Deploying Oracle VM–based virtualization has reduced risk at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), says Tim Frazier, associate project manager of NIF at Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory. “It has also normalized a heterogeneous computing infrastructure and given us a better disaster recovery story,” he says.
tant because the user community of NIF scientists and researchers
had reservations about the move to virtualization. They feared it
would negatively affect the performance of their applications.
The physical servers at NIF now support 700 Oracle VM–based
VMs that scientists and researchers use to analyze the results of
Virtualization has brought higher availability and quicker recovery
from system faults, largely because NIF stores a mirror image of each
Up to the Desktop
In addition to the Oracle VM 3.0 solution for server virtualization, Oracle
offers a set of integrated client- and server-based desktop virtualization
solutions that deliver secure, “anytime, any where” access from any device:
•;Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure provides a complete solution
for managing, hosting, and providing access to virtualized Microsoft
Windows, Oracle Linux, and Oracle Solaris desktops hosted in the
•;Oracle’s Sun Ray Clients are low-power, low-cost devices that enable
access to the same complete desktop environment from many different
client devices and locations.
•;Oracle Secure Global Desktop software provides secure access to
server-hosted Windows, UNIX, mainframe, and midrange applications
on a single PC.
•;Oracle VM VirtualBox enables users to run multiple independent operating systems on their PCs.
In July 2011, Oracle announced Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for iPad,
available at the Apple App Store, which gives users secure access to virtual
desktops managed by Oracle’s Sun Ray Software and Oracle Virtual
VM on a disk array. CPU utilization rates have also improved, allowing
NIF to get the most out of its existing hardware investments because
no new servers needed to be purchased.
“Virtualization has reduced risk,” says Frazier. “It has also normal-
ized a heterogeneous computing infrastructure and given us a better
disaster recovery story. This translates directly to greater availability
of our infrastructure.”
Most of all, server virtualization was an economically feasible path
to simplifying the computing infrastructure needed to support NIF’s
highly compute-intensive applications. For NIF, it wasn’t so much
a matter of cost cutting as cost avoidance. “It’s not like we had 700
servers before,” Frazier notes. “It’s only because of virtualization that
we’ve been able to dedicate machines to specific workloads. In the
old days of ‘bare metal,’ that would have been too wasteful, and we
couldn’t have afforded it. Virtualization is the way for us now at NIF,
and we expect it to be for LIFE in the future.”
Philip J. Gill is a San Diego, California–based freelance writer.
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