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IBM Refuses To Certify Oracle Linux

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the doesn't-look-red-to-me dept.

IBM 124

Andrew writes "IBM has thrown a spanner in the Oracle Linux works by refusing to certify that IBM's software portfolio will run and be supported on Oracle Unbreakable Linux. If IBM applications turn out to be incompatible with Oracle Linux, then it will be up to Oracle to resolve any issues. This conservative stance of IBM's is unlikely to help Oracle sell Linux subscriptions to businesses that use any of IBM's large software portfolio."

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Oh no! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165100)

Now that Oracle has added "Unbreakable" in front of the word "Linux"... Linux is finally going to become insecure :(

Note to Linux developers: remember to add all your SVN commits as cron jobs, and forward date them all 2 years, or 3 years if they're critical security patches.

Re:Oh no! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165968)

It appears that advertisers for software are lots dumber than advertisers for cars. Can't Oracle afford a decent slogan, one that folks won't laugh at? One that isn't so obviously bogus? I mean, Oracle is trying to sell to IT people, not Microsofties. IT folks know damned good and well that no software is unbreakable. Microsoft could get away with it, considering its user base, but not Oracle.

Now, the car companies know how to lie - just tell the truth. For instance:

Chevy - like a rock. (Damned thing won't start and the transmission is locked up again... damn!)

Ford - Quality is job one. (They have no quality and their work is cut out for them)

Pontiac - We Build Excitement! (The handling is crap and the brakes are worse)

Oracle - Faster than a speeding bullet (well, electricity does travel at the speed of light)

Re:Oh no! (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166562)

1. We are not talking about single machines
2. We are talking about a grid of servers, all accessing a single database instance.
3. If one server goes down, the other servers continue to work.

Is it too much to ask for, that at least you have a clue what is meant?

Re:Oh no! (1)

tallguywithglasseson (944783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168006)

There is redundancy, and "dependable" probably fits (I've not worked on this product, it seems nice a priori), but anyone who's spent a significant amount of time working in IT knows nothing is "unbreakable". It's just laughable. Give it enough time, something (or someone) will break it.

It's not like we haven't heard boastful claims from salesmen before. When something breaks we say "it's not a bug, it's a feature", if it's a third-party product we usually add "it works just like the salesman said it would!"

Re:Oh no! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168688)

...assuming that problem on the one node doesn't bring the rest of them to a screeching halt.

You still have the problem of there being only one database.

Re:Oh no! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166766)

Often it's not the techies making the purchasing decisions, but rather some manager who has no idea what's really going on. If some manager hears that Oracle Linux is unbreakable, then they will jump right on and buy into it.

To whom is Oracle selling?!? (5, Insightful)

mengel (13619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167274)

Oracle isn't selling to IT people; they're selling to IT peoples' managers.

what do you espected from a illegal hacker OS (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165116)

"BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone."

lol read more at:
http://www.adequacy.org/stories/2001.12.2.42056.21 47.html [adequacy.org]

Re:what do you espected from a illegal hacker OS (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165206)

That wasn't even funny when it was original.

Re:what do you espected from a illegal hacker OS (-1, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165400)

there's another rogue system called Windoze, this college punk Billy-Boy BungGate wanted to start a software business, but after struggling for years to write a system to manage the resources of a computer he was only able to produce a buggy deficient BASIC interpreter on paper tape which could only run on an deficient Altair system no one wanted to buy. Ashamed of himself and his puny intellect, he then stole a hacked-up program loader QDOS and conned IBM execs into thinking it was an actual operating system. By the time people with actual technical expertise discovered the fraud, it was too late, DOS had already hit the shelves and bought by people falsely believing they were purchasing an actual operating system. To this day the glorified program loader wrapped in layers of cruft known as Windoze continues to give evidence of its unstable core as it "blue screens" in datacenters and businesses around the world. This has effectively held back the state of computer science, software engineering and computation by at least 20 years, but legions of computer users are none the wiser.

CentOS too (3, Interesting)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165126)

They don't certify CentOS works either, but I can tell you for sure that Tivoli Storage Manager Extended edition works just fine on CentOS 4.4

If Oracle Linux is from the same mold as CentOS then it is a fear factor rather than anything serious. Personally if I where Oracle I would hire as many of the CentOS developers as possible and get them to do a spin of CentOS as Oracle Linux.

Re:CentOS too (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165192)

but big enterprise doesn't think that way, they want certified compatibility and adherence to the letter of support contracts. Good luck calling EMC or Hitachi and saying your CentOS has problems accessing your 20TB disk array with a given HBA and switch. You'd void your warranty right then and there. As an aside, CentOS lags RedHat in patches, and also has to rewrite parts of the redhat admin system, it isn't 100% the same.

Re:CentOS too (3, Insightful)

pirhana (577758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165346)

You have perfectly summed up it !! I had a DB cluster setup on HP DL-385 and had to migrate to RHEL just to get support for Hardware issues from HP. They blindly refuse to support telling that "we don't support anything other than RHEL". The fact is that vendors are looking for an excuse to say no to support and RHEL/CentOS is enough for them

Re:CentOS too (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165430)

worth mentioning that HP does support RedHat, SuSE and Debian.

Re:CentOS too (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165468)

No offense, but as a hardware vendor I'd do this too. Because otherwise, where do you stop? "Yeah, we're running on this custom-compiled Gentoo with a few third party extensions. We're seeing some errors in our custom logs that look like our proprietary apps can't connect to your hardware. Send an engineer."

As a vendor, I will tell you "OK, we've checked out and certified that we work with these distros. Anything else, it will probably work but you're on your own if it doesn't." Seems reasonable to me.

Now, if you're concerned that vendors will use this to shut out "free" distros from being supported, maybe that's a case worth making. But some of this is market demand--if HP kept getting the question about "hey, will you support this on CentOS?" from hardware customers, and were losing customers by saying no, you can be they'd look into CentOS support. They are not vested in propping up RedHat's licensing business.

