I have just finished a call with Adam Hawley, Oracle’s Director of VM Product Management, the guy who owns the whole Oracle Virtualization story and technology. It got me thinking about the Hypervisor marketplace, the players, product strengths and weaknesses as well as ability to execute. My colleage and friend, Mark Bowker (the Virtualization Guru) was on the call also and we both wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening with the Sun and Virtual Iron acquisitions and how clients were seeing the Oracle VM offering against VMware, HyperV, KVM and vanilla XEN.
So lets start at the beginning and position Oracle VM, it is a very plain Linux implementation with XEN as a hypervisor and a number of Oracle value add components. It is a competent, solid, enterprize class operating system and virtualization platform highly integrated with the entire range of Oracle products particularly Oracle’s Enterprise Manager. The technology is not the issue, the issue is that this is Oracle’s platform of choice, their recomended operating system and virtualization platform and they promise to support the whole stack from ERP all the way down to the hardware end-to-end.
Oracle support a whole load of other platforms, Sun’s Domains, IBM LPARs, VMware and many other operating systems and hypervisors (actual supported platforms vary by product) but Oracle say clearly that their very best, their most capable support is for Oracle VM.
There you have it, the whole value proposition of Oracle VM is no finger pointing, no silos of support, just one straight through support model that encompasses everything, because everything is Oracle supported code.
Maybe Oracle VM isn’t the most advanced, or the one with the strongest features (but is no slouch and some of the Virtual Iron technology helps strongly here) but it is the one where the CIO gets most sleep, and that is worth a lot. I used to be the guy who got called out of bed when the CEO needed to be given bad news, and I can tell you that I measured sucess by how infrequently that happened.
Perhaps this is why ESG research shows that both Microsoft and Oracle are making progress in the Hypervisor space.