Oracle Sees Rosy Linux Future

Linux Enterprise Forum keynote speaker Jim Enright sees good things ahead for Linux in the enterprise and says that Oracle itself is "aggressively" embracing Linux in-house.

Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a presentation that underscored Oracle Corp.s support for Linux in the enterprise, Jim Enright, director of Oracles Linux Program Office took the keynote stage at the Enterprise Linux Forum here on Wednesday to describe how the open-source OS helps Oracle customers and the company itself.

Noting Linus Torvalds historic 1991 Usenet Linux posting, in which the OS creator wrote that he was "doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby wont be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones," Enright said that today, Oracle is "aggressively" transferring its internal IT to Linux.

Looking ahead, Enright said he sees all of Oracle internal IT working on the Linux platform. Even now, he noted, all Oracle employees use Linux at some point in their workday.

Enright said that in addition to savings on upfront deployment, Linux reduces the cost of system management and support. While customers used to have to deploy different Oracle DBMSes on different boxes, Linux enables them to deploy, manage and upgrade an Oracle program on multiple systems running the same version of the Oracle database and the OS.

Enright said Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle has recommended its users stick to a short list of enterprise Linux distributions: either Red Hat or UnitedLinux (primarily SuSE). That approach avoids what Enright called the "Heathkit TV" approach, assembling an enterprise-grade Linux from disparate parts.


With those distributions, Oracle offers its "Unbreakable Linux" support plan: Oracle customers who have problems with the operating system can approach Oracle for a solution, not the distribution developer.

Customers who now go to Oracle for outsourced DBMS solutions are now automatically placed on Linux platforms unless they express a preference for another platform. Since Oracle started this policy in May, he said, all the customers have opted to stick with Linux. Today, more than 60 percent of Oracles hosted customers are running on Linux.

Enright said that Linux still needs improvements in areas such as graceful degradation, CPU and memory scalability, and cluster management. But, he maintained, the technical and financial advantages of Linux far outweigh its weak points.

Enright was the second keynote speaker of the day, which opened with a presentation by Jon "Maddog" Hall, executive director of Linux International, a nonprofit association of computer vendors that support Linux.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead eWEEK.coms interview with Jon "Maddog" Hall.

The Enterprise Linux Forum runs through Thursday.

Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum