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Oracle Linux Explored 167

M-Saunders writes "Two days ago Slashdot reported on Oracle's move into the enterprise Linux market, and how it may challenge Red Hat. Red Hat's stock has already dropped, and there's a great deal of talk about the implications of this act. Linux Format got hold of the 'Unbreakable' distro to find out what's going on under the hood. Is it a breakthrough for Linux in the corporate market, or just another RHEL respin? See the article for all the info and screenshots — including an 'interesting' choice of GRUB colours."
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Oracle Linux Explored

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  • To quote the web article:

    Unusually, Oracle are claiming that they will support your operating system indefinitely as part of the Premier Support package which works out at $1199 and $1999.

    These lifetime models get pretty interesting - you don't know if they are financially viable until a few years have gone by.

    But I've seen a few health clubs, airlines and government pension plans so on, suffer on the weight of their liabilities such as lifetime memberships, lifetime frequent flyer points, a unfunded retirement pensions.

    That is actually a big risk over a 10 year period..

    Michael

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:12AM (#16607810)
      Nope, parent is incorrect:

      http://www.oracle.com/technologies/linux/ubl-ds.pd f [oracle.com]

      That's $1199/$1999 *annually*, and "Lifetime" is defined as 5-8 years.
      • "Lifetime" is defined as 5-8 years.

        If that's true how is Oracle's support any better than Red Hats? They support RHEL for 7 years from release. Heck, we're still running v2.1 and getting updates.

    • by anandsr ( 148302 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:56AM (#16608336) Homepage
      The Price of 1999$ is for Premier unlimited support for 1 year. The Lifetime warranty is for 5 years and beyond. Basically if you buy support for 5 years, then they will support you indefinitely except a doing certification with a third party. I believe that it is fail safe, as in Oracle will probably not be the leader in DB after 5 years anyway. And I wouldn't see anybody committing for 5 years to any software even if it is Oracle.
      • by sqlgeek ( 168433 )
        There's no kind way to say this, but you have no perspective on this. It is very, very common for a single db to have endured from C/C++ through RAD client-server through J2EE, .NET, whatever. The data matters more to most companies than the applications do. The applications come and go, but the database typically endures.
    • The trick is are you talking about the user's lifetime, or the software? Companies pretty much last forever (even bankrupt company assets are sold), so its unlikely that Oracle Linux v1 will be supported in the dusty corner of some insurance company in 2100.
    • They will really only need to support the host OS as long as the resident DB is supported. As a practical matter, I would expect the only reason somebody to use Oracle Enterprise Linux is as a platform for the Oracle DB and Application Server. Now those are only "certified" and supported on certain platforms. For example, IIRC, when Oracle 8 was end-of-lifed, AIX 4.x was not certified for Oracle 9i, so in order to continue to run a supported Oracle install, you had to upgrade to AIX 5L along with Oracle 9i.
  • by Life700MB ( 930032 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:34AM (#16607404)

    I would be more than satisfied if they come with an easy solution for installing Oracle flawlessly on most linux flavors!

    --
    Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 200GB Storage, 2_TB_ bandwidth, php, mysql, ssh, $7.95
    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:41AM (#16607470) Homepage Journal
      I would be more than satisfied if they come with an easy solution for installing Oracle flawlessly on most linux flavors!

      This may be a more practical alternative. Anybody who's installed Oracle on Linux knows that, compared to the open source databases popular on Linux, it's a true PITA. Furthermore, in most cases where you'd want to use Oracle instead of the open source choices, it's running on a dedicated machine. So why not give customers complete support all the way down to the iron?

      I see this distro as making sense on database appliances, or servers that are for practial purposes database appliances, although those servers may be massive.

      Personally, I don't see customers going with Oracle Linux for general purpose servers that run a mainly open source applicaiton stack.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Znork ( 31774 )
        "Anybody who's installed Oracle..."

        From the times I've installed Oracle the database, and various other Oracle products, I'd have to agree. Total PITA.

        And other products, like IAS or Oracle reports when you need a $DISPLAY to run? Heck, I can even recall Oracle Reports needing a WINDOW MANAGER running on that $DISPLAY. On a server product?

