Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Oct 2006 18:47 UTC, submitted by tux68
Databases Red Hat has officially responded to Oracle's 'Unbreakable Linux' move. "The opportunity for Linux just got bigger. Oracle's support for Linux reaffirms Red Hat's technical industry leadership and the end of proprietary Unix. It's no accident that Red Hat was chosen #1 in value two years running. Want to know what else we think? Read on." This article has more reactions.
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I wonder if Oracle sold RHEL short
by NotParker on Fri 27th Oct 2006 19:32 UTC
NotParker
Member since:
2006-06-01

I wonder if Oracle sold RHEL short. They might have made some serious money today.

Reply Score: 2

Red Hat is spinning...
by tomcat on Fri 27th Oct 2006 19:40 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Given that most of their revenue is derived from support and Oracle will now be playing in their pond, this can't be good news for RHAT.

As a customer, though, I like being able to choose between a number of vendors for support contacts.

This will reduce prices and increase quality.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Red Hat is spinning...
by amigascne on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:00 UTC in reply to "Red Hat is spinning..."
amigascne Member since:
2006-01-26

Red Hat has already annouced that they will not be reducing their prices as a result of this move by Oracle. And why should they? Let's consider the facts:

1. Unlike IBM, HP, etc. Oracle is NOT a Red Hat Support Partner. Therefore Oracle does not have access to Red Hat's back line engineers and developers. As a customer, this is a HUGE deal..
2. Oracle's respin of RHEL will not have the security certifications and evaluations that Red Hat's RHEL has unless Oracle plans to seek those evaluations itself. In any case, this means it wont be used at any government sites anytime soon.
3. If you're using any products from Red Hat beyond just RHEL, Oracle won't support those... So you would need to have a support contract with both Oracle and Red Hat.
4. Oracle claims that Unbreakable Linux will enjoy all of RHEL's ISV certifications. However, none of the ISV's (beyond Oracle) are saying that is true.

This could easily end up being a flop for Oracle and further strengthening Red Hat in the end. I guess only time will tell..

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Red Hat is spinning...
by Joe User on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Hat is spinning..."
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

This could easily end up being a flop for Oracle and further strengthening Red Hat in the end. I guess only time will tell..

I second this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Red Hat is spinning...
by sbenitezb on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:31 UTC in reply to "Red Hat is spinning..."
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

It's simple. Oracle specializes in databases. Red Hat in server operating systems. Would you choose a support contract from Oracle for a Red Hat OS? This is stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Red Hat is spinning...
by tomcat on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Hat is spinning..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

What makes you think that Oracle is the primary provider here? My guess is that they will sub out this work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Red Hat is spinning...
by segedunum on Fri 27th Oct 2006 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Red Hat is spinning..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What makes you think that Oracle is the primary provider here? My guess is that they will sub out this work.

To Red Hat maybe? :-) This is just silly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Red Hat is spinning...
by jamesd on Sat 28th Oct 2006 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Red Hat is spinning..."
jamesd Member since:
2006-01-17

People running oracle on red hat are going to love this, today when they hit a road block and need support, they call oracle and if the problem isn't easy to solve the support tech passes the buck and says "call red hat" its there problem, now if user buys OS and Database support from oracle there is no passing the buck, its okay i have a problem and i want a fix, its your OS and your DB, how do i fix this.

Also who has more experience supporting enterprise customers? its not Red Hat, they are the new kids on the block, Oracle has been supporting the enterprise for over 20 years. This is all old hat, they are expert, they know the database, and know the OS inside and out because they have had to fix all problems with the OS, and frankly you can buy linux kernel gurus for a dime a dozen compared to oracle experts.

This is also a great marketing tool, they become the one stop shopping for OS, database, and middleware.

of course if you want to stay out of this fight you have another option that I cover at my blog http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2006/10/its-not-good-business-to-be-in-m...

