Virtually Unbeatable:
Oracle’s Advantage over IBM

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Oracle understands customers want optimized servers that provide virtualization built-in, as a standard feature. Oracle delivers solutions ready for the enterprise while IBM forces customers to purchase virtualization separately as an add-on, which increases cost.

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Top Reasons Oracle SPARC Server Virtualization features are a Smarter Choice than IBM

Oracle's Exceptional Value – Built Right In

Customers expecting greater value for their money without sacrificing performance and efficiency will find that Oracle is a better choice than IBM. This is because Oracle Solaris and Oracle virtualization technologies are built into all of our servers at no cost to you. This also means no extra license or support fees and no hidden costs. Oracle offers only out-of-the-box enterprise-class virtualization, which comes standard with all of our servers. Compare that to IBM, which charges extra for virtualization. For example, an IBM PowerVM standard edition license can cost up to $1400 per processor core and IBM's Enterprise Edition, which is required for live partition mobility, can add as much as $2800 per processor core on larger server models. Add on IBM's software maintenance fees for support that average $7,000 per year and you see costs add up quickly, with support fees on bigger server models costing even more. Oracle's customers get more for their money with Oracle's built-in virtualization capabilities.

Overcome Complexity; Unleash Innovation

Overcome Complexity; Unleash Innovation

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Oracle's Architectural Advantage Means Lower Overhead

Oracle customers do not pay the same “virtualization tax" through the purchase of additional hardware required to enable virtualization that IBM customers do. For example, IBM PowerVM virtualization leverages a software hypervisor and time slicing to achieve maximum granularity which results in high overhead and an adverse affect on application performance. At Oracle, the hypervisor (the virtualization engine) is built directly into the hardware for all forms of Oracle Solaris on SPARC virtualization. This delivers native CPU performance, which means virtually no performance overhead for Oracle virtualization solutions.

Oracle provides the secure migration capabilities that customers require. Oracle's SPARC T-Series servers have built-in cryptographic capabilities that are integrated with virtualization so that VMs are secure when they move from one server to the next. IBM Power systems today cannot provide security for VMs being migrated with their LPM (Live Partition Mobility) or App Mobility offerings, even on Power7+, which is their first generation Power server with on-chip cryptographic acceleration. Oracle offers Oracle VM Manager and Enterprise Manager/OpsCenter, both of which include complete virtualization provisioning and support. IBM customers must utilize one of several hardware consoles for full provisioning and virtualization management, which only adds complexity as the implementation changes depending on the tool used, not to mention the add-on costs.

Oracle’s Unique Oracle Solaris Zones Technology

The concept of virtualization has long been embedded into the Oracle Solaris operating system with Oracle Solaris Zones. This operating system level virtualization technology creates isolated virtual servers within a single Oracle Solaris instance, which greatly simplifies system management by reducing the number of OS instances. As part of Oracle Solaris, Zones can take advantage of such features as ZFS and Predictive Self Healing. Oracle Solaris Zones are highly efficient and have low overhead because they don't virtualize the entire physical server like a software hypervisor, but they provide many of the same benefits such as security isolation, fault isolation, dynamic resource allocation, elimination of application conflicts, and more agile management. IBM followed Oracle’s lead with WPARS (announced 2 years later), but Oracle was first to offer Legacy OS guest support, and unlike IBM WPARS, Zones are recognized as “hard partitions” for Oracle per core software licensing.

It's clear that Oracle offers significant advantages over IBM when it comes to virtualization. To learn more, please visit

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