Enterprise Linux Log

Feb 27 2007   10:16AM GMT

IBM mulls Oracle Linux and its chances


Be wary of the hype, dear readers. Making the rounds on Slashdot, digg.com, et al, today is a seemingly scathing story about how IBM is wary of certifying Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux.

Here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com we’ve done a few items here and there on Oracle’s pledge to undercut Red Hat support costs for Linux by 50%. Most, if not all, of the analysts and users I’ve spoken to about it were nonplussed, saying it was either far too early to make an informed judgment on Oracle’s chances; or that Unbreakable Linux had a tough road ahead of it when paired up against RHEL4 (the ever elusive enterprise grade Red Hat customer jumping ship to Oracle has yet to materialize as well, but I’m always up for that interview).

So it was with some interest that I read an article entitled “IBM hesitant about approving Oracle Linux.” What I read was less about hesitation, and more about a simply waiting for customer demand to materialize around an enterprise OS that has only been out since October. That’s not something drawn out of thin air, either. In December, I wrote about a report from Pacific Crest Securities that showed a substantial number of RH customers — roughly two-thirds — wanted deep support discounts of 25% to 50% (Oracle-like numbers) or they would go elsewhere.

I sent out a request for more info to IBM’s Adam Jollans today — he recently sat down with me to discuss Big Blue’s plans for Linux and virtualization in 2007 — and will update this post if and when he gets back to me.

UPDATE@3:30 p.m. EST: IBM’s Lisa Lanspery called to say this: “As customers are demanding Oracle Unbreakable Linux, IBM will work with Oracle to support it. IBM has always maintained from the start that it would support more than two Linux distros. Today Red Hat and Novell have 90% of the market, but we are always looking and evaluating other offerings, such as Oracle.”

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