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Oracle is supported on VMware– apps and databases, both single instance and RAC. And plenty of customers have been virtualizing their Oracle workloads on VMware with confidence.  In case you’ve heard confusing opinions, let’s just review some facts.

From Oracle
Oracle’s support policy toward virtualization with VMware is accessible to subscribers of MyOracleSupport – Document ID #249212.1 which you can access here if you have a login. You can also read the actual Oracle support policy reproduced in Chad’s blog. In Nov 2010, Oracle added support for RAC on VMware which demonstrates Oracle’s continued commitment to provide customers with increasing flexibility and choice.

From VMware
In the past, some customers were concerned about a couple of apparent limitations in the Oracle support policy.  Specifically,
1.    Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware
2.    Support is provided when the problem “can be demonstrated to not be as a result of running on VMware” and the fact that Oracle reserves the right to require reproduction of the problem on physical environments.
However, Oracle does not certify down to the infrastructure level (such as your Cisco switch or your Dell blade) so if you are running a certified OS on VMware, the situation is no different than running a certified OS on a blade server.  In the physical world, if Oracle support suspects that an issue is caused by your underlying hardware then you can be requested to reproduce on another host. And that is no different from the stance on virtualization with VMware.

While most customers understand these nuances, even those who had lingering concerns have been assured with the new VMware policy for Oracle support.  With this policy, VMware is providing an absolute commitment to support customers virtualizing Oracle on VMware vSphere.  If required, VMware will take ownership of the support request and ensure rapid resolution, in collaboration with the Oracle support organization as needed. Since VMware’s customers virtualize all types of Tier1 applications, there is no question that providing a seamless support experience is an area of expertise for VMware.

From Oracle & VMware partner, EMC
EMC’s recent article in the current issue (Mar/Apr) issue of Oracle magazine reinforces customer and partner confidence in virtualizing Oracle on VMware.  EMC also has a number of resources related to Oracle virtualization on VMware

From The Press
Oracle’s VMware Support Policy Like Jekyll and Hyde – TechTarget, Feb 2011
Oracle will now support Oracle RAC on VMware – TechTarget, Nov 2010

From Customers
Many of our customers are happily running production Oracle applications and databases on VMware vSphere.  The following are just a few examples of these customers. 
“When I talk to people about VMware virtualization, I tell them ‘don’t believe everything you think.’
We’re proving here at UBC that VMware is very viable. It works in production environments; it works for Oracle database servers, and everywhere in-between. VMware technology lets you architect a very reliable, very dynamic solution to your computing needs.”
– Michael Thorson, Director of Infrastructure, University of British Columbia

Read the University of British Columbia case study here

View Abitibi Bowater's success story here 
Learn about IPC Hospitalist's experiences here 
Read the Indiana University case study here

While these are just a few customer examples, the facts presented here should help clarify that Oracle is in fact supported on VMware.

-Shruti Bhat

Product Marketing Manager, VMware