Oracle has launched Oracle VM, its new server virtualisation software technology, in front of delegates at its Oracle OpenWorld user conference.

Oracle VM is built on Xen hypervisor open-source code and is designed to support and centrally manage Oracle and non-Oracle applications within virtualised environments, noted Oracle president Charles Phillips.

The new virtualisation software features support for Linux OS, as well as for the company's database, application software and Fusion middleware offerings.

According to Oracle officials, Oracle VM will be available for download from Wednesday (14 November). Pricing for Oracle VM is on a per-system basis; Oracle said a system with unlimited CPUs will cost $999 (£500) per year for each system.

In his keynote speech, Phillips said that Oracle VM is the application provider's Web-based answer to managing virtual server pools running on x86 and z86-64-based systems. "We have an answer to virtualisation," he said.

Vendors providing support for Oracle VM include Intel, Dell, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Hewlett-Packard, Network Appliance, QLogic, Emulex , Pillar Data Systems and Liquid Computing, said Oracle.

Galen Shreck, principal analyst for Forrester Research said despite Oracle's considerable installed base and application breadth, the company will be unable to convince customers to flock to its nascent virtualisation technology for third-party applications.

He dismissed the "idea [that] people will gravitate to Oracle VM for virtualisation for non-Oracle applications. I don't think they will. [Instead] they'll go to VMWare, Microsoft or Citrix," said Shreck. "I don't think Oracle can keep up."

He continued, "[Oracle VM] is basically destined to be its own island. I don't think today that Oracle really has the either the system management or the relationship with ISV partners to create their own computing platform for general-purpose applications."