On September 19th Paul Canelos presented a Lunch and Learn at Zirous
on Oracle Virtual Machine. Oracle Virtual Machine or OVM is a tough, rock solid, and free virtual machine software. Paul first compared OVM to the “Ferrari” of virtualization VMWare which is costly to setup. Paul then went into showing us a demo using the web based console of high availability of OVM. He setup two physical servers hosting multiple virtual machines and unplugged the power. The OVM web based console showed us how quickly the system switched over to the other physical host.
Paul then told us about the genesis of the OVM product. Oracle had a team that was hosting some services for internal products and was using physical machines for each web server. They looked at moving them to VMWare and were alarmed by the total cost. They then took the Xen Hypervisor that was open source to manage linux servers and build a web interface around it. They used it internally for a short period until they realized this had great potential as a commercial product.
OVM is now free to download and requires no licenses to run. Oracle does offer support if needed. OVM allows resource sharing of physical machines over the many virtual machines. You are still constrained by your memory and drive space. So if you have four physical machines with a total of 1 Terabyte of storage that is the maximum of your virtual machines. Virtualization definitely has potential to save money for many organizations with a medium to large IT infrastructure.