Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oracle grabs a stack

Oracle support for Red Hat Linux is the news of the day.  Enterprise support at a reasonable price for the Linux stack gives Oracle more control over the platform, customers more security, and raises the question why Oracle support for their own product can't be as cheap. ZDNet has a feature on the issues.

» Ellison offers full support service for Red Hat Linux at half the price | Between the Lines |
He listed key issues that are slowing the adoption of Linux and Oracle database grids running on Linux. Most glaring is true enterprise support, which is unavailable from Linux vendors. Bugs are not necessarily fixed in the versions companies are running, but fixed in future versions, Ellison said. To get the fix you have to upgrade, which Ellison said isn't acceptable to Oracle's large customers. In addition, Ellison cited expensive support from leading Linux vendor ($1499 per year for a 2 processor server, he said) and concerns about intellectual property indemnification.

As of this moment Ellison announced full support for Red Hat Linux. "If you are a Red Hat Linux support customer, you now have a choice. You can easily switch from Red Hat to Oracle support, and we will back port your bug fixes, indemnify you from intellectual property problems, and charge way less than half what Red Hat charges," Ellison said.

"We are not trying to differentiate ourselves from the Red Hat code. We will synchronize our system with Red Hat releases," Ellison added. "We are not trying to fragment the Linux market."

Oracle is taking Red Hat code, taking out trademarked material, putting in bug fixes and compiling it for customers for whatever version they have. Oracle created an Unbreakable Linux Network and customers can receive software updates incrementally. Red Hat customers don't need to remove anything from their servers if they bind to the Oracle Linux Network, which takes about 90 seconds.

The benefits of Red Hat open source code has spawned a serious competitor to its business.

The goal is to enhance and speed the adoption of Linux and make it mission critical in the datacenter.

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