        "Personally, I don't see customers going with Oracle Linux for general purpose servers"

        Personally, I have a hard time seeing anyone going with Oracle Linux for any purpose
      • by ajs ( 35943 )

        in most cases where you'd want to use Oracle instead of the open source choices, it's running on a dedicated machine. So why not give customers complete support all the way down to the iron?

        Because supporting your own Linux distribution is a nightmare, and something that Oracle certainly doesn't want to do. IMHO, this move was meant to engage Red Hat in a price-war which they could not win, culminating in a deal over JBoss (which Red Hat purchased, putting them in direct competition with Oracle for the lucr

        • Because supporting your own Linux distribution is a nightmare, and something that Oracle certainly doesn't want to do.

          Au contraire. It's only a nightmare if you allow people to do anything other than run Oracle and a small handful of tools. Think of a system running this version of linux as an Oracle appliance - at least, if the people at Oracle are not complete tools.

          For those applications which tend to run by themselves on a piece of hardware with nothing but monitoring tools to keep them happy, it

      • *ahem*

        What kind of installer *won't* run as root, but then tells me part way through to run certain scripts *as root*?!?!

        Yes, I've had the pleasure of installing Oracle. What a crappy brain-dead piece of crap...

        • by anto ( 41846 )
          One that takes security seriously.

          The root.sh gives you a really simple way of verifying what the installer is doing to your system. Once you start running in higher security environments it becomes more common to seperate bits of the enviroment out to seperate OS users (listeners etc) - having the seperate root scripts lets you make sure the installer isn't doing something to break your carefully setup security plan.
    • by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:44AM (#16607496) Homepage
      I would be more than satisfied if they come with an easy solution for installing Oracle flawlessly on most linux flavors!

      That would be nice, but how about if instead of a full-fledged distro, they put out a barebones Linux+Oracle, all set up and configured, that is then run in a virtual machine. Sort of an "Oracle Appliance". Saves the hassles of supporting various distros, and even saves the hassle of supporting an entire single distro (since people will install other things than Oracle on their "Unbreakable Linux"es).

      I haven't used Oracle products in several years. Anyone know why they aren't doing this (or are they, and I am just ignorant)?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hal2814 ( 725639 )
        Why lose even a small amount of performance by running everything through a layer of virtualization? You not only negate any advantage of using Oracle's custom file system, but you also put a translator between Orace and the OS. Orace isn't something you use when you don't need to squeeze a heck of a lot of performance out fo a system. The more it talks to the metal, the better.
      • by Korgan ( 101803 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:28AM (#16607988) Homepage

        Actually, the whole reason they're doing this is because they're pissed off with Redhat for buying JBoss when Oracle wanted it.

        I kid you not. Search Google for comments from Larry just after Redhat made the purchase and you'll see why.

        This is just continuing that. Oracle at the time said they were considering their own Linux distro in an attempt to compete with Redhat. To paraphrase Ellison...

        If Redhat are going to step on our toes, we'll stomp on theirs

        This isn't going to make any real difference to Redhat in the long term. Oracle would be smart to position their distro as the best possible platform for their own primary products (such as the databases, ERP software and so on.) However, the chances of that are pretty slim.

        Given Oracle just recently release a mammoth patch for their 9i and 11i products that, while containing more than 100 bug fixes, didn't manage to fix all known bugs, I seriously doubt they're in any way prepared to take on the responsibility of a full fledged Enterprise ready Operating System. This is going to kick them hard.

        • by fupeg ( 653970 )

          Given Oracle just recently release a mammoth patch for their 9i and 11i products that, while containing more than 100 bug fixes, didn't manage to fix all known bugs, I seriously doubt they're in any way prepared to take on the responsibility of a full fledged Enterprise ready Operating System. This is going to kick them hard.

          If they were writing a brand new operating system from scratch all by themselves, then you would have a point. However, they are not. They are instead doing the same thing that Red Ha

      • Something called Raw Iron. Think it was based on Solaris but it was a plug-n-play DB + server. Never caught on and it was quietly strangled I believe at the end of the 90s.
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
        Yes there are Oracle+Linux VM's for vmware that you can download from Oracle.
    • by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:48AM (#16607544)
      This is exactly what they are trying to avoid: complexity.

      By assembling their own distro, they gain the ability to offer a complete virtualized environment - which is where the data centers are trending. This allows them to move from supporting *whatever*, into supporting a single environment.

