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Oracle to Offer RedHat Support?

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the declarations-of-war dept.

223

rs232 writes to tell us ITP is reporting that Oracle's Larry Ellison recently called Red Hat's ability to honor their support contracts effectively into question. Taking that claim one step further, Ellison claims that Oracle will soon start offering support for Red Hat Linux users. From the article: "The reason for this move, which Oracle executives later declined to provide any real detail on, is that Red Hat isn't doing a good enough job of providing that support itself, Ellison said. 'Red Hat is too small and does not do a very good job of supporting them [customers],' he said."

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223 comments

Hey, Windows/Linux Refugees! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688124)

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at the Mac's user interface: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that matches your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Interesting turn of events (4, Interesting)

rugged-laptop (987837) | about 8 years ago | (#15688125)

(If this actually happens) This would be a very interesting turn of events. Oracle is widely credited as one of the reasons that Red Hat was able to break into the enterprise. If Oracle goes its own way, it will be interesting to see how Red Hat works through the challenge. On the other hand, supporting a full-fledged distribution is easier said than done.. May be Oracle is just posturing to get a better deal out of Red Hat.

I am sure people at Redhat are happy with that (4, Interesting)

avilella (849332) | about 8 years ago | (#15688141)

Because it means that Redhat is doing a good job and they need to grow to be able to satisfy more clients.

Re:I am sure people at Redhat are happy with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688287)

No, it means they need to spend more money to satisfy the clients they already have...

Read the source link! (1)

ghostbar38 (982287) | about 8 years ago | (#15688560)

Or at least read the full article and no just the title. Oracle says RedHat isn't doing good enough, so that don't mean RedHat's doing good!...

Please read the full stories...

MySQL? (5, Interesting)

rugged-laptop (987837) | about 8 years ago | (#15688149)

So, does this mean Oracle will support MySQL which is part of the Red Hat distribution?

Re:MySQL? (2, Interesting)

aes12 (580531) | about 8 years ago | (#15688355)

Doubtful... I'm sure the support agreement will only include those parts of the distribution which Oracle deems to be a requirement for Oracle's product. MySQL clearly doesn't fall into that category. My guess is that only a small subset of the full RedHat distro will be covered.

Re:MySQL? (1)

0racle (667029) | about 8 years ago | (#15688546)

If you had an Oracle support contract, why would you be using MySQL?

Re:MySQL? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15688597)

If you had an Oracle support contract, why would you be using MySQL?

Because not every data storage need requires a big RDBMS.

Re:MySQL? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 8 years ago | (#15688549)

i don't know about that. if a client has a system deployed which has components using both MySQL and Oracle it would make sense from a business standpoint not to shut down your business and wair for a rewrite to put it all into oracle

especially if it is a combination of a centralized oracle database and a group of smaller decentralized MySQL databases which would be too expensive to license Oracle for each instance

for example a hotel chain which does local room management and reservations on a custom made MySQL application but the main customer database as well as business records are collected in a large Oracle database for centralized access


keeping the reservation system for each location at the location means a network uplink failure will not prevent access to the reservations system and saves money not paying for a copy of oracle for every single hotel location when you really only need it for corporate headquarters

Way to..... (0, Flamebait)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 8 years ago | (#15688156)

hijack someone else Ellison! Can this guy be any more of a dick?

Re:Way to..... (4, Insightful)

mod_critical (699118) | about 8 years ago | (#15688201)

Hijack? This is free enterprise!

In fact, in the open source world, this is where competition is probably going to go. Since the products are developed by the community, and some markets are flooded with options for product choice (media players, GUI dekstops, etc), the next real way to compete is going to be offering support for OSS products that someone _else_ is already offering support for.

It's not a hijack, its a competing service! Granted this situation is like a wal-mart moving into town, but it's still capitalism.

Re:Way to..... (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | about 8 years ago | (#15688503)

So libel is OK as long as you do it in the interest of business?

Re:Way to..... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15688607)

So libel is OK as long as you do it in the interest of business?

Exactly how are Ellison's statements libelous?

Re:Way to..... (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#15688507)

In that case capitalism simily gives people good excuses for being dicks.

Re:Way to..... (2, Interesting)

Kludge (13653) | about 8 years ago | (#15688568)

It is competing service, and the GPL allows it, but don't claim that they wouldn't be hijacking Red Hat's clients. They will be.

And the other question is: will Oracle work on the product releasing all sorts of products back to the community as Red Hat has done (tux, netscape directory server, kernel improvements too many to list, etc, etc), or will they just tell people which nobs to tweek to get their $$$ commercial product running? I'm guessing the latter, and the original post was right: Ellison is a dick.

Re:Way to..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688447)

Can this guy be any more of a dick?

That's Chairman and CEO dick to you!

Larry.

Well could be worse for red hat (3, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 8 years ago | (#15688161)

Ok Ellison is dissatisfied with red hat support. It would have been worse if actual OS users were. Like that other operating system's [microsoft.com] users sometimes are...

Re:Well could be worse for red hat (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688271)

My organization is a customer of Redhat. We are *extremely* dissatisfied with Redhat's support. My support calls generally stay open for a minimum of two months, with some taking over a year. Their support is far worse than Microsoft's, and abyssmal in comparison to Sun's.

About a year and a half ago we had a problem with nss_ldap. After waiting months for them to fix the problem, we looked through the source code, spotted and fixed the problem, and sent them the fix. After doing so we had to wait two more months for them to provide us with a supported hotfix. The package *still* isn't included in the RHEL4 disto.

We had the same problem with RHEL3, but we hadn't actually run into it until recently. Not suprisingly, we were denied support for RHEL3 because it was going into maintanence mode two weeks after we notified them we were having the same problem with RHEL3.

This is just *one* of the numerous support problems we've had. I could probably give three or four more example just like this one and we've only had Redhat support for 3 years...

Re:Well could be worse for red hat (2, Interesting)

Bravoc (771258) | about 8 years ago | (#15688553)

I wonder if Ellison understands the industry or just makes stuff up as he goes along. CIO Insight Magazine [cioinsight.com] named Red Hat #1 for offering value to its customers two years in a row. Oracle doesn't even seem to appear in the top 10.

It'll be interesting to see how the market responds to such an offer.

