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Linux Helping Oracle

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the more-the-merrier dept.


Mr. Fahrenheit writes "CNN has a story about how Oracle's effort to port their database to Linux may be helping them to out pace IBM." From the article: "In its biennial survey of the world's largest databases, WinterCorp, a database research and consulting company, reported that Oracle dominated its list of 175 large databases. For the first time, databases running on Linux appeared on WinterCorp's list -- and all of them came from Oracle."

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Larry Ellison (0, Offtopic)

mnemonic_ (164550) | about 8 years ago | (#15095064)

Truly an American icon.

Re:Larry Ellison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095172)

as in greedy, self centered, and thinks money can buy good taste ?
yeah truly an American icon

Re:Larry Ellison (0, Offtopic)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15095670)

as in greedy, self centered, and thinks money can buy good taste ?

As in had a plan, built a company, worked hard, saw it to fruition and made a lot of money.

Yes, an American icon.

The same America that foreigners have flocked to by the millions for 150 years, because their native countries are too fscked up.

Enlightened Self-Interest (5, Insightful)

ThatGeek (874983) | about 8 years ago | (#15095085)

This story demonstrates enlightened self-interest, not kindness. While us folks using Linux will get a better operating system as a result, the Oracle corp will get an OS which can run its software well.

I just wish the people at ATI and NVIDIA would start to understand that giving technical details to open source developers doesn't always have to hurt. Technology is not a zero sum game; it's like science in which there are benefits to working together.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15095102)

And you know what? I'll take enlightened self-interest over kindness any day. At least, then I know where I stand. But if someone is being kind to you for no apparent reason, you really have to wonder about their actual agenda.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095119)

Makes you wonder what those guys with the "practice random kindness" stickers are REALLY up to.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1, Insightful)

Ruie (30480) | about 8 years ago | (#15095159)

And you know what? I'll take enlightened self-interest over kindness any day. At least, then I know where I stand. But if someone is being kind to you for no apparent reason, you really have to wonder about their actual agenda.

I see you have chosen your nick "ScrewMaster" for a reason..

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15095248)

Read what I said again.

The term "enlightened self-interest" has nothing to do with screwing the other guy ... in fact, it very much has to do with deliberately not jacking the other guy around. That's what the term "enlightened" means in this context. I ran a consulting company for about fifteen years, and yes, I was out to make a profit. After all, that's why I was in business. But I fully expected the other guy to come away from the table with some benefit as well, which is what any good business relationship is all about. If your only goal is to get whatever you can, by any means, no matter what the cost to your business partners or your customers, well, that's self-interest without the enlightened part.

Furthermore, when people would come to me with "opportunities" that seemed to good to be true (i.e., being "kind" for no apparent reason) I was naturally very suspicious. I would always ask, gee that sounds great ... but what do you get out of it? If the answer was nothing I knew they were lying, and that I would end up getting the shaft. But if someone came to me and said, "I have a mutually profitable business arrangement I would like to discuss with you" I would at least listen, because they were being honest about their expectations.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#15095881)

There is something profoundly wrong with the world and mankind when acts of kindness are looked upon with suspicion and kind people are berated.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15096043)

I wasn't picking on kind people ... I was picking on people who deliberately give the appearance of kindness, when in fact they are something else entirely. But yeah. There's something profoundly wrong with the world all right.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15096652)

You're blowing the whole thing way out of proportion. Either you employ coercion as the means to your end, or you employ voluntary association as the means to your end. The former is moral and fair; the latter is immoral and unfair. It's simple, unambiguous, and instinctively understood by every normal human being. Self-interest is irrelevant, since basically every decision you make in life is self-interested anyway. (Why on earth would you make a decision if you did not think it was the right thing for yourself to do?)

Another way of describing this is human nature. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand, because it was evolved that way.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15095259)

As a practitioner of random acts of kindness I understand where you are coming from with the sentiment. On the other hand I know where ScrewMaster is coming from as well.

With someone looking out for their own enlightened selfinterest you know the rules. You can talk. You can negotiate win/win situations. If something goes bad and you get screwed you can still talk and negotiate to figure out why and what can be done about it.

There is no talking to someone being "kind" for "your own good." These people are likely to leave you broken and bleeding on the ground and walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling about it and a selfcongratulatory smile on their faces.

And promoting true kindness is an act of enlightened selfinterest.


Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (3, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | about 8 years ago | (#15096404)

You are right. With enlightened self-interest, both parties are capable of positioning themselves to benefit. With kindness, it can be taken away at a moments' notice.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

danratherfoe (915756) | about 8 years ago | (#15095249)

This story demonstrates enlightened self-interest, not kindness.

In my view, the reason why ATI and NVIDIA do not release specs is not because of "lack of enlightenment", it probably has more to do with the fact that they are infringing on each other's patents. I'm not in the graphics hardware field, but it is my understanding that it is impossible to build a product without infringing multiple, multiple patents. When you release specs, your infringements are aired for the world to see.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

danratherfan (624592) | about 8 years ago | (#15095255)

Did you consider the possibility that if they don't release their specs Bill Gates will give them head? Just a thought.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095277)

More like: If they release their specs Bill Gates will have their heads... [zdnet.co.uk]

Users of non-Microsoft platforms are also wary of Microsoft gaining additional leverage on the makers of graphics hardware, who routinely support both OpenGL and DirectX. In Microsoft's US antitrust case, the company was found guilty of using illegal monopolistic practices to discourage PC manufacturers from promoting software, such as Netscape's Web browser, that competed with Microsoft applications.