      Go look at the VMware Appliances [vmware.com] to get an idea of what I am talking about. The devices are complex, but the consistency is identical from VM to VM, regardless of hardware or underlying operating system.

      Their support costs will plummet once they start moving their customers over to an "Oracle Appliance". Of course, this savings will be passed along to their shareholders.
    • I would be more than satisfied if they come with an easy solution for installing Oracle flawlessly on most linux flavors!

      They certify that Oracle products will install trouble free on Red Hat and SUSE Linux Enterprise level distributions (Fedora and OpenSUSE not included) and all the installations I have done one these Linux distributions have indeed gone without a hitch. I have also tried to install Oracle on Fedora and it usually goes trouble free but not by any means always. If you really desperately don
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ajs318 ( 655362 )
        They don't certify it on $RANDOM_DISTRO because it's a proprietary, closed-source product, and there's simply no way to ensure that it will work with every possible configuration when there are so many variables over which they don't have control; paths, library versions &c.

        Back in the day, even proprietary software used to be semi-open source. You actually got the source to compile (almost no two computers were similar enough to be binary-compatible, which was why C was invented in the first place)
        • Back in the day, even proprietary software used to be semi-open source. You actually got the source to compile (almost no two computers were similar enough to be binary-compatible, which was why C was invented in the first place) and tweak if necessary; you just weren't allowed to distribute copies.

          I think you have your history confused. Computers have been mass-produced in compatible lines since the 1950s: the IBM 650 and 701, the Univac I, the DEC PDP-1. Software has only been sold since the early 1960

    • by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2&earthshod,co,uk> on Friday October 27, 2006 @09:43AM (#16608896)
      Why not just use Postgres instead? That works flawlessly on most Linux flavours. You even get the source code (so you can hire a programmer to make it do exactly what you want), and you don't have to pay for it -- not even by giving back improvements made by your hired programmer for the benefit of the Community. In fact, it's probably right there on your distro CDs already.
      • It's a trade-off. PostgreSQL has issues. (For example, I think SELECT COUNT(*) is still quite slow.) Oracle also has issues. Depending on your application, either Oracle or PostgreSQL might be more appropriate.

        Also, PostgreSQL has only recently been comparable to a database like Oracle. IIRC, until a few years ago, you could only perform so many transactions before the transaction ID would wrap around, rendering the database unusual. Many people have been running Oracle for ages, and they see no nee

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
      You don't pay for that. Don't expect that.

      For supported distributions, installing Oracle is as easy as installing Robin Hood.

      If you just want to hack, then you're on your own of course.

      Although I have never had problems with Debian (except for faking out the installer).
    • Actually it's only potentially a fork. Oracle haven't forked it yet and probably won't until such time as they decide they need to.

      Until Oracle actually issues an update that didn't come from Red Hat first Oracle will be 100% compatible. Once Oracle does that they will still have a window of opportunity to issue a second patch to bring Unbreakable Linux back in line with RHEL if RHEL updates suitably (from Oracles perspective).

      Even if Oracle do that and become uncertified (with Red Hat) they are mostly

    • by VENONA ( 902751 )
      Great. A link to a site that takes forever to load, just for very minimal (maybe 1K of essentially nothing) content, and a link to RH's Unfakeable page, which is http://www.redhat.com/promo/unfakeable/ [redhat.com], and loads fast. Other RH content worth looking at is http://www.redhat.com/truthhappens/ [redhat.com]. Links off that last page include a breakdown of cost 'savings' by Dave Dargo, who developed Oracles licensing strategy, etc.

      Poster must be pimping for osdir or something.
  • by linuxbeta ( 837266 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:42AM (#16607476)
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:43AM (#16607486)
    From the article: "A recent CIO Insight Research Study ranked Red Hat No. 1 for "vendor value". Oracle ranked 39 out of 41 overall, 40th in the category "meets expectations for lowering costs.""