Re:Well could be worse for red hat (4, Insightful)

cloudmaster (10662) | about 8 years ago | (#15688554)

The only reason RedHat sells anything to "corporate" America is because they *offer* support. It's not because anyone actually uses it. The people making decisions at large companies (such as the Fortune 25 company I work for now, or the Fortune 50 semiconductor company I worked for before) want another company that says they'll support the product. Perhaps even one that will have meetings with them. They don't care if the support is ever actually used, and the admins actually working with the software know that nearly anything they try to *do* with the software will invalidate the support, but no one cares. It's just that empty promise and a big ad in a trade magazine. Somehow I doubt that Oracle will make things any better, except for supporting a couple more specific configurations/situations that probably no one will actually find themselves in. :)

Re:Well could be worse for red hat (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 8 years ago | (#15688650)

Hardly the case. In my experience Redhat has always been OUTSTANDING about responding to bugs we find. You do actually get something out of their support if you need it.

I wonder... Orcale distro on the way? (5, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | about 8 years ago | (#15688162)

Given the effort required to be able to offer support on a third party distro I wonder if over time Oracle will come to the conclusion they can provide their own distro as easily as carry out support for distro over which they have no/limited control.

Either that or will Oracle end up buying RH?

Re:I wonder... Orcale distro on the way? (4, Informative)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | about 8 years ago | (#15688212)

There has been a discussion [slashdot.org] partially about this before, and mentioned in the summary for that is about how Ellison has said does not intend to buy RedHat. As far as starting a distro, the consensus was that Oracle would be more likely to buy a distro that start one because it takes a long time to get a large and devoted community. Oracle certainly has the cash to do one, so don't rule it out, but it's probably not likely. Also, I think Ellison is too much of a control freak to support someone else's work for long if he doesn't have a say in it. I think he's probably got some backdoor channel with RedHat if he is going to support its products but not purchase the company.

Yes, Oracle will get into the OS biz. Here's why. (4, Interesting)

CurtMonash (986884) | about 8 years ago | (#15688385)

There are at least two senses of "support" here, which are hand-holding and actual bugfix/upgrade code changing. Answering the phones is the easy one, although dismal performance by various cost-cutting, outsourcing big vendors can obscure that point.

So the real question is indeed, as already noted in this thread, will Oracle code, package, and support a particular Linux distro? I think it has to go that way. Here are two reasons why.

1. Enterprises use huge application-oriented technology stacks -- hardware, OS, DBMS, app server, OLTP apps, analytics, etc., etc. They increasingly resist paying "value prices" for all those layers. Thus, each vendor wants ITS tiers to be value-priced, while the other layers are commoditized, both to free up money for that vendor, and to generally undermine the other big companies. Sun likes giving away DBMS. SAP is pushing cheap DBMS. Microsoft introduced low-cost DBMS. And so Oracle needs to strike back by, for example, ensuring that the OS gets commoditized.

2. Oracle code is what Scott McNealy would call "a big hairball". Customers need to be protected from the complexity. Integrating the DBMS and OS is a potential way to do that.

Re:Yes, Oracle will get into the OS biz. Here's wh (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#15688626)

Integrating the DBMS and OS is a potential way to do that.

What a fscking disaster that would be. As bad a MSFT integreating IE into Windows.

Re:I wonder... Orcale distro on the way? (1)

killjoe (766577) | about 8 years ago | (#15688483)

I suppose it could buy novell. That might not be a bad fit actually.

Re:I wonder... Orcale distro on the way? (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | about 8 years ago | (#15688390)

Given the effort required to be able to offer support on a third party distro I wonder if over time Oracle will come to the conclusion they can provide their own distro as easily as carry out support for distro over which they have no/limited control.

w00t! Then I could wait three years [osvdb.org] for an OS patch as well. Where do I sign up?

Re:I wonder... Oracle distro on the way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688467)

Will Oracle end up buying RH?

Oracle has a market cap of less than $80B. It has declined about 25% in the last five years.
Redhat has a market cap of just over $4B. It has increased about 700% [yahoo.com] in the last five years.

The market summaries [yahoo.com] of these two companies may indeed be on a collision course. But it is because they are going in opposite directions.

Redhat without Oracle doesn't look so bad. Oracle with Linux is a struggle. Oracle without Linux is a death sentence.

Re:I wonder... Oracle distro on the way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688494)

As long as your are comparing stock prices, it is fascinating to see the synchronization of these [yahoo.com] two [yahoo.com] companies.

Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (5, Interesting)

markir1 (905946) | about 8 years ago | (#15688180)

This is really rather funny - Oracle's support is typically dreadful, so now they will further stretch their already thin support resources a little more to bring you even *less* support per dollar!

Re:Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688222)

Typically dreadful? JD Power disagrees: http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pre ssrelease.asp?ID=2006058 [jdpower.com] Do you have any anecdotal evidence or sources to the contrary, or are you just making stuff up?

Re:Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688356)

Hay look! A meaningless certification!

(However, Oracle's support isn't bad if you're willing to pay through the nose for it. For certain companies with certain requirements, it makes sense.)

Re:Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688367)

This certification is based on customer satisfaction surveys. I'm not sure how that's meaningless in the context of this discussion.

"To achieve certification, an organization must attain customer satisfaction scores among the top 20 percent of firms nationwide offering technology support, based on J.D. Power and Associates extensive technology industry benchmark customer satisfaction research."

Re:Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688414)

Hah! Look! A meaningless certificate backed up with some meaningless doublespeak!

At least they didn't include real things about the quality of the product/support in the survey. You would have been screwed then.

Larry, is that you?

Re:Oracle thinks Redhat Support is poor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688468)

So how would you suggest measuring the quality of customer support?

Spamity spam, spam, spam, eggs, beans, spam... (0)

NilObject (522433) | about 8 years ago | (#15688182)

Is it possible to link to something better than a site that's 50% advertisements and a 14 sentence article? Surely there's a better site than this.

Is this the best we can do?

Thank you for your attention. You may now return to your regularly scheduled modding down.

Re:Spamity spam, spam, spam, eggs, beans, spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688266)

ads? you sound like you need firefox, adblock and filterset.G then you'll never see ads again

Re:Spamity spam, spam, spam, eggs, beans, spam... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 years ago | (#15688490)

Is it possible to link to something better than a site that's 50% advertisements

For $995.00 a month, Oracle will remove the ads for you.
     

