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Oracle Contributes Linux Code, Expands Hardware Support

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the getting-more-for-the-cost-of-free dept.

Oracle 45

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

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Do I have to pay anybody $699? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194263)

I have that much left over after the SCO verdict.

Re:Do I have to pay anybody $699? (2, Funny)

sudo (194998) | about 7 years ago | (#20194293)

you could always finance it ... there plenty of money that used to be available from the Subprime Mortgage industry

GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194299)

... and this is news? We should see tens of RedHat/Novell stories every day then.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | about 7 years ago | (#20194363)

... and this is news? We should see tens of RedHat/Novell stories every day then.
No, because we know where those two companies stand vis-a-vis the Open Source community. We don't know where Oracle stands yet. So, it is interesting to read about what they do and hear the experience of others via the discussion. Thus, we will be able to learn if this is a new member of the community to be respected and watched in the future, or not.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (1)

Braxton_Bragg (902868) | about 7 years ago | (#20194659)

It's not as if Oracle and your flavor of Linux are incredibly intertwined. When I switched to Mandriva from RedHat, and the Oracle installation program barked at me, I just edited the "/etc/release" file. I'm not running some huge Oracle application on this desktop.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (2, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | about 7 years ago | (#20195077)

It's not as if Oracle and your flavor of Linux are incredibly intertwined.
No, but I hope they will be someday. That's the point.

I run Debian for a variety of applications at home and at work, from desktop to to workstation to server. Among those systems, I have OpenOffice, which is mostly Sun Microsystems's baby, KDE, to which IBM is a significant contributor and sponsor, the QT toolkit that KDE is built on comes from Trolltech, Google and HP sponsor Apache, etc. Linux itself gets significant patches from Sun, RedHat, IBM and Novell, among many, many others. When Ubuntu came around, I saw a huge number or genuine improvements work their way into Debian desktops, and I am grateful for it.

So you see, actually, yes, the Linux ecosystem is very intertwined. I really do hope that Oracle starts developing for their distro and releasing it GPL. I see nothing in the articles here that suggests that this is the case (as opposed to the summary), but I think that any sign that a company will start contributing is relevant.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (1)

JRGhaddar (448765) | about 7 years ago | (#20195917)

Meh.... I don't care what Oracle does. They are a huge DB company trying to get in on the Linux game, just like M$. They are trying to undercut the big duo (Novell/Redhat) and it's not going to work... YAST is developed and controlled by Novell. RHEL is of course controlled and developed by Redhat.

They can offer there own disti solution, but it always is going to come down to the two major influences on purchasing decisions: Cost and Support. I am pretty sure that a SUSE or Redhat System with MySQL or better yet PostgreSQL is more cost effective and better supported than whatever Oracle is haucking these days.

Personally I like SUSE. I know that Novell has fallen from grace with the OSS community for the MS deal, but hey they whipped SCO's ass in court... gotta love them for that, and from a business standpoint the MS deal was very smart. People are going to switch to Linux... M$ can't stop that... it's too good of a deal for people. Novell is letting MS do the Marketing and Sales for them and letting M$ take a comission. Once SUSE is everywhere then Novell can kick them to the curb, and then "may the best disti win".

Kind of a reverse embrace, extend, extinguish. Only this time it's M$ they will get burned.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (2, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | about 7 years ago | (#20196059)

Actually, as someone that actually works at oracle, I can tell you that Oracle's pretty serious about it's Linux offering and open source, regardless as what you may think of them.

The official OS within Oracle is being transitioned to this Linux dist of them (Unbreakable Linux) and the official Windows base install in the company (for non dev people) is not even XP.

I work on Macs so none of these OSes concern me but we keep getting internal memos about Oracle's Linux.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20200121)

The official windows base install for oracle employees is XP. You can probably still get your hands on 2000 if you really want it.

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (1)

JRGhaddar (448765) | about 7 years ago | (#20201877)

That is good to hear. I do like Oracle, but this oooooh Linux! I want a piece! Frenzy just kinda annoys me. bah If I had to build an enterprise DB I would probably use 10g on SLES.

I bet there Mac division is pretty awesome. I'm curious as to how 10g and Xserve play together...

Re:GNU/Linux distributor publishes some code... (2, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | about 7 years ago | (#20200989)

Oracle wants to sell systems more than anything; they like it when their benchmarks can be tuned to the hardware, they like to live on raw partitions, they do their own scheduling and execution within the DB engine, the only thing that failed that they've tried over the years, is an Oracle OS for running 'other' things on (i.e. your apps). With Linux, they have a marketable (the PHB has heard of it), reliable OS that also runs java (their other fetish), which is why they take Linux very seriously indeed.

Next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194317)

Now, if only they would provide a YaST plugin for administering the Oracle database. The Java admin tools are godawful.