    Too expensive? I know why. Larry buys too big boats, too often. And, above all, he never invited me... (Now is your chance, Larry!)
  • Oracle wants to sell their application stack and figure that integrating an OS into that stack gives them vendor lock-in. I think the OS is a commodity part like the hardware and Oracle's strategy logically leads to them rolling in a big black box you just plug into the datacenter. Personally I just think this is petty revenge for Red Hat daring to reach up into their high margin software stack with JBoss. By effect squeezing RH's tight OS margin by scraping off the 10-15% of their businees that supports
    • In the longer run Red Hat will stop bothering to support Oracle if it's only so Oracle can reuse the source code in a downstream distro. If Red Hat don't make enough money from Oracle customers they will stop spending money developing for it. If this move by Oracle is too successful Oracle will be forced to fork because Red Hat will use all it's resources working on other applications.

      At that point Red Hat can start using the patches that Oracle is forced to write.

  • 1. Copy someone else's flagship software exactly
    2. Remove all vendor identity
    3. Explain how your's is somehow "better"
    4. Profit and repeat
    • by eln ( 21727 ) * on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:32AM (#16608058) Homepage
      Oracle is not claiming their distro is better, they are claiming their support model is better. And, by all indications, they're right. Their support model offers more than RedHat (better support for older versions, plus indemnification, which in practice means very little but executives drool over it), and does so at a much cheaper price. RedHat's "Unfakeable" campaign is clearly a panic strategy and it won't work. They are going to have to come up with something better than that if they want to stay in the game.

      By the way, calling Unbreakable Linux a separate distro is not really accurate at this point. Trying to disparage it by calling it "just another Red Hat respin" is really missing the point. Ellison already said it's a Red Hat respin, that's the idea. The idea is to basically piggyback on the one name in Linux that has any real street cred among executives in large companies, that being Red Hat. Oracle is basically trying to take Red Hat's primary revenue stream away from them by offering better service for the same code at a better price. If they are successful, I would imagine the end game here would be for Oracle to either buy Red Hat on the cheap or, more likely, hire Red Hat's best talent away and let the company itself fade into oblivion.
      • by sqlgeek ( 168433 )
        Primarily, you avoid the situation where you call Red Hat support and they tell you that the problem is with Oralce, and then (wait for it, wait for it...) you call Oracle and they tell you that the problem is with Red Hat. If you can call one company and know that they'll take responsibility for your problem then that's a no brainer.
  • by amchugh ( 116330 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:53AM (#16607586)
    Oracle just announced a security patch to fix the "DB2 optimization malware" on Unbreakable.
  • by DuckDodgers ( 541817 ) <keeper_of_the_wo ... m ['yah' in gap]> on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:53AM (#16607592)
    I understand Oracle is an industry juggernaut, but $160,000 for a 4-CPU license (from the Guardian article)? Is Oracle really that superior to Ingres, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, and especially PostgreSQL or MySQL?

    I'm not trying to troll here. I'm just thinking that for the cost of several Oracle installations and experienced Oracle DBAs you could get a much cheaper (or outright free) database and some really top notch talent.
    • by twiddlingbits ( 707452 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:09AM (#16607768)
      That price sounds high unless you are talking the full Oracle Suite. Oracle has very good performance, is very stable, is well supported, has a clustering and failover (RAC) capabilities, built in messsaging for DB-to-DB communications, fully supports ODBC and JDBC connections, runs on almost any OS from mainframe to desktop, conforms almost 100% to the Relational DB model, supports high volume transaction rates, has row and column locking, supports encryption, can store binary large objects (BLOBs), and has a long history of success in the Enterprise. Downsides are it's hard to install correctly right out of the box, it is so flexible it is hard to "tune" for best performance, it is not something you can just "play around with" it takes some learning to handle it so good DBAs are not cheap, and it is expensive although discounts can be negotiated. YMMV...
      • Oracle is very complex. I've spent the last 3 years learning how to maintain and run an Oracle database, but there's so much to learn. I can't help but think that at some point in the future another fully featured database technology will make things easier and then economics will play it's part and Oracle will end up in second place.

        Installing is a major pain. Cloning an entire Applications environment is an answer to this, but with Oracle's Rapid Clone it's still too manual. There are automated cloning
    • by aug24 ( 38229 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:15AM (#16607858) Homepage
      IMO, Oracle genuinely is faster, more reliable and more scalable than the others. Mind you, I've been an Oracle dev for some years, so YMMV. It also works cross-platform, which is a biggie for lots of customers these days.

