Unbreakable Linux: The untold story

Mike Olson, vice president of Embedded Technologies at Oracle, recently posted an interesting entry on his blog about Unbreakable Linux (via Matt). The article details why RHEL was chosen and how Oracle contributes to Linux. Keep in mind that Mike works for Oracle, but via the Sleepycat aquisition. He knows Open Source. Now, I never found it odd that Oracle chose RHEL. I’d have found it odd if they chose anything else in fact. In the Oracle Linux space, Red Hat dominates. I did wonder why the respun CentOS though. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. They’re directly competing with Red Hat with Red Hat’s own product. Sure the GPL allows that. I just don’t think it makes sense from a business perspective. Not when they could have partnered with Red Hat and gotten 95% the same thing. The 5% will make a real difference in the long run. As a major partner, they would have been providing real value to Red Hat. This in turn would encourage Red Hat to provide value to them. Early access to code, development road maps, etc. Enterprise customers would have gotten the proverbial one neck to choke (which the really do like) and Oracle would have been the single point of contact for Linux support on the RHEL product for their customers. The way they have it now, they will be in a perpetual state of playing catchup with new RHEL releases, with no help from Red Hat. In the end, what they wanted to do made a ton of sense… I just don’t think they went about it the best way. How it will play out long term remains to be seen.


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