Re:Enlightened Self-Interest (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15095312)

Actually, they could easily (if they haven't already) cross-license their own patent portfolios to eliminate the problem of infringing each others patents. That's what all the big boys do, to avoid being drawn into expensive and fruitless patent suits. But, yeah ... the more sophisticated (and successful!) your product line the more likely you are to infringe, particularly in this day and age. I mean, suing over patent infringement has long since ceased to be a matter of protecting an inventor's limited monopoly as it is a profit-making business model in itself.

MS Access (5, Funny)

Sartak (589317) | about 8 years ago | (#15095107)

I'm still awaiting an Access port. Then we'll have a truly fantastic Linux database. Til then, I'll stick with my trusty flatfiles.

Re:MS Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095121)

Does MS Access offer that much more then flat-files ? :)

Sure (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | about 8 years ago | (#15096191)

It's hard to screw up flat files enough to justify charging $$$/hour to fix things up while blaming someone else for their shitty software.

RMS Access (2, Funny)

boomgopher (627124) | about 8 years ago | (#15095198)

I'm still awaiting an Windows port of Richard M. Stallman. Then we'll have a truly fanatic ex-Linux pundit. Til then, I'll stick with my trusty gefilte fish.

*yawn* sorry, tried my best, still too sleepy..

Re:MS Access (2, Insightful)

caudron (466327) | about 8 years ago | (#15095428)

I'm still awaiting an Access port

You wanna read MS Access files in linux? Done: http://mdbtools.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

You wanna port that data to an F/OSS db? Done: http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/gagn e_access.html [oracle.com]

You want an MS Access equivolent for linux? Done: http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/04/20/18 23249.shtml?tid=150&tid=72&tid=82 [newsforge.com]

Yeah, it was a joke, I know, but beleive it or not, there are those for whom MS Access is a working requirement who might be interested in these links.

Tom Caudron
http://tom.digitalelite.com/programming.html [digitalelite.com]

Re:MS Access (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15095725)

You wanna port that data to an F/OSS db? Done: http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/gagn e_access.html [oracle.com]

Since when is Oracle a Free/Open Source database?

Re:MS Access (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | about 8 years ago | (#15095867)

Well, if you are talking in terms of big database companies being very good at opening and freeing our bank accounts of that pesky burden of calculating interest on our balances...then, yes, they are free and open.

Re:MS Access (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 8 years ago | (#15095865)

You want an MS Access equivolent for linux? Done: http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/04/20/18 [newsforge.com] 23249.shtml?tid=150&tid=72&tid=82

From TFA you linked to:

"Today, Rekall is a dual-licensed GUI database front-end with aspirations of becoming Linux's answer to Microsoft Access."

" Note that Rekall does not include an RDMS -- it's only a front-end."

Done? I think not.

Re:MS Access (1)

moreati (119629) | about 8 years ago | (#15096093)

" Note that Rekall does not include an RDMS -- it's only a front-end."

Done? I think not.

MS Access is 'only' a frontend to JET (aka MDB). It's just a very tightly coupled frontend.

Rekall like most Unix software is designed to be loosely coupled with other components. Choose your own backend. If you don't like Rekall, might I suggest Knoda (which I believe can do a one-file-forms-n-all app), Glom (postgresql only, but tightly coupled) or OpenOffice.org Base.

Of course none of them are as ubquitous as MS Access.


Re:MS Access (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 8 years ago | (#15096965)

MS Access is 'only' a frontend to JET (aka MDB)...

Please correct my logic here, but wasn't Access originally a rewrite of dBase IV? The same one developed by Tom Rettig, of "Lassie" fame? Is that why any Access database I've ever had to depend on barks at passing cars when it reaches 25MB?

Not entirely fair, of course -- only refers to pre-W2K MDE's. It's still only a short step from there to a decent database though, and many folks start with Access as an easy kick-start. More than that though, and the path is fraught with pain...

Bollocks (5, Interesting)

teslatug (543527) | about 8 years ago | (#15095117)

The assertion that Linux is helping Oracle gain grounds on IBM isn't supported at all in the article. DB2 also runs under Linux, and if they said that Oracle on Linux is faster than DB2 on Linux then I could understand it. But just because Oracle runs under Linux, doesn't mean existing DB2 customers will jump ship to Oracle. Also new customers in the market for a database will not go to Oracle just because it runs under Linux because so does DB2. They'll compare the merits of the databases, and the costs that go with them.

Re:Bollocks (4, Insightful)

Khuffie (818093) | about 8 years ago | (#15095156)

Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2. Now Oracle has a chance of making sales from these customers

Re:Bollocks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095289)

Oracle has been running on Linux for many years. In fact, Oracle runs on just about any OS. The biggest difference is that you can port your Oracle applications from one OS to the next with no code changes and your applications should work (you still need to test - more likeley it would be a bug in the version that you ported to that may crop up). DB2, different code base for each OS that it runs on (which I think are AIX and one or 2 Linux versions). You would most likely have to change your code to make it work to get it to work on the different OS.

That, is a big deal.