IMO, the main issue that big companies have and will continue to have with Linux is distro fragmentation. It's just not feasible anymore to test your applicaiton/server/hardware with every conceivable distro that's out there. So you pick some, and those are the ones your customers tell you they're running.

Put another way, *I* could come out with a RHEL clone distro tomorrow. Are you telling me it would be reasonable for me to expect HP to support it?

Re:CentOS too (2, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165816)

They blindly refuse to support telling that "we don't support anything other than RHEL".

In my experience, "support" is pretty much a misnomer.

What happens basically 100% of the time is that they blame anything and everything besides their product. The only way around this is if you buy all of your stuff from one company and have one support contract for all of that stuff.

Example, I had a certified and partnered RAID array, HBA card, OS, and system hardware that were all OK with each other. When I had a problem, every one of the hardware people said, "If the lights are on, then it works according to me, having it work with your environment is your problem". At home, I have a piece of hardware where the driver breaks _EVERY TIME_ I do an OS update, so they taught me not to do OS updates. They do update their driver within a period of time, but if I call them or if I go to their website, they never say "This driver does not work after upgrading to OS x.y". I've gotten hot and bothered about it, but I've just given up. One time, they came out with an update within a few days of me calling and asking about it, yet the asshat on the phone could not say "We are working on it, its a known issue".

It kills me the amount of money that "support" costs, and management and all of that love support for some reason, but I've found more real support from online forums, mailinglists, and newsgroups for free software than I have for any paid for support for "real" products.

Oh, while I'm on a rant here. What about the support answer to the request of: "I need your product to support feature X". And the answer is, pay us more money for the latest version of our product, drop all of your production work you are doing, have a downtime, and then _if_ it works, and _if_ its bugfree and works 100% as advertised, then you will now have feature X. I'm sorry that is not support, that is buying a new product, which could very well be from another vendor.

Support is mostly an illusion.

Re:CentOS too (4, Insightful)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165480)

"Good luck calling EMC or Hitachi and saying your CentOS has problems accessing your 20TB disk array with a given HBA and switch."

I do this all the time, I run CentOS in development and most of the test environment. When I see a problem on CentOS, I verify that the problem exists on one of my RHEL test boxes, and call them up. When they fix the problem on RHEL, it is either automatically fixed on CentOS, or I replicate whatever they did on RHEL on CentOS and the problem is fixed. You just have to learn how to play their game, if they say they only support "expensive X", then have as few of "expensive X" around to satisfy that requirement.

"it isn't 100% the same"

It's enough the same that I have never run into anything that broke on one that didn't break exactly the same way on the other. CentOS is so good that I have started to move some of my production systems to it, but I will always keep a fair number of RHEL boxes around, since third parties need someone to point a finger at when they determine that it isn't their stuff.

Re:CentOS too (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165570)

I agree CentOS is *good*, I've installed it at a manufacturing plant that prefers to use in-house and T&M based support. But in very large enterprise environments the folk from Hitachi, Veritas, EMC, etc. are actually going to be on site and on the machines and SAN gear at times, your trick won't work in that case, and those who manage IT aren't going to go for that anyway, too risky to contracts & warranties

Re:CentOS too (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165680)

I have EMC folks on site all the time, and they are fully aware that I have both RHEL and CentOS boxes hooked to theirs boxes. My managers also fully aware of what I do, and support it.

I use VCS, volume manager and NetBackup, but would never let a Veritas person even close to the datacenter, I can't afford the downtime they would cause.

Re:CentOS too (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168306)

I have EMC folks on site all the time, and they are fully aware that I have both RHEL and CentOS boxes hooked to theirs boxes. My managers also fully aware of what I do, and support it.


I second that, having similar experiences with other vendors (not EMC). They usually just take the stance: "Ok, you say it is the same, so we will do the same thing we do. If it doesn't work, it is your problem, and we will never touch it again". And since "it works" is the case here (RHEL/CentOS), think will just go as planned.

Re:CentOS too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165632)

I do this all the time

No you don't. You said it yourself: you have a RHEL test machine where you verify the problem before calling the vendor. When you call the vendor you are calling them with a valid report of a problem on RHEL. If you couldn't replicate the problem on your RHEL test machine you wouldn't call the vendor, and if you did, they wouldn't care.

Re:CentOS too (1)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165926)

Funny that you mention, but the company I work for uses both Hitachi and EMC mainframes and CentOS. We have never been denied support from either of them. The techies who really do the job know our setup is reasonable and won't bother us.

Re:CentOS too (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166162)

is the gear and support contracts in millions of dollars? for the support contracts our clients have we have to go through everything with a fine-toothed comb, to kernel version, firmware versions, app version minor number etc. No unsupported OS version is allowed

Re:CentOS too (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166740)

"is the gear and support contracts in millions of dollars? "

Yes. We spend $20M-$50M with EMC yearly, our Oracle support contract alone is $1M+. We have never had a problem with vendors not supporting us, or nullifying our contracts (they like their money too much), and they are aware of our environment.

Re:CentOS too (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167108)

It is. I work for a big enterprise. We use CentOS because it works, and I don't have to go through any financial hoops and approval processes to spin up 200 machines on a dime.

I run Oracle on them as well. No issues, this is just political maneuvering.

Re:CentOS too (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168238)

As an aside, CentOS lags RedHat in patches, and also has to rewrite parts of the redhat admin system, it isn't 100% the same.


I don't know if you are trolling, or just misinformed.

CentOS is not aimed at being a RedHat (as in RedHat Enterprise Linux) close. It is asimed at being 100% binary compatible, which is a whole different ball game.

Maybe it is time for a "Get your facts straight" page on the CentOS site ?

No wories (4, Informative)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165130)

If you are not allergic to IBM, and need a powerful database, you would probably rather run db2 than Oracle anyway, especially if you are using other large IBM packages.

IMNSHO, db2 pisses on Oracle from a great height.

Re:No wories (2, Informative)

djbckr (673156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165658)

A terrible post that got modded "Informative" with NO BASIS FOR THE CLAIM!!! Sheesh! Tell me exactly *why* DB2 is better.

