Licensing

Oracle OVM Licensing – How to license Oracle software

Licensing

Oracle OVM Licensing – How to license Oracle software

Oracle OVM Licensing

  • Oracle VM is a server virtualization solution.
  • Licensing options: per CPU socket, per CPU core, and cloud-based.
  • Understand CPU cores and threads for efficient virtualization.
  • Hard partitioning binds vCPUs to physical CPU cores or threads.
  • Compliance with Oracle licensing policies is crucial.
  • Trusted Partitions offer subset licensing without live migration limits.
Table Of Contents
  1. Oracle OVM Licensing – How To License Oracle
  2. Oracle VM Licensing Overview
  3. Oracle VM – How To License Oracle
  4. Oracle Hard Partition Licensing
  5. Configuring Oracle VM Licensing
  6. Expert Oracle Licensing Support at Your Fingertips

Oracle OVM Licensing – How To License Oracle

Oracle OVM Licensing

Brief Introduction to Oracle VM

Oracle VM is a powerful server virtualization solution that allows multiple operating systems to run on a single physical server.

This technology leverages the open-source Xen hypervisor to provide a flexible and efficient platform for managing virtual environments.

Overview of Benefits and Importance of Understanding Licensing Requirements

Oracle VM offers numerous benefits, including improved resource utilization, reduced hardware costs, and enhanced scalability.

However, understanding the licensing requirements is crucial to maximizing these benefits, ensuring compliance, and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Oracle VM Licensing Overview

Oracle OVM Licensing - How To License Oracle

Understanding Oracle VM

Description of Oracle VM as a Server Virtualization Solution

Oracle VM enables organizations to create and manage virtual machines, allowing multiple operating systems and applications to run on a single physical server. This capability helps consolidate workloads, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

Based on Open-Source Xen Hypervisor

Oracle VM is built on the Xen hypervisor, an open-source technology known for its performance, reliability, and flexibility. This foundation allows Oracle VM to support a wide range of virtualization needs.

Supports Various Workloads from Small-Scale to Large-Scale Enterprise Deployments

Oracle VM is designed to handle diverse workloads, from small-scale applications to large-scale enterprise deployments. Its robust architecture ensures that it can meet the demands of different organizational needs, providing a scalable and efficient virtualization solution.

Licensing Options for Oracle OVM

Licensing Options for Oracle OVM

Oracle VM Licensing Methods

Per CPU Socket

Licensing per CPU socket involves paying for each physical CPU socket on the server. This method is straightforward and suitable for environments with predictable and consistent workloads.

Per CPU Core

Licensing per CPU core is based on the server’s number of physical CPU cores. This approach allows for more granular control over licensing costs, making it ideal for environments with varying workload demands.

Cloud-Based Licensing (Per-Hour or Per-Usage)

Cloud-based licensing offers flexibility by allowing organizations to pay for Oracle VM usage on a per-hour or per-usage basis. This model is perfect for dynamic environments where workloads can fluctuate significantly.

Importance of Understanding Licensing Options

Ensuring Compliance with Oracle’s Licensing Policies

Understanding the different licensing options helps organizations comply with Oracle’s licensing policies. Non-compliance can lead to significant legal and financial repercussions.

Avoiding Unnecessary Costs

Organizations can avoid overpaying for unused resources by choosing the appropriate licensing model. Proper licensing ensures you only pay for what you need, optimizing your IT budget.

Optimizing Resource Allocation

Selecting the right licensing option allows for better resource allocation and utilization. This ensures that your virtual environments run efficiently and effectively, supporting your organizational goals without unnecessary expenditure.

Oracle VM – How To License Oracle

Oracle OVM Licensing - How To License Oracle

Understanding CPU Cores and Threads

Definition of CPU Cores and Threads

A CPU core is a physical processing unit within a CPU that can independently execute tasks. A logical processor or virtual core CPU thread is a virtual processing unit created by splitting a physical core into multiple logical units. Each thread can handle separate tasks simultaneously, enhancing multitasking capabilities.

Impact on Virtualization and Performance

In a virtualized environment, allocating CPU cores and threads to virtual machines (VMs) significantly affects performance. Proper allocation ensures VMs have enough processing power to handle their workloads efficiently, while improper allocation can lead to performance bottlenecks.

Presentation of CPUs as vCPUs to Guest Virtual Machines

When a hypervisor or bare metal operating system presents CPUs to guest VMs, it can either present physical CPU cores (without hyperthreading enabled) or CPU threads (with hyperthreading enabled). These presented CPUs are exposed as virtual (vCPUs) to the guest VMs, which schedule applications on these vCPUs.

Importance of CPU Allocation in Virtualization

Impact of CPU Cores and Threads on VM Performance

The number of CPU cores and threads allocated to VMs directly impacts their performance. Adequate allocation ensures VMs can handle their workloads without delays, while inadequate allocation can lead to slow response times and performance degradation.

Risks of Under-Allocating or Over-Allocating vCPUs

Under-allocating vCPUs can cause VMs to struggle with workloads, resulting in poor performance. Over-allocating vCPUs, on the other hand, can lead to resource wastage and contention for physical CPU cores or threads, negatively impacting overall system performance. Striking the right balance is crucial for optimal performance.

Using Hard Partitioning to Optimize Performance

Hard Partitioning to Optimize Performance

Definition and Benefits of Hard Partitioning

Hard partitioning, or CPU pinning, involves binding vCPUs to specific physical CPU cores or threads. This technique ensures that each VM has dedicated access to the resources it needs, preventing interference from other VMs and optimizing performance.

Binding vCPUs to Specific Physical CPU Cores or Threads

By binding vCPUs to specific physical CPU cores or threads, you can control the allocation of processing resources more precisely. This helps in managing the performance of VMs more effectively, ensuring they have the necessary resources without contention from other VMs.

