Oracle Labs by Yuri Khazin, Oracle DBA

March 13, 2013

Oracle Virtual Server (Oracle VM, OVM) inside Virtual Box

As if Oracle Virtual Box was not virtual enough, now you can put one dream into another dream, just like in my favorite movie Inception.

Get this, you can run Oracle Virtual Server (other names: Oracle VM, OVM) inside Virtual Box. Wrap you mind around that…

Now, for confused, Oracle VM Server is a product separate from Virtual Box and comes with it’s own history. As far as I know, Oracle VM Server is a Xen Linux based software that is not hosted, i.e. installs onto a bare metal hardware. Virtual Box, in turn, is hosted and can run within almost any known operating system. Virtual Box was not always Oracle’s product and not even Sun’s, it was originally developed by Innotek.

So… if you wanted to test drive a VM Server farm but don’t have some 4-5 physical servers lying around, you can still do so if you put it all in Virtual Box environment.

Oracle provides VirtualBox Templates for Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM Server. From these templates you can create actual guests in Vritual Box. (Once again, this is not an installation media for physical servers but VM templates. If you are after that sort of media, you need to go to Oracle Software Delivery Cloud – Oracle Linux and Oracle VM).

To run this virtual farm you will need a lot of RAM on a single machine or, even better, run this setup on two machines. One PC can run the VM Manager and another will run one or two VM Servers. So much fun with the networking!

Follow the instructions on the download page, they are quite thorough. The only trouble I have had with version OVM 3.1.1  template (build 365) was that VM Manager comes with Oracle Express Edition 11g as an internal repository and it won’t start after guest starts for the first time. Turns out, there is a MEMORY_TARGET parameter in spfileXE.ora that is set to about 1GB and there was not enough free memory. Once this parameter was removed the database started and all works like a charm after guest reboot. I run this guest with 1.6GB RAM and the VM Servers needs 4GB at least (starts with 3GB but not sure if it works well). Honestly, I have not tried to create a guest inside VM Server yet, but I suspect I may need much more RAM for that (notice to self, update this post when I try).

One more thing. VM Manager is a browser based control interface for OVM, you can run it within your guest machine but it is better to do so from your PC. In that case you will need to check that firewall is turned off in the VM Manager guest (service iptables stop, then set it in chkconfig so it will stay stopped after reboot). Check firewall on your PC as well. Direct your browser to the guest IP address and appropriate port. If you somehow happened to install OVM 3.2.1, notice that http is now replaced by https and default port is not 7001 but 7002.

Good luck on your test drive.


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