Small potatoes (3, Insightful)

ivoras (455934) | about 8 years ago | (#15688183)

Red Hat is too small and does not do a very good job of supporting them [customers]
What does this say about the largest and most successful Linux vendor out there? Only that in big business it's still a small fish.

Re:Small potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688192)

Surely IBM is the biggest Linux support company out there...?

Re:Small potatoes (2, Informative)

schon (31600) | about 8 years ago | (#15688194)

What does this say about the largest and most successful Linux vendor out there?

It doesn't really say anything about it, [ibm.com] why?

Re:Small potatoes (3, Insightful)

ivoras (455934) | about 8 years ago | (#15688237)

Sorry, didn't know there's an "IBM Linux" :P

Quote from IBM's site:

Commercial distributions
Commercial distributions of Linux are available from IBM Linux Distribution Partners Red Hat, SUSE LINUX and Turbolinux.

Will the future of commercial Linux (i.e. the only one that counts) be that everyone has to support Linux in-house? Looking at the state of things today: more and more big corporations need to offer support for Linux themselves, instead of relying on what are supposed to be "Linux vendors". I'm not sure is this a good or bad thing, but it could lead to cutting out the middle man (e.g. RedHat) out of the loop and out of the market (thus costing geeks jobs, leading to more fragmentation, etc. etc.).

It's different than with other commercial systems for sure: nobody expects they'd have to provide their own support for MS Windows or Solaris - it's supposed to "just work" and if something brakes, call Microsoft or Sun to fix it.

One other thing: it could lead to a situation where there's a "Linux for everything" - in the sense that, if you want the best for your Oracle database, use this distribution, if you need it for SAP, use that one, etc. It's hard to predict how it will end, but it doesn't seem good.

Re:Small potatoes (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | about 8 years ago | (#15688261)

If companies don't have to internally support Windows then what do you call having onsite certified techs?

Re:Small potatoes (1)

ivoras (455934) | about 8 years ago | (#15688419)

Good point.

Are IBM's RHEL techs certified by RedHat or IBM? If it's by RedHat, then RedHat still has some business/revenue from it...

Re:Small potatoes (1)

schon (31600) | about 8 years ago | (#15688300)

Sorry, didn't know there's an "IBM Linux"

There isn't - but please tell me how that has any impact on IBM being a Linux vendor.

IBM is also a Windows vendor - but there's no "IBM Windows".

In fact there are thousands of Windows vendors. [microsoft.com] Are you implying that each one of them has their own Windows distribution?

Re:Small potatoes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688225)

What does this say about the largest and most successful Linux vendor out there?

A would-be competitor is saying bad things about them. That's all.

Good! (5, Interesting)

LionKimbro (200000) | about 8 years ago | (#15688186)

Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org] Red Hat has 1,200-1,300 employees. Of those, I suspect a few hundred are going to support.

Here's the rumor I've heard: (Can't name the source, sorry.)

If a single mega-company were to migrate to Linux and rely on Red Hat for support, it would completely consume all of Red Hat's support resources, and then some. The rumor goes that this is one of the main problems with large companies that want to move to Linux: the support capacity simply isn't there.

So, the reasoning goes, Red Hat is actually glad when projects like CentOS [centos.org] and Oracle support [itp.net] take off: Red Hat knows that it can't support everybody, it knows that it needs for it's platform to "win," it knows that there is incredible value in winning alone, and so: These developments are all good for Red Hat.

After a little research, I find this article [com.com] that supports what I've heard.

A lot of us are thinking about these things in terms of home users. We don't give a damn for support- we just fix it ourselves, service it ourselves. It's part of owning a computer. But in the business, I understand they think about things differently: Support becomes a primary thing. It's not optional, even when you have internal IT people on staff.

Re:Good! (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | about 8 years ago | (#15688200)

If a single mega-company were to migrate to Linux and rely on Red Hat for support...

...then Red Hat would ramp up its support staff pretty much overnight, or start subcontracting quickly to someone else. Someone like, oooh, IBM Global Services [ibm.com] to take a not-so-random example.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | about 8 years ago | (#15688231)

No, Red Hat seems more concerned with shoehornng everybody into their distro. So your point is well-taken.

After all, who would WANT to support an "operating system" that may contain a near-infinite number of pieces depending on who you ask?

This is a nasty Linux problem, not just a Red Hat issue: Lacking a clear and working definition of where the OS ends and where the 3rd-party stuff begins makes "Linux" much less supportable as a product.

Re:Good! (4, Informative)

sparkz (146432) | about 8 years ago | (#15688257)

RedHat (as with all distros) are very clear about what they do and do not support; they'll support unmodified binaries distributed by themselves on the (say) RHEL4 CDs; if you build your own kernel, you're on your own. If you build your own Apache and have trouble with it, you're on your own. Come to that, if you misconfigure Apache and have trouble with it, you're pretty much on your own. I have called RedHat support once, on behalf of a customer who had paid approx £3000 for support (three boxes, IIRC). The RHN download failed to authenticate to the MS IIS proxy server, even though the GUI clearly indicated that it should be able to. The RedHat zonk just said that it was a MS problem. The MS proxy server was working normally, as it had been doing for ages; the RedHat Network GUI had a "MS Proxy Server" option, which took authentication details, but then failed to work properly. (It was a few years ago, I forget the precise details). I found a small perl script on SourceForge which did the authentication for me, providing a "localhost proxy server" and was able to patch the newly installed server. As I spent most of my time working with Sun at the time, I was not at all impressed by the slippery-shoulder attitude; the staff just didn't have the in-depth knowledge of the OS, and (even more importantly) there wasn't the infrastructure in place to escalate to those who did know.

Re:Good! (1)

Burz (138833) | about 8 years ago | (#15688315)

RedHat (as with all distros) are very clear about what they do and do not support; they'll support unmodified binaries distributed by themselves on the (say) RHEL4 CDs;


I understand, but that is too much software to be handled as a single product IMO.

Re:Good! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 years ago | (#15688441)

I was not at all impressed by the slippery-shoulder attitude

Yeah, I encouraged a client to buy RHE when we upgraded the machine from Redhat Linux 9 to Redhat Enterprise 3. It was a standard Dell PowerEdge 2??? with a pair of firewire drives hanging off it for backup.

