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Oracle Ravello Cloud – Infrastructure Technical Overview

I have been playing around with Oracle Ravello Cloud and my colleagues asked me about this Cloud platform. I thought of writing this post to give an overview of the Oracle Cloud and hope you can get more detailed overview of the platform and it’s features. I had to read few whitepapers and thought of summarizing the key areas that I found.

If you are running your workloads in a hybrid cloud solution you need to keep your VMs running same as your on-premises datacenter. To achieve this Oracle Ravello Cloud built on a distributed hypervisor infrastructure called HVX. It enables enterprise to encapsulate a multi-VM application run it on any cloud platform including Oracle public cloud, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

Key Features of Oracle Cloud:

  • VMware/KVM as is: complex applications run on public clouds exactly as those applications run in the datacenter
  • Up to 14x better performance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: boost the application performance with hardware assisted nested virtualization, and even more when running directly on OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure)
  • L2 networking access: Keep the same IPs, subnets, VLANs; access VMware native NICs, unlimited NICs per VM, multiple IPs per NIC and setup VxLANs – on leading public clouds
  • Blueprinting – snapshot and share: Snapshot complete environment configurations, including the state of disks, memory, network of all application VMs to create a blueprint
  • Automation: With Ravello’s rich REST API, users can automatically spin up complete environments application blueprints
  • Permissions and ephemeral access: Ravello enables users to set permission rules, as well as provide ephemeral access tokens to users within and outside of the organization. Users can share environments and collaborate with others, while they monitoring the spread of usage of application environments

HVX: Virtual Infrastructure for the Cloud

The HVX Infrastructure consists with three main technology components and a management layer and offering a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to the customers. The Management layer handles the technology components provides the user interface and API, handles the image management and monitoring.

These are the three main technology components:

  • High-performance nested virtualization engine—also called a nested hypervisor
  • Software-defined network
  • Storage overlay

HVX: Technology Architecture Diagram

High Performance Nested Virtualization

HVX nested hypervisor is capable of running any unmodified guests on top of already virtualized hardware with three main nested virtualization implementations

  • Hardware assisted nested Virtualization
    • OCI allows multiple VMs to share the same underline hardware using the Virtualization Extensions. HVX leverages the hardware assist CPU instructions to improve the performance of the workloads.

Hardware Assisted Nested Virtualization

  • Running directly on bare metal
    • HVX also runs in the bare metal Servers and ability to achive near native performance

Running on Bare Metal Servers

  • Software assisted nested virtualization
    • HVX allows to run VMware VMs with great performance on public cloud infrastructure using a software based nested virtualization called binary translation

Software Based Nested Virtualization

Software Defined Networking (Overlay Network)

Software defined networking components resides within the OCI including multiple subnets, routers, and supplemental services such as DHCP, DNS servers and firewalls. If you need you can even create your own components by uploading the appliances to the cloud in this way you can create load balancing appliances and L2/L3 site-to-site or access VPN endpoints.

Dataplane consists with fully equiped distributed switches and routers and network packets intercepted and injected to the switch. For each and every connected device it creates a virtual port and it handles incomming and outgoing traffic. Macaddress learn from this and creates the forwarding table, for broadcasting frames virtual port flood the traffic to all the distributed ports withn the same broadcast domain. The packet transportation between the port done using the local transport of P2P tunnels over UDP.

Control Plane control plane includes distributed Routers, DNS and DHCP services

Overlay Network and P2P VPN Connectivity Overview

Oracle Ravello Cloud SDN

Overlay Storage

HVX abstract object storage and various types of block devices into local block devices which are exposed directly to the guest VMs. VMs feel like it is running in the same datacenter and VM’s device type and controller type to the location on the PCI bus remains the same.

OCI Storage Overlay Overview

For best performance VM image cashing stores the images locally and OCI provides the benefit of leveraging the Overlay Storage allowing to run any iSCSI, NFS, CIFS and SMD file system to the VMs. From the backend it provides the multi-VM snapshot features. HVX provide the various cloud storage primitives from various storage providers such as magnetic, provisioned IOPs and SSD based storage. Any VM can utilize it’s own CD-ROM to install its guest operating system from an ISO which was uploaded to the Image library.

Use the attached CD-ROM to install any OS from an uploaded ISO file

Resources : 

Oracle Ravello Cloud – Infrastructure Technical Overview
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Aruna Lakmal

Senior Virtualization Engineer at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 6 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

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