Oracle Closes In on Unbreakable Linux

Oracle VP Dave Dargo claims the company has already achieved most of its goals for the Unbreakable Linux initiative.

One year to the day after announcing its Unbreakable Linux initiative, Dave Dargo, the vice president of Oracle Corp.s Linux Program Office, took to the stage at the Enterprise Linux Forum at the Santa Clara, Calif., convention center on Friday to talk about how Oracle has achieved most of its goals for that initiative.

"Our partnerships have really filled out there. Along with Red Hat, we are working with the SuSE engineering team on behalf of UnitedLinux, and all our hardware partners are on board with regard to Unbreakable Linux. Were really at a point where everything we talked about in the past is now present tense," he told eWEEK in an interview following his keynote.

Addressing whats in the future for Oracle and Linux, Dargo said the company is laying the groundwork for where it thinks things are moving with regard to grid computing and the areas of automatic provisioning and the allocation and reallocation of compute resources to specific problems and dealing with other capacity in the datacenter.

"We are in a great position because of all the work we had done in the areas of Real Application Clustering (RAC) and 9iAS because the 9iAS product we have is really designed to handle some tremendously innovative load balancing across a large number of small and midtier servers," he said. "Our RAC product then allows us to scale-out on those.

"So, as we combine that with what some of our partners are doing in terms of the management space, we see a road map ahead of us where we are going to have tremendous opportunity to drive those types of things we talk about in grid," Dargo said.

This includes the ability to dynamically allocate and reallocate compute power to specific tasks. Oracle also feels that its software is "right there ready to go" in terms of enterprise grid, adaptive enterprises and autonomic computing, he said, adding that this is going to be an evolutionary process.

With the commoditization and standardization in the high-volume server market and the Linux adoption and support from major companies like Oracle, there will be more investment flowing into the "grid" space going forward. So, while Oracle manages much of its outsourcing environment in terms of dynamic allocation of resources, it is also working on tools that allow it to do a deallocation of resources from one task to another.

"We are going to be in some stage of this process starting fairly soon, I just dont know where that end point is going to be, when this becomes part of everything that were doing. Thats the hard part as its going to be an evolutionary process," Dargo said.

Oracle is also continuing to work on the scalability of Linux and its graceful degradation under very heavy workloads. And its in the process of making its products able to handle tougher and tougher workloads. While some 75 percent of database applications sit on Linux today, Oracle is trying to get 100 percent of those on Linux and Intel, he said.

"So, as we look at the next year of development, its really in certain areas of scalability, manageability and graceful degradation from a product perspective," he said.