ORACLEWORLD: Oracle driving Linux convergence

SAN FRANCISCO – Reaffirming its commitment to Linux, an Oracle Corp. official at the OracleWorld conference here on Wednesday stressed Oracle’s intentions to merge several Linux-related projects into a single distribution by partnering with Linux vendor Red Hat Inc.

The company is working with Red Hat to unify multiple Linux projects in the industry, with those projects being the secure Linux under development by the U.S. National Security Agency as well as clustered, data centre, carrier-grade and database-grade Linux variants being developed, according to Jamshed Patel, senior manager in the Oracle Linux Program Office, based in Redwood Shores, Calif.

The goal is “to integrate all these different initiatives into a single distribution, such as Red Hat,” Patel said. This would make Linux easier to support and assist ISVs in certifying on Linux, he added.

Other goals on Oracle’s Linux road map include validation of higher workload levels, support for the Intel Pentium 4 and AMD Hammer processors, architectural changes for clustering, and higher availability and continued contributions to the open-source community, according to the company.

Patel also touted Oracle’s “Unbreakable Linux” project. This effort involves Oracle, Dell, and Red Hat working to build a core set of Linux enhancements in the areas of performance, reliability, clustering, and manageability for enterprise-class deployments.

Patel said Linux saves customers 45-90 per cent of the costs of deploying on RISC/Unix systems. Linux has grown to own 27 per cent of the server OS market as opposed to 1 per cent in 1995, according to industry figures shown by Patel.

“Every OEM out there is experiencing the same kind of exponential growth in Linux as Dell and other vendors,” he said.

Two OracleWorld attendees from Australian airliner Qantas said their company was eyeing a switch from an Oracle database deployment on Sun Microsystems’ Solaris to a service provider model featuring the database on Linux. The price-performance of Linux is attractive, the attendees said.

“It’s a pretty convincing story,” said Ross Goodwin, principal architect for technology and integration at Quantas Airways.

Oracle is committed to running its entire business on Linux, Patel said. Additionally, the company is pursuing support of Java on Linux with its partners, Patel said.

“We will continue to push very aggressively on Java in that space,” he said.