Re:Bollocks (1)

leoxx (992) | about 8 years ago | (#15095611)

DB2, different code base for each OS that it runs on (which I think are AIX and one or 2 Linux versions). You would most likely have to change your code to make it work to get it to work on the different OS.

Wrong. DB2 is built from a single code base on every platform it runs on [ibm.com]. Currently that includes Linux, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, and Windows.

Re:Bollocks (1)

ahmusch (777177) | about 8 years ago | (#15095947)

You're both wrong.

DB2 also runs on the mainframe -- you know, OS's like OS/390 and z/OS. That DB2 -- which is the one most people mean when referring to DB2 unless they say DB2 UDB -- is from a completely different code base, and works very, very differently. Little things like "the number of columns that can constitute a unique index" and "how partitioning works" differ wildly between the two DB2 "Universal Database" implementations. So if you want to move databases off z/OS onto a z/Linux partition or onto AIX, well, you really can't. Certainly not simply and easily. (There used to be three code lines for DB2, but they finally renamed DB2 for AS/400 to DB/400.)

However, Oracle Server has the same implementation rules -- columns per key, block sizes, how partitioning works -- on every platform where Oracle Server runs. That's the big portability difference. You can migrate a database to a different O/S and you won't have to redesign or kludge something up so it looks the same.

It is the same. That's the difference.

ugh, all three wrong (1)

kpharmer (452893) | about 8 years ago | (#15096469)

Saying that DB2 has three lines of code:
      - unix/linux/windows
      - mainframe
      - as/400

while oracle only has one for:
      - unix/linux/windows

is a nonsensical comparison: Oracle doens't have any product on the as/400, and their product for the os/390 (mainframe) is practically non-existent. A more reasonable statement is:
    "db2 and oracle each have just one codebase for the common distributed platforms"
db2 has a slightly different codebase for platforms that oracle doesn't support anyway.

Next point: migration of db2 code from mainframe to/from linux/unix/windows isn't necessarily a big deal. Sure, the file systems are different, memory model is a little different, and partitioning is different. However, some of those differences are unavoidable - the mainframe simply works differently than linux or windows (doesn't have concept of directories & files, etc). And 99% of all features and skills are the same.

My team just picked up a db2 dba who's work is primarily on the mainframe. We're not at all concerned that she doesn't have aix or linux experience - the small differences are quick to learn. Of course, she is going to have to learn linux & aix in order to run jobs, view logs, etc, etc but that's not a database issue.

Re:Bollocks (1)

Slithe (894946) | about 8 years ago | (#15095451)

>> Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2. Now Oracle has a chance of making sales from these customers

The Oracle Corporation released the first Linux port of their database to in August 1999, and, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_database#Versi on_numbering_conventionsWikipedia [wikipedia.org], Oracle was the first commercial RDMBS with a Linux port. So DB2 was the latecomer.

Re:Bollocks (1)

aralin (107264) | about 8 years ago | (#15095829)

You talk about it like this was something Oracle just did to catch up with DB2. Oracle has been on Linux before DB2. It is ported to linux since 8i version and Linux has been the primary development platform for Oracle RDBMS since the version 9i. Which means that it is developed on and for Linux and Solaris and others are now just ports of the Linux version. Oracle has been pushing the Oracle on Linux for so many years now, touting the cheap hardware to offset the cost of licenses, I wonder there is still someone who considers this as a new development.

Oracle has run on Linux for ages (1)

James Youngman (3732) | about 8 years ago | (#15096309)

Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2.
But Oracle has run on Linux for a long time - I remember installing 8.15 (well, 8.x for some value of x), and the current Oracle release is, what, 10g?

Re:Oracle has run on Linux for ages (1)

outsider007 (115534) | about 8 years ago | (#15096661)

Anyone who has ever tried to install 10g on linux knows it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

a bit strange (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 8 years ago | (#15095131)

since i have had much, much more success with db2 on linux than with oracle on linux. as always, YMMV...

Re:a bit strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095151)

Strange indeed!
Having come from a screaming Informix on Linux OLTP shop (Dell boxes with HP EVA storage) I wonder if IBM just forgot to pay their dues to WinterCorp last quarter.

Legally reverse-engineer Oracle now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095152)

If Oracle linked to LGPL libraries and distribute works based on it under their own EULA that is not LGPL, then their EULA (their own terms) is required to allow reverse-engineering.

If Oracle's EULA forbids reverse-engineering, then they are clearly violating the LGPL.

How do we enforce this? Contact fsf.org?

If you don't think this is true, please quote the LGPL section to support your claims before flaming.

Re:Legally reverse-engineer Oracle now? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 years ago | (#15095239)

Exactly what can not be reversed engineered? The DB? You are welcome to do so.

Postgres is heading in that way by its support of plsql and other capaibilities.

Of course, it does not have the speed of Oracle. But if you want speed for simple queries, try MySql (or even slqlite). Of course, you will give up a great deal of capabilities.

And finally, you have DB2, which competes well against Oracle on speed (lite on capabilities).

Re:Legally reverse-engineer Oracle now? (1)

Theatetus (521747) | about 8 years ago | (#15095319)

Eh... honestly in all my work with databases, I've wished for a lot of things but never "I wish this database were faster". I've always wished it had more and better referential integrity options, more inheritance features, better filesystem interfaces with more frequent writes, but the problem has never been "this database isn't doing queries fast enough". There have always been some queries that were slow, but they have been from dbs that are poorly designed -- a poorly designed query into a poorly designed database will probably still run slow on a "faster" database.

