the company doesn't rate a mention in studies like IDC's EMEA Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker. With VMware expected to reveal a major vSphere refresh within weeks and whispers starting to emerge that Microsoft will refresh Windows Server during 2015, it may take more than biennial updates to get Oracle into the top tier. ®

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