After install, the backup disks were gone. Call to Redhat - "we don't support firewire." So, off to an 'unsupported' kernel, Redhat won't talk to us about the machine, we found some community scripts which made it work well enough, and basically just pissed away the license fee.

Fedora Core has better support, features we like, is stable after 6 months or so, and, oh, has better support. Free too, but that's not the deal cincher.

Re:Good! (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688444)

You actually thought the MS stuff was working well and you thought the onus was on RH to fix it? You then preceded to do a workaround using a different proxy which actually did work with the connection, and you _still_ blame RH for not being able to fix your MS problem? RH had a workaround for MS's broken proxy server, which they probably had to reverse engineer and it probably worked for the lion's share of people, and you still blame RH?

What exactly do you think they were at fault for? Not reverse engineering and subsequently working around MS's broken code enough?

I'm not terribly impressed with RH either, but that's a little over the top, don't you think?

Re:Good! (1)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#15688534)

What exactly do you think they were at fault for? Not reverse engineering and subsequently working around MS's broken code enough?

I think his point is that they say they have it working, it didn't work for him, they couldn't suggest a workaround although one was available (by Linux standards of "available") and didn't seem sympathetic.

I don't think it's a big deal, but it seems like at least a legitimate complaint.

Re:Good! (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688652)

Did it work with a native connection? Yes.
Does it work with standard proxies with open specs/source? Yes.
Does it work with a hacked together proxy with unpredictable behaviour that doesn't adhere to standards? No.
Have done some hacks to get it partially working? Yes, but it doesn't always work because MS won't work with us to help us identify the problem and they're specs aren't open so we can't exactly know what we're dealing with.

That's not a gray area. That's clearly black and white.

What do you expect the TS guy to say?

"Yeah, sure, we'll get on reverse engineering this product some more so your three computers can connect to our update servers. Clearly it's our burden to help you connect your servers to your internet connection in a sane way. After we're done helping you sir, you can even come over to my house and fuck my sister!"

Re:Good! (1)

NixLuver (693391) | about 8 years ago | (#15688428)

Let's face it, peeps; except in the case of custom-built solutions, where developer support is a must, the average company wants "corporate support" - ie, someone to call and blame when the system is down, so that nobody at the company actually has to take responsibility for their platforms.

Now. If you're deploying linux on cutting edge hardware, you should be able to get support for that Linux from your hardware vendor. If you're deploying it on commodity hardware, and you're really a "mega corporation", you *should* be able to support your own platforms. My team does; final tier support for linux and solaris, with vendor fallback for hardware. We've discovered that we can save immense amounts of money by supporting our platforms ourselves. The typical support contract will more than pay for a 'spare server' or two, for instance. Even with the average once-yearly time-and-materials call, we're saving literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, and millions in some applications.

When you deploy platforms, you should test them thoroughly; depending on vendor support in place of such testing is insane, and generally a bad idea. I'm having trouble coming up with a scenario that I don't think that internal support or vendor hardware support shouldn't be able to handle.

The corporate world needs to learn that having someone to 'call and blame' isn't worth millions of dollars per year.

I have to agree... (5, Interesting)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688199)

With Ellison... Red Hat is unfortunately not meeting the needs of its users. Although we agree, our reasoning is different.

A significant part of my job is Linux sysadmin work, using licensed Red Hat Enterprise products. The tools are (for the most part) useful, reliable, and complete. The problem is, the enterprise distros are severely lacking in their packages and features.

Recently, while building a distributed mail system (multiple servers in the mail chain, multidomain support and virtual mailboxes) on RHEL4,

The recommended version for mail and database servers (Enterprise Server) does indeed have packages for Postfix (our preferred mail app) and MySQL available, but none of the Postfix packages have MySQL support enabled (Postfix has good MySQL support, including DB connection caching through a proxy interface). This effectively meant that none of the dozens of excellent mail administration tools out there would be available to us, and we couldn't put together a mail system that didn't rely on flat files in some fashion or another, without setting up parallel services (LDAP) solely to support mail services.

I built the server once on Red Hat ES and when all was said and done, I ended up with seven major components having to be compiled either from source, or rebuilt RPMs with modified spec files and/or compile flags. This doesn't bother me, except for the fact that the whole reason my employer pays thousands upon thousands of dollars for an enterprise Linux was so that we could stick to standard packages, so that if a particular machine has issues, we don't have to rely on one person to know what's going on.

I can't imagine we're the only paying client Red Hat has that wants to run a mail server that relies on a database server. It wouldn't chagrin me to change mail server or database packages (I've used most of the common ones), but looking deeper just led me to the realization that no matter which packages or paths I took, I'd still be stuck with the same issues.

Until Red Hat gains better flexibility, timeliness, and awareness of their client needs, perhaps Ellison is on the ball with his visions of supporting the clients directly. I'm guessing he won't be supporting MySQL, though. And after rebuilding the server on Debian stable, with all features we desired being available in the core distro, we're happier.

And I'm the only guy here who groks Debian well enough to run it, sigh.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

xoundmind (932373) | about 8 years ago | (#15688264)

Despite all of the Suse/Ubuntu hoopla, don't worry, there are some dedicated Debian folks still swimming in the sea.
Here's some trool-bait: Is admin. a RH (or any Linux) really that difficult? I'm assuming they have some fairly sharp folks at Oracle and Linux would seem to be on the easier side of things. At least on Debian, even installing the client drivers for Oracle is a major hassle. I can't imagine what goes into support a full server setup. In comparison, Linux would seem to be a snap. This is from someone who is NOT is tech field/position. Through circumstance and interest, I have managed to program in 5 different languages and run many flavors of Linux and *BSD at a fairly high level. And I'm a freakin' librarian. Certainly supporting RH shouldn't be a challenge for *real* systems people.
It makes mw wonder who they are hiring at RH.

Re:I have to agree... (4, Insightful)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688376)

Keeping a server running isn't difficult, it's the amount of time it takes to keep them ALL going that gets to be a bother.

The nature of my work (as is the case with most of us, I'd guess) is that there are always new services and systems needing to be built (or rebuilt, as they age) while existing services rarely get mothballed, and so even a modicum of building packages easily snowballs over time into an all-consuming task. The less time I have to spend looking backwards, the more I can keep us moving forward.

