Server Hardware Certification
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What is the purpose of the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Server
Hardware Certification Program?
The Oracle Linux and Virtualization Server Hardware Certification
Program enables established hardware partners, which are generally
Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and resellers with OPN Gold membership,
to qualify their hardware using Oracle supplied qualification test
kits; IHVs certify servers on Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable
Enterprise Kernel (UEK) or Oracle VM software, and they certify
storage systems with Oracle VM. The output of this program is
the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL),
which documents server compatibility with Oracle Linux with UEK
and Oracle VM, and storage compatibility with Oracle VM.
Through this qualification, Oracle and its hardware partners are
- Jointly market the specifications of the target hardware for
the benefit of their customers, and
- Ensure that Oracle and the hardware partners are equipped to
provide collaborative support to customers running Oracle Linux
with UEK and Oracle VM.
Under certain circumstances, customers may also participate in
the certification program.
Please see the
Storage HCL FAQ for information about certifying storage systems
with Oracle VM.
Please see the
Hypervisor HCL FAQ for information about guest certifications
Do I have to be a part of Oracle Partner Network (OPN) to certify my
server on Oracle Linux and Oracle VM?
An IHV participating in the Hardware Certification Program must
be an established hardware partner having a collaborative support
agreement with Oracle. The most comprehensive partnership is achieved
by joining OPN at the Gold level or higher. This includes joint marketing
activities and participation in the Oracle Collaborative Vendor Support
Program (OCVS). An IHV can also establish a collaborative support
agreement with Oracle through
In many cases our larger partners belong to both. If you would like
to become an OPN member, please contact us at
Resellers and customers that wish to participate in the Oracle Linux
and Virtualization Server Hardware Certification Program, but who
are not members of OPN or TSANet, must be sponsored by an Oracle Linux
or Oracle VM Sales Representative.
As a reseller or customer without OPN or TSANet membership, how does
my participation in the program differ?
Using the Oracle supplied server certification test kit, resellers
and customers test the hardware on which they plan to run Oracle Linux
with UEK or Oracle VM environments in the same manner as the
OPN hardware partners. However, there are two important distinctions:
- Program participation must be sponsored by your Oracle Linux
or Oracle VM Sales Representative, and
- The way support is delivered for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
on that hardware stack will vary depending upon the involvement
of the hardware vendor in the certification process.
- If a reseller or customer performs the certification test
in cooperation with their hardware vendor, and the hardware vendor
has an established partnership with Oracle and approves, the resulting
certification will benefit from all of the program features including
optimized joint support from Oracle and the IHV.
- If a reseller or customer performs the certification test
without cooperation from their hardware vendor, or if the hardware
vendor does not have an established partnership with Oracle, the
certification will still be published in the
and Oracle Linux and Oracle VM will be fully supported
on that hardware by Oracle. However, customers deploying Oracle Linux
or Oracle VM on this certified hardware will not have the
benefit of a joint support relationship between Oracle and the
hardware vendor, and the hardware vendor may not consider this
a supported environment.
Does Oracle provide the certification tools? What will I need?
Oracle provides test kits that are downloaded by the program participant
and run on their server. At this time Oracle has two test kits: one
for certifying Oracle Linux (which includes Oracle Linux
KVM) and Oracle VM on a server, and one for certifying Oracle VM
with a storage system.
Your hardware requirements will vary depending on the features
of the server you are certifying, but the requirements are minimal.
Oracle will provide hardware requirements after you engage with the
program team (contact information included below).
How does the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Server Hardware Certification
Program differ from Oracle Validated Configuration? Does one supersede
the other or is one a prerequisite for the other?
The Hardware Certification Program and the Oracle Validated Configuration
Program are two different programs that target two different customer
- The Hardware Certification Program allows IHVs, resellers
and customers to certify their hardware with Oracle Linux
and Oracle VM, the output of which is an
entry. This HCL entry qualifies the hardware for full Oracle support,
and in most cases enables streamlined collaborative support from
Oracle and the IHV.
- The Oracle
Validated Configuration Program offers customers free, pre-tested
validated system stacks and documented best practices on complete
system stacks including hardware, operating system, virtualization
software and Oracle Database. Validated configurations are useful
for customers who are looking for guidance to shorten the deployment
phase of an enterprise-ready Oracle Database and Oracle Linux
environment. Servers that are tested and documented in the Validated
Configurations Program are automatically reflected on the Oracle Linux
and Oracle VM HCL.
