Oracle is to provide management tools for the Linux open source operating system (OS), after its surprise October announcement of full global support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.
The Oracle Management Pack for Linux, which the database, middleware and applications vendor unveiled Monday, is part of the initiative it kicked off in October under the name Oracle Unbreakable Linux.
The Linux support program that Oracle has made available to both its user base and non-Oracle customers was widely read by industry observers as a direct attack on one of Red Hat's key revenue streams. Although the move fell short of a full Oracle-branded version of Linux that had been widely rumoured, some analysts saw support as preparing the way for such an offering and likely to result in further fragmentation of the operating system.
Currently, the enterprise Linux market leaders are Red Hat followed by Novell's Suse Linux, but there are also other distributions gaining appeal among developers including Ubuntu, Debian and Mandriva.