It boils down to time. If maintaining that single mail system was my only job, I'd be on easy street, but at best that systems encompasses but a sliver of my job responsibilities. I prefer to avoid spending hours each week building and pushing custom packages to servers, if I can implement a solution which is more hands-off.

The big selling point of enterprise systems for large organizations is the centralized management and administration tools, which often become useless when you aren't using prebuilt packages from the vendor.

The other problem here is that every environment is different, and the environment a server works in can significantly change the requirements, as well as the time investment, for installing and maintaining.

While I'm very experienced with Linux and very at-ease in most *nix environments, I'm not a one-person shop, and while I can build and maintain complex, custom systems doesn't mean the guy who's running that server six months from now has my skill set. Part of being a good administrator is making the job easy for whoever gets called to fix a server when you're on vacation, or after you leave.

Regards-

Re:I have to agree... (1)

Spit (23158) | about 8 years ago | (#15688410)

At least on Debian, even installing the client drivers for Oracle is a major hassle. I can't imagine what goes into support a full server setup.

What's so hard about putting the Oracle repository in your apt sources? Just apt-get install oracle-client or server and away it goes. After install, Oracle configuration is just the same as any other system. Like any installation or patching, Debian systems just work.

The real problem with Red-Hat is the legacy of its package management system; that turd's been polished so hard that you can see your face in it, but nevertheless remains a turd.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about 8 years ago | (#15688269)

Are you seriously blaming RedHat because your custom mail setup involving a non-default MTA, required some actual work to implement?

When the POS you built breaks, please do come back and tell us what kind of support you got from Debian.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688291)

I would ask you to reread the paragraph in my original post in which I stated that no matter which route I took (sendmail, exim, or postfix), in order to get the features we needed, I would have been stuck in the same boat.

Although I'm guessing this was just a troll, the server is working beautifully, with no unexpected downtime in eight months (the only downtime came from two reboots following kernel updates).

I'd ask though that you please refrain from using your broad brush to paint me as incompetent simply because you do not understand the mechanics of a real-world environment of which you are not a part.

I work for a large organization which has supported services including computer-based mail since the mid-70's. We have a lot of standing requirements to meet in order to replace existing systems. Most of the choices we've made are quite possibly the same ones you would have made, if faced with the environment, resources, and needs we have.

I'm also pretty certain if we paid one of the many companies which provide commercial Debian support the amount of money we're paying Red Hat, we would receive satistfactory service. We've done it before.

Regards-

Re:I have to agree... (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about 8 years ago | (#15688304)

So you have no real argument, and you're going to pull the "ihave no reponse so you must be a troll" card. No worries, I see it all the time. You might want to refrain from making assumptions about people off hand though. I'm very much a part of the enviroment you are referring to. I won't say what company I work for but they are one of RedHat's largest partners in the web hosting industry.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688338)

I'm at a loss as to why you think I have no argument, my case is stated clearly. I provided a direct reference to my original post which stated an exact answer to your comment.

Neither Exim nor Sendmail provided an out-of-the-box solution which met our specific our needs under RHEL4. I never claimed that setting up systems shouldn't take work, I merely stated that RHEL did not support basic functionality which we desired, that was written into the packages themselves but not enabled at compile time.

My reference to you being a troll is that you assume that what I built is a "POS" that is on the verge of a breakdown. If you do not wish to be categorized as a troll, perhaps you should stop cursing travelers from underneath your bridge.

Regards-

Re:I have to agree... (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about 8 years ago | (#15688360)

"Neither Exim nor Sendmail provided an out-of-the-box solution which met our specific our needs under RHEL4. I never claimed that setting up systems shouldn't take work, I merely stated that RHEL did not support basic functionality which we desired, that was written into the packages themselves but not enabled at compile time."

And that is just fine. What's not fine is to blame RedHat's support just because they decided not to include support for a specific function of the postfix package which severely complicates the ability to provide a high level of support for it.

"My reference to you being a troll is that you assume that what I built is a "POS" that is on the verge of a breakdown. If you do not wish to be categorized as a troll, perhaps you should stop cursing travelers from underneath your bridge."

And I categorize that setup as a POS because I see it every day. I have extensive experience troubleshooting the broken postfix/mysql setup even though neither RedHat or the company I work for offer support for it. Again, stop calling people trolls just because they have experience in the area you are referring to, and do not agree with you.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688386)

I will stop trolling people just because they have experience in the area I am referring to, and do not agree with them.

There, fixed that for you.

Regards,

Re:I have to agree... (0, Flamebait)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about 8 years ago | (#15688413)

Forget it. I'm done trying to converse with you over something you are obviously clueless about. You posted your retarded rant and got your +5 playing to the crowd. Be happy with that. I'm done feeding the troll.

-Regards*

*meant to be every bit as arrogant and irritating as it was every time you wrote it

Re:I have to agree... (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688511)

While I'm confident in my abilities, I am not assuming I know better than you do because I'm well educated, highly experienced in my field (12 years of enterprise systems engineering and support), intelligent, experienced, hard-working and rational.

I do believe though that after working on a rather complex system (complex enough that the two previous implementations during the past four years by competent and well-experienced persons had problematic issues), finding and implementing a stable, robust, and responsive system which requires little hands-on maintenance, that I certainly know IT better than YOU do.

By your comments, you work for a web hosting company. You provide services to people who provide services to users, and handle the end-user support. I work providing services directly to clients in an enterprise environment. YOUR work environment is nothing like MINE. I can say THAT with confidence, because from late 2000 to early 2002 I was an engineer for an international enterprise-level hosting company, and honestly, it was far more cut and dried than what I work with now.

You have never seen nor do you know the environment, requirements, or history of the system I have only briefly discussed, and yet you assume that I've built something of duct-tape and cardboard. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the backing hardware to the end-user tools, every part of that mail system was chosen after careful consideration and testing. Every step was discussed, tested, and approved by the client. It's also working beautifully.

I'm sorry you take affront to my signing posts with 'Regards', it wasn't intended with any intent in either direction. I sign my personal correspondence the same way, so it's a natural closing for me when conversing with another person. Although I think you're behaving boorishly, I don't feel compelled to respond in kind. It could just be that you're having a bad day (who doesn't), or that Postfix shot your dog and MySQL stole your wife.