Re:No wories (2, Informative)

DrJokepu (918326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165754)

Because it has approximately the same features and performance, a more human-friendly UI, no WTFs like VARCHAR3 and empty string IS NULL (if you don't believe it, just try it: oracle actually treats empty char fields as NULL), and it is slightly cheaper?

Not quite oblig... (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166170)

Because it has approximately the same features and performance, a more human-friendly UI, no WTFs like VARCHAR3 and empty string IS NULL (if you don't believe it, just try it: oracle actually treats empty char fields as NULL), and it is slightly cheaper?
Does it have the words "Don't Panic" on the cover in big, friendly, letters?

Re:Not quite oblig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18167384)

No, but maybe I can convince my managers to do that. I think it'd be the cheapest way to ramp up sales! Thanks for the great idea!

(Yes, I work for DB2, thus anonymous...)

Re:No wories (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167672)

Believe it or not, DB2 scales better. It never achieves the kind of speeds Oracle can (at least, it couldn't last I looked) but it didn't slow down very much at all as you stuffed more and more data in there. I have to admit that this is based on older research, so perhaps it was "DB2 scaled better" but this was my last experience.

Re:No wories (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168772)

No it doesn't.

Oracle & DB2 scale about the same. They can run the same sort of ginormous datasets at a high transaction volume.

The skill of your developers will be more of a factor in this sort of situation than what brand your RDBMS is.

Better developers will even also give SqlServer some hope of keeping up with Oracle & DB2 for a while longer before imploding.

Re:No wories (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169114)

You, sir, have run benchmarks with Oracle and published about the results. You will be arrested by the Oracle Thought Police.

A definite shame (1)

Ingrown Testicle (1069090) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165132)

Looks to me like IBM is just looking after their own bottom line and protecting their own business by doing this. This is definitely not in the open and giving spirit of OSS and Linux.

IBM should rethink this decision if they want to hold onto the goodwill of the community.

Re:A definite shame (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165168)

I don't recall any of Rick Stallman's lectures being about charity.

Oracle is trying to shift the blame from their software stack to IBM's before they've even deployed a box. In other words, if you have a problem and are running IBM software, Oracle wants IBM to foot the bill of researching the bug or issue.

Who is Oracle to dictate that problems are automatically some other vendor's fault instead of their own?

Re:A definite shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165506)

Rick "The Stallion" Stallman, cumming to a theater near you.

Ha! How's that for an image to get out of your head?:)

Re:A definite shame (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167136)

I actually could not suppress a wince. Not kidding.

Re:A definite shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165916)

Right!

Why should IBM pay (because support if you've 'certified' something certainly costs) for Oracle?
What's this bullshit about 'partners' and 'the spirit of open source'?
Oracle is a company with a strong DB offering, and a reasonable application software portfolio.
IBM's not got much in the way of apps, but has OS offerings. They make their money out of SI, these days.
Neither got into Linux because they wanted to - they were forced to. They needed to offer Linux to challenge M$ & Sun, (IBM's Unix offerings never got anywhere).

So, if Larry wants IBM to certify his stuff with IBM, well, pay!
Now if IBM refused to do this, then THAT would be worth a post on /.

You kinda missed the point of the name 'Oracle'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18167438)

With a name like 'Oracle', their pronouncements are straight from God. Or someone who thinks he's God...

Re:A definite shame (1, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165306)

bwahaha, the issue here is one closed proprietary package not being certified with other closed source proprietary packages on Linux. The open and giving spirit of OSS isn't even relevant.

Probably not really a refusal ... (5, Informative)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165146)

It's probably more a case of 'IBM has contracts in place with RedHat and Novell, and testing efforts in place, so that if a client buys (for example) IBM Websphere with an expectation of running on Linux, then IBM will warrant timely resolution of any defects that may threaten to get in the way of the IBM customer's use of the IBM product'.

I'm fairly sure that if someone offers enough money, they could have that assurance on Oracle, Ubuntu, or anyone else's Linux too.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (2, Informative)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165336)

Probably not. IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse. I recently spoke to tech support about IBM Workspace Managed Client failing to install on Debian, and was told over and over that the only reason it gave me a particular error was because I needed to install a particular outdated version of Mozilla in a particular directory, and make a particular file with a line pointing to it. Over and over I tried this, and it did not work. They seem to have no idea how their installer works, much less care to do anything about it.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

hearnz (951951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165812)

"IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse"

Simply not true. IBM's support for Linux, in my experience, is very good - at least for the distros their customers are actually running in any significant numbers.

I've run significant portions of the WebSphere, Tivoli, Rational and DB2 product families on RHEL 3, RHEL 4, SLES 9, and SLES 10 (that's the current and previous versions of both). Unsurprisingly, since they are certified for all of those, they worked just fine.

I've also run many of them on unsupported distros - RHEL 2.1, CentOS (no surprise), Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Debian - for development and test/evaluation systems. Generally, if you are running a relatively "normal" distribution, with a similar kernel version to the supported RHEL/SLES distros, it will probably work just fine unless it is a product that does distro-specific stuff, which is rare.

The only issue I've encountered at all like you mention is when trying to use the "launchpad" feature to initiate the install - since it is web-based, it requires a web browser to run, and I don't tend to have one my servers. Running the actual installer itself works just fine.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165890)

I got DB2 to work just fine. No thanks to the installer - I had to figure out which RPMs I needed and use alien to install them. Lotus Notes/Workspaced Managed Client is a different story. I guess if it worked well and made sense, it just wouldn't be Lotus Notes.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

hearnz (951951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166406)

Agree with you there - Lotus Notes is a huge WTF in its own right.

Many of their other product families are very different though. For starters, most of them actually work - at least most of the time :)

Other than Notes, I haven't had an IBM product put me into a murderous rage since WebSphere 3.5... but even IBM people admit that version was horrible!