I might be being dim... (1)

nevali (942731) | about 7 years ago | (#20194323)

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

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

Re:I might be being dim... (1)

ronadams (987516) | about 7 years ago | (#20194327)

They are releasing the modified YAST code that is supported in their distribution. YAST as it stands in, say, OpenSuSe, has been open for a long time.

Re:I might be being dim... (3, Interesting)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | about 7 years ago | (#20194403)

The date line from the article on YaST
Friday, March 19 2004 10:32 AM

Re:I might be being dim... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20198525)

I might be being dim... but WTF does RedHat have to do with Linux?

Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 7 years ago | (#20194413)

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

Personally, I am damn glad to see it (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20194469)

Windows is a chicken/egg problem. THey have the desktop share, so every client MUST be aimed at windows. Worse, every marketer will make their best one available on windows. And then companies have little money to port to Linux, let alone keep their top stuff on windows. And since it is MS's backyard, MS will persue any company that it wants.

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

Oracle is NO threat to redhat. Even if they just provided support, with no contributions, a number of ppl who are not on Oracle would stay with redhat. Why? Because THEY are the market leader. In addition, they have one of the best reputations in the industry. Oracle, while having a support reputation well above MS's, still has a so-so rep. In particular, they are known as being expensive. Redhat is fairly reasonably priced and the support is superior.

Re:Personally, I am damn glad to see it (1)

vultureman (98555) | about 7 years ago | (#20195641)

In LINUX specifically RHEL, Oracle found a platform to push their FileSystem (ocfs2 integrated into RH's kernel now), their Cluster (RAC), and their OEM (Grid) in such a way that they could support/orchestrate a solution that their customers wanted.

Re:Personally, I am damn glad to see it (1)

etnu (957152) | about 7 years ago | (#20198547)

Oracle software has worked fine on Linux for over a decade. Most Oracle products these days are built with Linux as the assumed primary installation target. Oracle is getting into the Linux support business because it's a way to make money. This has little to nothing to do with the excellent Oracle DB or oracle's crappy applications. Most likely Oracle will try to bundle OEL with oracle database licenses and will claim that OEL is better for running their products (or let people assume that it will be just because both have Oracle branding).

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 7 years ago | (#20194499)

If you ask Oracle - they didn't fork it. They are just offering support and patches to RHEL - and pulling out all the proprietary RH stuff so that they can put it out there themselves, at least that is how I understand it.
 
  Here is a Linux-Watch article [linux-watch.com] about it.
 
From what I've seen Oracle wants all the certs, and other things RHEL has earned, but to be able to sell their own support and have more control of patching for their stuff. The skeptical part of me wonders if this is also a very early attempt to make sure Red Hat's work to build any kind of database product around PostgreSQL never takes off. I'm just a dba who reads slashdot too much - so I don't know all the how or why, but I'm definitely interested in stuff like this to keep track of where it is all headed.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (3, Informative)

slamb (119285) | about 7 years ago | (#20196319)

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

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

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

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

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

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20198791)

If you want someone to knock Microsoft down a few notches it isn't going to be RedHat. I for one am glad Oracle is jumping into the Linux mix. Oracle validates Linux by orders of magnitude more than RedHat ever did. I hope Oracle dives deeper into Linux and Linux-based software!

Oracle Linux is just what the doctor ordered.

Many of you may have issues with mega-corporations, but the ONLY way to create balance in the corporate universe is for the mega-corps to compete with each other. They are not going anywhere so let them fight each other while the rest of us create the next big thing.

Who is the biggest Linux vendor? (3, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#20194739)

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

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

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

Re:Who is the biggest Linux vendor? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 years ago | (#20196979)

they are, to put it plainly, the biggest corporation selling a commercial Linux distro.

Could you explain this phrasing for me? They could, I suppose, 'sell' the distro, but any buyer could release the sourcecode for free. How is it that they are 'selling' their distro?

Re:Who is the biggest Linux vendor? (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#20197487)

They can sell it just like Red Hat and SUSE do. You sell the source code, and it comes with support. Other people can distribute the source code, but then (1) it lacks the support, and (2) doesn't come directly from the manufacturer, so patches may be late, errors may exist, etc.

Re:Who is the biggest Linux vendor? (1)

markxsd (718350) | about 7 years ago | (#20198055)

As a former product manager for Oracle I can say that when it comes to Oracle strategy only two things matter:

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

[in that order of priority]

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

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

MaxPowerDJ (888947) | about 7 years ago | (#20194823)

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

Right now, as far as I know, the software packages are the same as Red Hats, but tested so they do not break any oracle install you might have running on your 'unbreakable" install, which is a big deal when you have a 24-7 operation running on your Oracle database.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 7 years ago | (#20194929)

NIH syndrome, also known as Not Invented Here.

