Oracles Rocha: Linux Kernel Ready to Rock Databases

Q&A: Noting that the company's Linux market share blossomed 361 percent in 2003, executive vice president Mike Rocha says it's extending its "world-class" Linux support and working hard to improve the 2.6 kernel.

Oracle executive vice president Mike Rocha will have a lot to brag about when he gets up to give his LinuxWorld keynote Tuesday in San Francisco. First, the database giant saw its Linux market share blossom in 2003, growing at a rate of 361 percent.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., company now controls about 69 percent of the market. On top of that, its Linux kernel team has been hard at work contributing enhancements geared toward making the 2.6 kernel the most enterprise-database-friendly yet.

As far as news coming out of the show, Rocha will be announcing that Oracle Corp. is working with strategic partners on a joint Linux/Oracle testing model. associate editor Lisa Vaas hooked up with Rocha to get a preview of this news and also to catch up with how Oracle is doing in its quest to become the only database youd ever want to run on Linux.

Can you tell me how much of your customer base is deploying on Linux?

While I am not at liberty to divulge specific figures, I can tell you that a significant amount of our customer base has deployed on Linux, and the numbers continue to grow. In fact, if you take a look at recent database market share reports, Gartner states that Oracles RDBMS growth on Linux in 2003 was 361 percent, and that Oracle holds dominant Linux market share with 69 percent.

With our exponential growth in the enterprise software market on Linux, Oracle remains well-positioned to command an increasing share of revenues on this platform.

/zimages/7/28571.gifTo read Database Center editor Lisa Vaas analysis of the status of the Linux war between Oracle and IBM, click here.

Why was your growth so significant this past year?

Oracle continues to play a significant role in many areas of the Linux ecosystem to drive low-cost, standards-based computing for our customers. Much of this growth is attributable to alleviating the biggest obstacle of Linux adoption—enterprise-class support.

With Oracles world-class Linux support program, Oracle provides its customers that run on Linux with front-line support—at no extra charge. In fact, Oracles global support team is composed of over 6,000 specialists who provide complete technical support to customers in over 120 countries.

Most recently, Oracle announced that it has extended this world-class Linux support to Asianux, in addition to becoming the first enterprise-software vendor to complete full certification on Asias first and only standardized Linux platform.

Editors Note: Asianux is a Linux server operating system co-developed by Chinese Linux vendor Red Flag Software Co. Ltd. and Japanese Linux vendor Miracle Linux Corp.

In your keynote, youll be mentioning the list of contributions from Oracles Linux kernel team to open source, including improved I/O throughput, memory utilization, I/O and SMP scalability, reliability, and manageability and clustering. Back in December when the 2.6 kernel was released, it was noted that large database applications may experience performance problems.

Would you say that the current kernel has since achieved a state of full reliability for large database applications? What work still needs to be done on the kernel vis-à-vis aiding the performance and reliability of databases? Of scalability? Of clustering?

Initially, there were a few performance problems noted with the 2.6 kernel, but the community as a whole has worked hard to resolve these and has succeeded in doing so. Linux 2.6.7, going into 2.6.8, is early in its life cycle but is incredibly stable and is good for Oracle and for our customers. Oracle and Novell [Inc.] actually just set a new world record TPC-C performance benchmark, for Linux on nonclustered systems.

Together, weve demonstrated that Oracle Database 10g and Novells SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 are a powerful combination that can handle the toughest workloads. This achievement demonstrates the power of Oracle Database 10g and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 to meet the scalability and high-performance requirements of enterprise environments.

/zimages/7/28571.gifCA will let loose the code for its Ingres relational database at LinuxWorld. Read more here.

Oracle will be announcing at LinuxWorld that its working with strategic partners on a joint testing model to allow partners to test their Linux solutions with Oracle products before they are released. Which partners? Which products are close to release out of this program, if any?

You can anticipate an announcement in coming weeks from Oracle and its partners who are involved in this important effort. The testing will cover Oracles entire product set, including the Oracle Database, Application Server, E-Business Suite and Collaboration Suite.

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