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165858)

I found this to be true myself when toying with a copy of DB2. Their installer and most of its programs rely on statically coded filepaths, so it breaks quickly on new versions of RHEL and SUSE. For being so dedicated to Linux, they've managed to make using their software on it a real PITA.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167064)

Oh please. I've deployed Websphere Application Server on dozens of systems, RHEL 3 and RHEL 4. There may be an occasional dependency on an older library, but seriously - what linux sofware doesn't run into that particular problem? It's why we have to use "package managers" and such in the first place.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167654)

Probably not. IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse.

In addition to the points made by the others who responded to you, I want to mention that you seem to have missed the part where the GP said

I'm fairly sure that if someone offers enough money, they could have that assurance on Oracle, Ubuntu, or anyone else's Linux too.

You're talking about the basic support options. If you want Websphere to run on your home brew Linux, you just have to call up your IBM sales rep and tell them what you want done and that you're willing to pay whatever it costs, even if it means heavy customization of the product. Between the IBM development labs and IBM Global Services they'll find a way to make it happen. It may take a year or two, and cost millions, and leave you in a position where you have to continue paying for lots of custom work with each upgrade, plus probably having to keep an IBM engineer on site more or less permanently (for about triple his/her salary+benefits), but it will get done.

The reason IBM supports Red Hat and SUSE is because Red Hat and Novell provide engineering support services to IBM. Their developers work with IBM's developers to make sure that everything works smoothly. IBM doesn't support CentOS because CentOS doesn't have the financial resources to do the necessary integration and testing work, and IBM isn't going to do it for them without a good reason.

If IBM's customers really want IBM to support CentOS, they just need to find a way to fund that testing and integration work -- either through increased sales, or additional fees, or custom support contracts. If the payoff is there, IBM will do it. If, on the other hand, you just want to pay the price that RHEL and SUSE users pay, well, you have to use RHEL or SUSE.

Re:Probably not really a refusal ... (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168122)

I guess what I want to say is that companies should aim to support every distribution and focus their QA attention on certifying a few rather than aiming to support only a few, as IBM seems to do, at least with Lotus Notes.

The illusion (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165154)

People keep repeating the myth that MS is the bigest enemy of Linuzzz, but few people can see further than that and understand that the worst enemy of Linuzzz is... Linuzzz.

Luniz (2, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165552)

Linuzzz.
Weren't they the rappers that had a hit with "I got 5 on it" in the mid-nineties? ;-P

Re:Luniz (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165672)

I got 5 on it what you got homie?

Re:Luniz (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166858)

It's got a badass beat as long as you can get the P Diddy (post-Puff Daddy, pre-Diddy) rap-over out of your head...

history will repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165204)

What ?!! linux is not compatible with...linux ?
has to be certified to be compatible ?

funny, linux cannot really compete in the real world without being backed up by big boys like Ibm, Oracle, Sun , Novell.....and yet the same big boys install FUD in linux as well :)
(though imho it is not fud, dll hell is a lesser evil than dependancy hell)

Funny that Linux, the prodigal son of proprietary Unixes, will eventually fall in the same trap of his parents.

Re:history will repeat (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165470)

You're confusing Linux the kernel with Linux the distribution. Each distribution contains the standard Linux kernel with a bunch of other stuff. So each distribution can be considered a different operating system as far as support is concerned.

Re:history will repeat (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165548)

Linux the kernel isn't much use without a distribution around it. The OP is right, Linux distributions are falling into the same trap as their proprietary brethren before them. Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing. At some point vendors have to draw a line in the sand and say this is it, we aren't supporting 100's of Linux distributions, we are supporting N Linux distributions.

Re:history will repeat (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166296)

Correct. I think there is a misconception about how much time and money it takes to certify a product on an OS. If you do that process for every single variation of Linux in combination with the last 3 or 4 revisions of your Product X. Then multiply that times possibly 40 or 50 products. And then there is the distribution costs of new CDs, etc. (not everyone downloads from the web). Why should a vendor like IBM spend the money chasing down small bugs in a obscure Linux distro when spending the money either improving the overall product or fixing bugs with a major distro would bring more business value. It's wiser to spend the money adressing the "fat" part of the market rather than making 1 or 2 customers happy even if they are huge customers, they are still small in relation to the total market. Now of course if someone wants to pay for the service instead of insisting it is covered by maintenance contracts then it should be considered. But, there are not many times when someone will pay the mega-dollars to get support for a non-standard OS and/or pay for fixes.

Sun too (1)

wildBoar (181352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165232)

A bit of an aside but I was told that Sun won't support Oracle Apps servers with their Identity management s/w Access Manager.

Is this a case of ganging up on Oracle by it's allegedly strategic partners.

off topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165234)

What's the deal with the old rotary phone photograph on Apple's index page? Has Apple's site been hacked?

TFA is a troll (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165240)

This is hardly unusual. Companies spend a lot of money to certify software distros, and put their own maintenance dollars on the line when they certify them.

A third party saying "use our stuff--it's just the same as theirs" isn't necessarily credible. Maybe they're a clone, or maybe they're a clone today and might not be tomorrow. Or maybe they'd only clone part of the distro, leaving out critical parts. Or maybe they'll add custom stuff to the distro. IBM isn't under any obligation to believe Oracle's marketing materials and automatically certify based on taking Oracle's word that "it's the same and always will be."

There are DOZENS of RHEL clones out there (CentOS is the most popular, but hardly the only one). I don't think IBM considers any of them "certified."

Actual quote from TFA: "We are going to wait and see if there is traction in the marketplace," McMahon said. "If clients want it (Oracle), then we will support it."

This is a non-issue, and someone's using the "IBM vs. Oracle!" angle to generate traffic and controversy by stirring people up. Looks like they succeeded.

Re:TFA is a troll (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165514)

Oracle isn't a clone of RHEL. If it were, it'd have Red Hat logos all over the place and no mention of "Oracle" anywhere. So if they changed that, it already isn't a 100% verbatim copy.

Who knows; perhaps the Oracle logo's filesize causes the filesystem to work differently enough to crash DB2 or something else that sounds ridiculous but cannot be disproven without testing.