      Take a look at this [techtarget.com] for an allegedly unbiased opinion (but who knows what is shilling and what is real these days?!).

      J.

    • by Coward the Anonymous ( 584745 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:38AM (#16608112)
      Back in 02-03 I worked for a small startup. We were running Oracle on Linux doing dev work. We called them up to inquire about licenses. I think we were quoted $32k for our setup. We naturally told them, nevermind, we'll port it to MySQL and they eventually came back and offered us a deal at $4k. Of course, our app was meant to be installed at several high profile insurance companies so that meant more Oracle Licenses for them in the future.

      BTW, all those numbers are from my rather fragile memory. YMMV.
      • You paid for a development setup? The company I work for has never paid for any of its developer Oracle installations - and that is on Windows, Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, z/OS etc etc. The fact that developer licenses are free is one of the major attractions of Oracle, at least from a developer's viewpoint.
    • by snero3 ( 610114 )

      At the moment for large complex db applications yes. I won't go through the complete list of features as oracle [oracle.com] are more than willing to telling you in great detail.

      I run postgresql, mysql and oracle in production and there are heaps of things that postgres and mysql can't do that oracle can and I use on a daily basis.

      As to whether they are worth the big $$ well that really depends on features, reliability and speed to production your db/applications needs. A simple web app, like slashdot, can ge

    • by RevMike ( 632002 ) <revMikeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:49AM (#16608258) Journal
      I understand Oracle is an industry juggernaut, but $160,000 for a 4-CPU license (from the Guardian article)? Is Oracle really that superior to Ingres, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, and especially PostgreSQL or MySQL?

      Remember that we are talking list price for one server.

      I can speak from experience that Oracle's architecture is better than DB2, substantially better than SQL Server, and completely blows Sybase out of the water. Oracle 7 or 8 years ago was handling concurrency and large transactions better than Sybase does today. The CBO is much better than everyone's except maybe DB2. The hardware support is broader than just about everyone else with the exception of DB2. Locking is better handled. Indexes are efficient even on columns that aren't integers. VARCHAR support is clean. PL/SQL is quirky but less quirky than the alternatives. The trigger support is richer.

      What generally happens is that a customer will go with Oracle for a handful of critical apps that justify the high price. Then once Oracle has their foot in the door, they'll come back and offer an expanded deal to host the databases that could run perfectly fine in any db, and do it all at a discount. The end cost is going to be substantially less than one would suppose by scaling up the quoted numbers.

      • Personally, these days I prefer db2 for data warehousing and business intelligence - since even the lowest-end products include partitioning, great query optimization, materialized views, etc - everything you need to run a 5TB data warehouse. And when you get into frequent changes in a multi-terabyte environment db2 seems easiest to work with.

        Anyhow, $160k for a four cpu license does sound expensive. In db2-land that would probably be around $120 for the top-end product, but either oracle or db2 could als
      • by ajs ( 35943 )
        I know it's just coincidence, but it's amusing that the URL in your signature gives a database error right now ;-)
      • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )
        I agree that Oracle is very good - though I must admit I still like Sybase SQL Server for a more 'Fred Flintstone' kind of database where you do large batch operations and don't need lots of write-concurrency. But conspicuously absent from your post is a comparison of Oracle to Postgres, MaxDB, Ingres, or even MySQL version 5. Doesn't Postgres have most of the juicy concurrency features that Oracle supports, for quite some years now?
      • PL/SQL is quirky but less quirky than the alternatives.
        I don't think so. PL/SQL has a much wider range of features, and the basic language is decent, but the way it integrates with SQL itself is pretty quirky. You have to keep track of what functions are PL/SQL functions and what are just SQL functions, sometimes doing a hokey "Select blah() From Dual Into MyVar", it's a pain in the ass to keep field names and variable names from colliding, and it's difficult to work with data in sets because temp tables
        • by RevMike ( 632002 )
          T-SQL works smoothly with temporary and permanent tables and table variables, together.

          This is actually a pet peeve of mine with T-SQL, or more properly T-SQL developers. All too often I see T-SQL developers load up a temp table, then update it from an additional table, and then update it again, etc. I shake my head and ask myself "How did someone become a SQL developer without understanding how to use a join?"

