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Oracle Businesses Databases Programming Software IT Hardware Linux

Oracle Contributes Linux Code, Expands Hardware Support 45

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-more-for-the-cost-of-free dept.
Jaden writes "Oracle expanded the list of hardware compatible with its Linux distribution and added support for Novell's YAST administration tool. They have now certified six hardware configurations able to run Oracle Enterprise Linux. Certified products include those made by Compellent Technologies, Dell, Egenera, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Pillar Data Systems and Unisys. Oracle also said it is releasing an open-source version of the YAST Linux installation and configuration tool for Oracle Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux under the General Public License."
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Oracle Contributes Linux Code, Expands Hardware Support

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  • ...but WTF does Oracle have to do with *Novell* releasing the source to YaST?

    I've skim-RTFA (the one related to YaST), but nothing leapt out as being anything whatsoever to do with Oracle.

  • From what I've been able to tell, OEL is just RHEL with Oracle support instead of RedHat support. Do people actually want this? Why didn't Oracle just work with RedHat/SUSE/etc. rather than fork? Money? Issues with RedHat Inc.?

    • by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @08:15AM (#20194469) Journal
      Windows is a chicken/egg problem. THey have the desktop share, so every client MUST be aimed at windows. Worse, every marketer will make their best one available on windows. And then companies have little money to port to Linux, let alone keep their top stuff on windows. And since it is MS's backyard, MS will persue any company that it wants.

      By Oracle moving in a BIG way to Linux, they will hopefully be brighter than IBM and port ALL of their stuff to Linux. This really means all of their client work needs to go. Once more client software shows up on Linux and is equal or better then window's, then we will see lots of Linux desktop growth (and most likely apple and BSD as well).

      Oracle is NO threat to redhat. Even if they just provided support, with no contributions, a number of ppl who are not on Oracle would stay with redhat. Why? Because THEY are the market leader. In addition, they have one of the best reputations in the industry. Oracle, while having a support reputation well above MS's, still has a so-so rep. In particular, they are known as being expensive. Redhat is fairly reasonably priced and the support is superior.
      • by etnu (957152)
        Oracle software has worked fine on Linux for over a decade. Most Oracle products these days are built with Linux as the assumed primary installation target. Oracle is getting into the Linux support business because it's a way to make money. This has little to nothing to do with the excellent Oracle DB or oracle's crappy applications. Most likely Oracle will try to bundle OEL with oracle database licenses and will claim that OEL is better for running their products (or let people assume that it will be jus
    • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday August 11, 2007 @08:19AM (#20194499) Homepage Journal
      If you ask Oracle - they didn't fork it. They are just offering support and patches to RHEL - and pulling out all the proprietary RH stuff so that they can put it out there themselves, at least that is how I understand it.
       
        Here is a Linux-Watch article [linux-watch.com] about it.
       
      From what I've seen Oracle wants all the certs, and other things RHEL has earned, but to be able to sell their own support and have more control of patching for their stuff. The skeptical part of me wonders if this is also a very early attempt to make sure Red Hat's work to build any kind of database product around PostgreSQL never takes off. I'm just a dba who reads slashdot too much - so I don't know all the how or why, but I'm definitely interested in stuff like this to keep track of where it is all headed.
      • by slamb (119285) * on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:24PM (#20196319) Homepage

        If you ask Oracle - they didn't fork it. They are just offering support and patches to RHEL - and pulling out all the proprietary RH stuff so that they can put it out there themselves, at least that is how I understand it.

        "All the proprietary RH stuff" is just some trademarked logos and occurrences of the literal string "RedHat". That's about the only difference between RHEL and CentOS [centos.org].

        The Linux-Watch article you linked to doesn't make sense, either:

        The database giant claims that Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. Thus, Oracle executives say, this often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed. Oracle's new Unbreakable Linux program, on the other hand, will provide bug fixes to future, current, and back releases of Linux. In other words, Oracle will provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.

        If they'd done even the slightest bit of research, they could have compared that to RedHat's claims of seven years of maintenance [redhat.com]. If they wanted to do actual journalism, they would have pressed Oracle for specific examples of times RedHat has fallen through on that promise and (if they'd given any) seen what RedHat has to say in their defense. As far as I've seen, RedHat's support is as good as advertised.

    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @09:15AM (#20194739) Homepage

      From what I've been able to tell, OEL is just RHEL with Oracle support instead of RedHat support. Do people actually want this? Why didn't Oracle just work with RedHat/SUSE/etc. rather than fork? Money? Issues with RedHat Inc.?
      At first, it was just a rebranding of RHEL, yes. But as time passes, it is becoming interestingly different (for example, I didn't expect this Yast port). You can think about Oracle Linux -- Red Hat Linux as Ubuntu -- Debian, that is, a distro that starts with another as a basis and builds on to that. Nothing new in the FOSS world.

      There is one difference, though. Oracle is a Big Corporation; bigger than Google, for example; much bigger than Novell, and much much bigger than Red Hat. To see them offering a Linux product, and various FOSS projects (like their GPLed clustering file system and now Yast) is highly interesting; they are, to put it plainly, the biggest corporation selling a commercial Linux distro. In fact, I believe they are the 2nd-largest operating system vendor (perhaps there is a tie with Apple, though).

