It used to be recommended that OPA runtime was run on a physical server, but there is increasing demand to run on a virtualised estate. Will the running of OPA on a virtualised environment affect the support model in any way; i.e. will Oracle support OPA on a virtual rather than physical server?
In every case, you must be using a supported Operating System. See the OPA System Requirements on OTN here:
1. Oracle VM is Oracle's certified virtualization platform. If you are running OPA on Oracle VM, then you are fully supported by Oracle (the buck stops here).
2. OPA is certified for use on IBM LPAR with IBM AIX. (See system requirements for details of certified OS versions.)
3. OPA is certified for use on IBM System z using IBM z/VM with Linux IFL chips. (See system requirements for details of certified OS versions.)
3. VMWare is supported, provided the virtual machine is running a supported Operating System. However, if the issue is specific to the virtualization environment, i.e. does not occur on a non-virtualized instance of the operating system, support from VMWare will be needed to resolve it. We do not certify any operating systems specifically running in a virtualized VMWare environment.
See also Oracle's official support policy for VMWare:
My Oracle Support Doc ID 249212.1 in http://support.oracle.com.
For Oracle VM - we fully support it end-to-end, provided you are using a supported operating system.
For VMWare - we fully support it, provided you are (a) using a supported operating system, and (b) it can be demonstrated the issue occurs when NOT running on VMWare
We are running OPA on W2K8 R2 on vSphere 5. (No VMware related support issues yet.)
From practical experience, the Oracle OPA support team has never asked us whether we were running on VMware. 80% of all issues are resolved in-house with a little common sense. Most other issues are resolved in this forum. The only Oracle employees who knew we are on vSphere is the OPA sales team.
Based on our experience, most real support needs are going to be in properly constructing, organizing, and debugging your rules OR integrations of OPA with products like Siebel.
Running on virtual guests provides location transparency, snapshots, added resiliance, resource sharing, dynamic resource allocation, cloning, in-memory networking, and a dozen other nice things... In reality, those benefits should outweigh potential OPA support issues. (knock on wood)
My opinion of the ORACLE PHYSICAL HARDWARE CLAUSE:
Reproducing errors on physical hardware is not very daunting either, since we all generally use OPM on our PCs... Our developer PCs are generally bare hardware (we don't use VDI for developers).
We can usually reproduce issues (even performance metrics) on our developer PCs and then there is no question about Oracle's support. Any differences between good PC OPA performance and bad virtual server OPA performance can be handled by a VMware support call. VMware support is better equiped to solve that anyway. :-)
Final disclaimer: The above post is from my past experience and my opinion only...