Oracle Databases on VMware vSphere

This week we will publish three blogs on the topic of Oracle Databases on VMware. In this series, we will discuss on the following:

Part 1: Best practices for deploying Oracle Databases on vSphere,

Part 2: Oracle 11gr2 RAC deployment on VMware vSphere using VMFS and

Part 3: Oracle 11gr2 RAC Node VM vMotion – not possible in physical environment!

Oracle Databases on VMware Best Practices – Part 1

The successful deployment of Oracle databases on VMware vSphere is NOT significantly different from deploying Oracle databases on physical servers. Oracle DBAs who designs, implements, tests, operates, and maintains databases for an organization can fully leverage their current skill set while also delivering the benefits associated with virtualization. The following diagram depicts the general tasks for DBAs.

Proper configuration is critical for the optimal performance and operation of Oracle Databases. Below are some of the most common recommended best practices when deploying Oracle databases on VMware vSphere.

  • Create a computing environment optimized for vSphere.
  • Create golden images of optimized operating systems using vSphere cloning technologies.
  • Upgrade to vSphere ESX 4 or ESXi 5 – Follow vSphere Upgrade Best Practices
  • Allow vSphere to choose the best virtual machine monitor based on the CPU and guest operating system combination.
  • Use as few virtual CPUs (vCPUs) as possible until you know the workload.
  • Enable hyper-threading for Intel Core i7 processors.
  • For IP-based storage iSCSI and NFS, enable jumbo frames.
  • Create dedicated datastores to service database workloads.
  • Use vSphere VMFS for Oracle database deployments and make sure VMFS is properly aligned.
  • Use Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM).
  • Use your storage vendor's best practices documentation when laying out the Oracle database.
  • Avoid silos when designing the storage architecture.
  • Use paravirtualized SCSI adapters for Oracle datafiles with demanding workloads.
  • Use the VMXNET Family of paravirtualized network adapters.
  • Separate infrastructure traffic from VM traffic for security and isolation.
  • Use NIC teaming for availability and load balancing.
  • Take advantage of Net I/O Control to converge network and storage traffic onto 10GE.
  • Use VMware vCenter and/or the esxtop/resxtop utility for performance monitoring in the virtual environment.

In order to deploy Oracle Databases on VMware and meet performance goals, DBA's need to follow the Oracle Databases on VMware Best Practices Guide – This guide provides the recommended best practices for vSphere, Storage, Network and Performance monitoring, access the guide by clicking on the image below.

Also check out Michael Webster's blog post on Deploying Enterprise Oracle Databases on vSphere :

In Part 2 we will look into how to deploy Oracle 11gr2 RAC Databases on VMware vSphere using VMFS.