Preventing Interference from Other VMs

Hard partitioning prevents VMs from competing for the same CPU resources, reducing the likelihood of performance issues caused by resource contention. This leads to more predictable and stable performance for each VM.

Configuring Hard Partitioning in Oracle VM

Steps to Bind vCPUs to Physical CPU Cores/Threads

  1. Download Oracle VM Utilities: Obtain the Oracle VM Utilities (ovm_vmcontrol) from My Oracle Support.
  2. Connect to Oracle VM Manager: Use the appropriate command to connect to Oracle VM Manager and retrieve CPU/vCPU bindings.
  3. Bind vCPUs to Specific Cores: Use the command to set vCPU bindings for a virtual machine.
  4. Restart the VM: Stop and start the virtual machine for the changes to occur.
  5. Verify CPU Pinning: Use commands to verify the CPU pinning status.

Tools and Commands for Hard Partitioning

  • xm vcpu-list: This command summarizes which virtual CPUs run on which physical ones. It helps in verifying and managing CPU pinning.
  • xenpm get-cpu-topology: This command displays the topology of physical CPUs and helps identify which physical cores or threads are used by virtual CPUs.

By following these steps and using the appropriate tools and commands, you can effectively configure hard partitioning in Oracle VM, ensuring optimal performance for your virtual environment.

Oracle Hard Partition Licensing

Hard Partitioning to Optimize Performance

Requirements for Running Oracle Software in Oracle VM Environments

To comply with Oracle’s hard partition licensing, you must follow specific guidelines for binding virtual CPUs (vCPUs) to physical CPU threads or cores.

To ensure proper licensing and compliance, these requirements are essential when running Oracle Software in Oracle VM environments.

Guidelines for Binding vCPUs to Physical CPU Threads/Cores

  1. Bind vCPUs to Specific Physical Cores/Threads: To meet Oracle’s licensing requirements, ensure that vCPUs are assigned to specific physical CPU cores or threads.
  2. Verify Bindings: Use tools like xm vcpu-list to verify that vCPUs are correctly bound to the designated physical cores or threads.

Limitations and Policies

Prohibition of Live Migration for CPU-Pinned VMs

Under Oracle’s hard partition licensing terms, live migration of virtual machines with CPU pinning is not permitted. This means VMs with pinned CPUs cannot be moved to another physical server without reconfiguring the CPU bindings.

Exclusion from DRS and DPM Policies in Oracle VM Release 3

Servers running CPU-pinned guests must not be included in Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Distributed Power Management (DPM) policies. These policies are designed to optimize resource usage and power efficiency, but they conflict with the static nature of CPU pinning.

Licensing Implications for Live Migration in Server Pools

Hard partition licensing does not apply to live migration within an Oracle VM server pool. Instead, you must license the same number of physical servers as the number of VMs running Oracle Software, starting with the largest servers based on CPU core count.

Example Scenarios

Licensing Requirements for Different Server Pool Configurations

  • Small Server Pool: For a server pool with 32 servers and 20 VMs running Oracle Software, license the 20 largest physical servers.
  • Large Server Pool: If are 50 VMs in a pool of 32 physical servers, license all 32 physical servers.

Trusted Partitions

Definition and Usage

Trusted Partitions offers a way to license Oracle Software without the limitations of live migration. This feature is available only on approved Oracle Engineered Systems and allows more flexible licensing within partitioned environments.

Subset Licensing Without Limitations on Live Migration

With Trusted Partitions, you can license a subset of the environment without restricting live migration, provided the setup adheres to Oracle’s guidelines for partitioned environments.

Configuring Oracle VM Licensing

Configuring Oracle VM Licensing

Using Oracle VM Utilities

Downloading and Installing Oracle VM Utilities

  1. Download the Utilities: Obtain the Oracle VM Utilities in a .zip file from My Oracle Support (search for patch ID 13602094).
  2. Read Documentation: Review the patch readme file for instructions related to your version of Oracle VM.

Commands for Configuring vCPU Bindings

  • Connecting to Oracle VM Manager:bashCopy code./ovm_vmcontrol -u admin -p Manager1 -h oracle_vm_manager_hostname -v apitest -c getvcpu
  • Setting vCPU Bindings:bashCopy code./ovm_vmcontrol -u admin -p Manager1 -h oracle_vm_manager_hostname -v apitest -c setvcpu -s 0

Practical Configuration Examples

Binding vCPUs to Specific Cores

  1. Set vCPU Bindings: Use the ovm_vmcontrol Command to bind vCPUs to specific cores.
  2. Restart the VM: Stop and start the virtual machine to apply the changes.
  3. Verify Bindings: Check the CPU pinning status using. xm vcpu-list.

Modifying vm.cfg File for Guest VMs

  1. Edit vm.cfg: Modify the vm.cfg file to specify which CPUs the guest can use.arduinoCopy codecpus = '0-3'
  2. Restart the VM: Apply the changes by restarting the virtual machine.

Managing CPU Affinity

Examples of Setting CPU Affinity for vCPUs

  • Allowing Specific CPUs:arduinoCopy codecpus = '0,1'
  • Setting Any CPU:cssCopy codexm vcpu-list guest1 Name ID VCPU CPU State Time(s) CPU Affinity guest1 4 0 4 -b- 8645.7 any cpu

Optimizing Performance Through CPU Affinity Settings

By setting CPU affinity, you can allocate resources more efficiently, reduce bottlenecks, and avoid overloading any physical CPU. This leads to improved performance and stability in your virtual environment.

By following these steps and guidelines, you can ensure compliance with Oracle’s hard partition licensing requirements and optimize the performance of your Oracle VM Server environment.

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Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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