2.5.1. Plug-in-based Implementation

The entire Oracle VM storage implementation is based on Oracle Storage Connect plugins. The plug-ins are packaged and distributed as RPM packages and deployed on the Oracle VM Servers. They are divided in two major categories: storage array plug-ins for any block based storage, and file system plug-ins for any network file system based storage.

For both categories, generic plug-ins are included. They offer standard functionality to discover, register and use NFS storage, iSCSI or Fibre Channel SANs, and local storage For more information about the types of storage supported in Oracle VM, see Section 4.2, “Storage Types”. The standard operations allowed via generic plug-ins are "passive", in the sense that they can detect and use storage elements offered to the Oracle VM Servers. Interactive management operations on the storage hardware is not possible with generic plug-ins.

In addition, Oracle cooperates with storage partners and invites storage hardware vendors to develop Oracle Storage Connect plug-ins for their specific hardware. These vendor-specific plug-ins can only be used with a specific brand or product line of storage hardware but they offer additional operations from within Oracle VM Manager compared to generic plugins. For example, a generic storage array plug-in can only detect LUNs on the storage host and has only a single access group to define which servers can access the storage elements. In contrast, a vendor-specific storage array plug-in allows interactive operations such as creating and modifying LUNs, and can configure various access groups for finer-grained storage access management. For detailed information about Oracle Storage Connect plug-ins, see Section 4.3, “Storage Connect Plug-ins”.

The main benefits of the plug-in approach are: