What is up with VMware these days?
 

2007 Update:  Please see these 2007 updates to Oracle hardware architectures and the costs and benefits of server deconsolidation.


The concept of virtual machines in not new and IBM mainframes have had the ability to "spilt" mainframe machines using tools such as Prism.  In a nutshell, vmware allows the DBA to apportion hardware resources (dedicated CPU, RAM, disk) as-if they were on a separate server.  Of course, Oracle has other ways to dedicate CPU's, (via the Oracle affinity feature) and adjust CPU dispatching priorities with the UNIX/Linux "nice" command.

In the world of minicomputers, vmware was largely ignored until manufacturers began to offer large machines such as the HP Superdome and UNISYS ES-700 series, large mainframe-like machines that are capable of supporting dozens of Oracle instances.

Now, with the 2nd age of mainframe computing arriving soon, these large monolithic servers can be split into "virtual machines", allowing one "master" OS to host many other operating systems within a single large server.  Disk, CPU and RAM are now fault-tolerant and redundant, making the monolithic approach very compelling to large corporations, making Oracle vmware a important tool for multi-OS environments to achieve server consolidation.   

Instead of small, independent servers, the major hardware vendors are pushing large servers with transparent sharing of hardware resources, coining the term “partitionable servers”. 
 

Read more about VMware here:

http://www.dba-oracle.com/t_vmware.htm

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