While it's become apparent that you do not wish me the same, I do wish you regards, and may you be happy with your work, choices, opinions, and whatever else it takes to let you sleep well at night.

Cheers- (no affront intended).

Re:I have to agree... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688398)

And I categorize that setup as a POS because I see it every day. I have extensive experience troubleshooting the broken postfix/mysql setup even though neither RedHat or the company I work for offer support for it.

So it's a POS because you see it every day? That makes a lot of sense. Way to go there captain logic.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15688423)

Nah, dude. From my objective, fair, and god-like point of view, knowing neither you nor the other guy, I gotta say you're a troll. If you're not, then you're just a garden variety jerk.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

Burz (138833) | about 8 years ago | (#15688293)

The recommended version for mail and database servers (Enterprise Server) does indeed have packages for Postfix (our preferred mail app) and MySQL available, but none of the Postfix packages have MySQL support enabled (Postfix has good MySQL support, including DB connection caching through a proxy interface). This effectively meant that none of the dozens of excellent mail administration tools out there would be available to us...



That is why we should not expect our OS vendor to supply, configure and debug the lion's share of 3rd-party applications! Unfortunately, the OS vendor all but insists it has to work this way (and that goes for Debian and SUSE too).

It amounts to software-repository disease, where you have systems-oriented OS vendors who don't grok applications inserting themselves between the users and the authors.

This difficulty all boils down to not having an OS with clearly-defined boundaries. If "Linux" distros had this, then we wouldn't be so beholden to OS-vendor mishandling of applications... we could simply download and install directly from ISVs and have the [b]authors[/b] answer for any mistakes in how they distribute their programs.

Re:I have to agree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688370)

Why don't you just pay someone else to support a mail program compiled with an SQL backend running on RHEL 4, if Red Hat won't do it? Can't be too hard to find.

Re:I have to agree... (1)

mhazen (144368) | about 8 years ago | (#15688429)

We did investigate this as a possibility, but as of our last look (about 4 montsh ago) the only third party commercial package support for Postfix with MySQL enabled that we found was for RHEL3 (two different vendors). This could have changed by this point, but since I have the system stable and in production, it's unlikely to get revisited any time soon with enough priority to receive funding.

Although it would have made things easier at the time, now it would just be reimplementing a working solution.

Too small? (3, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688217)

Like big is good? I don't know how many employees Oracle has, but I can say this: The number of employees in a company is not related to how good the support and/or products are.

Let me count the ways:

I'd venture to guess more than 3/4 of its technical staff is dedicated to writing useless bug-ridden java guis (each requiring differing versions of java) with absolutely no interoperability between them. None of them can be scripted and they're all pieces of shit.

And let's not start with sqlplus. You think they could just hire one guy who may be able to put some readline support in there so it could get with the times.

Another good example is security. How many employees does oracle have dedicated to their security team? I'd venture to guess they have one monkey. Not even a person. Do I need to bring up the unpatched vulnerabilities that are hundreds of days old?

Now how about bug fixing? Anyone ever upgrade a production Oracle instance? No? You know why? Because you fucking can't. You have to wait until the latest patch has at least 1 year of testing because upgrades, even minor bug fixes, break in spectacular ways. So, because noone installs them, there's never any testing.

Re:Too small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688248)

You're just an incompetent DBA. I've upgraded several instances without a hitch. sqlplus? Get with the times: use Toad or SQL Developer.

Re:Too small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688346)

"sqlplus? Get with the times: use Toad or SQL Developer."

Neither of which are command line. Due to the firewall at work, I *cannot* connect to the production databases from programs running on my desktop. I need command line. Especially when connecting from home via SSH.

SQL Developer is still buggy in various ways. It's only better than sqlplus if you prefer GUIs to command line. Otherwise, it has about the same goofiness.

Toad is Windows only.

I've seen readline wrappers for sqlplus. My biggest gripe is that it doesn't seem to be possible to configure sqlplus to auto-rollback on exit (at least not without explicitly telling it to do so every time that you run it). Why is that important? Make a mistake; recognize it; hit Ctrl+C; go "Oh, crap;" you've just committed your mistake. This is the reverse of the behavior of Ctrl+C elsewhere. sqlplus should support the normal behavior and require explicit commit.

Btw, to the GP, I haven't used it, but I've heard good things about YASQL: http://sourceforge.net/projects/yasql/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Too small? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688421)

Btw, to the GP, I haven't used it, but I've heard good things about YASQL: http://sourceforge.net/projects/yasql/ [sourceforge.net]

Thanks for that. You might want to check out Tora: http://sourceforge.net/projects/tora/ [sourceforge.net] . Good project, a linux Toad-like app. Works well with Xforwarding.

Re:Too small? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688354)

Toad? Sql Developer? Didn't I mention command line? Twit.
Incompetent? Why, because I read metalink and see the 50+ bugs introduced by a patch and decided to wait a while to install it? Fuck you.

Re:Too small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688573)

You didn't mention the command line. Twit. I see your incompetence extends to reading your own posts.

If you really need to use the command line to do substantial work, there are plenty of sqlplus replacements that everybody else has found through proper use of Google. This simply isn't a big problem to me or most other people.

The next time you see the issues involved with a patch, try to actually read them and see which ones apply to your instance. Thousands of other DBAs get along just fine installing patches.

Re:Too small? (2, Informative)

molarmass192 (608071) | about 8 years ago | (#15688283)

The surest way to perform non-patch release upgrades with Oracle is full export, install, full import. In place upgrades across major versions are inconsistent. Yeah, it's not the FASTEST way, but it's the best option, plus you get to compress extents, at least up until you get into the 300+ GB range. Once you reach that level, the downtime required just becomes too long. In place upgrades have to be practiced because the steps virtually always change between releases, it's clearly documented right there on pages 52 through 78 of the release notes!!! ;-)

Re:Too small? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | about 8 years ago | (#15688387)

So why even release and upgrade? When I hear "upgrade" I think "upgrade". I realize and fully expect some bugs from extraordinary circumstances, but Oracle's taking it way too far.

I actually mentioned minor versions. A quick check through metalink reveals dozens of bugs introduced by patches. Patches!!! Patches are supposed to be fixes for bugs, not bugs for fixes.