Re:Legally reverse-engineer Oracle now? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 8 years ago | (#15095246)

It's kind of saddening when OSS zealots like yourself do not understand the very licenses that are the foundation of what you hold so dear.

Once again class... you can link against LGPL libraries and are only required to make available the modified source of the LGPL library, not the apps/libraries of yours that are using it.

Now under the GPL (notice the missing first L) that is a different story and depending on the kind of linking involved then yes, if the external libs were GPL and they linked against them in a very specific way... then they would have to release the code of the libs/apps of theirs that use it.

Guess what? By your own admission they are using LGPL libs, and no doubt any GPL libs they are using are done in such a way to permit them from having to release their core source.

Please, sit down and read the GPL and LGPL licenses one more time... and maybe, read the FSF FAQ's on both which give a better idea of what you can and cannot do with GPL and LGPL software.

Oracle Installer Sucks (4, Informative)

dretay (583646) | about 8 years ago | (#15095154)

I have recently had a lot of experience trying to install Oracle 9i on linux. The installer is broken in multiple places, and the only way to get it to install is to buy an Oracle support contract (there are specific "coyprighted" scripts that can not be found on the web). Even after you buy the contract, you have to go through several permutations of apply this patch, run this script... to get it to work. Once working the database becomes a resource hog, and seems to break quite often when I am applying system updates. Trying to move database tables from one server to another is also a major pain in the ass (although it could just be that MySQL is very easy) I can not think of anything short of a gun to the head that could convince me to try installing oracle on linux again.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

IANAAC (692242) | about 8 years ago | (#15095193)

I can not think of anything short of a gun to the head that could convince me to try installing oracle on linux again.

I think that OTN is probably one of the better resources out there for all things Oracle (Linux or not). If you've not gone there, I highly suggest it. You'll find answers to prety much anything you'll run up against.

That aside, if your company wants to run any major commercial software on top of that database (HR, CRM, Financials, etc.) it's most likely going to have to run on top of either Oracle or DB2.

Both Oracle and IBM have staked a sizeable portion of their business on Linux. I realize some people can see the positive in that. But there is a positive in there.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (2, Informative)

dknj (441802) | about 8 years ago | (#15095208)

wow, first of all this is a truely misconceived post. second, shame on the moderators that are artificially increasing the validity of this.

first of all, any worthwhile company running oracle WILL have a support contract. period. second, the installer (which i agree blows chunks) is not broken to the point where you REQUIRE a support contract. i speak from experience here, because i have had no problem installing oracle 9i on linux (without calling oracle support). third, oracle is a resource hog because of its design. you don't use oracle for a 10 record database, go use MySQL and worry about your tables getting corrupted for that. now when you're talking million records or more, then oracle will "hog your resources" to ensure you get lightening quick responses while ensuring data integrity. finally, moving databases from one server to another is hardly a pain, if you are a competent system administrator (or even if you're not.. if you have a competent technical lead). again, i'm speaking from experience.

and if you still hate oracle because it is a commerical product (i say this only because you sound biased towards mysql), then jump ship to postgresql. besides the fact that its autovacuum package also sucks ass, it is the only competitor to oracle that i would trust in a production environment.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1, Interesting)

jadavis (473492) | about 8 years ago | (#15095491)

now when you're talking million records or more, then oracle will "hog your resources" to ensure you get lightening quick responses while ensuring data integrity

You're implying that consuming many resources is required to ensure data integrity. It's not. Correct programming is required to ensure data integrity. "Hogging resources" (i.e. allocating lots of memory) is useful for acheiving better performance on a large database.

You also imply that a million records is a large database. It's not, unless of course each record is large. A million records can often fit entirely in RAM.

use MySQL and worry about your tables getting corrupted

Is data corruption on working hardware a real problem for MySQL?

[PostgreSQL's] autovacuum package also sucks ass

Constructive criticism, please. Autovacuum is useful to many people. If there's something about it that can be improved, let us all know.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15096062)

Is data corruption on working hardware a real problem for MySQL?

Yes, it is.

http://sql-info.de/mysql/gotchas.html [sql-info.de]

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

jadavis (473492) | about 8 years ago | (#15096329)

I understand that MySQL has consistency problems, due to a lack of type checking and so forth. I am not in any way endorsing MySQL.

I meant, does MySQL actually corrupt data so that MySQL itself cannot understand it? I use MySQL when I must, and I'd like to know if there are situations in which MySQL actually corrupts data.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

dwkunkel (546825) | about 8 years ago | (#15095261)

Installing Oracle on Linux is a non trivial process, but it is well documented by both Oracle [oracle.com] and Werner Puschitz [puschitz.com]. I would recommend installing Oracle 10G-R2 rather than 9i on either CentOS 4.3 or RedHat AS4.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095617)

Care to elaborate? I've never had a single problem deploying Oracle on Solaris and Linux. Were you running one of the supported distros or were you just trying to shoehorn Oracle onto a Debian install just because you felt it was cool? Oracle's installer works very well if you read the instructions and stick to supported hardware/software. It probably won't work on your 486 running Slackware though, but neither will DB2.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

bjohnson (3225) | about 8 years ago | (#15095639)

Trying to move database tables from one server to another is also a major pain in the ass Hmmm: exp and imp aren't all that hard to use. You do have to answer horribly difficult questions like "Export table data? y/n" and you can move the entire tablespace in on swell foop.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

ahmusch (777177) | about 8 years ago | (#15095973)

Heck, he could set up database links and:

1. Reference the remote table directly.
2. Set up replication to continuously replicate the tables at the remote database to the local database.
3. Use import/export (or impdp/expdp) to create a dump file which is portable cross-os and cross-release.
4 Issue "create table X as select * from X@otherdb;" ... but I'm guessing anything that might require reading the documentation will be considered way too hard for the GP.

