Oracle On Vmware

We’re really excited about the buzz around Oracle in virtualized environments. One of the best kept secrets is just how well Oracle performs on VMware. This didn’t happen by accident – there are a number of features and performance optimizations in the VMware server architecture, specifically for databases.

There isn’t one quick hit to make databases work well for a wide range of real-world applications – good performance is something that is earned from the long term discipline of focusing the lessons learned from many customer-oriented real-world database workloads, and applying those lessons across the architecture of the hypervisor.

A Few of the Performance Highlights
  • Near Native Performance: Oracle databases run at performance similar to that of a physical system
  • Extreme Database I/O Scalability: VMware Server’s thin hypervisor layer can drive over 63,000 database I/Os per second (fifty times the requirement of a typical database)
  • Multi-core Scaling: Scale up using SMP virtual machines and multiple database instances
  • Large Memory : Scalable memory – 64GB per database, 256GB per host
Virtual Database Performance Myths
  • Databases have a high overhead when virtualized : Virtualized Databases can perform at or near the speed of physical systems, in terms of latency and throughput. The virtualization overhead for typical real-world databases is minimal – for VMware Server, we measured CPU overhead to be less than 10%.
  • Databases have too much I/O to be virtualized : Databases typically have a large number of small random  I/Os, and it is in theory possible to hit a scaling ceiling in the hypervisor layer. VMware’S thin hypervisor layer can drive over 63,000 database I/Os per second, which is equivalent to more than 600 disk spindles of I/O  throughput. This is sufficient I/O scaling for even the largest databases on x86 systems.
  • Virtualization should only be used for smaller, non-critical applications : The VMWARE is very robust: many customers are seeing over two years of uptime from ESX based systems. In addition, the hypervisor remains stable, even if resources are overcomitted.

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