      Of course, despite Oracle's size, their Linux business is tiny - the market is mostly Red Hat's, and to a lesser degree Novell's. But Oracle, if they take this market seriously, stand to become a significant player. And that isn't a bad thing, so long as they abide by the FOSS licenses they distribute and contribute back - which, it appears, they are in fact doing.
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        they are, to put it plainly, the biggest corporation selling a commercial Linux distro.

        Could you explain this phrasing for me? They could, I suppose, 'sell' the distro, but any buyer could release the sourcecode for free. How is it that they are 'selling' their distro?
        • They can sell it just like Red Hat and SUSE do. You sell the source code, and it comes with support. Other people can distribute the source code, but then (1) it lacks the support, and (2) doesn't come directly from the manufacturer, so patches may be late, errors may exist, etc.
      • by markxsd (718350)
        As a former product manager for Oracle I can say that when it comes to Oracle strategy only two things matter:

        1) Database licence sales
        2) Larry Ellison's ego

        [in that order of priority]

        Oracle's foray into Linux must be with one or both of these in mind. Do not expect Oracle to promote Linux in any way that moves away from these priorities as it will not happen.

    • Well, "Unbreakable" provides savings for small to medium enterprises in terms of OS licensing and support. Its about $100 per OS install per year to get support for the OS from Oracle, compared to whatever the Hell else RH is charging. For a small to medium business, this is a big difference. I also believe that a fork might be coming soon, seeing as it is easier to certify an Oracle configuration for support if it is based on this OS.

      Right now, as far as I know, the software packages are the same as Red Ha
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      NIH syndrome, also known as Not Invented Here.

      Oracle installers are notoriously bad, and seriously deform basic UNIX and Linux system configurataions. For example, "/a/b/c/d/.." is not the same as "/a/b/c". "dirname /a/b/c/d" is the same as "/a/b/c". And "cd /a/b/c/d; dirname `pwd`" is also not the same as "/a/b/c" in any system that uses autofs.

      These are basics, but Oracle is not capable of doing them, and never has been. The result is that their software is not easily installed or integrated into any stan
      • by rtechie (244489)
        Can you elaborate on this? I've never run into the sorts of problems you describe with Oracle on Solaris.

        • I'd love to see that too. I've installed, and run Oracle 10g on Windows, AIX and Linux. Windows can have some odd stuff going on sometimes - but everything else is pretty much where Oracle is most at home.
      • by carlback (46333)
        You should try to install Oracle XE http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database /xe/index.html [oracle.com]

        It's a ridiculously easy install and has most the features of standard 10g database. And It's free.

        Carl
      • What would be the the most obvious use of Oracle Enterprise Linux? I would assume to run an Oracle database, but apparently not. I tried it out, and all it is is RHEL with the logos changed. There is no configuration that supports an Oracle database. After reading many technotes, I found out the only supported configuration is "workstation" (apparently you can't use server to install your database on). Even then, you have to install a lot of obscure packages to get it to work. Neither Oracle support,

    • by TheUnFounded (731123) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @10:04PM (#20199535)
      It's a lot simpler than hat. They want to provide a complete solution. A lot of Oracle's potential customers aren't Windows users -- they're bigger than that, and currently run big IBM mainframes, Unix systems, etc (think banks, insurance comapnies, etc). Those are the guys that Oracle is after. If Oracle goes to a bank and says "we'll sell you the database and some of these tools, and then this other company will sell you these other pieces, and it'll all work out great", they'll be laughed out the door. Big, slow companies want ONE company to pull something together for them when it comes to their back-end systems (who do you think hires companies like IBM?). By providing their own copy of Linux, they can say "look, we'll provide and support your database, and your OS. Anything you need, we've got it". And that makes the CEOs sleep better at night. Does Oracle care about MS? Sure. But they're not looking to replace XP, or go after any desktop market at all. They care about the big guys with the big $.
      • It's times like this I wish I had some mod points to throw around... A lot of Unix admins I've known have been uncomfortable with using Oracle's bare-metal file system, and generally break their own rules a lot of times to get oracle running on dedicated servers... Having a distro specific for oracle deployments is simply good business... Hell, why do you think MS sells so many servers... Outside of maybe ASP.Net, they don't really offer much over the competition other than integration of Exchange, and MS-
  • Oracles has always pride itself on it's cross-platform capability, but the only chips I see on the list are x86. Where is Power and Sparc?
    • by IANAAC (692242)

      Where is Power and Sparc?

      That list is for its Linux support. They still support Oracle on other architectures, just not together with Linux.

  • I was intrigued to see EMC on the list of certified vendors because, although several of their products run Linux, I wasn't aware of any that fit the definition of general purpose computers. Could they be expanding their product line? Alas, it turns out that Oracle's Linux is only able to talk to EMC's gear, not run on it.
    • by greg1104 (461138)
      If you look at a sample configuration using EMC hardware [oracle.com], the main value they seem to be adding here are patches to work around some of the tricker parts of the integration job that goes into adding that class of storage array to a Linux server. For example, the "CFQ io scheduler" issue and the "e1000 flow control" problems they have workarounds for are the sort of thing you only see when running Linux on some pretty serious hardware, and they can be very tricky to resolve. Knowing that somebody has alrea

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