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Oracle Introduces Oracle VM As It Leaps Into Virtualization

The virtual machine server has been certified to work with the Oracle database, Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Applications.

Oracle jumped into the virtualization market Monday, announcing Oracle VM, or server virtualization software to run Oracle databases and applications.

Oracle VM is based on the open source Xen hypervisor, originally from XenSource, now part of Citrix Systems. It will become available for free download on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at

The virtual machine server has been certified to work with the Oracle database, Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Applications, said Chuck Rozwat, executive VP of Oracle product development, during an Oracle OpenWorld keynote by President Charles Phillips Monday.

Oracle has integrated a Web browser management console to Xen to create Oracle VM. It can be used to manage x86 server pools across the enterprise, Rozwat said in the opening keynote of the Oracle's annual user group meeting. About 43,000 attendees have gathered at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center for the meeting.

Oracle will supply preconfigured images -- or virtualized files that combine the Oracle database with a preconfigured version of Linux -- for ease of installation and deployment. The move is Oracle's way of picking up on the use of virtualized appliances, software preconfigured with an operating system to run in a virtual machine.

The Oracle VM, however, isn't limited to running Linux. It can use either Linux or Windows as the guest operating system. It also can be paired with non-Oracle databases or applications, Rozwat said.

Oracle President Phillips told the audience that Oracle's ability to supply database systems, middleware, and applications, combined with the ability to configure and manage them as virtual machines, meant it had outstripped its competitors. "I don't think there's any other company in the industry that can do this," he said.

Later in the week, additional Oracle spokesmen will take the stage to discuss the Oracle Application Architecture, a shared data-flow model that allows applications to be linked through a graphical management interface and exchange information.

Phillips explained that Oracle still spends $2 billion a year on internal R&D, but much of its acquisition strategy was to let startup companies perform some of its R&D before it acquires them. Having executed 41 acquisitions in 45 months, Oracle "has become the IPO market for the software industry," he boasted.

Oracle now has 47% of the database market, he said, or more than its two top competitors combined.

Oracle also will update attendees on the status of its Fusion middleware, now in its fourth beta release.

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