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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-15 Print this article Print

The deepening of the partnership between Oracle and Red Hat is good news for customers looking to run Oracles RAC offerings.

"Historically, we have had Solaris, and we bought two new Sun [Microsystems Inc.] clusters a couple of years ago because at that stage it would have been brave to run RAC on Linux," said Jamie Shiers, database group leader for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva. "That is no longer the case. Most likely, we will have two of the three [servers] as Linux-based racks in the first or second quarter of next year."

In another win for Linux and Red Hat, VeriSign Inc. last week said it would be migrating 2,000 of its high-performance Unix servers to Red Hats Enterprise Linux on Intel in a move that will help reduce its operating expenses.

Dave Pool, vice president of infrastructure engineering at VeriSign, of Mountain View, Calif., agreed that Linux is ready for mission-critical applications. The company is migrating several significant databases to Linux, including Siebel Systems Inc.s Siebel Sales Force Automation, Clarify sales support, and business intelligence and decision support applications from Informatica Corp. and Primus, Pool said.

Steves said Red Hat is partnering with the National Security Association to develop the next level of security and the ability to do "hardened-down Linux" solutions, which would be similar to Suns Trusted Solaris product.

As Red Hat develops Enterprise Server 4, its kernel maintainer will track the progress of the Linux 2.6 kernel. The kernel maintainer will then feed in the incremental changes as they happen, enabling the development of 4 and the kernel to take place in parallel.

One challenge facing Red Hat is how to continue to add new hardware support and minor performance upgrades between releases on a quarterly basis while maintaining compatibility with things "that are touching everything in the kernel," Steves said. "That matters to us, and were coming up with models that work with compatibility but dont tie our arms behind our backs," he said.

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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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