VMware & Oracle – Can’t we all just get along?

Nathan Biggs, CEO

For as long as we have been working with VMware to virtualize Oracle workloads, House of Brick has pushed the envelope of what VMware thought was technically possible, and what Oracle thought was prudent for maximizing license revenue. In 1996 (oops 2006), when we took our first customer live in production with Oracle E-Business Suite on VSphere 2.5, we did it because nobody told us that we couldn’t or shouldn’t. That customer, with thousands of food service outlets in the U.S. was as pleased as could be, and is still running all tiers of their Oracle application stack on VMware. So, the technology at VMware has been more than adequate for generations of product releases to virtualize production-class Oracle workloads, and yet still their reach into the virtualization of business critical applications (VBCA) is weak.

Why is that?

Is VMware ill prepared to sell to anyone in their customer organizations outside of the VM administrators? Is Oracle putting up so many emotional barriers that they are scaring customers into inaction on the VBCA front? What will be the overall impact of this lack of market acceptance?

So, here is House of Brick, caught in the middle of VMware wanting to push hard in the direction of virtualizing business critical applications (VBCA) but not knowing how, and Oracle absolutely knowing how, but pushing back with equal or greater force to prevent it. What should be done?

We advocate for the customer!

As has always been the case since the founding of House of Brick, we advocate for what is best for the customer. That has infuriated our partners from time-to-time, but overall even they are happiest with a happy customer. So in considering whether to put even the most critical Oracle workloads on VMware, what is best for the customer? Here are some thoughts:

  1. VMware is the best virtualization technology available (period). Even as VMware downplays the position of ESX/VSphere, it is the best platform available (virtual or physical) for running mission critical applications.
  2. Oracle is arguably the best database platform (albeit not necessarily the least expensive) for running mission critical databases (more on SQL Server in another blog post).
  3. Anything less than the happy marriage of the two provides the customer a less than optimal solution for their moneymaking systems.

Can’t we all just get along?

Regardless of what Oracle sales people might say, their technology just sings on a VMware virtualized infrastructure. Not only that, but the advantages for high availability, disaster recoverability, optimization of datacenter resources, and reduction in time-to-market make VMware the best platform for Oracle databases and applications.

Oracle will say that VMware is not supported. It is!

Oracle will say you have to license a full cluster, even if there is no chance of a workload hitting certain nodes. You don’t!

Oracle will say that performance will degrade on VMware. It doesn’t!

Oracle says that OVM gives 4x better performance. It won’t!

So what?

To my friends at VMware, there is more money to be made than you have thus far by many multiples, when you figure out how to sell to the DBA’s, application owners, and the C-suite. Arm yourselves with the truth. Be sure you have the right ROI formula (hint: it’s different than the ROI formula for virtualizing tier-2 and 3 workloads). Show how they would be crazy not to virtualize on VMware.

To my friends at Oracle, VMware will make your software look good, and your customers will be happy. Don’t be afraid of the truth. You will make more money when it is easier for customers to develop on Oracle technology. VMware can make that happen, and faster. Oracle virtual machine (OVM) is not ready for business critical systems; VMware is.

House of Brick is partners with both Oracle and VMware. They might just be the two best enterprise technology vendors in the whole industry. We are honored with our associations. Now, maybe we can help bring them together.


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