Oracle to Unveil Open-Source Cluster

At Linuxworld, the software company will bolster its support of Linux for its Oracle 9i database.

Oracle Corp. at LinuxWorld next week will introduce an open-source cluster file system for its Oracle 9i database.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., software maker is planning to announce the open-source move on Wednesday, the same day its chairman and CEO, Larry Ellison, is scheduled to address the Linux crowd at the San Francisco conference.

Oracle officials say they are offering an open-source version of the cluster file system as a way to bolster its support of Linux for its database. In early June, Oracle began an aggressive marketing push for Linux with an event at its headquarters touting "unbreakable Linux." The company announced certifications for the use of its 9i RAC (Real Application Clusters) feature on Red Hat Inc.s Linux Advanced Server and Dell Computer Corp.s PowerEdge servers.

The cluster file system helps database administrators more easily manage the file system on Oracle 9i RAC clustering technology. It offers, for instance, a graphical tool for managing a complete disk farm as one file system, said Robert Shimp, vice president of Oracle 9i database marketing.

While Oracle has cluster file systems for other versions of its database, it didnt have one for its Linux offering. Without a cluster file system, DBAs have to manage raw disk files, an arcane and more difficult process, Shimp said.

"Oracle is releasing the source code in Linux to help increase the adoption in the high-end enterprise market," Shimp said. "This is part of an ongoing series of efforts by Oracle to help build up Linux in the market place."

A developers release of the Linux cluster file system will be available next week. The code will be downloadable for free from the Oracle Technology Network Web site ( General availability is planned for late October, including the inclusion of the cluster file system within RAC.

Oracle decided to offer the cluster file system under a General Public License (GPL) because officials thought Linux users would be more willing to accept an open-source version than a proprietary one, Shimp said.

Analysts say that despite the Linux push of database vendors such as Oracle and IBM, enterprises have yet to move quickly toward Linux. Oracle officials say reception has been strong for it Linux database offering, but the company doesnt have any statistics yet on the number of customers moving to the operating system.

"Its still too soon to know how rapidly its going to be adopted, but we already are looking at customers that are looking to convert servers," Shimp said.