Re:TFA is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165898)

Hit the nail on the head. I'm sure it would be easy (and painless) enough for IBM to certify the current Oracle distro, as it is for all intent and purposes exactly the same as RHEL. However, Oracle's strategy isn't just based on solely regurgitating RedHat's updates and patches out to their customers the way clones like CentOS do - because that doesn't offer any motivation to shift over from RedHat (in fact, since Oracle would have to wait for RedHat to release first, it would be *worse* for the customers as they'll get patches later). Oracle can only add value to the deal by adding their own patches and/or features over time. This will, of course, mean that it diverges from RHEL, and will probably end up losing any reasonable guarantee of compatibility. IBM would then need to invest much more effort in keeping their products certified for it, rather than just basically cloning the RHEL certifications. If enough IBM customers switch to the Oracle distro, you can be certain IBM will invest in support for it. This whole thing is a storm in a teacup - there's no insidious conspiracy, just sensible business practice. Move along, nothing to see here.

I Hate Linux Distro Certification (3, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165462)

I just hate the whole concept of Linux distribution certification, because it tells me that there's something wrong with running software on it. I doubt whether a huge amount of older software is certified to run on Windows 2003 either, but you can bet your life that many organisations are running that software on Windows 2003. Organisations generally just try it out on a newer version of an OS, and if it works OK in a trial period (even if they have to tweak things to get it to work) they go with it, and they don't fly into a massive panic. I've done this many times, including an older piece of, now totally unsupported, software written for NT 4 in C to communicate with a mainframe that needed to run on 2003.

If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

In terms of backwards compatibility, and getting the software you want to work, Windows is still way ahead of Linux, and this whole concept of distributors and software vendors protecting themselves (and engineering some lock-in, incidentally) by certifying, or certifying for, certain distributions just isn't helping Linux or open source software get more widely used.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165554)

If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

True. But if Orcale says "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it DOESN'T run, then they will care a great deal. Particularly if their hardware vendors say "Look, we support certain distros. We don't consider it our job to debug issues with the new distro you want to try out. Feel free to try, but you're on your own."

Windows is not really a valid compare here--yes, Windows comes out with new versions and we all expect our apps to work with them. But that's like expecting something that ran under RHEL 8.0 to continue to work under RHEL 9.0. Not expecting something that runs under RHEL 9.0 to run under Ubuntu.

Distro fragemnetation is here to stay. Different distros really do have different capabilities. This is great for hobbiests, enthusiasts, embedders, and customizers. It's part of the power of Linux that you can have a 100 Mb distro that's runnable if it's all you need.

But it's actively hard for big enterprise customers, who need something at least somewhat standardized so that they can know, WITHOUT needing to "try it and see" that the kit they're buying for their new datacenter will work together and with the OS. They're investing huge numbers of dollars. And they are willing to pay a premium on the "free" OS to make sure that happens.

By the way, this is NOT a bad thing for Linux--it's a GOOD thing. This is how Linux gets traction in business environments. This is how enterprise-class features get contributed for everyone to use. This is how Linux grows. Sorry that there are only a few distros that really large enterprises will use, but that's the way it is. I doubt we'll see Knoppix in the datacenter any time soon, and I don't think that's ipso facto a bad thing.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166016)

Why can't companies release software with a script that checks to see if you have all the required dependencies and tells you exactly what you are missing? Maybe you could call it 'configure'. And then they could have a command that would install the program. The command could take parameters to do slightly different things. Maybe you could have a configuration file for this program. The program could be called 'make', and the configuration files, 'Makefile'.

But no, they have to have spiffy graphical installers (Remember: don't run X as root!), that give you such helpful messages as "Could not validate Mozilla version." before exiting with no output to standard out.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

hearnz (951951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166288)

There's a reason that large companies care about certification on various platforms - if they are going to make an investment of hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars in a platform or product suite, they want to be damn sure that it will all work properly together, and continue to do so for its anticipated lifetime. "It should work" just doesn't cut it.

The configure/make approach produces so many possible combinations of slightly different builds/configurations of a product that certification and support of all of them is pretty much impossible - therefore enterprise customers won't touch it. No customers, no business.

That, and the fact that configure/make don't help much without releasing source code (which isn't going to happen for commercial apps), are why you almost never see it in commercially-supported software.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167752)

That, and the fact that configure/make don't help much without releasing source code. . .

You could have 'make install' to install without 'make' to compile. Ship it with compiled binaries.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167066)

Because not every distro uses a pkg manager capable of such. Nor does every distro name their versions the same. Version 1.5_p1_11 on debian sarge could be identical to 1.5 on RHEL.

Also, not every distro puts the same files in the same place. Some might put something in /opt, others in /usr/bin, still others in /usr/sbin. Some might put config files in /usr/etc, and so on.

 

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167696)

Also, not every distro puts the same files in the same place. Some might put something in /opt, others in /usr/bin, still others in /usr/sbin. Some might put config files in /usr/etc, and so on. ./configure --prefix=/usr/local

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167548)

Why can't companies release software with a script that checks to see if you have all the required dependencies and tells you exactly what you are missing?

Would you like the job as the QA engineer that has to test all possible permutations?

It is likely that the software will work fine on RHEL-clone or SLES-derivative, but look at this from IBM's perspective. If IBM says 'yes, that's supported', they will have to do regression testing on each supported platform and their support staff needs to replicate the same setup in their labs to reproduce any bugs that might show up in the wild. The more platforms officially supported, the more work/risk IBM takes.

As someone in an other thread said, the standard work-around for customers is to have at least one instance installed on a supported platform (say, RHEL) and install the rest on their distro of choice (say CentOS). If a bug shows up on both CentOS and RHEL, call it in to IBM as a RHEL error. If it only shows up on CentOS, you're on your own as far as official support goes.

But no, they have to have spiffy graphical installers (Remember: don't run X as root!), that give you such helpful messages as "Could not validate Mozilla version." before exiting with no output to standard out.

