Oracle is less than enthusiastic about supporting customers who want to virtualize Oracle databases on VMware or other non-Oracle platforms. Except for very large deals, generally $5 million or more, or in cases where Oracle customers present a powerful, united front, Oracle is unlikely to offer VMware certification and frequently will offer less than proactive service.
We believe Oracle’s position is based on economics, not technology. From a technology perspective, we believe Oracle is more than capable of supporting and certifying VMware and other virtual environments. Rather, in our opinion, Oracle has made the business decision to sometimes withhold VMware support in an effort to persuade customers to choose its own virtualization offering, Oracle VM.
For Wikibon users that forge ahead and virtualize Oracle databases on VMware without Oracle’s blessing, we have found that Oracle will often only provide support when needed if customers return their deployments to physical instances, a not uncomplicated step. In short, Oracle is attempting to make running Oracle on VMware such a risky and potentially complicated endeavor that most customers will opt not to do so.
That is unfortunate, as there are numerous benefits of virtualizing Oracle on VMware over Oracle VM. Moreover, several Wikibon users have reported success with virtualizing Oracle and in some regions good support from the database vendor.
Since Oracle is unlikely to change its position broadly any time soon, application vendors should help Oracle database customers who want to virtualize on VMware band together and organize themselves by industry, geography or a combination of both in order to increase their collective bargaining power with Oracle.
A similar strategy has already proven successful for the pharmaceutical industry, which, with the support of the Food and Drug Administration and large payments to Oracle, has enticed the vendor to certify VMware at drug makers and other pharmaceutical companies.
Action Item: With the pharmaceutical industry as a guide, application vendors like SAP and Microsoft should help identify and organize large groups of Oracle customers to create critical negotiating mass. Such groups of customers, presenting a united front, are more likely to succeed in cajoling Oracle to support VMware, Hyper-V and Citrix installations than any single customer. Large Oracle customers should lead the way, with smaller customers following right behind. Taking such steps, Wikibon believes 90% of Oracle databases will be virtualized by the middle of this decade, with VMware the dominant platform.