I'd go out on a limb and say that Oracle (the product) has a hard time keeping up with the backend database of bugs. I've worked with oracle for a number of years, and I've been in involved with OSS for longer. I know a kludged, ill planned, feature-bloated, non-coordinated product when I see one, and Oracle takes the cake.

Huh? (4, Informative)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about 8 years ago | (#15688226)

"What Red Hat does is every time to fix a bug you have to upgrade the operating system. They dont support old versions but just bug fixes That is not proper enterprise support and I think our customers are demanding that and I think you will see that coming from us."

I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. Since RedHat soesn't change software versions after a release, but instead backports security and bugfixes to the released version, what older versions is he referring to?

Re:Huh? (1)

Burdell (228580) | about 8 years ago | (#15688474)

Red Hat has committed to maintaining RHEL releases for (IIRC) 6-8 years now. During the first couple of years, this includes new hardware support and some new features; after that, a release goes to maintenance mode and only gets major bugfix and security updates. Compare that to Oracle, where security updates only come occasionally. We were told our 4 year old Oracle install was too old and that we had to upgrade to get support. Also, RHEL upgrades are (at least currently) essentially free. You pay for a certain release train (WS/ES/AS) and platform support, and you are licensed to use any currently supported RHEL version in that train. Oracle wanted us to pay many more $$ to upgrade.

And in other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688278)

...Larry Ellison receives a much deserved ass-whoopin for being a vendictive twit (see RedHat acquires Jboss articles and Ellisons reaction).

It will be interesting to see how this turns out (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 8 years ago | (#15688286)

It seems that teh two extreems would be: Oracle goes full speed ahead with this, fatally wounding RedHat, eventually causing a void i OSS land, or RedHat stands up to the challenge and emerges stronger than before. Either extreme has their pros and cons however.

Sadly it is true - Red Hat support does suck (4, Informative)

ams001 (659997) | about 8 years ago | (#15688294)

and anyone who says differently obviously has not tried using their support much. Red Hat readily admit to their customers (our company being one) that they do not have enough developers to provide support. I quote from one of our oustanding support requests:

I have talked to our developers and Product Management the last days and unfortunately we currently couldn't allocate enough developer ressources to get this issue fixed.

I will try to check when the currently estimated time for this fix is. -- Response of 18 Jan to support query filed 4 Aug 2005, still no engineer assigned...

On average we get a 6 month delay before the report reaches an engineer, and when it does the first thing we get asked is if the problem is still occurring (read fixed this yourselves yet?). Don't get me wrong. I love Red Hat and the work it does. We took on RHEL V4 instead of FC for the core services of our company, primarily for the support aspect. Out of the several support requests filed we only have had prompt decent support for one of them - and that was only because their web support had gone down and they were taking phone support. It really makes me wonder what the benefit of RHEL is over FC if support is near non-existant. Or is some big corporate with RHEL rolled out across all its servers consuming all of Red Hat's support staff, denying the small fries any look in to support?

No wonder Oracle are looking to move in

And that is different from anyone else - how? (2, Informative)

anomaly (15035) | about 8 years ago | (#15688404)

I've worked with "enterprise" software for the past 8 years. My experience is that no vendor fixes everything we consider broken, and the largest vendors fix the least for us. The best overall support we get is from a 3-5 person company supporting a custom application they wrote for us. As far as COTS software is concerned, we've been working with an "up and coming" vendor (living on VC cash) who has been pretty responsive. The two largest software companies in the world have been little help to us, in terms of providing fixes to code that we consider broken.

Someone is complaining about RedHat support? And that someone is Oracle? Puh leeze!

I have yet to be impressed with the quality and responsiveness of enterprise vendors.

Is this after Oracle begins work on Security? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688296)

Maybe it's just me, but given the inability of Oracle to fix major vulnerabilities after years of documentation of same ... maybe MicroSoft is about to assert that, since Oracle's support for security is so poor, that they will begin provided that service.

How much does this suck for Novell??? (4, Interesting)

soren42 (700305) | about 8 years ago | (#15688324)

While I completely agree with Ellison, insomuchas my enterprise-level experiences with Red Hat's support have been awful, there's another side to this coin. I don't think it's been any secret in the industry that Oracle has been displeased with Red Hat, and vice-versa, however, the outstanding question has been how they would proceed in addressing these concerns. Would they buy Red Hat? Partner more with Novell? Release their own Linux distro? Or, as this would seem to indicate, something else uniquely Oracle?

The big question here is, in my opinion, what does this say about Novell and Oracle in the enterprise? It could be argued that Oracle had already invested so much time and effort into nuturing their product line on Red Hat that a move to SUSE would be cumbersome. But, still, I would argue that Oracle's better move would be to deepen the Novell relationship. Novell has shown a consistent committment to enterprise products, Oracle included - and has the track record of good enterprise support.

Personally, I can only say that I believe a move like this on Oracle's part would only serve to strengthen the position of Linux in the enterprise. As I alluded to above, the largest hurdle Red Hat could not overcome in my enterprise was poor support - something Oracle could easily address. So, in the end, it's a win for the industry...

But, why not just buy Red Hat? And, to my original question, how much does this hurt Novell?

Re:How much does this suck for Novell??? (2, Informative)

Snowy.White (203928) | about 8 years ago | (#15688373)

I have seen this before while working for Oracle Support on the long forgotten CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) suite. This was initially hailed as the best of breed apps under the Oracle umbrella. Support for third party apps extended to logging the calls and passing directly to the relevant third party software support. However, after a year or two, Larry said how bad the idea was since Oracle is lumped with supporting all these apps for the third parties. And what actually happened to those third party apps (and/or companies)???
Here's the list:
- System Ess - Oracle has written a replacement module called Oracle OM (Order Management) with the same functionality,
- GEMMS - Oracle bought the comapnay (repackaged the software as OPM - Oracle Process Manufacturing),
- Empac - a replacement written as EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) having the same functionality,
- Manugistics - left intact (probably because it was the most stable system in the whole suite),

there were other companies that had a software package that Oracle did not have or was superior to Oracle's and they were swollowed up, eg. Peoplesoft (inc JDEdwards) and some smaller security companies.

Judging by the past record, Oracle's next move is not hard to predict...

we're just fine (1)

ryen (684684) | about 8 years ago | (#15688365)

i'm a medium size company with a number of Redhat Enterprise subscriptions running in-house. We've had great service from their customer support. A large corporation like oracle should have a good number of certified employees anyways.

