Red Hat Interview: Oracle Speaks Out On Red Hat Linux

Dave Dargo,
Oracle Vice President, Performance Engineering
Doug Kennedy,
Oracle Vice President, Platform Partnerships

Q:  Oracle has recently made highly strategic, public commitments to the Linux platform. What trends are you seeing in your markets that are driving you to more broadly support Linux?

Oracle is fully committed to supporting the Linux operating system. In fact, Oracle was the first commercial database available on Linux. By supporting Linux with Oracle's industry leading products, we are enabling customers to deploy enterprise-class solutions on the lowest cost hardware and operating system infrastructure, while preserving their existing IT skills. We believe that Linux is more attractive today than it ever was, as customers are looking for cost effective solutions.

Q:  Many of Oracle's enterprise customers run mission critical data centers on traditional UNIX variants. Are you seeing a trend towards Unix to Linux migration within your installed base?

With Linux, customers today have a choice to deploy enterprise class solutions on cost-effective hardware. The Linux operating system drives infrastructure costs down because it does not entail the licensing expense associated with proprietary UNIX systems, and because it runs on relatively inexpensive Intel platforms. We see a trend where a good number of traditional UNIX shops are evaluating Linux-based solutions for new applications. This trend is more visible in the Financial Services, Banking industry.

Q:  What are the critical technical hurdles that Linux has overcome in the last several years? In Oracle's opinion, is Linux now a mission critical, enterprise class OS platform?

Linux has come a long way in the past few years from being an OS that developers played around with in their spare time to becoming a viable option for mission critical implementations for corporations.

The adoption of Linux in enterprise computing has been accelerated by support from major application and software vendors offering packaged solutions that can be easily deployed on Linux. Oracle has been working with Red Hat to create a core set of enhancements in the areas of performance, reliability, clustering and manageability in order to enable Linux to support our customer's enterprise-class deployments. The result is a new distribution from Red Hat called the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. The combination of Oracle technology with the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server will enable customers to deploy Linux in a mission critical environment.

Q:  What plans does Oracle have to support Red Hat Linux Advanced Server? How will Oracle and Red Hat collaborate to further the reach of Linux as a mission critical RDBMS and application platform?

Oracle and Red Hat have already been collaborating on the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server release and Oracle has been instrumental in influencing the enhancements made to the Linux kernel with this release. The two companies will continue to work closely on product enhancements and certifications in order to successfully meet the needs of this growing market.

Q:  How will enterprise customers benefit from the relationship between Red Hat and Oracle?

We are collaborating on functional enhancements to the OS as well as delivering a new support model, which we believe will enable customers to adopt Oracle on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server as an enterprise class platform. We believe that the collaboration between Oracle and Red Hat will set the foundation for providing better and more efficient solution to our customers. Customers can expect to receive better, faster problem escalation, resolution and support as a result of our joint efforts.

Q:  Does Oracle have plans to run parts of its own business on Linux?

Yes. In an effort to streamline our operations, Oracle has been looking into various ways to make our infrastructure more efficient and less expensive. Linux based systems are certainly one of the ways to reduce costs of IT infrastructure. We have quite a few Linux based pilots and operational systems in use at Oracle today. In fact, Oracle's outsourcing business runs on Linux. Recently we converted our "Application Demo Systems," which consists of several hundred servers, to run Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. These systems are utilized by Oracle's worldwide sales organization to provide Oracle E-Business Suite application demonstrations to customers and prospects.