Oracle Wants to Hold Your Linux-Leery Hand
The free offering includes specs for common mixes of software, hardware, storage and networking.
The architectures are designed to lift the burden of pricey testing off of customers backs and get those customers up and running faster, while also helping to improve performance, scalability and reliability.
Wim Coekaerts, the companys senior director of Linux Engineering, said the program is a natural outgrowth of Oracles Linux test lab, which it set up a few years back to test the Linux kernel.
"As weve done the customer advisory board specifically for Linux customers, one thing bigger customers keep bringing up is that for large deployments that dont have Linux in house, to go from there to getting the operating system, the Oracle stack, [etc.], it takes them quite a few months to go from not having anything to getting something like this running in production," he said.
"Frequently they came back to us and said It would be really nice if you could spend some of that time we spent putting things together for us, instead of our trail and error work," he said.
Oracle hooked up with "pretty much everyone who matters in hardware" as partners in the endeavor.
That includes hardware partners Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Network Appliance and Sun.
Platform technology partners that took part include AMD and Intel. Novell and Red Hat chipped in on the operating system front, and HBA (Host Bus Adapter) Driver partners include Emulex and QLogic.
The Oracle Validated Configuration program doesnt mean that Oracle wont support other configurations, Coekaerts said.
What it does mean is that customers will be able to roll out Linux and Oracle on some standard configurations much faster.
"Were hoping this will reduce the amount of time the more mission-critical setups will need to go live," he said.
"Thats the specific target of this: where a customers wants to have a number of months of stability, and if they run into a relatively basic [snag]or problems they didnt want to seeand they feel less comfortable with what were doingthat will all basically go away."
One thing that customers wanted on top of the configurations is a promise that the program wont lag behind current hardware availability, Coekaerts said, as so often happens with these types of programs.
So Oracle has made sure, with its partners, that configuration generation for the program lies upstream as they cook up new hardware.
"Usually, if it takes a year to start with a certain model from a vendor, a year later you have the configuration and the IT department will say, OK, this is now the standard configuration for the company, but by then there are new drivers and whatnot, and things will break," he said.
This program will be different, though. "As new servers, etc., come out, [the new hardware] will be rolled in immediately and validated and available for customers to rely on," he said.
The configurations are now available at the Oracle Technology Network site.
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