        • I use PostgreSQL's PL/pgSQL language, which emulates PL/SQL (probably a small subset of it, I'm not familiar with all of PL/SQL's features). It's been wonderful for automating complex SQL queries and doing dynamic logging as it goes along.

          Previously when we had duplicate patient entries in the system, a non-technical staff member had to run SQL queries to locate the offending records and then run about 10 separate SQL statements to merge each one by hand. It took me less than a week to write a PL/pgSQL
    • by bytesex ( 112972 )
      Oracle is the kind of company that has these prices for two reasons:
      - to scare off the unsure, and
      - to enable salesreps to give you rebate percentages in the double digits.
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
        No.

        They have a large, comprehensive, worldwide support network.

        If I buy into Postgres can you provide me a handy list that details when
        the various global support centers for postgres go on and offline. I've
        known some dbas to favor a particular support center in a particular
        country and will time their support calls accordingly.

        If you submit a highest level support incident to Oracle, they will
        expect you and your boss to be at their disposal 24/7 while the
        problem is being worked. Is that the case for postgres
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
      What makes you think that the major commercial databases are any cheaper?

      This idea that Microsoft is going to necessarily be "cheap" is a fallacy.
      They might be cheap-ER in some situations. They also might not be. The
      margin also might not be worth the other tradeoffs (like being forced to
      run small DOS boxes).
  • by ciurana ( 2603 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:55AM (#16607614) Homepage Journal
    Greetings.

    There is a wrong perception that large companies don't adopt Linux because they prefer commercial offerings. This is only half right. It's not that they like commercial software per se, or that they don't know or understand the benefits of open-source software. The real issue for the lack of adoption is the perceived legal exposures of running software and becoming liable for it (SCO, anyone?). These large companies would be happy to bring Linux in-house as long as a larger company offers some kind of indemnification clause in their contracts.

    Many large companies offer Linux distributions and absorb the indemnification. It's no wonder then that superior distributions like Ubuntu aren't on the enterprise shopping list: there is little or no viable indemnification offered. Red Hat is a big fish among open-source vendors but not large enough to convince many large enterprises to take the plunge. That's why IBM has made a good play in this arena: their Linux offerings are rather crappy, but they offer the magic word: INDEMNIFICATION. This has opened many doors for them that remained shut to other vendors.

    An Oracle offering brings the same "large company support" that will let the pussies in legal departments and the dumbass middle managers sleep well at night. Oracle is already known to work well with Linux; couple that that with Red Hat functionality and Oracle support (especially if other Oracle products are involved) and that makes a very attractive proposition for all the parties involved. If Oracle plays this right they can start by offering Red Hat dressed in Oracle garb as they came out of the gate, and then provide a migration path toward Ubuntu or another Linux distribution with better tools.

    Oracle didn't get that big by being idiots. They are smart and they are aggressive. I think that this is overall a good thing. It creates more competition for IBM, who perhaps now will actually push for real Linux offerings that work, for Novell with SuSe, for Sun and Solaris, and it opens the door for upstarts like Canonical who are well-positioned to make Ubuntu a household name. Last, it will open doors to Linux that would otherwise remain shut. Oracle Linux marks the maturity phase of the first round of consolidation and is the harbinger of the next distribution wars. The next five years will be very interesting.

    Cheers,

    Eugene Ciurana
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      that will let the pussies in legal departments

      OT, but I always wondered why such people get called "pussies".

      Perhaps they're soft, warm, moist and surrounded by hair. Or they're soft, warm, hairy and go "Meow".
      • It's because lawyers are universally disliked, so they become easy targets for insults regardless of how apt the insults might be. Even though professionally fighting with others makes you far less of a "pussy" than some random egghead, lawyers never get the amount of respect outside of their field that is commensurate with the grief they put up with. The fast-tracked, slick Wall Street lawyer prick is the exception, not the rule. Real lawyering is gritty, tireless and it is very personal.
    • I don't really buy the indemnification argument - I'm pretty certain that indemnification is a fairly new concept in proprietary software as well. If anything businesses would be more at risk from proprietary software, as proprietary developers might be emboldened through "security through obscurity" and willfully include tainted code in their products.

      I don't think people ever bought software while thinking about the possibility of getting sued over third party IP claims, not because of some indemnificatio
    • It's not that they like commercial software per se, or that they don't know or understand the benefits of open-source software.

