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Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Oracle Corp. on Oct. 25 announced that it would provide the same enterprise class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware, and applications products. Essentially, this means that Oracle, after removing Red Hat trademarks, will be distributing Oracle Unbreakable Linux, derived from Red Hat's open-source Linux technology.
Oracle, however, claims that it is merely "supporting" Unbreakable Linux, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Other, far smaller companies, such as CentOS and White Box Enterprise Linux, have taken Red Hat's code, removed the Red Hat trademarks, and spun their own Linux distributions from it. No major business, until now, though, has made such a move.
The database giant claims that Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. Thus, Oracle executives say, this often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed. Oracle's new Unbreakable Linux program, on the other hand, will provide bug fixes to future, current, and back releases of Linux. In other words, Oracle will provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.
Additionally, Oracle is offering its Unbreakable Linux program for substantially less than Red Hat currently charges for its best support.
On the eve of Ubuntu Linux's version 6.10 release, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and its commercial wing, Canonical Ltd., held an early morning meeting in London to talk about Ubuntu, Canonical, and their business future.
Despite the almost endless rumors about an Oracle deal in the works to either buy or partner with Ubuntu, no such deal, according to Shuttleworth, will be announced... yet.
At the same time, however, he made it clear that there will be a Ubuntu/Oracle partnership in the future. "There has been a tremendous amount of interest in Oracle on Ubuntu, and that will be one of the strategic steps we'll take in due time," Shuttleworth said.
It's worth noting, though, that Oracle has already used Linux for years. It was in 2002, after all, that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison promised to run the company's entire business on Linux. Oracle also has long-standing partnerships with Red Hat and Novell.
While this will be a big move for Ubuntu as it continues its enterprise push, it won't be a major change for Oracle.