That's a valid point. For some reason there's an abundance of bad installers in *nix land.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166584)

"I doubt we'll see Knoppix in the datacenter any time soon, "
I realize it's not what you meant, but we have knoppix in our datacenter. It's in the form of live CDs that specifically don't touch the HDD for any reason to evaluate non-booting servers (*nix and windows).
In that role, it works like a charm.
-nB

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165572)

There is only one vendor which manufactures windows.

The Problem Is There's 500 Linux Distributions (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165642)

At any one time. With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista. Before it was XP. Before that Win2k/98. Now with Linux at any one time there are literally hundreds of distros available. This is why Linux certification is necessary. If you want Linux certification to go away then somehow convince the community to stop spreading itself thin and concentrate on a few major distros.

Re:The Problem Is There's 500 Linux Distributions (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165846)

"With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista. Before it was XP."

We live in different worlds. Right now I see laptops running WinXP and Win2k. Vista might as well not exist. We are members of the Microsoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance, so we can download free-as-in-beer copies of WinXP and Vista. I've only ever seen one copy of Vista running on campus.

Re:The Problem Is There's 500 Linux Distributions (2, Funny)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166076)

"We live in different worlds. Right now I see laptops running WinXP and Win2k. Vista might as well not exist. We are members of the Microsoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance, so we can download free-as-in-beer copies of WinXP and Vista. I've only ever seen one copy of Vista running on campus."

Of course we live in different worlds. You live in the academic world and I live in the real one. :)

Re:The Problem Is There's 500 Linux Distributions (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166278)

At any one time. With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista.

No, there are currently the following versions of windows:

1)Windows XP
2)Windows 2003 Server
3)Vista - but who cares, nobody in corporate land is using it yet so very few companies will be promising to support it yet.

Then there are all the 64 Bit versions of the above as well. These actually count as different operating systems as the same software designed for 32bit may not run on the 64 bit version (eg - MS Exchange).

I am currently a sysadmin of the following:
1 Windows XP Server
1 Windows NT Server (currently being retired)
1 Windows 2003 R2 Server
2 Windows 2003 Servers

There is no way you tell me there all identical as painful experience has taught me they all have their own peculiarities.

Re:The Problem Is There's 500 Linux Distributions (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166620)

You have a fair point. However, without going into too much detail:-

Current Windows builds: Including Windows 1.0 and later, but excluding 64-bit versions, 16 [wikipedia.org] .

Current Linux distributions: At least 160 [wikipedia.org] .

This doesn't really help GP, who was just plain wrong, but there is an order of magnitude between the number of versions of Windows and the number of versions of Linux.

Who modded this insightful? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165798)

http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/db2/windows/ [ibm.com]

Tada! DB2, IBM's database product, certified for Windows.

If you can read you will also note that they list the versions of 2003 that are certified.

So your entire argument is null and void. Specific windows distro/version's get certified or not to work with software by the companies supporting said software. You will not that windows XP for instance is NOT certified to work with DB2.

Doesn't mean you cannot run DB2 on Windows XP (or other versions) just that if you do, you are on your own. Exactly the same as with linux distro's or even IBM's un-certified AIX versions.

Certification is nothing more the saying, we tested our product with that product and if there are problems we will help you (for an ungodly amount of money) and if you choose to run our product on another product we won't help you, unless you pay an even large sum of money.

some mod troll .. (-1, Redundant)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165952)

was: Re:Who modded this insightful?

Re:Who modded this insightful? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166370)

So your entire argument is null and void. Specific windows distro/version's get certified or not to work with software by the companies supporting said software. You will not that windows XP for instance is NOT certified to work with DB2.
-------> Point




-------> You

Hmmmmm. No it isn't. You've missed the point. I bet that DB2 would actually work on Windows XP absolutely fine, but the fact that IBM doesn't certify it is really not of any importance to anyone. The vast majority of software written for Windows is not certified in any way - it just runs on Windows, with some caveats between versions generally. Not so with Linux systems. The binaries may well run on a lot of systems, but paths are different, startup scripts are different etc. etc. etc. in lots of pointless ways.

The fact that the vast majority of vendors feel compelled to certify for a particular distribution, and exclude another such as Oracle Linux, shows just how bad the situation of third party software installation is on Linux systems. Hell, I can get a huge amount of open source software installed on Windows such as Ruby, and update it, better than I can on any Linux system. Go figure.

People run around pointlessly certifying software in the Linux world because third party software installation is so bad.

Re:Who modded this insightful? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167934)

I bet that DB2 would actually work on Windows XP absolutely fine, but the fact that IBM doesn't certify it is really not of any importance to anyone.

It's not? It's of great importance to the company that decides to run DB/2 on XP and then runs into difficulties, because whether the difficulties are related to XP or not, IBM is not going to provide support. Even if what they ran into was ultimately a bug in DB/2, IBM's not going to do a thing about it until the company has replicated it on a certified, supported platform, and IBM is in no way unique in this regard.

The vast majority of software written for Windows is not certified in any way - it just runs on Windows, with some caveats between versions generally.

Vast majority of *what* software? The vast majority of enterprise software, that comes with real support contracts, is certified on particular versions of Windows -- usually with specific sets of service packs. "Oh, you're using Service Pack 3? Sorry, we don't support that. We have only certified SP2, I'm afraid you'll have to verify the problem on a supported platform before I can help you." I've heard those words, or words like them, plenty of times.

No, your typical consumer software isn't certified for particular versions of Windows, but stuff like Websphere, DB/2, Oracle, Domino, Groupwise, etc. certainly is.

Hell, even Microsoft specifies particular Windows versions for their enterprise products. For example, I just hit the MS pages about Exchange Server 2007 and the Planning Checklist [microsoft.com] page includes these tidbits:

  • Under Active Directory Planning: At least one domain controller in each Active Directory site that contains Exchange 2007 must be running Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Under Mailbox Server Role Planning: Server is running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition or Windows Server 2003 R2

There are more, and if you look at any of the other versions of Exchange Server, Active Directory, SQL Server, etc., you'll find that almost all of them specify similar exact versions and fixpack levels. Of course, the products will generally run on other versions of Windows but Microsoft will not support them, just like any other vendor of software with big-dollar support contracts. Unless, of course, you want to buy a custom support contract, in which case most vendors will support anything you like, assuming it doesn't bankrupt you.

