Run a Windows guest VM on an ODA

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The Oracle Database Appliance was originally released back in 2011 to bridge the gap between the Exadata and smaller configurations. The first version of the ODA consisted of 2 compute nodes and a shared storage shelf. The compute nodes had 2x 6 core processors and 96gb of memory. The software itself started out as a bare metal deployment only and eventually came to include either that or a virtualized image that employed Oracle VM for x86 software. This was done to allow customers to more fully leverage the cores and memory available to the ODA that weren’t used by the database. The first release to support this configuration was version 2.5 which came out around 2013.

For those of you who use an ODA (Oracle Database Appliance) in your workplace and have deployed the virtualized image to leverage the capabilities of OVM, you know that Oracle only offers templates based on Oracle Linux. The entirety of the OVM command set does not exist on the ODA as it does in a normal deployment of OVM with OVM Manager. The API used to interact with OVM on the ODA is the OAKCLI command. This is short for Oracle Appliance Kit Command Line Interface and it’s used to manage almost every aspect of the configuration. There is no OVM Manager CLI nor is there a GUI/BUI short of the configuration manager used to deploy the database so we’re limited to what is offered in OAKCLI.

If you who run a mixed shop consisting of both Linux and Windows, this article may be of some use to you. In order to run Windows (or really anything other than Oracle Linux or Oracle Solaris) inside of OVM, you have to create what’s called an HVM Virtual Machine. This is what’s referred to as a Hardware Virtualized Machine. It’s similar to how VMware works in that everything down to the BIOS and chipset is virtualized and presented to the OS. The operating system in this case has no idea it’s being virtualized. Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris on the other hand, when installed inside a PV (ParaVirtualized) VM are fully aware of the fact that they are in a VM and take advantage of it inside the kernel to talk directly to the hardware in a more efficient manner.

What does all this mean to me? It means that I can install any OS that is a supported OVM guest OS, not just the templates that are available for download and use on an ODA. There are a lot of manual steps involved and precious little of it uses the OAKCLI framework. One thing you do need to understand is that this installation method is not in any way supported by Oracle. Your mileage may vary when trying to get support for any issues related to guest performance, or even configuration or stability. Having said that, Oracle has created a short tutorial on how to do this, the infoDoc number is 1524138.1.

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One thought on “Run a Windows guest VM on an ODA

  1. Pingback: Hardware Virtualized VM’s on ODA – One Click! | Eric Steed – Technology Evangelist

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