Oracle 11g RAC now supported on vSphere

I first heard the news on Twitter, and then a few hours later Chad Sakac put up a great post detailing the news.  Chris Wolf at Gartner also has a great post on the news which discusses Oracle licensing in some detail.

For the details, read either of the posts above, but the bottom line is that Oracle will support RAC on vSphere, provided that the problem “can be demonstrated to not be as a result of running on VMware” and as Chad points out a V2P can be used to prove this (if necessary/worst case).  Oracle has not “certified” RAC on vSphere (and who knows if they well), but there are many vendors out there (including EMC/VMware) with detailed best practices for Oracle on vSphere based on experience.

One thing in Chris Wolf’s post that I found interesting was this section:

Some customers are more fortunate. For example, one client I have worked with migrated 100 Oracle database instances from AIX to RHEL/ESX last year. Their motivation was to save on IBM support costs, which they estimated at close to $200,000 annually. This particular client had a site license with Oracle, making the migration to ESX practical because they didn’t have to pay additional licensing fees to run in the ESX environment.

A few months ago during VMworld I asked “Will the Cloud be Stormy for Proprietary Hardware?” and I’m wondering the same thing again.  AIX is a strong platform for Oracle but its also very expensive.  As we see above, there was a $200K annual savings in one case when moving Oracle from AIX to RHEL on vSphere.  More organizations may start to take a closer look at similar moves to reduce cost now that Oracle is formally supported on vSphere.  What do you think?

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