Oracle is a big, complicated piece of software. If the GP wants toy software, well, he knows where to find it.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

idfubar (668691) | about 8 years ago | (#15095678)

I think the comment about using the RPM is a good idea (so is trying it with 10G or the "community edition"). I don't doubt you had problems but maybe it was a bad set of binaries (did you check the MD5 on the download)? I'm also sure that Oracle is all-too-happy to sell you a support contract but I wouldn't go so far as to say "You can't install Oracle on Linux without a support contract"; I took an Oracle class at community college and this was one of the things multiple people in the class did right at the start.

So both installer suck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095773)

I haven't bothered trying the Linux installer. I did however try to install it on a win 2k3 server 2 weeks ago... And it's the most weird/troublesome DB install I've ever done. It was just a 3GHz P4 w/ 1.5GB RAM (small server from a workstation, just for some dev work and testing - nothing production/large scale or anything). The box has always been working flawlessly (clean from a ghost image too). Nothing weird in the event log, no hardware conflicts, no old drivers, etc. And the freaking Oracle installer choked the CPU hard for 10+ minutes. All you could tell is, CPU load from the installer is basically 100%. No signs of progress or anything. Eventually I assumed it was crashed and "end tasked" on it. Reghosted (don't want to reinstall over a crashed install). Same thing the other time, except I walked away from it to go get coffees downtown. When I came back (at least 20 mins later) then it was done. (and no, it wasn't installing off an old 2x CD-Rom drive either)

Hogging 100% of the CPU for at least 15 minutes and showing no signs of progress makes it by far the worst installer of ANY software I've tried lately. (No "this will take ages" warning either)

And that was a rather minimalistic install (not even the sample DBs) from the first disc only. I can't imagine installing all 4! And right after installing (again, no data at all, barebones install, etc), not having made a single ODBC connection, without having even touched the admin tools, etc, the thing was using like 400MB of RAM. That's a LOT of overhead for a DB server that doesn't even have a DB created on it already. I can run several DBs easily in that much RAM (yes, one can tweak it to use more RAM for faster queries when needed - but 400MB can't be a copy of the data in memory - there just wasn't any data to cache yet).

It might scale well and be powerful and all, but man. You wanna use it? Make sure you got some high-end hardware. You'll need it. We've more or less given up on it. The demand for our apps (the usual N-Tier business apps) to connect to Oracle was quite low to start with, and since it's being a pain (semingly needs highly paid Sr DBAs and PL/SQL devs too)... We'll just keep using the others instead (MS SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Sybase, DB2, etc). Most of our customers use SQL Server but more and more are moving to MySQL/PostgreSQL lately.

Anyways. Seeing how the installers suck, how heavy this bloated POS is, how expensive it is licensing wise (more than comparable editions of DB2 and SQL Server with similar features) and support wise (Sr Oracle DBAs don't come cheap and it seems maintenance heavy), etc, I can see why other databases are on the rise in a lot of places (often free/OSS ones). Some places will stick to Oracle as they really need it or have too much money, but that's about it.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (1)

aralin (107264) | about 8 years ago | (#15095805)

The installer in 10g has improved radically over the previous version. You should give it a try. It has been a long outstanding problem and they really made an effort to do something about it. It will be even better in the next version from what I've seen.

Re:Oracle Installer Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15096650)

I will have to say, that I don't agree, I'm running a data warehouse on RH ES3, and the installation was no problem. Installing it on fedora core is another matter. The installer can have some problems if run through VNC.

Good news but not well interpreted (2, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | about 8 years ago | (#15095162)

It is welcomed news that Linux and open source foster a productive cooperation in the high-end database market. The interpretation given in this article gets it just backward, wrongly positioning Linux and IBM in opposite camps (facts given in the article don't support the interpretation offered). Who the # wrote this article?

Or... (2, Interesting)

buddha42 (539539) | about 8 years ago | (#15095177)

You could just as easily say the opposite, Oracle is helping linux.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095288)

I agree with this statement much moreso than I do with Linux helping Oracle. Oracle already has its stake in the ground as one of best high performance DB suites. My company recently migrated our Oracle databases from SunOS to linux. I'm sure others are doing the same. The cost of a linux server is much less than a typical Sun/Unix server, though I don't know the numbers.

Our experience with Postgresql (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095213)

Oracle has good reputation for working with large size dbs. It's not cheap though, at ~$50K/CPU.

We put about 210 million records in Postgresql database for one of our apps and so far Postgresql has shown itself really well. Queries are quick, database is stable, backup times are reasonable... personally, Postgresql has exceeded my expectations.

