Oracle is taking on virtualisation market leader VMware with the launch of Oracle VM, an implementation of the open source Xen virtualisation technology.
The VM software is certified to run Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications.
Chuck Rozwat, Oracle's executive vice president of product development, claimed during his keynote at Oracle Open World that VM is one of the biggest software launches in the company's history.
John Humphreys, vice president of enterprise virtualisation at analyst firm IDC, said: " Enterprises of all sizes are embracing virtualisation to consolidate resources, better leverage commodity hardware and further reduce computing costs.
"Products like Oracle VM can be excellent tools that enable IT [departments] to increase server utilisation and dramatically reduce complexity and overall total cost of ownership."
Oracle VM will available as a free download from 14 November.
Xen is best known through XenSource, a subsidiary of Citrix, which markets an implementation of the open source virtualisation platform.
Sun Microsystems is preparing to release a preview of xVM in January, which is yet another Xen implementation.
Oracle VM is designed to allow virtualisation of Linux and Microsoft systems in both environments. Rozwat told delegates that non-Oracle applications can also be cleared to use the code.
The introduction is reminiscent of last year's launch of Oracle Linux when Oracle released its own implementation of the Red Hat Linux distribution while undercutting Red Hat on price.
Oracle Linux has had limited appeal, however, because it lacks broad support from third-party application developers. Oracle has shown off a few early customers, but Red Hat claims that it has seen no real impact.
The virtualisation space is dominated by VMware, a subsidiary of storage vendor EMC, and is considered on of the top priorities within IT departments.
"To describe virtualisation as a revolution is not overstating the issue," said Hector Ruiz, chief executive at AMD.
"Virtualisation is accelerating the shift in control from vendors to customers. This announcement only demonstrates the opportunity virtualisation provides the IT community and our customers."
Oracle VM takes on VMware
By Iain Thomson on Nov 14, 2007 3:50PM