Oracle on Oct. 25 announced that it will provide the same enterprise-class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware and applications products. Essentially, this means that Oracle, after removing Red Hat trademarks, will be distributing Oracle Unbreakable Linux, derived from Red Hats open-source Linux technology.
Oracle, however, claims that it is merely "supporting" Unbreakable Linux, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Other, far smaller companies, such as CentOS and White Box Enterprise Linux, have taken Red Hats code, removed the Red Hat trademarks, and spun their own Linux distributions from it. No major business, until now, though, has made such a move.
The database giant claims that Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. Thus, Oracle executives say, this often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed.
Oracles new Unbreakable Linux program, on the other hand, will provide bug fixes to future, current and back releases of Linux. In other words, Oracle will provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.
In addition, Oracle is offering its Unbreakable Linux program for substantially less than Red Hat currently charges for its best support.