Hardware Virtualized VM’s on ODA – One Click!

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I previously wrote an article on how to install Windows on a virtualized ODA.  In that article I stated that running Windows on an ODA was not supported.  I’m starting to lean away from that stance for a couple reasons.  One of them is the continued Oracle InfoDoc’s I see being written on how to run an HVM virtual machine on an ODA.  The other and perhaps more compelling reason is due to an excerpt from the oakcli command reference documentation- specifically the “-os” parameter of the oakcli configure vm command:

 

oakcli configure vm

Use the oakcli configure vm command to configure a virtual machine on Oracle Database Appliance Virtualized Platform and to increase or decrease resource allocation to user domains. You must restart the domain for the resource allocation change to take effect.

Syntax

oakcli configure vm name [-vcpu cpucount -maxvcpu maxcpu -cpuprio priority 
-cpucap cap -memory memsize -maxmemory max_memsize -os sys -keyboard lang -mouse 
mouse_type -domain dom -network netlist -autostart astart -disk disks -bootoption
bootstrap -cpupool pool -prefnode 0|1 -failover true|false][-h]

Parameters

Parameter Description
name The name assigned to the virtual machine.
-vcpu cpucount Number of nodes assigned to the virtual machine. The range is 1 to 72. This number depends on your Oracle Database Appliance configuration:

  • On Oracle Database Appliance X5-2, the range is from 1 to 72.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance X4-2, the range is from 1 to 48.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance X3-2, the range is from 1 to 32.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance, the range is 1 to 24.
-maxvcpu maxcpu Maximum number of CPUs that the virtual machine can consume. The range is 1 to 72. This number depends on your Oracle Database Appliance configuration:

  • On Oracle Database Appliance X5-2, the range is from 1 to 72.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance X4-2, the range is from 1 to 48.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance X3-2, the range is from 1 to 32.
  • On Oracle Database Appliance version 1, the range is 1 to 24.
-cpuprio priority Priority for CPU usage, where larger values have higher priority. The range is 1 to 65535,
-cpucap cap Percentage of a CPU the virtual machine can receive. The range is 10 to 100.
-memory memsize Amount of memory given to the virtual machine: (1 to 248)G to (1to 760G) or (1 to 253952)M to (1 to 778240)M, based on RAM. The default is M.
-maxmemory max_memsize Maximum amount of memory allowed for the virtual machine: (1 to 248)G to (1 to 760)G or (1-253952)M to (1-778240)M, based on RAM. The default is M.
-os sys Operating system used by the virtual machine (WIN_2003, WIN_2008, WIN_7, WIN_VISTA, OTHER_WIN, OL_4, OL_5, OL_6, RHL_4, RHL_5, RHL_6, LINUX_RECOVERY, OTHER_LINUX, SOLARIS_10, SOLARIS_11, OTHER_SOLARIS, or NONE)
-keyboard lang Keyboard used by virtual machine (en-us, ar, da, de, de-ch, en-gb, es, et, fi, fo, fr, fr-be, fr-ca, hr, hu, is, it, ja, lt, lv, mk, nl, n–be, no, pl, pt, pt-br, ru, sl, sv, th, or tr)
-mouse mouse_type Mouse type used by the virtual machine (OS_DEFAULT, PS2_MOUSE, USB_MOUSE, or USB_TABLET)
-domain dom Domain type from the following options:

  • Hardware virtualized guest (XEN_HVM)

    – The kernel or operating system is not virtualization-aware and can run unmodified.

    – Device drivers are emulated.

  • Para virtualized guest (XEN_PVM)

    – The guest is virtualization-aware and is optimized for a virtualized environment.

    – PV guests use generic, idealized device drivers.

  • Hardware virtualized guest (XEN_HVM_PV_DRIVERS)

    The PV drivers are hypervisor-aware and significantly reduce the overhead of emulated device input/output.

  • Hardware virtualized guest (UNKNOWN)
-network netlist MAC address and list of networks used by the virtual machine
-autostart astart Startup option for virtual machine (always, restore, or never)
-disk disks List of disks (slot, disktype, and content) used by virtual machine
-bootoption bootstrap Boot option used to bootstrap the virtual machine (PXE, DISK, or CDROM)
-cpupool pool Named CPU pool assigned to the virtual machine
-prefnode 0|1 Preferred node on which the virtual machine will attempt to start (Node 0 or Node 1). This parameter is only valid for virtual machines created in shared repositories.
-failover true|false Allow (use the keyword “true”) or disallow (use the keyword “false”) the virtual machine to start or restart on a node other than the node defined by the -prefnode parameter. This parameter is only valid for virtual machines created in shared repositories.
-h (Optional) Display help for using the command.

Note the selection of Operating Systems you have to choose from.  The list includes the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 2003
  • Windows 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Other Windows
  • Oracle Linux 4, 5 and 6
  • Red Had Linux 4, 5 and 6
  • Linux Recovery
  • Other Linux
  • Solaris 10 and 11
  • Other Solaris

 

To me- this is a strong indicator that you should be able to run a VM that isn’t created from a template- including Windows!  It gets even better.  I stumbled across an InfoDoc (2099289.1) which was created by a gentleman named Ruggero Citton.  In that document, he shows how to deploy an HVM virtual machine on an ODA with a single command.  This automates all the manual steps that you used to have to do in order to run an HVM virtual machine including manually creating virtual disk images and editing the vm.cfg file for the VM.

 

Check out the InfoDoc for more information including the Perl script that does all of the automation.  I was able to follow his instructions and successfully created a Windows 2008 r2 vm.  Based on the parameters in the oakcli configure vm command, I’m a lot more comfortable with at least telling customers about this capability.  I still want to confirm that a VM which was created in this fashion wouldn’t cause Oracle to not support the customer- I’ll post an update when I find out for sure.

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