Reply Score: 2

GPL violation?
by Joe User on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:20 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

It seems they don't provide source code and that you need to provide your information to use their RH copycat:

http://edelivery.oracle.com/EPD/GetUserInfo/get_form?caller=LinuxWe...

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL violation?
by elsewhere on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:36 UTC in reply to "GPL violation?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

It seems they don't provide source code and that you need to provide your information to use their RH copycat:

To comply with the GPL, they only need to make the source code available to anyone they distribute the GPL'd binaries to, and there's nothing preventing them from restricting who they provide those binaries to.

However, there's nothing to prevent one of their customer from requesting the source and distributing it freely to anyone they want, which I imagine will happen. The Oracle trademarks (if any) would just have to be removed, the same way Oracle (and Centos) has to remove Red Hat's.

Nothing too unusual here, neither Red Hat nor Novell, for instance, make sources and binaries generally available or easily accessible on a public website for their commercial products.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: GPL violation?
by hughesjr on Sun 29th Oct 2006 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE: GPL violation?"
hughesjr Member since:
2006-10-29

First off, there SRPMS are available from the same place as their 4 binary CDs .. so they are making their source available.

If they make the Binaries available for free download (which they have), then they must also do the same for the SRPMS (which they also have).

You are also wrong about Red Hat ... there enterprise source is available on this public server:

http://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/

(with updates here)

http://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/updates/enterprise/

Also, I would like to point out that Oracle used several CentOS SRPMS (at least up2date and redhat-artwork).

After I compare all the SRPMS, I will know if they used any others from CentOS.

(Nothing wrong w/ that ... but I wish they would give CentOS some credit too if they are going to use our SRPMS).

Thanks,
Johnny Hughes
CentOS-4 Lead Developer

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL violation?
by pepa on Sat 28th Oct 2006 22:24 UTC in reply to "GPL violation?"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

You basically provide an email address, and immediately proceed to the download area. There you can download CDs with source code.

Reply Score: 1

Nothing from Oracle is UNBREAKABLE!
by jerryn on Fri 27th Oct 2006 20:41 UTC
jerryn
Member since:
2006-03-03

If your in the biz and use Oracle 9i, 10g, you know that on a monthly basis it's patch, patch, patch, refresh.
You are constantly patching oracle's nasty bugs. 10g is supposed to be unbreakable.. in a cluster.. not! The application server is a pig on resources. What I would like to see is MySQL and Postgres evolve to a point where it forces Oracle to retire. Oracle changes thier licensing scheme often! When larry felt threatened by mySQL he bought sleepy cat software hoping that would kill transaction logging and mySQL. Nope we found a work around. Larry flopped with the network appliance.. the company was called Think or something like that. hopefully no good Linux engineer would work for Larry, he'll get junior ones, induce buge into the product and it will be a poor performer just like 11i and 10g was on high end linux servers.
the problem wasn't the OS.. man patch patch patch patch
crash, patch

And this is from experience.
10g is more stable but jee... he has no business claiming unbreakable.

yea... you can break it.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If your in the biz and use Oracle 9i, 10g, you know that on a monthly basis it's patch, patch, patch, refresh.

Be fair. How else would Oracle be able to justify the exhorbitant support fees they charge you unless you continuously patch to a minor version of the software that looks like a very, very long prime number?

Reply Score: 1

segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it funny that some people are simply assuming that the big, bad wolf Oracle is going to somehow sweep Red Hat aside, either buying them out or slowly strangling them. Some of the people assuming this are so called analysts getting paid money to write drivel. Feel free to throw some my way!

Oracle is a multi billion dollar database company selling expensive database software to keep them a multi billion dollar database company. That's it. That's why they're at real risk from cheap competitors like MySQL and Postres in all but the highest end niches. Red Hat, on the other hand, produce an OS and are moving forwards to use other open source software in directory services and the J2EE world. Although Oracle and Red Hat were originally bedfellows, this relationship seems to have died when Oracle realised that Red Hat, sooner or later, were going to encroach on their turf with Postgres as an official RH database. The aquisition of JBoss merely cemented that fear of encroachment further with Oracle.

