LINUXWORLD SF: Oracle releases clustered file system code

Oracle Corp. is releasing the underlying code to software it developed to allow databases to be better managed on clusters of Linux servers.

The company Wednesday will post online the source code for its new Clustered File System designed for its Oracle9i Real Application Clusters (RAC), said Robert Shimp, vice president of database marketing at Oracle. The release available Wednesday will be an early test version of the software that developers are encouraged to toy with. A production version of the software is due for release in October, Shimp said.

“It’s the first time that we’ve offered source code from Oracle to the Linux community,” he said.

Available with Oracle9i Database Release 2, the software is designed to allow the management of data across large numbers of connected server and storage systems. This type of software ensures that data remains consistent even though many users are modifying files on the hardware at the same time.

The Redwood Shores, California, company is making available the source code for the Oracle Cluster File System under the GNU/General Public License, the same software license that covers the Linux operating system. The move could position the technology to be built into the core of the Linux operating system, also known as the kernel, Shimp said.

“As the kernel becomes hardened, that only helps us to be able to deliver a better database technology on top,” he said.

Oracle has made its Clustered File System software available to Windows customers who use its Oracle9i RAC. Oracle customers who run its database software on clusters of Unix and Linux servers have had to look to outside vendors, or other open source alternatives, for the file system software.

Making the software freely available could pose a threat to some of Oracle’s software partners that sell competing software. They include Veritas Software Corp., PolyServe Inc. and Sistina Software Inc.

“It’s a classic open source story. The (companies) that offer proprietary products are going to have to add value above and beyond the open source products,” Shimp said.

“We think that probably the best thing for the Linux community is to have a robust open source technology; that way the Linux operating system will become more and more enterprise ready.”

Oracle is not alone in offering a clustered file system that is designed to ease the management of database software running on clusters of Linux servers. IBM Corp. has its own version of the technology called Control Center that ships with its DB2 Enterprise Extended Edition database software. IBM said it plans to demonstrate at LinuxWorld a 40-node Linux cluster running DB2 that makes use of Control Center.

The source code for the Oracle Clustered File System will be available Wednesday on the Oracle Technology Network Web site, online at