Linux is no different in this respect.

it matters to the PHBs .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165940)

'If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care'

I think they are correct and should never certify Larry Ellisons stolen Linux code. Personally speaking I don't want to do business with a self confessed software thief.

"We can just take [itp.net] Red Hat's intellectual property and make it ours, they just don't have it."

was: I Hate Linux Distro Certification
(Score:4, who modded this up Insightful !!)

Re:it matters to the PHBs .. (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166640)

I think they are correct and should never certify Larry Ellisons stolen Linux code. Personally speaking I don't want to do business with a self confessed software thief.
And what's that got to do with the comment?

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166260)

The backward compatibility is one thing I do like about Windows. I still use a version of CAD software written for Windows 3.1 under the Win32S API, it works fine under XP. The program is about 13 years old now, and I haven't come across any major bugs that I remember, and the platform is perfectly stable. The only limitation is that that drawing names are only allowed the old 8.3 character naming convention.

I think the difference is that if a bug fix for the OS breaks the software, you are more likely to get a fix for said software to maintain compatibility. If it's not certified, then I think they are likely to tell you to either go away or buy the upgrade.

I don't blame any of the enterprise software companies for dedicating themselves to a small number of distributions. With so many variations on Linux, I think they have to cut their support losses and specify what distribution that they will provide operational support. I'm sure the software will work on many other distributions, but fixing bugs with the ever-changing distribution landscape is an unending game of wack-a-mole.

Eliminating distro. cert. is wishful thinking (4, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166302)

I just hate the whole concept of Linux distribution certification, because it tells me that there's something wrong with running software on it.

For most IT dept.-written apps that rely on super-common well-known library functions, no, the distribution doesn't make much of a difference. But once you start doing lower-level stuff (like the sort of stuff every software application IBM sells does), things start to not work right.

This is a big problem with Linux, and no amount of wishful thinking will make the problem go away. Apps not working on all distributions is exactly the sort of problem that the Linux Standards Base (went nowhere) and United Linux (supported by Caldera/SCO) were supposed to prevent.

Organisations generally just try it out on a newer version of an OS, and if it works OK in a trial period (even if they have to tweak things to get it to work) they go with it, and they don't fly into a massive panic.

Maybe some IT shop that doesn't care about their software actually working can do that, but actual software companies that make their living selling software MUST perform testing.

Yes, there are many organizations that do that, but those are either small and/or low-quality IT shops and/or non-critical apps.

I have several healthcare industry customers that are running OS software that is coming up on three years of ageing out of OS vendor support because their app vendor STILL hasn't certified a more recent O/S version. For them, and most customers, the app vendor support is far more important than OS vendor support, because they know that most day-to-day bugs are in their apps, not their OS. Personally, I know that I crash Mozilla (and other apps) a heck of a lot more than I have ever crashed Windows.

If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

Those customers will care very much when they try and call IBM to receive assistance under their support contract for their expensive and complex application and IBM says "Sorry Mr. Customer, you are running in an extremely unsupported and untested environment." Usually this will be accompanied by some limited best-effort support to make sure that it is not an obvious bug in the product.

Now if enough customers ask for it (and are willing to pay), I am sure that IBM will be more than happy to certify their apps on Oracle Linux. Yes, Oracle is a competitor, but so is M$, and plenty of IBM software runs on Windows. But IBM is not going to go out and certify Oracle Linux just because Oracle is whining about it. I am equally sure that if IBM rolled out their own distro tomorrow, Oracle would not be falling over themselves to certify their apps for it either.

This whole concept of distributors and software vendors protecting themselves (and engineering some lock-in, incidentally) by certifying, or certifying for, certain distributions just isn't helping Linux or open source software get more widely used.

The fact of the matter is that there ARE differences between distributions, and those differences have been known to break a lot of applications. Because of this, there is no way for a software vendor to get around distribution certification. If you certified your mega-dollar application to run on any Linux distro, what do you do the first time some clown calls up with some home-grown hybrid of five different distros and wonders why it doesn't work?

Software companies are in the business of making money, not "helping Linux or open source software get more widely used." If Linux distro writers want to make the burden of application certification easier, then the onus is on the Linux folks to get their act together and make Linux distros more homogenous. Don't blame the software vendors for this sorry state of affairs.

SirWired

Re:Eliminating distro. cert. is wishful thinking (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167330)

This is a big problem with Linux, and no amount of wishful thinking will make the problem go away. Apps not working on all distributions is exactly the sort of problem that the Linux Standards Base (went nowhere) and United Linux (supported by Caldera/SCO) were supposed to prevent.
Yer, and that's where effort needs to go - no on relying on certification.

Maybe some IT shop that doesn't care about their software actually working can do that, but actual software companies that make their living selling software MUST perform testing.
Errrrr, whereabouts did I say that testing wasn't peformed? The point is, relying on certification here gets you nowhere, as you've actually admitted, otherwise testing wouldn't be necessary ;-).

Yes, there are many organizations that do that, but those are either small and/or low-quality IT shops and/or non-critical apps.
Errrrr, no. Many organisations big and small don't fly into a panic when something isn't certified - it depends on if it works. See testing comment above. With Linux systems, very little can work easily between them, and people even have an easier time installing open source software on a Windows system.

The fact of the matter is that there ARE differences between distributions, and those differences have been known to break a lot of applications.
Making that statement doesn't solve the problem.

If you certified your mega-dollar application to run on any Linux distro, what do you do the first time some clown calls up with some home-grown hybrid of five different distros and wonders why it doesn't work?
Contribute to the LSB and projects like Portland and make sure that my software works with it. It doesn't stop me from certifying for a few distributions, as before, but it ensures that many people at least have a fighting chance of getting it to work, even when upgrading to a newer version of a certified distro.