What is the difference between a "Certified for Joint Support" HCL status
and a "Certified for Oracle Support" HCL status?
Certified for Joint Support: Oracle Linux or Oracle VM
was rigorously tested on the hardware or hypervisor (referred to as
platform) with the participation and/or approval of the platform partner,
and both Oracle and the partner fully support the environment. Customers
deploying Oracle Linux or Oracle VM on this platform benefit
from streamlined joint support. If a customer encounters any problem
with Oracle Linux or Oracle VM that involves the underlying
platform, the customer will open a service request with Oracle Support.
Oracle Support will engage the partner if necessary, and seamlessly
manage a joint resolution. For support on Oracle platforms, no third-party
vendors are involved in the support process. These configurations
are fully supported by Oracle.
Certified for Oracle Support: Oracle Linux or Oracle VM
was rigorously tested with the same standards as Certified for Joint
Support and Oracle fully supports Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
on this platform, however a collaborative support program is not in
place with the partner for this platform, and the partner may not
consider this a supported environment. Oracle provides support for
Oracle Linux and Oracle VM, but a resolution to issues related
to underlying platform drivers or other platform-specific issues cannot
Can customers get support for a system that is not on the server certification
The Hardware Certification List (HCL)
is always expanding. If the desired server meets the minimum requirements
for the Oracle Linux or Oracle VM release you are running
but the server is not listed on the HCL, Oracle will accept severity
2 or lower service requests (SR), but a resolution to hardware driver
or other hardware-specific issues cannot be guaranteed. SR work will
continue normally, unless or until it is determined that resolution
of the issue depends on a driver patch, a new driver from the hardware
partner, full certification of the server by the hardware partner,
or other software enhancements.
If the resolution depends on a patch to a driver, Support will
open an enhancement request with development to identify and deliver
a patch if feasible. If a full server certification or a new driver
is required from the hardware partner, the hardware partner will be
engaged; the SR will be closed and a severity 2 enhancement request
will be opened to track progress with the hardware partner. In either
case, a resolution is not guaranteed and may take several weeks or
For servers on the HCL, does certification apply to all components available
on that server?
For servers or storage already on the certified list, requests
to support a specific component or peripheral (such as a specific
NIC or CNA) that was not included with the initial certification will
be evaluated by development as an enhancement requests. Resolution
is not guaranteed and may take several weeks or longer.
I understand that Oracle Linux comes packaged with two kernels—
the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, and the Red Hat compatible kernel.
Which kernel should I choose to certify my server?
The goal of The Oracle Linux and Virtualization Server Hardware
Certification Program is to certify servers with UEK. Therefore, all
certification testing is performed using UEK.
Certification of Oracle Linux with the RHEL-compatible kernel
is never necessary because it is completely binary compatible with
the equivalent kernel from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For example,
a system certified with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is also certified
with Oracle Linux 6 with the Red Hat compatible kernel. For a
list of systems certified with Oracle Linux running the RHEL-compatible
kernel, please see the
Red Hat hardware catalog.
What is the version number convention for Oracle's Enterprise Kernel?
Using the following UEK Release 5 (UEK R5) kernel version as an
||indicates the upstream Linux kernel version, 4.14.35, on which
UEK R5 is based upon, and where kABI compatibility is maintained.
||reflects an update to UEK R5, Update
2 in this example. Updates include fixes, security errata, new
and updated drivers, and stability improvements, and always maintains
kABI compatibility with prior updates.
||0 indicates the initial release of a UEK update, and is incremented
with each monthly errata to the update. In this example, 1 indicates
the first monthly errata after the initial release of UEK R5U2.
||incremented with each build of the current update or errata;
not all builds are promoted for release.
||this UEK kernel is compiled for Oracle Linux 7
Why did you stop publishing certifications for maintenance updates,
like Oracle Linux 7.x or Oracle VM 3.4.x?
Beginning with Oracle Linux 7, certifications are published
for the major release. The minimum required maintenance update and
corresponding UEK release is specified. The server is certified to
run all subsequent Oracle Linux 7 maintenance updates with the
indicated UEK release.
