Red Hat Gets a Jump on Oracle Clustering Support

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-11-25 Print this article Print

Red Hat Inc. turned up the heat on the UnitedLinux consortium this month just as it rolled out its initial distribution.

Red Hat Inc. turned up the heat on the UnitedLinux consortium this month just as it rolled out its initial distribution.

Red Hat announced here at the OracleWorld conference that it will make Oracle Cluster File System available to its enterprise customers, leaving UnitedLinuxs distribution to play catch-up.

Wim Coekaerts, principal member of Oracles technical staff and its Linux specialist, acknowledged that the first UnitedLinux distribution will not have Oracle Cluster File System functionality but said Oracle is working with UnitedLinux to develop it.

Coekaerts, in Redwood Shores, Calif., said Oracle customers have demanded clustered file system support for production systems.

Holger Dyroff, who heads SuSE Inc., in Oakland, Calif., and is the lead technical developer for UnitedLinux, said the company will look at Oracle Cluster File System and see how it can be incorporated into UnitedLinux.

Last week, parent company SuSE Linux AG and The SCO Group announced at Comdex in Las Vegas the release of the latest versions of their enterprise Linux distributions powered by the United-Linux core.

"We currently use the PolyServe [Inc.] cluster file system and Oracle9i RAC [Real Application Cluster] to implement Oracle9i RAC at several enterprise and government customers," Dyroff said.

Enterprises are not just interested in specific functionality but are also looking for open standards.

SuSE would rather wait six months to make sure a feature is enterprise-ready than deliver something immediately and risk incompatibilities, Dyroff said.

Oracle Cluster File System, combined with Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, allows customers to manage their database storage in an Oracle9i RAC configuration as easily as on a single system. Oracle Cluster File System supports all database files, archive logs, redo files and control files.

In addition, Oracle Cluster File System lets all nodes in a cluster concurrently access a given file system, facilitating easy management of databases that need to be shared across the cluster.

Acuity Lighting Group Inc., a large commercial industrial lighting company based in Conyers, Ga., is running three Linux databases. One is spread across a four-computer cluster, one runs on an eight-processor Dell Computer Corp. PowerEdge 8460 and the third is on a four-processor PowerEdge 6450.

Phillip Kilgore, Acuitys director of IT, said the company had started to implement the Oracle11i e-business suite in 1999 with its then-Windows environment. But as this was rolled out, it became clear there was a user scalabilty problem that Microsoft Corp. was not going to be able to solve. "Dell and Oracle then showed up with the RAC solution, which fit us well. In May of this year, we moved across to Linux running 11i applications on the RAC," Kilgore said.

The Oracle Cluster File System released last week is important to Acuity, as the raw partitions Acuity initially implemented with were hard to manage, required great care and limited its utilization of disk space.

"This solution moves us away from that. The Dell-Oracle-Red Hat platform with components of the Oracle E-Business Suite currently supports over 1,500 concurrent users and over 1 terabyte of data for us," Kilgore said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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