It's good that Oracle runs on Linux, as Postgresql has done for many years, but at what point do you really need to spend all that money on Oracle? I think Postgresql will be more than sufficient for 95+% of all apps out there.

Re:Our experience with Postgresql (3, Informative)

briansmith (316996) | about 8 years ago | (#15095615)

It's good that Oracle runs on Linux, as Postgresql has done for many years, but at what point do you really need to spend all that money on Oracle? I think Postgresql will be more than sufficient for 95+% of all apps out there.

I agree, but I would like to point out that Oracle doesn't usually cost $50K/CPU for any system that would be sufficient for PostgreSQL. It is more fair to compare Oracle Standard Edition or Oracle SE One to PostgreSQL, which are priced significantly lower ($15K and $5K respectively, plus support). Even EE is "only" $40K/CPU, plus support.

Re:Our experience with Postgresql (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#15096011)

$5K plus support? wow, that sucks. For $5000 they'd better throw in some support for free. And all this Per CPU stuff really gets on my nerves. Oh, sorry, you have good hardware, so you have to pay more. No wait, you don't have good hardware, you have an old dual CPU Pentium Pro, but you still have to pay more. If they want to charge more for people who have more power, they really should charge per cycle.

Re:Our experience with Postgresql (1)

jadavis (473492) | about 8 years ago | (#15096932)

If they want to charge more for people who have more power, they really should charge per cycle.

But we all know that clock speed is not an accurate measure of processor speed. What they should really do is tie the pricing to benchmark results on Tom's Hardware.

Re:Our experience with Postgresql (1)

MoogMan (442253) | about 8 years ago | (#15096024)

Large companies (Enterprises, maybe telco carriers) will need to have a decent support contract, as well as guaranteed uptimes with clustering and all that shizzle. This, I think, is why Oracle is bought.

Sure, Postgre has support, but I'm not entirely sure that when I email the outsourced support company, or ring their phone number, that someone will pick up. It's this uncertainty that makes the higher management simply decide to go with Oracle/DB2/etc.

Forgive my ignorance, but I do not know if Postresql supports multi-system clustering, so I will refrain from commenting about it.

Bug linux fan but... (-1, Offtopic)

liliafan (454080) | about 8 years ago | (#15095227)

I use Oracle on AIX, Solaris and HP-UX at work, most of my day involves resizing volume groups and logical volumes on these systems (over 100 systems multiple databases per system), until I get more chance dealing with LVM on linux and do benchmarking connecting to sharks, and fast Ts I will stick to my trusty mysql and postgres linux databases.

Out of curiosity ... (0)

vlad_petric (94134) | about 8 years ago | (#15095237)

What's the main selling point of Oracle to begin with? From what I've seen so far, most IT people dislike it (pain to install on Linux, huge memory requirements, optimizer that needs many hints, etc).

Re:Out of curiosity ... (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | about 8 years ago | (#15095276)

1. Oracle has good (albeit expensive) support

2. Oracle is very customizable

3. Oracle is very powerful (in terms of expressiveness of its custom SQLish statements)

4. Oracle performance is incredible when properly tuned

That said, Oracle is not a newbie database. It won't configure itself for you like MS SQL does. It expects to be operated by a professional who does nothing other than work with Oracle all day.

In particular, "optimizer that needs many hints" is a sign of the power of Oracle. They assume that if you are optimizing, that you want to wring out every last bit of performance. Thus, they give many options but require you to take the time to analyze your data and tailor the optimizations to your data. Oracle rarely trades power for ease of use.

Oracle's not designed to be a push button solution. It's designed to allow expert users to do everything they really want to do.

Re:Out of curiosity ... (1)

jadavis (473492) | about 8 years ago | (#15096943)

In particular, "optimizer that needs many hints" is a sign of the power of Oracle.

It's also a weakness. The plans should not be static because your data is not static. That means that when the data set changes, you need to re-optimize.

Most "IT" people... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095606)

From what I've seen so far, most IT people dislike it

The kind of "IT people" of whom you are speaking, are far too untrained and unqualified to be making a valid judgement call on the merits of Oracle. Oracle is an incredibly sophisticated database system, intended to be installed and operated only by those persons with enough training and understanding of its architecture. It is intended for really big, really complex applications and not for the mundane. In its intended applications, Oracle is powerful, fast and unbeatable. It scales to levels that MS SQL and other lesser databases can never reach (DB2 is its closest peer, Informix once was too, but that's toast now). It has a steep learning curve that you must make a serious commitment to mastering, and once you've reached that expert level, you'll easily see that Oracle is the "king daddy paw-paw" of all RDBMS's.

In parallel to your statement, we could also say that "From what I've seen so far, most PC users dislike Linux" because it too has a learning curve to it that is radically dissimilar to Windows from an average PC user's perspective.

linux helping oracle? Other way around? (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | about 8 years ago | (#15095269)

Wait: Oracle is porting their database to Linux and the headline is "Linux Helping Oracle?" Sounds more like Oracle is helping Linux get into the datacenter, or at the very least, there's a symbiotic relationship. Linux is useful to Oracle (this isn't news, they've been pushing to an all-Linux solution for years) but Oracle is also very useful to Linux. Hate Oracle if you must, but admit that they've put a lot of money into Linux.