Oracle VM certifications are published for the major release
only. Once certified with the major release of Oracle VM, such
as Oracle VM 3.4, the server is certified to run all subsequent
updates, such as Oracle VM 3.4.5.
What is Oracle Linux KVM?
Oracle Linux KVM refers to the hypervisor capability enabled by
the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) feature of Oracle Linux.
What is the difference between Oracle VM Server for x86 and Oracle
Oracle Linux and the Oracle Linux KVM feature are supported
on x86_64 and aarch64 server systems.
On which platforms is Oracle Linux (which includes the Oracle Linux
KVM feature) available?
Oracle Linux KVM is synonymous with the KVM feature of Oracle Linux.
Beginning with Oracle Linux 7 and UEK5, server certification
with Oracle Linux also applies to the Oracle Linux KVM feature.
Which servers are certified for Oracle Linux KVM?
Oracle VM Server for x86 is a server virtualization offering
based on the Xen hypervisor; Oracle VM servers are managed by
Oracle VM Manager.
When we refer to
Oracle Linux KVM, we are referring to the hypervisor capability
enabled by the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) feature of Oracle Linux;
hosts running Oracle Linux KVM are managed by
If Oracle VM Server is certified on my server system, is Oracle
Linux KVM also certified?
Not necessarily. If Oracle Linux 7 with UEK5 is certified,
then Oracle Linux KVM is certified. Oracle VM Server certification
requires a separate certification effort.
Are there any fees to participate in the Hardware Certification Program?
Partner participation in the program is free, but requires membership
in OPN or TSANet (see related questions above).
We have our own server qualification process. What additional value
will Oracle Linux and Oracle VM certification test kit provide
Performing the certification testing using the hardware qualification
test kit from Oracle ensures that all of the critical functions of
Oracle Linux or Oracle VM are functioning correctly on the
target hardware. The test kit has proven to be very effective at verifying
the compatibility of Oracle Linux and Oracle VM with the
target hardware, and the documentation produced by the test kit is
a valuable tool for Oracle Engineering when customer issues are discovered.
For these reasons the use of the qualification test kit from Oracle
has resulted in reduced support costs for Oracle and the partner while
shortening implementation times for our joint customers.
Is the testing outcome a strict pass or a fail, or is there a way to
specify exceptions? For example, what if Oracle Linux or Oracle VM
lacks a single driver to fully complete the certification on a particular
While not encouraged, exceptions are possible. Oracle will handle
exceptions on a case-by-case basis, based on the test results submitted
by program participants.
Which server models should the certification test kit be run on? Should
they run on all possible variations and configurations or some representative
If there are many server models within a product family, all sharing
identical architectures, the server qualification test kit must be
run on a representative model of the server configured with the maximum
supported amount of RAM and number of CPUs. It is not required to
run the qualification tests on all the possible configurations of
the server, or on each model within the product family.
What mechanism do program participants use to communicate with Oracle
during the server certification process?
to submit certification requests, submit certification result logs
for review, and file bugs against the hardware qualification test
kit content and environment.
How long does it typically take to run the certification test-suite?
The time required to complete the server certification testing
depends upon the number of CPUs, amount of memory, and IO and networking
options on the server. We expect the majority of server hardware to
take somewhere between 2 to 10 hours. Test run times could be substantially
larger for very large machines with dozens of CPU cores and hundreds
of GB of memory.
Where will the qualified servers be published?
Certified servers are published on the Oracle Linux and Oracle VM
certification website, and on the corresponding IHV's website.
What are the requirements for getting published on the Oracle HCL web
Participants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to
publish certified hardware platforms on the Oracle
To receive a qualification status of Certified for Joint Support,
- The certification effort must be performed by, or with the
approval of, the IHV, and
- IHV must have an established partnership with Oracle providing
for joint support, and
- Test results must be audited by Oracle, and
- IHV must publish results in the support matrix on their website
within two weeks of Oracle approving the results.
To receive a qualification status of Certified for Oracle Support,
- Reseller or customer must be sponsored by an Oracle Linux
or Oracle VM Sales Representative, and
- Results must be submitted and audited by Oracle.
How do I get started?
Please contact us at
email@example.com for more information about joining the
Oracle Linux and Virtualization Server Hardware Certification
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