Oracle preps 9i for IBM mainframe Linux systems

Oracle Corp. will release a version of its 9i database software for IBM Corp. mainframe Linux environments in mid-2002, the company said Monday.

Developer releases of the Oracle 9i database for Linux for S/390 and zSeries mainframe servers from IBM are available for free download on Oracle’s Technology Network service (, the company said in a brief statement.

“The developer versions have proven quite successful, about 2,000 customers have asked for it and there have been over 1,000 downloads,” said Timothy Payne, director of database marketing for Oracle in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), speaking on Tuesday morning.

The developer versions, which have been available for a few months, allow users to try out 9i in an S/390 or zSeries environment. The evaluation software comes in 31-bit and 64-bit versions, as will the production versions of the database software, Payne said. Oracle’s standard pricing model will apply to the new versions of 9i, he said.

Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., which recently announced it will run its “whole business” on a cluster of Intel Corp.-based servers running Linux, has been evaluating which Oracle products, if any, to deliver on IBM’s mainframe systems running Linux.

“We asked our customers whether they wanted it (9i on IBM mainframe systems running Linux) and over 2,000 said they did, so we ported it,” said Payne, adding that Oracle has over 1,500 customers running its database software on the standard OS/390 platform.

“We are giving customers a choice, they can have the database they want on the IBM hardware with the OS they want,” Payne said

The move to mainframes, despite increasing the target customer base, could also mean that Oracle’s chairman and chief executive officer Larry Ellison has come back on his prediction of the demise of large server systems because of the benefits of Oracle’s clustering technology.