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4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 14, 2012 12:41 PM by Mark Malakanov (user11181920) RSS

best practice question - hosting in virtual and physical

c.p.g Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
Hello,

I am looking for some feedback. unsure if this is the right forum or if the database forum is better. Trying here.

We are looking at moving into virtualization on Oracle T4 servers using zones.

Some possibly relevant background detail:
* The T4 servers will be hosting database, content management and web servers (all Oracle products). I'm only looking at the oracle database servers for this question.
* In general, we have server pairs. For a specific database (or group of databases), I have the prod server and a dev server. For another set of databases I have another prod and dev server. This way, i can patch the OS for one set but maybe not the others (for wahtever reason).

Specific scenario:
I have an older v440 server that I need to life cycle. The production server is on a newer v490 which is still under support for another year or so. My first thought was I can P2V it into a Solaris Zone on the T4. The direction we are taking is virtualization & consolidation to save money and make better use of our hardware. That is all great.

However, my concern is that my dev server is now virtualized and my production server is still physical. The OS patches are different as the hardware is different. However, the v440 and v490 they are on today would be slightly different as well. Oracle DB is certified on both and the database patches are the same regardless of the hardware since it is the same operating system. From a change management point of view, my patching process should be identical so if less of a concern as well.

However, I am not sure if this is a good idea or not and am wondering if anyone can advise based on their experience. What can I expect to run differently in a Zone compared to physical? This cannot be a reccomended practice, but I have not found much saying it is not a viable option either.

I am considering moving the production to a T4 Solaris Zone as well to keep them the same, however, that possibly means dropping a server that still have some years remaining (yes, it could be used by something else..but maybe).

Is this a viable solution - hosting dev on virtual and prod on physical? what problems could I expect?
Thanks!
  • 1. Re: best practice question - hosting in virtual and physical
    Mark Malakanov (user11181920) Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    you can look into http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/enterprise-edition/db-virtualization-support-133757.pdf it says "OS Partitions - Near native speed"

    Zones is OS Virtualization, it should slow down a little bit. But of course all active processes will share CPU disk controllers, NICs and other resources. How much is it slower? I would compare it to placing all Oracle instances that will work in Zones into one non-Zone OS adding some minor degradation (2-3%) for virtualization Zone management itself. Other words if you are sure that all instances will work OK in one solid OS that it should be pretty much same in Zoned.
  • 2. Re: best practice question - hosting in virtual and physical
    955059 Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    HI!

    I hope this links help you in your choice ->

    Virtual vs. physical machines
    http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/itanswers/virtual-vs-physical-machines/

    Oracle Performance Equal on Virtual Servers as on Physical According to New Research from Confio Software
    http://www.confio.com/press/oracle-performance-equal-on-virtual-servers-as-on-physical-according-to-new-research-from-confio-software/

    Physical Vs. Virtual: Oracle, Others Redefine Appliances
    http://www.informationweek.com/software/information-management/physical-vs-virtual-oracle-others-redefi/231300232
  • 3. Re: best practice question - hosting in virtual and physical
    c.p.g Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks so far. I know there will be some performance hit (even if small). The databases are not typically hi I/O users nor cpu.

    My main concern is simply should I be splitting a database environment between physical and virtual.

    To spin it another way, and this may have been a better way to explain it in the first place, I woud never run my production database on an Sun/Solaris server with my development on an HP/Windows server for example, even if both are running the same version of Oracle. patching is different, OS interaction is different, etc. Should I avoid virtualized development and a physical production envirnment - where both are on Sun hardware running Solaris OS and same Oracle versions?

    It's less about the pros and cons of virtualization itself.

    Thanks for the responses thus far though. Some good reading.
  • 4. Re: best practice question - hosting in virtual and physical
    Mark Malakanov (user11181920) Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    I woud never run my production database on an Sun/Solaris server with my development on an HP/Windows server for example, even if both are running the same version of Oracle. patching is different, OS interaction is different, etc.
    Beauty of Oracle from developer perspective is it works same on different platforms. You can develop in Windows and deploy in Solaris. Or vice versa.

    When it works differently, like returns different result or throws error in Solaris where it was no error in Windows it usually a bug and should be fixed by applying patches anyway.
    Though testing environment should be as close to production as possible, but it is not always possible.
    Moreover, development companies that sell software usually test it on multiple different platforms.
    Should I avoid virtualized development and a physical production envirnment - where both are on Sun hardware running Solaris OS and same Oracle versions?
    I would not avoid. If virtualization gives you benefits in manageability and availability, and may be savings on licensing, why should you afraid to use it?

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