Which is better VMware or Oracle?

When it comes to virtualization and cloud computing, two big names stand out: VMware and Oracle. Both companies offer comprehensive suites of products and services for managing virtual infrastructure and transitioning to the cloud. But which one is better? Here’s a look at how VMware and Oracle stack up against each other.

VMware Overview

VMware is a pioneer and leader in virtualization and software-defined data center technologies. Founded in 1998, VMware helped popularize x86 server virtualization with its VMware ESX hypervisor. Today, VMware has a broad portfolio of virtualization, cloud computing, networking, security and digital workspace products and services. Some of VMware’s key offerings include:

  • vSphere – VMware’s virtualization platform and hypervisor for virtualizing servers.
  • vSAN – Software-defined storage built on vSphere for hyperconverged infrastructure.
  • NSX – Network virtualization and software-defined networking platform.
  • vRealize – Cloud management platform for managing virtual infrastructure and applications.
  • VMware Cloud – VMware’s public and hybrid cloud infrastructure and services.
  • Horizon – Desktop and app virtualization platform.

VMware has broad adoption among enterprises and service providers. The company has leveraged its strength in virtualization as a beachhead into cloud computing and modern data center management. VMware emphasizes open standards and tries to partner broadly across the industry.

Oracle Overview

Oracle provides databases, cloud infrastructure, enterprise software and hardware products to customers worldwide. Founded in 1977, Oracle is best known for its Oracle Database software. But Oracle has expanded well beyond databases over the years. Here are some key Oracle offerings:

  • Oracle Database – Flagship relational database management system.
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) – Oracle’s public cloud platform for IaaS and PaaS.
  • Oracle Cloud applications – Enterprise SaaS applications for ERP, HCM, CX, analytics and more.
  • Oracle VM – Server virtualization solution for x86 environments.
  • Oracle Exadata – Engineered systems that integrate servers and storage.
  • Oracle Solaris – Enterprise Unix operating system.

Oracle targets large enterprises and charges premium prices for its products. The company heavily bundles cloud subscriptions with multi-year contracts. Oracle also maintains a sizable on-premises software business. The company is working to maintain existing customers while pivoting toward cloud delivery of its applications.

VMware vs. Oracle Virtualization

Both VMware and Oracle provide powerful virtualization platforms, but VMware has many advantages when it comes to data center virtualization:

  • VMware vSphere leads the x86 server virtualization market with the most advanced hypervisor and richest ecosystem.
  • vSphere has proven scalability, performance, availability and security with the most production workloads.
  • VMware supports all major hardware vendors and OSes, providing the most interoperability and flexibility.
  • Oracle VM is proprietary and mainly designed to run Oracle software.

VMware vSphere provides an enterprise-ready virtualization foundation for large deployments across diverse environments. Oracle VM is more niche and sits in the technical shadow of vSphere’s market dominance.

VMware vs. Oracle Cloud

Both VMware and Oracle provide extensive public cloud infrastructure and platform services. There are pros and cons to each approach:

VMware Cloud Advantages

  • VMware Cloud runs natively on top of major hyperscalers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.
  • Leverages consistent VMware infrastructure and operations across on-prem and public cloud.
  • Focuses on hybrid cloud and multi-cloud support rather than single provider lock-in.
  • Deep integration and alignment with partner ecosystems.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Advantages

  • Engineered for high performance and optimized for Oracle apps.
  • Provides bare metal servers and dedicated hardware options.
  • Strong capabilities around Oracle Database and Oracle services.
  • Tightly integrated technology stack owned by Oracle.

Overall, VMware Cloud aligns better for organizations that prioritize hybrid cloud and keeping consistency across environments. Oracle Cloud gives oracle application customers technology and licensing advantages.

VMware vs. Oracle Management and Automation

VMware and Oracle take different approaches when it comes to multi-cloud management, automation and orchestration:

  • VMware’s vRealize Suite provides infrastructure management, automation and orchestration across VMware-based environments, public clouds and containers.
  • Oracle Cloud Manager and related services focus mainly on managing Oracle’s public cloud infrastructure and Oracle applications.
  • VMware open source contributions and APIs foster an ecosystem of third-party integrations and open hybrid cloud.
  • Oracle Cloud takes a more walled garden approach that binds customers to Oracle technology.

VMware’s management stack appeals to those seeking to manage multi-cloud infrastructure no matter what the underlying platform. Oracle prioritizes simplifying operations within its own cloud.

VMware vs. Oracle Containers and Kubernetes

Containers and Kubernetes are essential technologies for operating modern applications in the cloud and across hybrid environments. Here is how VMware and Oracle stack up in these areas:

VMware Oracle
  • native Kubernetes with VMware Tanzu
  • broad ecosystem of container partners
  • works across all major public clouds
  • open source contributions with Kubernetes and BOSH
  • Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes
  • designed for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
  • integrated with Oracle services
  • proprietary technology stack

VMware lets customers run Kubernetes across any infrastructure. Oracle focuses on optimized deployment on Oracle Cloud.

VMware vs. Oracle Edge and IoT

Both companies offer platforms for edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT):

  • VMware has VMware Edge and VMware Pulse IoT Center for delivering edge infrastructure and connecting IoT deployments.
  • Oracle offers Oracle IoT Cloud Service and Oracle Edge Cloud Stack.
  • VMware works with an array of hardware vendor partners.
  • Oracle IoT Cloud is proprietary to Oracle infrastructure and apps.

VMware takes a partner-centric approach to heterogeneous edge and IoT environments. Oracle provides optimized services for its integrated stack.

VMware vs. Oracle Security

VMware and Oracle both provide integrated security capabilities within their offerings:

  • VMware builds security features like the distributed firewall into its virtualization stack and SD-WAN into NSX networking.
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure includes a web application firewall, DDoS protection and integrated security monitoring.
  • VMware’s broad ecosystem incorporates third-party security partnerships.
  • Oracle Cloud focuses mainly on Oracle-native security capabilities.

VMware lets customers integrate preferred third-party security tools. Oracle emphasizes its own cloud-native security solutions.

VMware vs. Oracle Pricing and Support

Some key pricing and support differences:

  • VMware uses per CPU or per VM pricing for on-prem software. VMware Cloud is priced based on usage tiers.
  • Oracle software is expensive and often requires complex, multi-year contracts.
  • VMware support offers more flexibility for different service tiers.
  • Oracle support is bundled into cloud subscriptions with less discrete options.

In general, VMware pricing provides more flexibility for scaling needs and budget constraints. Oracle lock-in to lengthy, opaque contracts reduces user control.


VMware and Oracle take differing approaches across virtualization, cloud, automation, containers, edge computing and other modern infrastructure areas. VMware offers customer choice through its platform flexibility, partner ecosystem and hybrid/multi-cloud focus. Oracle heavily promotes its own integrated technology stack optimized for Oracle applications.

Organizations that want open infrastructure to match their use cases should consider VMware’s strengths in interoperability and integration. Customers standardizing on Oracle apps may prefer Oracle Cloud’s optimized, purpose-built environment. However, VMware’s platform consistency and hybrid capabilities provide advantages even for Oracle application users that need infrastructure flexibility and portability.

Overall, VMware provides the most agile, adaptable enterprise infrastructure software for the multi-cloud era due to its technology advantages and independence as a Switzerland vendor. Oracle forces customers into its proprietary stack that lacks VMware’s versatility and broader ecosystem. For most organizations seeking maximum infrastructure choice and hybrid cloud agility, VMware is the superior option over Oracle.