Re:linux helping oracle? Other way around? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#15095675)

If you don't count Linux, then the platforms on which you can run Oracle on are:
Scales up to 32 CPUs, and gets really expensive above about four (although not in comparison with a 4+ CPU license for Oracle). Is not well known for security or stability, and does not have a strong reputation as a database hosting platform.
Proprietary UNIX
Generally is only supported on the manufacturer's own (very, very expensive) hardware. Adds vendor lock in, and cost.
By running on Linux, Oracle lowers the barrier to entry for a new customer (and means that a greater proportion of the TCO for an Oracle system winds up in Oracle's pockets), so it's hardly surprising that they benefit from supporting it.

Re:linux helping oracle? Other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095711)

You are right, by encouraging customers to run linux, Oracle gets a bigger bite out of the IT dollar pie. Does anyone think Oracle likes sharing that $4million project budget with Sun or IBM? No, what they want is to push customers to the cheapeast hardware and the cheapest (seemingly) OS so then they can come in and gobble up a bigger chunk of that $4 million with things like extra licenses, RAC upgrades and consulting.

But, when push comes to shove, does Oracle run their business on many small Intel boxes running Linux like they encourage all their customers to do? No, Oracle runs on 4 big iron Sun boxes. That's where Larry keeps track of *his* money.

Blah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095295)

Linux is helping my dick, because I am able to meet up with some hookers using my Linux phone. Too bad they all have AIDS, but you know what? I don't give a fuck.

It happend this year all of a sudden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095304)

So this company WinterCorp just now notices that there are open source databases in use out there?


My money is on IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095309)

Eventually, open source databases will be as capable as Oracle. Then where will Oracle be? IBM, on the other hand, seems to understand how to make money in an open source environment.

The increasing capabilities of open source databases will drive Oracle to retreat up market until there is nowhere left to retreat. Oracle is not in a position to stand and fight (although it seems to be working on the principle that if you hire all the database developers, you can stop open source database development). Oracle will have to re-invent itself. That process is never guaranteed to be successful.

Not too surprising (1)

iabervon (1971) | about 8 years ago | (#15095357)

I've used Oracle on both Linux and Solaris. We were running it on Linux workstations, along with a bunch of other things, for development, and on Solaris to test it in the conditions we expected it to use in production, with nothing else running on the database server. Even so, we found that it was faster in the Linux setup. Of course, this is a while ago, and on relatively small data sets, and not an especially high-end Solaris machine, but it was still striking. At the time, at least, if you could get a big enough Linux box to handle your data, it would cost probably 1/20 of the cost of a Solaris system capable of the same performance. You'd probably have issues if you had to move to a database cluster, because the software for getting a cluster to work wasn't so good (when we tried it a few years later), but for a range of useful sizes, Linux was a much better value than Solaris.

The issue with clusters seemed to be that it was only available in a special custom Red Hat configuration, and it wasn't well tested, because it was just Red Hat and Oracle doing it, not everybody looking over the patches for whether they would screw up the rest of the system. There's been a bunch of merging work on cluster stuff since then, so the code quality is probably now up to the usual standards.

(Of course, I've been just as happy with other database programs on Linux, but I don't have any experience trying to use them for insanely large or busy databases; our program was supposed to work with huge data, but we never used it on huge data ourselves.)

Linux cluster file system (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 8 years ago | (#15095362)

Wow between a bad CNN article and a bad editor this article makes no sense at all. OK Oracle has been on Linux for years. The CNN article that got linked to is about Oracle porting their cluster file system over to Linux. This is a filesystem that is just a little faster because it removes some redundancy. To quote Oracle:
Cluster Filesystem Options for Running Oracle
Oracle RAC technology already provides features such as load balancing, redundancy, failover, scalability, caching, and locking, so there is a duplication of functions that occurs when Oracle datafiles reside on a block device with a traditional Linux filesystem such as ext2/ext3. Performance decreases in this case because caching by Oracle as well as the filesystem drains memory resources.
As of this writing, in addition to third-party cluster filesystems, there are four filesystem options for running Oracle RAC. They are, in order of recommendation by Oracle:
1) Oracle Automatic Storage Management
2) Oracle Cluster File System
3) Network Filesystem
4) Raw devices.

Surprise, surprise (1)

Britz (170620) | about 8 years ago | (#15095449)

Oracle didn't port their database to Linux for charity or because they love open source. They went in for the money. What a surprise. They wouldn't have known Linux existed if they wouldn't have been requested by customers, because with i386 you have been getting more bang for the buch for some time now. And Linux is THE i386 Unix. I am talking big corporate supported stuff, I know that BSD is cool and all. But Red Hat on Intel servers has been a very good deal in many cases. And if the customer doesn't spend as much on hardware they might be more willing to shell out the fortune that Oracle demands.

And this is news???

OracLinux (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 8 years ago | (#15095452)

What's cool about porting Oracle to Linux is that Oracle can modify Linux. They can drop parts of the kernel that don't help Oracle run, and add parts Oracle needs but that isn't part of Oracle. I'd love to see an Oracle Linux distro that is stripped to do nothing but run an Oracle server (not even run Oracle clients) and maybe one of Oracle's Java app servers, in clusters.

Re:OracLinux (1)

idfubar (668691) | about 8 years ago | (#15095659)

I agree; what's even more likely is that you'll see an Oracle "Virtual Appliance" which is basically an Oracle installation on Linux/Solaris/AIX inside a VMware virtual machine. This means you simply download the VM files and hit "play" and you have an optimized OS + (reasonably) optimized DB; just create your tables, indexes, and go...

