Oracle presents 'independent' research showing faster installation times than VMware

Oracle presents 'independent' research showing faster installation times than VMware

Summary: Oracle announced that an Evaluator Group test showed the installation of Oracle's own Oracle VM was faster in a Oracle RAC/Oracle Business Suite environment than VMware. What Oracle didn't disclose was that Oracle sponsored this research and presented it as independent.

TOPICS: Virtualization

Oracle's PR firm just send me a message touting a new study presented by the Evaluator Group that showed that it is easier and quicker to install Oracle VM in an environment supporting Oracle RAC and Oracle Business Suite than installing VMware's vSphere. The main supporting reason was that Oracle's templates for those products drastically reduced the time of installation. As any teenager would say, "Well, duh!"

Here's what Oracle's press release has to say

Leading Analyst Firm Finds Oracle VM Beats VMware vSphere in Time to Deployment for Key Oracle Applications

Users Can Deploy Oracle Real Application Clusters Up to 10 Times Faster with Oracle VM Templates

Redwood Shores, Calif. – August 24, 2012

News Facts

In a recent report, Evaluator Group found that deploying Oracle Real Application Clusters and the Oracle E-Business Suite using the Oracle VM Templates on Oracle VM was much faster than a traditional install performed with VMware vSphere 5.

Using Oracle VM Templates, the Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g Release 2 configuration deployed in just under 4 hours. With VMware vSphere 5, the same configuration took nearly 40 hours to deploy. In a similar comparison, the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.1 configuration deployed in two hours and 15 minutes, vs more than 15 hours. Requiring nearly zero application or operating system installation knowledge, Oracle VM Templates help substantially reduce the risk and time needed to deploy enterprise applications. In non-Oracle VM environments, customers can spend many months building similar solutions and fine tuning them, which typically requires in depth product knowledge.

Providing Value Beyond Server Consolidation

Oracle VM Templates enable the deployment of a complete application runtime environment within a virtual machine. The operating system, database and applications are installed, updated to the correct patch levels and automatically configured at the initial boot time of the VM, without any additional system or application installation tasks required. Certified by Oracle, the templates allow IT organizations to simplify and speed virtualization and deployment of their enterprise applications within traditional or cloud-based infrastructures and reduce deployment time down to hours and minutes rather than days and weeks.

Oracle offers more than 100 Oracle VM Templates, available for Oracle Database, Oracle Real Application Clusters, the Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s PeopleSoft, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Fusion Middleware and many more. Customers can also create their own Oracle VM Templates for non-Oracle applications.

Oracle VM is optimized to accelerate deployment and simplify management of the entire application stacks. With integrated management, through Oracle Enterprise Manager, testing, and support from applications to disk, Oracle’s unique approach to virtualization not only helps consolidate IT resources — it enables IT to deliver cloud services rapidly and efficiently.

Let's pick this announcement apart, shall we?

Here are my thoughts after having read the press release and then reading the Evaluator Group report:

Vertically integrated products versus the real world.

Oracle has done quite a bit of work to make its Oracle VM easy to use in a Oracle-centric environment. It would be expected that this integration work would speed the installation process.

Does this mean that Oracle VM is a better virtual machine software platform than others? Well, no, it doesn't. It just means that a tightly integrated, read captive, system installation is easier than using a general purpose product.

Is this really a neutral, independent study?

Since a real world control  that is an environment containing a mix of Oracle and third party products, wasn't shown in the study, I was moved to ask the Oracle PR folks to find out who sponsored this study that Oracle was touting.

It turns out that Oracle sponsored this study.

This information isn't in the press release nor was I able to find it in the report.

Do you suppose this is a bit misleading? I do.

Would Oracle VM fare as well in a real world test?

A real world test would compare Oracle VM to VMware vSphere in an environment that is more like what is found in data centers around the world. You know what I mean. Data centers with a mix of operating systems, applications, development tools, database engines and management environments.

While it would have been nice if the "independent study" looked at real world environments, this type of test wasn't presented in the study results.

Snapshot analysis

It is highly suspicious that this study was released immediately before VMware's VMworld bash. It is clear that Oracle wanted to rain on VMware's parade and wanted to win so badly that a few rules of independent research were "bent" to make Oracle's virtual machine product look better than the industry leader.

All I have to say is shame on Oracle for doing this. Shame on the Evaluator Group for going along with a comparison of multiple vendor's products sponsored by only one of the vendors.

When I was at IDC and later at the 451 Group, this sort of study was not allowed by company policy.

Topic: Virtualization


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • In defense of the Evaluator Group

    First, disclosure: I am friends with the team at the Evaluator Group and I like their work

    Second, anyone in the industry who knows me also knows I'm about as anti-analyst as you can get. Many do not provide disclosure on their commissioned work and this is inexcusable. Gartner's lack of disclosure on the Magic Quadrant should be punishable by the FTC.

    In this case, the PR group should get scorched for their lack of disclosure... but I'm not completely surprised. Oracle's PR team frequently lies and they lied when they claimed Xsigo was SDN technology recently.

    Question: Did the paper itself from the Evaluator Group state whether it was commissioned or not?

    Also... I think you are wrong that the Evaluator Group shouldn't have done a commissioned study of multiple vendor's products. As long as there are clear disclosures that it was commissioned and as long as the parameters of the study are clear and reasonable (typical end-user configurations) I think it's fine. In fact I wish MORE vendors would commission more comparative studies of their solutions versus others. You know as well as I do that you can't get independent studies in enterprise tech anymore - it's too expensive to run a lab... someone with an interest has to pay for it.

    Like I said, as long as there is disclosure and the test parameters are reasonable, we need more studies like this.
  • Benchmarks & Independence

    First of all, I appreciate Greg's comments. As a technical analyst firm, we do guard our independence -- especially since a good deal of our work is with IT end users and helping them architect environments and select products. 90% of the publications on our site are independent and at times at odds with a vendors position of their products. The other 10% are done on commission, for topical areas and products we believe are solid and have value. Any document published with a vendor is co-logo'd, including this paper.

    The Oracle - VMware test was done at an independent lab, with personnel that while Oracle database knowledgeable, did not have any experience with implementation of ESX or OVM. This was done purposefully. Oracle was involved to provide technical materials and if we had a technical question, just as you would access a support line.

    We believe it is important to have comparisons. This is why SPC-1 and SPEC exists. It is why we have developed another benchmark - VDI-IOmark, for VDI storage environments. These benchmarks provide real comparison data that end users can use for decisions. It is also why we document test parameters and environments.

    Lastly, I will conclude with what our end user customers state about us:
    “We need the ability to have outside unbiased comparison data. Evaluator Group research gives us quick access and perspectives. Other sources of information are not technical enough or provide adequate access”
    — Top 10 Insurance Company

    “Evaluator Group comparison data and product analysis reduces time by 3 to 1 for us to do the research”
    — Federal Agency
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