      Actually, there ARE sonme segments of the market that is still enamoured with all things Microsoft. Yes, when compared to many alternatives Microsoft is garbage but that doesn't matter. Microsoft solutions are typically like McDonalds food...fast and easy, and when you are hungry and don't have much extra cash it tastes good. Also like McDonalds food, if you only have Microsoft y
  • But my organization is not allowed to just go to any schmoe who says they support generically Enterprise Linux. There's a reason we get the contracts that we do with customers, and one of the main ones is because we use a WIDELY supported OS (Red Hat EL) that is common criteria certified to a certain level. Likewise, Red Hat has had it's certification program for professionals out for several years now, and we have several people on staff who are certified and know backwards and forwards how to install an
  • by the donner party ( 1000036 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:59AM (#16607654)
    Since Red Hat bought Cygnus a couple of years back, Linux is no longer everything they do, there's also the gcc business. As far as I know, the gcc business earns money from embedded toolsets, and contracts with microprosessor manufacturers (including big ones like Intel) to improve gcc on their kit, or to port gcc to new CPUs.

    So, can anyone in the know comment on how much of Red Hat's business is Linux, as compared to what used to be Cygnus?
  • Recant. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:04AM (#16607708) Journal

    Yesterday I suggested [slashdot.org] Oracle entering the game would be good for the market by increasing competion among Linux vendors. Looking at this offering, I have to say: what a joke. I was completely wrong.

    Oracle are pulling nothing more than a publicity stunt with this. I expect I would be correct in the speculation that some marketing executive asked some developers to slap together an “Oracle branded distribution”. They then took a release of Fedora Core and changed graphics and colors. Boom! Instant industry player.

    • I don't think its a publicity stunt. They are not building a better mouse trap either though.

      They are proving that RedHat has no fundamental value in that they are selling freely available open source software. As we know, Centos is just as good as RedHat except for the support (which is provided by Google just as well as Redhat IMHO). Non-geeks though don't seem to know about Centos. They will (and have judging by Redhats stock tumble) understand about Oracle.

      Oracle can take Redhat's business by resell
      • In order to take Redhat's product and resell it, they have to keep Redhat as a viable business. If Redhat folds, it'll push a lot of expense onto Oracle. I wouldn't be surprised if Oracle starts pumping money into Redhat as a business expense/investment.
        • Redhat's market cap today is around $2.87B. Oracle strategy could be to wait until Redhat's stock price sinks, then buy them out for much less.
    • by iabervon ( 1971 )
      Oracle is the wrong company to provide competition in the Linux market. Their background is entirely in databases and database-centric middleware. The only thing they can sensibly do with a Linux distribution is support it and configure it optimally for running a database on. Their publicity has been badly misdirected, because they're setting themselves against non-competitors with it. Their target market is really: people who buy SQL Server on Windows to get a complete database server preinstalled with a s
  • ... including an 'interesting' choice of GRUB colours
    I noticed that with Oracle security and perfomance begins with "nice colors" too...
    • Off topic but I love the fact the linuxformats website has died as a result of being slashdotted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    'Our biggest competitors are our customers' - paraphrase of a shareholder statement for a high tech company.

    Companies don't NEED Red Hat support. All the documentation they need is freely available. They could provide all their own Linux support. The reason companies buy support from Red Hat is because it is cheaper and more reliable than doing it in-house.

    Companies do need to buy support from Oracle because it is closed source. On the other hand, the open source databases are getting better. Oracle ha
    • by moexu ( 555075 )

      The reason companies buy support from Red Hat is because it is cheaper and more reliable than doing it in-house.

      I wish that were true. My experience has been that our in-house support is much better than what we get from Red Hat. We wanted a box to house our source code repository and run Apache and Linux box made more sense. However, our parent company will not allow any software in-house that doesn't come with a support contract, so we had to go with Red Hat. The majority of the issues we've had with t

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
      No. Companies do infact need Redhat support. They need it so that when their commercial software breaks their commercial software vendor won't disavow them. This is a reasonable response from a commercial vendors since they have only so much time and effort that they can expend at making sure their product works.