Re:OracLinux (1)

iamdrscience (541136) | about 8 years ago | (#15095960)

Are you insane? The overhead from running it as a VMWare virtual machine would far outweigh any optimizations that could be made. Plus, you have to pay for a VMWare license on top of your Oracle license.

Re:OracLinux (1)

ahmusch (777177) | about 8 years ago | (#15096005)

However, for non-production systems -- generally dev, test, and qa environments -- the use of VMware for both Windows and Linux is hot-hot-hot. Those platforms are generally woefully underutilized, where the utilization numbers are on the order of 5-10% during the working day, lower during off hours.

Collapsing several system's environments like that into a single VMware server can save lots and lots of money paid for :

Data Center Space
Data Center Operating Costs

Besides, I remember having seen something about all the VMWare releases except for the top-of-the-line one being more or less free now.

Re:OracLinux (1)

idfubar (668691) | about 8 years ago | (#15096029)

While accurate ~5 years ago your comments, in today's terms, are totally off.

First, the overhead is minimal (~5%). Virtualization is everywhere, *especially* in backend infrastructure and business applications. The flexibility that the virtual machine gives you FAR outweighs any small performance penalty. Go take a look at the list of reference customers VMware has of people who are very happy with virtualizing; many of them run Oracle databases in VM.

Second, not *all* VMware products require a license. The VMware Player is free and so is the VMware Server; what you do have to pay for is if you decide to use ESX (no OS overhead) or VMotion (to handle multiple ESX nodes).

In terms of startup time there's no "overhead" for a virtual machine; a slimmed down OS is a slimmed down OS. The same is basically true for memory footprint as well. The real savings is in terms of installation time and configuration of settings, which is obviously what the OP had trouble with.

Re:OracLinux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15096187)

Oracle tried this way back in the 8.x days (I think). I know HP had a "certified Oracle appliance", can't remember if Sun or IBM had such a config. Never really took off and just faded away.

As someone who makes these decisions ... (4, Informative)

Chitlenz (184283) | about 8 years ago | (#15095517)

I'd say they're right, but also this article is a tad late to the party. This has been going on for at LEAST 5 years, since 8.0 was first released for, I believe, Redhat 7. Consequently, this is not some huge rush for Redhat, and I actually have found tighter distros to run 10g better (I like gentoo, but it's a pain in the ass to get tuned right for this particular task). Anyway, what I found interesting is that our linux oracle systems absolutely STOMPED the 8 way v880/16GB Solaris boxes in archive testing involving 4+TB databases (this to us was a real shock btw... I'm currently buying v40z class servers from Sun that are 4x dual core opteron boxes for like a 10th of the price of a true solaris (Sparc) platform. Thus I would say IBM's problem is Sun's problem in this case as far as selling big iron anymore).

I think Oracle is winning because Oracle is honest to god better than their competition. I was (am?) a DBA for 10 years on Sybase (AIX), SQL Server 6x 7x 2kx, Informix 8x 9x, and Oracle 8x 9x 10x at various times, and though I've moved on to a database architecture role with the company I'm with, I'm still making the call on systems purchases. We use mostly SQL Server 2005, for cost, in the smaller 4-6TB systems and they run great, but I wouldn't even consider DB2 for any production role anymore with Oracle out there making it happen in so many better ways.

I'm not a fanboy of Ellison, I'm just realistic about who's driving the market today.


PS - Oh yeah, as mentioned we're running Sun 40z's with Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 on Netapp arrays AND it is VERY MUCH worth noting that the lower end Sun/Opteron line not only runs windows, but runs windows VERY well (driver support for their servers is very very good, which was like ... well weird... 'Sun support? Can I get a download link to your windows drivers?'). Try it and be shocked ....just a tip.


PPS - for anyone who is curious about this topic in any real way, use an isntall guide other than Oracle's, since it's usually wrong for awhile ... use something like http://www.puschitz.com/InstallingOracle10g.shtml [puschitz.com]

missing from list (0, Troll)

brenddie (897982) | about 8 years ago | (#15095534)

Oracle dominated its list of 175 large databases. For the first time, databases running on Linux appeared on WinterCorp's list -- and all of them came from Oracle.
You cant ignore other players like sybase. Their database with RAW devides on linux provides very good performance and is very easy to use and set up. But what really surprises me is that DB2 and informix are missing from the list. I cant vouch for DB2 on linux but a well tunned Informix IDS10 instance on linux will beat Oracle anytime. IBM R&D on the optimizer has made DB2 and Informix the best performers.

wow, another one out of the closet. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15095969)

does this mean that ellison is sucking linus' dick? linux is STILL for fags.
And to all the fags who are offended by this? Blow it out your ass, rumproaster.

article is mistaken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15096510)

This article must be wrong. Microsoft says that linux is for print and web servers only, and never, ever makes it into the data center. And we know anything Microsoft says is true.

So what about MySQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15097003)

Is there something wrong with my SQL?

I've been using it on my redhat server for more than 5 years now with lots of hits every month (over 100,000) and it performs nicely and without problems.

Why do I need some greedy company with a bloated application that just decided to show up to the game?

I think MySQL fits most any database application.

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