OK, so I exaggerate just a bit, but in my defense this IS a blog. Oracle vice president of Embedded Technologies Mike Olson didn’t say anything of the sort today in his blog post defending Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux, but he did attempt to lay out a case as to why Oracle Enterprise Linux downloads (at 9,000 or so since launch) were the apple to Fedora’s oranges (24k per day).
“Counting downloads of Oracle Enterprise Linux is a waste of time,” Olson said, because Fedora downloads are typically people who have no intention of paying Red Hat for services or support anytime soon. On the other hand, Olson argues that those 9k or so Oracle Enterprise Linux downloads are customers — or “business buyers” — who are “willing to pay for support and bug fixes, and for ongoing access to pre-built, tested binary releases.”
For Olson, Oracle’s play wasn’t about getting RHEL out of the enterprise, it was about getting Oracle’s brand of Linux support in. The rest, if it ever happens, would be gravy.
Oracle is able to offer services to enterprise users who already have RHEL installed. This is crucial. The leading role of the RHEL distribution in the enterprise is exactly why Oracle chose to support it, and not some other distribution, in our Unbreakable Linux support offering. Enterprises running RHEL today can switch to Oracle’s services without downloading a new copy of the operating system. Naturally, any enterprise running production systems is reluctant to reinstall anything at all in order to switch vendors. It’s just too risky to change the tires while the car is moving.The effect is that Oracle is able to convert downloads to paying customers without requiring a download.
If you remember, this is something SearchEnterpriseLinux.com covered earlier in the week. Senior analyst Raven Zachary of the 451 Group said the movement on this issue going on today was early adopters only, but he expected that to change. Expect that change, if it does in fact occur, to arrive about the same time as Red Hat’s support renewal cycles.
And just one last note: I wonder how Olson’s tune would sound if it was Oracle Enterprise Linux that was enjoying 24,000 downloads a day, and not Fedora? I wonder…