      It's like letting developers muck around with an app after it's gone into production.
  • Couldn't a group of Oracle users form a support group and distribute upgrades for free. It's not as if Larry has any objection to stealing software.
  • 1) I don't see Oracle as having better/more Linux knowledge than those at RedHat so sell this as "Oracle to compete....Linux Support"? Would you pay an OS vendor for Oracle support?

    2) If I use a database on Linux it is MySQL. I use Oracle on Solaris exclusively. I know it is a technical fallacy but I have to say it, "they go together".

    3) If companies have to tweak the OS for their software to run then I tend to shy away from the software.
    • 1) I don't see Oracle as having better/more Linux knowledge than those at RedHat so sell this as "Oracle to compete....Linux Support"? Would you pay an OS vendor for Oracle support?

      Well, I guess you don't know how many Linux developers Oracle has in it's employment? Oracle has a lot of OSS software available. They also have numerous kernel developers employed.

      2) If I use a database on Linux it is MySQL. I use Oracle on Solaris exclusively. I know it is a technical fallacy but I have to say it, "they g

  • How much new SW has RedHat actually contributed to the community (not just support)? How much of that has been used in other distros?

    We in the OSS community should benchmark Oracle's entry into the biz by measuring their contribution of code against how much money they earn on their distro. Their late entry is welcome, but does start "standing on the shoulders of giants", including RedHat's. The real contribution of a corporation getting all that "free" software to turn into a business is measured in their
  • Maybe biased, some some good points none-the-less:

    http://www.linspire.com/linspire_letter.php [linspire.com]
  • read the article thinking "Oracle Linux Exploded"
  • First, I couldn't agree more that installing Oracle on linux being a total PITA. There're some truly arcane and painful steps in there. The database truly lost its luster for me years ago after I found out how great MySql and Postgres could be.

    But how about the Oracle application server? A truly horrendous piece of shit that makes most SAP installations look like pure genius. One of the big "selling points" of their App server was that it used "the open source Apache web server". Oh joy.

    This was great
    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )
      " really hate the fact that Red Hat has to suffer stock price loss as a result of the 500 pound ape throwing its idiotic weight around."

      Red Hat derives its business from code that was 99% written by people who do not work for it and never did. If it wasn't for the work many hundreds (thousands) or people put in for nothing they wouldn't exist. Did they really think they'd be the top dog in the linux food chain and no one would ever use *their* work for financial gain in turn? Too bad if they did because now
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by disciple3d ( 1018800 )
        Red hat are a real part of the open source community and contribute an awful lot of code to Linux. They certainly haven't done it all, but they understand the spirit of open source and help out a lot. They aren't perfect, and I prefer other distributions, but Oracle haven't done anything for linux that wasn't to their direct advantage (making Oracle products run better.)

        I agree with the assertations about Oracle Application Server - part of my job is administering it, and it's a shocking piece of junk a

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Friday October 27, 2006 @11:43AM (#16610676) Journal
    I'm CTO of a small but growing just-barely-post-startup. (EG: We're profitable, and growing fast)

    For me, Oracle is a non-starter. It's big, expensive, and reportedly has a high management overhead. So why would I bother?

    So far, I've seen massive growth easily and handily supported by PostgreSQL [postresql.org]. It's been rock-solid, very stable, secure, and installation consisted of typing two commands:


    yum install postgresql-server;
    service postgresql start;


    We're experimenting with Slony PG clustering, with the intention of rolling that out over Christmas break. (when nobody's looking) Currently, we're snapshotting and mirroring databases hourly, but we want real-time failover...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kpharmer ( 452893 )
      > For me, Oracle is a non-starter. It's big, expensive, and reportedly has a high management overhead. So why would I bother?

      you often wouldn't for a start-up - assuming modest data volumes postgresql is a great choice

      But let's say that you've got a 200 gbyte table, and your query is doing table scans because the selection criteria identifies more than 5% of the data in the table. Ok, on db2 or oracle with partitioning, parallelism and very good query optimization that might take you, say, 2-5 seconds o
  • So, is this a CentOS or a real fork? It sounds more like a fork, which doesn't sound like a good idea. Oracle should have licensed the OS from RedHat and then provided a package deal.

    Oh Big Larr, so excited about linux but no way to harness it. Thank got they didn't buy Novell.

    -m

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