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

These are basics, but Oracle is not capable of doing them, and never has been. The result is that their software is not easily installed or integrated into any standard system that does not aggressively avoid practices common to UNIX and Linux systems administrators.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 7 years ago | (#20195007)

Can you elaborate on this? I've never run into the sorts of problems you describe with Oracle on Solaris.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 7 years ago | (#20195043)

I'd love to see that too. I've installed, and run Oracle 10g on Windows, AIX and Linux. Windows can have some odd stuff going on sometimes - but everything else is pretty much where Oracle is most at home.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20195721)

oracle had changed a lot since 10g, some students actually pretty much like the product now

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 7 years ago | (#20212139)

11g was released last week. so actually, in a production shop like mine, no - it hasn't changed a lot since 10g as there hasn't been anything else since 10g

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | about 7 years ago | (#20206153)

What would be the the most obvious use of Oracle Enterprise Linux? I would assume to run an Oracle database, but apparently not. I tried it out, and all it is is RHEL with the logos changed. There is no configuration that supports an Oracle database. After reading many technotes, I found out the only supported configuration is "workstation" (apparently you can't use server to install your database on). Even then, you have to install a lot of obscure packages to get it to work. Neither Oracle support, nor any of their documentation had anything on this, and I had to google other websites to find answers. It is actually easier to set up Oracle on Ubuntu (which isn't even a supported platform) then Oracle Linux.

I am not sure who writes crappier installers, Oracle or Microsoft, but at least Oracle's crappy installers are cross-platform

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 7 years ago | (#20209143)

Oracle installers being cross-platform is like the bird flu passing from humans to chickens. It's not really a good thing.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20197209)

I work at Oracle in the Server Tech group. The biggest justification that I have heard for Oracle Linux is that it allows a customer to get all their support from one place. Oracle database is so close to the Operating System that sometimes its hard to tell who is at fault for a bug. Oracle Linux is about preventing support ping pong: Customer comes to Oracle with a bug, Oracle says "That's an OS issue, talk to Redhat". Customer goes to Redhat, Redhat says "That's a DB issue, talk to Oracle." Now the buck stops at Oracle. Customer comes to Oracle, there is no excuse to punt it.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (3, Interesting)

TheUnFounded (731123) | about 7 years ago | (#20199535)

It's a lot simpler than hat. They want to provide a complete solution. A lot of Oracle's potential customers aren't Windows users -- they're bigger than that, and currently run big IBM mainframes, Unix systems, etc (think banks, insurance comapnies, etc). Those are the guys that Oracle is after. If Oracle goes to a bank and says "we'll sell you the database and some of these tools, and then this other company will sell you these other pieces, and it'll all work out great", they'll be laughed out the door. Big, slow companies want ONE company to pull something together for them when it comes to their back-end systems (who do you think hires companies like IBM?). By providing their own copy of Linux, they can say "look, we'll provide and support your database, and your OS. Anything you need, we've got it". And that makes the CEOs sleep better at night. Does Oracle care about MS? Sure. But they're not looking to replace XP, or go after any desktop market at all. They care about the big guys with the big $.

Re:Oracle Enterprise Linux? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 7 years ago | (#20209561)

It's times like this I wish I had some mod points to throw around... A lot of Unix admins I've known have been uncomfortable with using Oracle's bare-metal file system, and generally break their own rules a lot of times to get oracle running on dedicated servers... Having a distro specific for oracle deployments is simply good business... Hell, why do you think MS sells so many servers... Outside of maybe ASP.Net, they don't really offer much over the competition other than integration of Exchange, and MS-SQL, etc... It's the ease of integration and deployment that gets people in... Thought the fact that Oracle has been snatching up a lot of the database engines that other dbms systems use (mainly mySQL), has me concerned... From a business standpoint, it's brilliant though.

Other Architectures? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | about 7 years ago | (#20194485)

Oracles has always pride itself on it's cross-platform capability, but the only chips I see on the list are x86. Where is Power and Sparc?

Re:Other Architectures? (1)

IANAAC (692242) | about 7 years ago | (#20196787)

Where is Power and Sparc?

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

RedHat is not Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194669)

I repeat: RedHat is not Linux.

ta3o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20194765)

Disappointment reigns... (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | about 7 years ago | (#20199109)

I was intrigued to see EMC on the list of certified vendors because, although several of their products run Linux, I wasn't aware of any that fit the definition of general purpose computers. Could they be expanding their product line? Alas, it turns out that Oracle's Linux is only able to talk to EMC's gear, not run on it.

Re:Disappointment reigns... (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 7 years ago | (#20200813)

If you look at a sample configuration using EMC hardware [oracle.com] , the main value they seem to be adding here are patches to work around some of the tricker parts of the integration job that goes into adding that class of storage array to a Linux server. For example, the "CFQ io scheduler" issue and the "e1000 flow control" problems they have workarounds for are the sort of thing you only see when running Linux on some pretty serious hardware, and they can be very tricky to resolve. Knowing that somebody has already done that work is very helpful in this sort of situation.
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