You're just skipping around the root problem, and the solution, I'm describing. You could never feasibly certify for every distro, but you certainly can help get them to work on a technical level. Again, certification doesn't solve anyone's problems.

Software companies are in the business of making money, not "helping Linux or open source software get more widely used."
The software company in question here uses Linux and makes huge amounts of money out of it.

Don't blame the software vendors for this sorry state of affairs.
Software vendors, whether they like it or not, are a part of getting this to work. If software vendors are creating specific RPMs as they are prone to do, and even trying to detect the distro and version you are installing on, then they are a part of the problem. It is up to distributors, the community, and software vendors, to work together to mitigate this problem. As a result, vendors will have far fewer installation and support headaches and they will sell more software i.e. more money.

Software vendors throwing their hands over their ears isn't going to help here.

Re:I Hate Linux Distro Certification (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167192)

The problem with that is that some software will not run, and you will only find out about it midway through a long project on a single dependency that you try to fake in some repeatable, but absolutely awful way. If you would have just listened to them then you wouldn't have this problem.

So you have to get really good at being able to tell when there is an issue, and what things to test that may be critical.

Unless it's Centos/Redhat. That will just work (although some applications will complain that you are not running a correct os on dependency checks. Then you just ignore it.)

Simply don't use IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18165484)

What do they make anyway?

Instead of DB2 there's Oracle or Postgres, instead of Eclipse (yuck!) there are other IDEs and much better Rich Client development platforms.

If IBM doesn't want you as a client, you sure as hell don't want IBM as a service contractor!

Re:Simply don't use IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18166018)

What do they make anyway? You obviously have never seen their software catalogue. Granted, there's not much for the desktop PC, but server-side I find it hard to keep track of the number of different IBM products just in the small subset I use at work. You could run a seriously large enterprise with little or no software from other vendors. Lotus, WebSphere, Tivoli, DB2, and Rational are all pretty big product families. Then there's AIX , mainframe stuff (z/OS etc), not to mention hardware.... Not saying you should do so, of course (though I'm sure your local IBM sales reps would fall over themselves to encourage you) - but they make a hell of a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is actually pretty good.

Re:Simply don't use IBM (1)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166380)

If IBM doesn't want you as a client, you sure as hell don't want IBM as a service contractor!

Who is the nebulous "you" in this statement?

The droves of businesses falling over themselves to switch to Oracle's RHEL clone?

As the article said, if there is customer demand, IBM will certify on it. Personally, I'd be much more interested in certification on Ubuntu or Debian. That would actually offer customers real, technology-based choice, not just "I want to give my money to Larry" choice.

It's nice to see... (1)

peterbiltman (1059884) | more than 7 years ago | (#18165800)

... IBM telling Oracle to go to hell. They are my hero.

Re:It's nice to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18167874)

Oracle used to have a course on how to beat IBM
These two are competitors.
IBM also makes DB2.
Customers dont value good value for money or honesty.
why would people go for win solutions /w limitations
built in instead of good value and honest linux.

This isn't just sabre rattling (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166066)

Running a closed-source app on an otherwise open source platform has problems to start. IBM's service organization status means that the liability for apps running successfully is largely on them. DB2 isn't really competitive with Oracle, but IBM also needs any number of Oracle's famous acquisitions to run on their infrastructure. The lightweight, one-toe-in-the-water support that Oracle has for Linux (despite the PR otherwise) doesn't make for a successful relationship. It's up to Oracle to figure this one out if they really really want to play in the burgeoning FOSS marketplace. This is a good thing: I never used to believe IBM but their efforts towards FOSS have been fairly stellar, and for the right reasons, IMHO.

Re:This isn't just sabre rattling (1)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166570)

DB2 isn't competitive to Oracle? Gartner DataQuest's 2005 numbers show otherwise: http://www.gartner.com/press_releases/asset_152619 _11.html/ [gartner.com] . IBM is @ 22% to Oracle's 48%. Who knows what those numbers look like now, but IBM certainly hasn't been trounced.

Re:This isn't just sabre rattling (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166680)

With all due respect, those that believe Gartner are doomed. Let's take a look, however, at the revenue models. The basic DB doesn't make that much revenue, although it's nice. What makes revenue are all of the integration services and respective apps and app-building chores. That's why Oracle and IBM both went on an acquisition bender-- to bolster those revenues.

When you zoom in on the DB and core-related components, Oracle likely trounces DB2 by a 2- or 3-1 margin depending on whose numbers you believe. Internationally, I'd say that it's more like 3-1. But then, few studies have been done that show how under-used those DB engines are, or if they're a means to an end, like supply-chain infrastructure that uses a DB underneath, but where the big money has been spent in the client-side (fat client) apps. Retail is another good place to look to gauge who's ahead. IBM did wonderfully there for decades, but has seen lots of migration away to other platforms by really big clientele. On the low-medium end, when AS-400's ruled the day, IBM did very nicely with cute little bundled expensive boxes, then Oracle (and others) started eating their lunch during the growth years of the late 90's. It's still a trend, offset by growing FOSS solutions (especially in retail and medical 'retail').

I wish I could believe Garnter's numbers and forecasts. If they were true, then we'd all be using OS/2.

Why is Oracle doing a Linux distro? (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18166426)

Would you use it if you were not going to run an Oracle DBMS on it? All Oracle products that are not the core DBMS exist for one reason: sell the DBMS.

If you buy anything from Oracle that is not the DBMS (such as OAS) then you are buying a me too, second best product.

ORacle is a competitor (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18167638)

Of course they have a vested interest not to support it. IBM makes DB2.

Also IBM wants you to buy an IBM server with your DB2 database. Oracle linux can run on Sun's which also is IBM's competitor.

This is purely political and not unexpected.

Aww geez! It beginning to sound like... (1)

RoadWarriorX (522317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168806)

the Unix Wars [wikipedia.org] all over again.

Look, guys. Interoperate, or die. Simple as that.

If your app is big enough to require Oracle... (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18168922)

... wouldn't it be a good idea to keep other stuff off your Oracle box, anyway?
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