Oracle may not be the biggest virtualization player, but its enterprise virtualization product, Oracle VM, is simple to install if you have all the right components.
Setting up Oracle virtualization with Oracle VM is fairly straightforward, and you can quickly build a test environment to try out the platform. Oracle VM is especially well-suited for organizations that already run Oracle databases, because the platform uses an Oracle database and Oracle administrators would be more suited to manage it. Plus, many organizations like to have virtualization products from the same vendor.
Intro to Oracle virtualization
Oracle VM, the Xen-based platform for Oracle virtualization, consists of three different parts. First you need Oracle VM Server, the latest version of which is 2.2.2. To manage Oracle virtualization, you need Oracle VM Manager. And if you want Windows virtual machines (VMs) to run smoothly in Oracle VM, you need the Windows Paravirtual drivers for Microsoft Windows Guests.
You can download all these Oracle virtualization components for a free test drive from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud, as long as you have an Oracle account. Anyone can make an account for free.
Installing Oracle VM Server
After downloading the Oracle VM software, you'll have two ZIP files, both containing an ISO. One is for installing Oracle VM Server, the other is for Oracle VM Manager. Burn each to an installation CD and then start installing Oracle VM Server.
The installation procedure for these Oracle virtualization components is straightforward: To install on server-grade hardware, you can just accept all defaults and complete the installation. Just make sure you're using server-grade hardware with sufficient RAM to run all the VMs you want to use, and have virtualization support enabled on the CPU.
Installing Oracle VM Manager
To install Oracle VM Manager, you need a Linux server. The current version supports Oracle Enterprise Linux 4 and higher and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and higher. On one of these servers, open a root shell and run the installation script from the Oracle VM Manager setup CD, which will install Oracle VM Manager and Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (the backend that stores information about VMs).
Creating server pools and VMs
Once all the Oracle virtualization software is installed, you need to set up a server pool for Oracle VM, containing a Server Pool Master, a Utility Server and a Virtual Machine Server. You can use your Oracle VM Server for all these roles, so there’s no need to set up different servers for each task. Once the Oracle VM Manager software has finished, start a browser and connect to the OCS page on the Oracle VM server. The default URL for secure access is https://127.0.0.1:4443/OVS. (Also make sure to change the IP address to match your server’s IP address.)
Once you’re connected to the Web page, you can set up a pool of all the Oracle VM servers in your infrastructure. Oracle VM Manager prompts you for this task after accessing the Web page for the first time. Just click Next to start setting up the Oracle VM server pool. You now need to give a name to the pool, and if you want, include a virtual IP address. After entering that information, click Create to create the server pool. Then, you can add the Oracle VM servers you've just installed. After entering all the required parameters, click Create to complete the pool.
You can then start creating VMs. First, upload the ISO files to the Oracle VM server, and then choose ISO Files on the Resources tab in Oracle VM Manager. Select the Virtual Machines tab and click Create Virtual Machine to start creating VMs.
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