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Running Oracle EBS on a Virtual Machine

Posted on by Brent Lowe

I’d love to hear any comments on your experiences with running Oracle EBS on a VM, read below for our plans!

We maintain quite a few Oracle EBS systems in house in order to support the development our software. At last count we have 5 R12 instances, 3 11i10 instances, 3 11i9 instances and one instance each of 11.5.8, 11.5.7 and 11.5.4. Believe it or not, we even have a 11.0 machine from way back! All of these instances are running the Vision Demo Database on various flavors of Redhat and Oracle Enterprise Linux. These machines are locked down for sales demos, development, support and training.

The good news is that we don’t run all of these instances on individual machines as we had the foresight to buy beefy machines and partition them off accordingly. So, luckily for IT, the machine to instance count is not one to one! Having all of these systems in house gives us a lot of flexibility to validate/certify our software against what our customers are running and to provide demonstrations and internal training. What we’ve found to be lacking in using physical hardware is that we often step on each other’s feet when tinkering or have to schedule around each other to get time on a machine for development and training or occasionally have to spend a lot of time undoing mistakes made when tinkering… not to mention downtime for patching.

We have been a adopting virtualization software for use in other areas of the company and have standardized on VMWare as a platform for the time being. So over the past couple weeks we have been evaluating how we can leverage VMWare for creating fresh instances of various versions of EBS that we can bring up and take down or even blow away at will without worrying about leaving behind a mess for the next person or spending a lot of time rebuilding from scratch. In this model we would have template versions of EBS running on Linux that would provide us with the following benefits:

  • A developer could make a copy of the template, develop against it and then blow it away without disrupting anyone needing a similar system. This is great because the system is always CLEAN!
  • A support person could bring a copy online quickly to try and reproduce a customer issue.
  • An internal trainer could bring a copy online for an employee and have everything be setup and clean for the student to learn.
  • A way to apply patches without taking a critical server based machine offline. Once patches are installed, this VM becomes a new clean template.
  • Quality Assurance can test software against completely clean instances of Oracle EBS
  • If priorities shift, a Developer can save off the work they have done and come back to it later without having to worry about someone else coming in and clobbering it.
  • Backup of critical development/demo machines.
  • Potentially start migrating off of our physical servers and repurposing them for different needs throughout the company.

 

So after a fair amount of research it came down to a number of factors with VMWare.

  • Storage/Disk Space (as you know, EBS is no slouch when it comes to disk space)
  • Speed at which we could copy clean instances to scratch instances
  • Most importantly, how well did EBS perform under VMWare.
    In the end we’ve decided that we are going to go with VMWare Server and pump up the RAM in a couple machines that will become our VM hosts. Doing some quick benchmarks we found the speed to be acceptable (if not the same or better than what we’re currently used to).I’ll admit, I did not take a look at Oracle’s VM product, mostly because we have already been using VMWare in house and time constraints. Oracle’s VM offering is interesting though and will likely be a rainy weekend project to setup and tinker with.

    How about anyone else out there, what have you used for virtualizing your dev/test instances of Oracle EBS? Like I said above, leave me a comment, I’d love to hear any experiences good or bad.


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5 Responses to Running Oracle EBS on a Virtual Machine

  1. Syed Rehman says:

    HI Brent,
    I am reading your blogs for the first time and i am sure you might have received many replies by now.
    Me and my team run EBS 11i and R12 on both VMware and Oracle VM, both 32 and 64 bits (Ofcourse only R12). We have spun off each VM for an instance and mostly run single node environments. After some sucess, we started migrating all our NON-PROD instances to VM on both Oracle VM and VMWare. We standardize our VM environments on the hardware components. For eg: all db server vms will be provided with 2cpu/4gbmem vs apps server vm will have only 1cpu/2gbmem.
    Its great using this as we can trash them if we dont need them with out having to cleanup everything and re-assign all the resources back to pool. We also tried vmware snap to clone the environment to see if we can perform a EBS clone with out having to waste lot of time copying hundreds of GB of data over the network or between the servers which was not very easy for the first time but we were able to clone it in very short time.
    I hope this is helpful.

    • Brent Lowe says:

      Thanks for commenting on your experience. You mentioned VMWare snapshots to do your cloning and to avoid wasting time transferring data. Did this work out for you? I would be curious to understand how you end up moving the VMs around the network to avoid the time spent copying the data from one server to another? Thanks – Brent

  2. Brad Moreland says:

    When will Aventx Unix be supported on vmware with rhel?

    • Brent Lowe says:

      Hi Brad. We have had discussions internally on officially certifying AventX on VMWare, but we have not yet taken the plunge. One of things that we would like to do before issuing an official support statement is to particpate in the VMWare Ready program which officially validates 3rd party applications against VMWare. At this point it is on our radar, but do not have an official timeline for it. I will definitely add your name to the existing enhancement. Thanks!

  3. Pete Ellefsen says:

    Brent, I’m interested in virtualizing an 11.5.7 instance due to old hardware concerns. Your instance that you virtualized via Vmware, was it a production instance, or is it a demo/test instance?

    Pete

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