Oracle answers to on credibility

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Just a couple of days ago published a piece about the Oracle potential in the virtualization space and its current behavior, specifically focusing on the company support to competing virtualization platform like the VMware one.

We questioned the Oracle credibility and Oracle promptly answered.

Adam Hawley, Director of Product Management for Oracle VM, left a comment on our previous article, but because of the importance of the statements that it contains (and because the defense deserves as much exposure as the attack), we republish it here.

We added emphasis to some parts we consider particularly important:

I certainly agree with the first third or so of your article: Oracle has the biggest potential in virtualization right now and generally for the reasons you state. However, I think some clarifications are in order for the rest of it.

First, the Sun acquisition has not closed so we unfortunately cannot discuss that yet.

With regards to our strategy and Virtual Iron, we have closed that acquisition and we have made public presentations as to our strategy and roadmap in that space. Since we are merging Oracle VM and Virtual Iron into a best-of-both worlds product, I think it is reasonable to take some time to do it right. Its what we want and what our customers want and it has been only a couple of months since the close of the acquisition. I’m sure your readers can appreciate that a powerful, rich, management solution cannot be released in a couple of months.

Credibility starts with having the right team and we have some great people with deep experience driving our strategy and execution. I was at Sun for many years and headed-up the product management group that introduced Solaris Containers. On my staff, I have the former product manager for Solaris / SPARC Logical Domains (LDoms) and the former Director of Product Management from Virtual Iron who bears a very large responsibility for making Virtual Iron the great product it has been. Collectively, we’re focused on a strategy to deliver the best virtualization product for making enterprise software easier to deploy, manage, and support: we’re not doing virtualization for virtualization’s-sake. We’re playing a key role in helping customers get a full-stack solution that saves them more time, more money, and provides them better total up-time than other options they may have.

In terms of Oracle’s support policy for uncertified configurations, which is the standard support policy that VMware falls under, I think we may be mixing thoughts here. We can discuss “credibility” for delivering virtualization solutions and we can discuss the uncertified configurations policy, but they are orthogonal topics. I won’t add to Oracle’s president’s comments, but I would comment on the blog entry you showed as a response to it from “oraclestorageguy” (who I believe is an EMC employee and we, I think are all very aware that EMC is the parent company of VMware). It is easy for VMware to say that virtualization software is identical to hardware, but I’m not sure if your readers would agree that software always performs identically on virtualization as they do on real hardware. If we all believed that then we would deploy any virtualization without even so much as a proof-of-concept and I seriously doubt that has ever happened for any production deployment. Even the simple, but powerful example of clock/system timers…who hasn’t ever seen clock skew in a VMware environment?…demonstrates that there are differences to be aware of.

Oracle is in the business of delivering software solutions designed to drive, manage, monitor, and coordinate the most mission critical and business critical processes you have and that drives high standards for every single layer of the stack, including Oracle VM, so we don’t take certification lightly. Virtualization, just like OSes is going to quickly settle in to a best of breed ecosystem. Just as Windows is in the data center but not the core of it even after many years where Unix/Linux continues to dominate, there will be different products. Oracle VM is aimed at the high-end, production enterprise server workload where scalability and availability are critical. Most of this core software is not virtualized on x86 today but is moving that direction with Linux and high-end x86 hardware. No one vendor dominates that segment today and, as you said at the beginning, no one has more potential than Oracle in this space.

Thanks Adam. This is exactly the kind of open conversation that hopes to favorite.

Hopefully several of our readers will comment on these statements and make smart questions. Oracle is welcome to reply back here and keep the conversation going.