VMWare fires back at Oracle's VM performance claims

By , IDG News Service |  Virtualization

A VMWare official on Friday scoffed at Oracle's contention that its recent
entry into the virtualization market performs better than "the existing
leader server virtualization product."

Oracle has not named names, but the identity of that "existing leader"
would appear to be the market-dominant VMWare.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Wednesday the company will provide benchmark
numbers to back its claims, but as of Friday, those figures were not available.
An Oracle spokesperson said Friday the numbers will be available "soon,"
but could not provide an exact date.

Brian Byun, VMware's vice president of global partners and solutions, said
in the absence of hard numbers, Oracle's claims amount to marketing spin. "When
VMWare launches a product and makes claims, we publish the full data,"
he said.

A document
posted on Oracle's Web site states: "Oracle ran many performance benchmarks
comparing Oracle products running with Oracle VM against the existing leading
server virtualization product and also with Oracle products on non-virtualized
operating systems on x86 and x86-64. Oracle consistently saw much better resource
utilization with an average of three times less overhead using Oracle VM, and
also saw significant scalability with virtual SMP. In many cases, the comparison
with real hardware was approximately equal in performance."

Byun refused to speculate on how Oracle arrived at its assertions. "We're
not in a position to state what that means on behalf of Oracle. ... From a VMWare
perspective, we're looking for confirmed, reproducible data," he said.

VMWare has also responded by putting up a blog post titled "Ten
Reasons Why Oracle Databases Run Best on VMWare

Oracle VM is based on the open source Xen hypervisor. Forrester Research analyst
James Staten said Oracle's performance claims are ultimately based on figures
forth by the Xen project
. Staten added that customers should test Oracle's
VM product against others based on their own, real-life production workloads.

Oracle is giving away its VM software for free and will make its money on support.
However, the company has sent mixed messagesover whether it plans
to offer support
for its applications running on other virtualization platforms.

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