Re:we're just fine (1)

maxcray (541911) | about 8 years ago | (#15688512)

> A large corporation like oracle should have a good number of certified employees anyways.

I am an RHCE working for Oracle. We do not have any problem supporting RedHat internally. Larry is talking about support for Oracle customers.

You get what you pay for (2, Insightful)

pcguru19 (33878) | about 8 years ago | (#15688368)

Redhate Enterprise support is aggressivly priced compared to other players in the enterprise (IBM(AIX), HP(HP-UX), Oracle, Microsoft, etc.). Staffing at most of these vendors can be split into sales, support, programming, r&d, and management. Redhat's income stream will dictate how fast they can grow and how many people they employ.

The danger is to grow faster than your organization can absorb (so you don't have former janitors as VPs of development). If you do, quality and customer satisfaction will suffer. Some great examples are Leading Edge(anyone remember these guys?), Gateway 2000(who knew signing 900 retail leases within a couple of years could kill you? :) ), and Dell(who's been able to overcome this of late).

So here's where it becomes interesting. You're potentially underfunded by your licensing model and you're seeing growth in the folks buying your service. Do you cut costs(layoff), finance expansion (go in debt to grow), or raise prices? These situations are when the CEO & CFO actually earn their paycheck. I'll be interested to see how Redhat responds.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688446)

This is what healthy capitalism at work looks like. RedHat and Oracle will compete at the business of providing support to RedHat users. If Oracle turns out to be better at providing RedHat support than RedHat themselves are, then RedHat will be forced to improve their support quality and customers will benefit. And if Oracle turns out not to be better than RedHat at providing RedHat support... well, Larry Ellison will look stupid in public. As usual.

Sorry, but this is true (4, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | about 8 years ago | (#15688448)

I work as a UNIX sysadmin at a Fortune 1000 company. Our UNIX environment is Red Hat and Solaris. About a year ago, the idea came about to phase out Solaris, which by that time was only running Oracle, so we began beta-testing Oracle on Red Hat, and had it to the point where we had it in production for a little while. It was disastrous - we actually had to take our production database out of production and switch it to a Solaris box. This has really soured us on the idea of Oracle on Red Hat, and even if there were improvements in the last year, this would still weigh on our minds.

I saw the tag "fud" for this article. Sorry, but this is not fud, it is the truth. You can give those standard Linux zealot lines about how if we had given more resources to it, had more, smarter sysadmins with better experience and so on and so forth that it would work. But the managers do not want to hear that, they are running a business, they are not in the Linux evangelism business. The reason they liked the idea of a switch is Red Hat on Intel is generally cheaper than Solaris on Sun boxes, and it would allow us to standardize on one UNIX platform. But there were just too many problems.

I am a Linux zealot myself, at home I have a Debian with no non-free software, not even non-free Java. But business does not think about that. The Linux kernel core team (Torvalds, Morton etc.) seem to have the strategy of competing for the high-end market with Microsoft and Sun (and some IBM lines, although IBM stands to benefit from Linux in other of its product lines). This seems like a good strategy to me since the high-end market seems up-for-grabs nowadays. Business feeling comfortable with Oracle running on a business-friendly distribution like Red Hat is essential. There are plenty of SQL Server databases running on Windows in production in Fortune 500 companies, how many Oracle on Red Hat's are there? This is essential. The worst-case scenario is it is still not there yet, Sun collapses, and Microsoft swallows up the market.

I am not just all talk - my home desktop is Debian with no non-free software. I evangelize Linux at work. I sent checks to the Free Software Foundation. I write GPL software. But this is not fud, this is reality that must be faced, and business feeling comfortable with Oracle on Red Hat is a must. Someone commented that Oracle support sucks and will they do better than Red Hat? Well, I don't know one way or the other as our DBA is who calls Oracle all the time. But this is important for Oracle, and Red Hat, and Linux and the whole free software community to get right.

I like RedHat's bugzilla. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688471)

If I have a problem I can quickly find if other people have the same problem. That's a great tool.

But the problem is that Oracle goes through bugzilla and marks all the bugs that affect Oracle private. For example I was researching NFS bugs and at first I had access to this bug but then Oracle hid it.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi? id=193077 [redhat.com]

Honesty about bugs is the best thing about Open Source and RedHat. Oracle is not ever going to learn that. SuSE is just now starting to learn that. They still don't have their enterprise products set up in bugzilla.

Business model problems? (1)

MC68000 (825546) | about 8 years ago | (#15688475)

It's taken as faith in the open source community that the "give the software away, charge for support" business model is viable, but why spend all this time developing an OS if anyone else can best your support offerings? Red Hat has wasted enourmous amounts of money on the kernel if any johnny-come-lately can best their support offerings and contribute nothing? What's the incentive to give away your code now?

Re:Business model problems? (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | about 8 years ago | (#15688538)

Yeah why would you want to compete on the quality of your service when you can just stick to vendor lock-in?

Re:Business model problems? (1)

Hairy1 (180056) | about 8 years ago | (#15688655)

Okay, try to understand whats being said. If you have two companies, company A who spends half its resources on developing new GPL software and half on supporting users, and company B spends all of its resources on support, company B can use all of the new stuff from company A while not commiting the programming resource. Red Hat relies on its good reputation as a good corporate citizen and loyal free software community member to maintain its position as one of the lead Linux distro providers. Red Hat is a Type A company. The only thing protecting Red Hat from a type B is the perception that Type B's are leeches, and are not supported by the community.

However, by dropping Red Hat Distro for the Desktop they have weakened their position somewhat. The average joe cares less about Red Hat now because generally they use Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, and even Fedora. They are moving towards being just another Linux Distro - and when that happens competing on service quality won't work. They will need to drop the developers and focus on providing excellent support if they lose the support and protection of the community.

Which brings be to a uncomfortable truth. Eventually the users will have to start to pay the developers again. I don't mean reverting to closed source; I mean that the myth of service revenue supporting development will die the death it deserves, and corporations will learn that there is benefit in supporting open source shared infrastructure projects. We can't afford to have open source remain something done only after hours. We need developers working on it full time, and they need to be paid. Service revenue can't be a long term solution, we need to find a way to pay for development.

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