Last week's Linuxworld saw the launch of oracle's Virtual Machine Templating technology which a time-saving approach to deploying a fully configured software stack.
This provides pre-installed and pre-configured images of entreprise software; Oracle is releasing four Oracle VM templates for free (although http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/080608-oracle-virtual-machines.html Networkworld says that they are for testing purposes only).
Prospective users will need to have licenses for the products which include Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle's Siebel CRM 8, and Oracle Enterprise Linux.
This opens up the possibility of setting up fully fledged Oracle environment on physical servers in minutes through Oracle VM Hypervisor.
But in the competitive virtualisation world, there's a distinct possibility that customers migrate to other free virtual machines from Citrix or Xen, especially as some might fear that Oracle is trying to lock them.
Oracle has also announced more templates for products from other companies (possibly IBM and Red Hat) if that's makes (commercial) sense.
"Customers are experiencing increased challenges as the volume of information in their data center continues to grow rapidly, leading to added hardware and energy costs and a depletion of server resources," said Wim Coekaerts, vice president Linux Engineering, Oracle.
"The combination of Oracle VM Templates and Oracle VM offers customers the full benefits of server virtualization including optimized resource utilization, energy, power and space savings, in addition to faster, easier and more cost-effective software deployment - leading to further lowering the cost of data center operations and contributing to green IT."