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.
Dargo declined to comment on the potential effect Oracles hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft will have on its Linux business going forward, if successful. “I think it will be great when PeopleSoft runs of Linux. I think itll be great when everything runs on Linux. Thats all youre going to get on me on that front,” he said.
Oracle has no current plans for an open-source Oracle database and is not threatened by those already out there like the MySQL open-source database. What makes Linux a competitive threat to other players in the operating system business is that there are enterprise-class companies supporting it.
“But what enterprise companies are actually standing behind open-source databases like MySQL? Maybe Novell. I really believe its less about an open-source threat and more about who supports the product,” he said.
Asked about the battle by The SCO Group to protect its Unix intellectual property rights and its warnings that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix and that users face potential legal consequences, Dargo said there is such a lack of available information to back up those claims that Oracle is continuing with its plans.
“We have seen nothing yet that indicates to us that we should either stop deployment or development or support of Linux. So we are continuing full speed. But what we are seeing in the market is a small amount of drag in the market, but this is from those customers who have not yet started deployment and have now decided to sit back and wait a little bit,” he said.
Those customers who have already deployed Linux are going along with Oracles view that they have not yet seen anything that tells them they need to stop and are continuing to move, he said.
Oracle has no current plans to sign the SCO NDA and looks at the alleged code violations as “even if we looked at these things we wouldnt know what the legal and contractual issues are that may impact it. Theres an allegation of an intellectual property violation, but we dont really have the context of the legal agreements to know what that means. So, if we looked at it and saw that there was code copied, that still wouldnt tell us where we stand at the end of the day,” he said.