So, would you rather have a company like Red Hat who knows how to produce an open source OS they see value in, along with supporting a cheap and well proven open source stack on top of it of directory services, Java software and also a Red Hat database (Postgres)? Or would you rather have a company like Oracle peddle an OS to you that they really see as worthless in order that they can force their expensive, limited, and not very good, proprietary software on you at a later time, getting you into a locked in licensing mess in the long-run?

I know what I'd choose. Oracle has a very, very, very poor track record of producing any software that is not database related, and even then they've been poor and very slow in patching their own core software. They're also woefully inept at developing and supporting anything operating system related, because when Oracle does it all it is is a gimmic. Remember the Network Computer? You simply cannot trust them. Supporting an OS stack like Red Hat does takes time, effort, resources and good management who see value in it.

This is merely Oracle's feeble attempts at delaying the inevitable, namely that their database software is going to be forced out over time by MySQL, and especially Postgres when it becomes 'Red Hat Database' and is given the official seal of support by RH. This is not any sort of offensive against Red Hat by Oracle. It's the same panic we've seen going on for some years, in the same manner as that pathetically useless takeover of Sleepycat.

This is an unbreakable flop.

Edited 2006-10-27 23:27

Reply Score: 5

No Problem
by llanitedave on Sat 28th Oct 2006 07:48 UTC
llanitedave
Member since:
2005-07-24

I feel pretty sure that this is not going to damage Red Hat at all -- I doubt if Red Hat will see many of its own customers going to Oracle. What is more likely to happen is that Oracle customers discover Linux. The total Linux market will continue to grow -- there are plenty of potential customers out there to support multiple distributions.

Reply Score: 2

Look at IBM PC business
by Earl Colby pottinger on Sat 28th Oct 2006 17:24 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

On another hand this could be win-win for Red Hat - the more people using a version of Red Hat, the more likely a future business will choose Red Hat as it future OS.

The example I am thinking of is the IBM PC. The early 1980's had IBM owning more than 50% of the x86 market, but less than 50% of the PC market. But as more and more people got on the x86 bandwagon IBM's share go smaller and small - but x86 now represents something like 90%+ of the PC market out there. And IBM share is far smaller as a percentage, but far larger in both numbers and profit.

If Red Hat becomes the true standard of Linux to genral business, then thier own business will grow even if they lose market share.

Reply Score: 2

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

...is that the URL ends with /unfakeable/ - easy to miss when the word "unfakeable" doesn't actually appear anywhere in the page itself :-)

I think this move by Oracle will prove to be a mistake - Oracle is primarily a database vendor and has virtually no track record on providing operating system support (OK, there was that Network Computer thing...oh, that failed didn't it?).

Why can't Oracle work with Red Hat to produce better patches for the OS to make Oracle products work better with Red Hat Linux (and, by osmosis, all Linux distros)? Yes, they probably do that already, but instead of farming out those Oracle engineers (plus no doubt dozens more) to produce standalone OS patches, it seems far more sensible to expand the effort at producing patches for RHEL itself that go into the upstream distro.

Ironically, the free Oracle (aka Oracle Express) is starting to show the path Oracle were wisely taking - a simple RPM install and you've got Oracle up and running in 5 minutes. Yes, it's still gigantic compared to MySQL and PostgreSQL, but it's the sort of thing that Linux administrator appreciate - *not* forking the OS off into a pointless RHEL clone with a few non-standard patches added. We already have RHEL clones out there (e.g. CentOS) and we don't need yet another, thank you!

I'd have thought that little would change for Oracle Linux DB admins - they'd either buy RHEL+support from Red Hat or go the free route with CentOS. Why bother with the Frankenstein middle-ground of "Oracle RHEL", which isn't directly supported by Red Hat and still costs money?

Reply Score: 1