Red Hat Inc. and Oracle Corp. will tighten their relationship as the companies work together on the next version of Red Hats Enterprise Linux server.
Officials at the OracleWorld conference here last week said Oracle will continue to contribute development work and code in areas such as management, clustering and enterprise database to the open-source and Linux community in association with companies such as Red Hat and SuSE Linux A.G.
"It would be impossible for us to have a deeper commitment to Linux than we already do," said Dave Dargo, vice president of Oracles Linux Program office, in Redwood Shores, Calif.
Although there is as yet no official agreement between the companies about working together on Enterprise Linux 4, Red Hat officials confirmed that work has already begun on that product, which will be based on the Linux 2.6 kernel and which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2005—or as early as the end of next year—"if things go really well," said Brian Steves, vice president of operating system development at Red Hat, in Raleigh, N.C.
Red Hat is on track to release Enterprise Server 3.0 next month.
"We know that the 2.6 kernel will be a solid kernel," Steves said. "The areas that we feel arent really that well addressed in that kernel are manageability, storage management, virtualization and Java. These are the four areas that we will be pushing very hard on and concentrating on for Release 4."
With previous Enterprise Linux releases, Red Hat did all its own engineering, which was then validated by Oracle for its database software. But Oracle has grown its Linux development team to where the companies could begin to work together on Version 4.
"One of the areas that is a natural for us to partner on is cluster file systems," Steves said. Oracle had made a commitment in this regard, "but they are missing a lot of key ingredients to make it general purpose. Its Oracle-only right now, and RAC [Real Application Clusters] is going in a different direction with 10g for storage management where it doesnt really need the Oracle Cluster File System anymore," he said.