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Ravello on Oracle Cloud Moves to Production

Today, Oracle announced that Ravello on their Cloud Infrastructure is getting a number of significant updates. It’s a pretty big update, but let’s level set first.

If you’re not familiar with Ravello, it’s a product designed for organizations that want to transition from traditional on-site architecture to the cloud, without having to completely upend workflows and existing VMs. It does this by presenting their HVX hypervisor to existing VMs, serving as a mediation layer between public cloud resources.

Without something like Ravello, the journey to cloud has a lot of complexity. A simple lift-and-shift will require extensive reconfiguration, from security appliances to altering networking from L2 to L3, to say nothing of possible moving from VMware if it’s not supported by your public cloud of choice. These are all the forces of inertia that cause a lot or organizations to think that a move to the cloud isn’t feasible.

With Ravello, VMs can largely be left alone when moved to the cloud. HVX does the heavy lifting of dealing with configuration issues with the public cloud, letting you keep your VMware VMs and L2 networking.

The announced enhancement to Ravello on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure signify a shift for the product. Instead of being a test/dev solution and perhaps testing the waters for a cloud shift, Ravello can now support migration of production apps to the cloud.

On Oracle Cloud, Ravello can now support up to 32 vCPUs per VM, a beefy upgrade from the current limit of 8 on other public cloud providers. This should provide some significant baseline grunt for production applications.

But the bigger news is that on Oracle Cloud, Ravello is moving away from being a software-only solution, and gaining hardware assisted nested virtualization. The big number that Oracle is throwing out there is up to a 14x performance boost per vCPU compared to other clouds. I didn’t get specifics on what kind of workloads saw this specific increase, but most applications can expect some significant performance boost with the hardware support.

There’s also support for running directly on bare metal, which would be useful for migrating physical hosts. The migration won’t be quite as seemless, but it’s a recognition by Oracle that sometimes apps aren’t strictly virtual or physical, and providing support accordingly.

The other indication Ravello on Oracle Cloud is being positioned for production workloads is the addition of Availability Groups. Obviously the ability to designate high availability for VMs and apps is critical for production.

Ravello has been a great way for organizations to dip their toes into the cloud with minimal effort for a while. With the new features added on Oracle Cloud, the product is definitely pivoting into being an all-out gateway for legacy applications. Of course, Ravello isn’t a cloud migration panacea. It isn’t going to help you adopt a DevOps culture or automate ALL the things (!). But by flattening a lot of the technical inertia inherent in a cloud migration, Ravello may well give you the bandwidth to focus on them.

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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