Oracle plays virtual catch-up with new VM release

Big Red makes it to virtual 2013 with storage live migration, FCoE and OVF support

Oracle's released a new version of its virtualisation stack that catches up to its rivals, but also shows that Big Red's off the pace in this market.

Oracle VM 3.4, emitted in the shadow of Easter, finally brings storage live migration into Big Red's virtual world, thereby making it possible to change the storage device on which a VM resides while the VM keeps running. Storage live migration has been a vSphere and Hyper-V capability for years, so Oracle is playing catch-up here. But it's a welcome catch-up, since storage live migration is just the kind of thing one needs in a world of pooled resources and private clouds.

Big Red's also updated the version of Xen it uses to 4.4, which helps scale VMs on its platform to 256 virtual CPUs per guest.

The open virtualisation format has been embraced, by allowing the ability to import and export .OVA files. Fibre Channel over Ethernet is now supported, as has boot-from-EUFI. Oracle's also promising that the new release does everything faster, as it ought, and has made a few security tweaks.

Oracle's rated a niche player in virtualisation and the catch-up nature of this release shows why: the company just isn't at the forefront of x86 server virtualisation. It cares enough to keep Oracle VM ticking over, perhaps as an alternative to the exotic licence conditions it imposes on Oracle database users who dare to run it on VMware.

Move on then, VMware, Microsoft and most server virtualisation users, there's nothing to see here. But for those who’ve found themselves in Oracle's virtual ecosystem, these catch-ups will be welcome. ®

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