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Oracle Linux? 250

eldavojohn writes "There have been rumors floating around of Oracle working on their own distribution of Linux. If this is true, it is widely believed that this enterprise edition of Linux would be in direct competition with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. What is spurring the rumors? Well, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said, 'I'd like to have a complete stack. We're missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux.' I know that Oracle has been doing a lot more than databases recently, will they go the extra mile and create their own stripped down Linux kernel? If they do, will companies switch to database solutions that are running Oracle only software for the benefits of support and (hopefully) stability?"
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Oracle Linux?

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  • OpenSolaris? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @11:57AM (#16470387) Homepage Journal
    I'm a bit surprised that they're not considering OpenSolaris. Linux is nice, but Oracle has been supporting Sun Solaris for far longer. Using Solaris as their base kernel would allow them to provide a large number of enterprisey (lt;-technical term) features out of the box.

    Not to say that 2.6 doesn't have bunches of enterprisey (<-technical term again) features, but Solaris is still a leader in that space.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:06PM (#16470569)

    I'm posting anonymously because I'm an Oracle DBA ('nuff said). Oracle does a make a nice database, but it is hugely bloated for most purposes. And everything else they write is just pure unadulterated crap.

    If you look at what it takes to implement their ERP or Pharmaceutical Suite you will realize that they will only ever be a niche player with their own Distro. They write software to require the maximum amount of administration and consulting possible. Their consulting division make a ton of money and they willl never release anything that might endanger that. Also, they have a lot of "faithful" DBA's (like me) that make a really good living keeping the giant house of cards that they call an "application stack" running and recoverable.

    Companies with deep pockets will buy it because it's Oracle and pay high salaries to people like me to maintain it all. I'm not complaining, because it's a pretty nice gig, and I might recommend "Oracle Linux" for my company because all the extra crap equals even more job security for the (somewhat scarce) senior level DBA's that have a lot of Linux experience.

  • Oracle Appliance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:12PM (#16470735)
    Admittedly, I don't follow or know a whole lot about Oracle, but wouldn't a move like this open the door to them selling a self-contained Oracle Appliance for small- and medium-sized businesses? Of course, they could also supply a list of supported hardware for people to run it on machines purchased elsewhere or built by the company's hardware guru.
  • Why GNU/Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:17PM (#16470841)
    Why bother with GPLed code when they could just grab FreeBSD, customize it any way they want, not release the source code and not have to worry about the GPL?
  • by wrp103 ( 583277 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:33PM (#16471205) Homepage

    A number of years ago, Oracle came out with "Raw Iron", which was a configuration where Oracle ran on an intel box without any operating system. They found that much of their customer support was helping sys admins configure the operating system so that Oracle would run well. They also found that most customers used a dedicated database server, so the only thing running on that box was Oracle. As a result, they tried to eliminate the O/S and add a layer that interfaced Oracle to the hardware.

    I would guess that they would offer a complete package that has Oracle running with Linux pre-configured to run Oracle. The idea would be that nothing else would be run on that box, except perhaps for a few utilities the customer run to monitor, backup, etc.

    As far as the customer is concerned, Linux would be transparent to them. They would simply have "Oracle" running on that box. Presumably Oracle would provide necessary support for Linux relative to Oracle. They would probably not support other uses for Linux on that box. If the customer wanted to run additional applications, they would be responsible for any support.

  • by TheLoneGundam ( 615596 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:03PM (#16471883) Journal
    This seems like an move for Oracle to be able to offer a "database appliance": prebuild boxes with Linux and Oracle, and sell those to PHBs as "drop in" solutions. Many in management would fall for it.
  • Moo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chacham ( 981 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:07PM (#16471957) Homepage Journal
    Oracle is a database. What separates them from the rest is that they do thing correctly. They fix errors even in documentation quickly, and make things works "as they should". Having been an Oracle DBA, i loved it, and i do not know of a comparable RDBMS support structure.

    So, even if they made ice cream, or pocket-protector protectors, i'd have to take a look.

    In Linux, i use Debian. They also try to do thing correctly, though they have their pitfalls. I'm a bit suprised Oralce didn't choose Debian, but i'd have to guess it'd be similar to it, just not so open to packages.

  • by truckaxle ( 883149 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @01:36PM (#16472533) Homepage
    At one time computer companies were all vertically oriented. You bought the h/w, o/s, s/w, utilities, support all from the same company. Then along came the PC and the marketplace became horizontally organized. Various companies specialized in building hardware, software, utilities or operating systems. The efficiencies and flexibility in this mode of market organization delivered faster innovation, lower prices, more options, better support due to the more competitive marketplace. The vertical companies went the way of the buggy whip manufacturers. Just a thought
  • Flaming on! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @02:25PM (#16473567) Journal
    Why not BSD?

    1) Lackluster commercial support - Linux tends to have better hardware support, drivers, etc.

    2) SMP support on the *BSDs is still young and immature. Linux, in comparison, is quite mature, and does very well on an 8-way system. BSD *might* do it, but much beyond 4-way is a sail into uncharted waters. I'm already running a cluster of 4-way boxen, so 8-way or more is not very far off, given our company's annual 2x growth curve.

    3) "It's different". Yeah, it's very similar, but if you're already used to the "Linux" way, having to rediscover how services get initialized (a la /etc/rc) is really a pain.

    4) Linux is "good enough". It's obvious that whatever metric is needed to be able to be "enterprise ready", Linux has passed it. Granted, nobody agrees on what that standard is, but most people agree that Linux can do it.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus