Oracle has reportedly extended - albeit in a limited manner - its support for customers running a key piece of its private cloud picture, Oracle 11g Real Application Clusters (RAC).
In a statement reportedly issued to Oracle customers on Monday, the database behemoth said it would now provide support for glitches in RAC that were "known to occur on the native OS, or can be demonstrated not to be as a result of running on VMware."
A VMWare enthusiast that goes by the name "virtual geek" posted what he claimed was Oracle's service update on Wednesday.
According to the blogger, who stressed that none of the views expressed on his blog are shared by storage giant and majority owner of VMware, EMC, the move marks a dramatic change in Oracle's stance towards implementations of RAC that run within VMware environments.
Oracle's official stance has been to only support RAC when it is running on Oracle's own hypervisor, Oracle VM.
"Oracle VM is the only software based virtualization solution that is fully supported and certified for Oracle Real Application Clusters," the vendor stated in a June 2010 technical paper [PDF].
But some customers have risked running Oracle's RAC unsupported due to its reliance on a shared storage environment. To do that on the cheap, a VMWare server can be used to mimic shared storage, according to a post on Oracle forum, Oracle-Base.
Oracle's new RAC support plan demands that customers do some digging before calling it for support.
"If a problem is a known Oracle issue, Oracle support will recommend the appropriate solution on the native OS," Oracle reportedly said.
"If that solution does not work in the VMware virtualised environment, the customer will be referred to VMware for support."
Where a customer can demonstrate to Oracle that RAC did not work "when running on the native OS", it would resume support and log the bug for potential investigation by its developers.
Oracle also placed strict caveats on the offer, outlining that it had not certified "any of its products" on VMware.
"For Oracle RAC, Oracle will only accept Service Requests as described in this note on Oracle RAC 184.108.40.206 and later releases," the vendor clarified.