Oracle Comes Out into the Open on GNU/Linux


I've written about the Linux Foundation's Open Voices series of interviews several times before. The latest to appear is with Edward Screven, about whom it was once said: Who?

Apparently he's quite a big cheese: Oracle's Chief Corporate Architect, reporting directly to Larry Ellison. More relevantly, he's responsible for Oracle's GNU/Linux engineering efforts, including the Unbreakable Linux programme.

Oracle's involvement with GNU/Linux goes back a long way, as I discovered when I was writing Rebel Code. Even if you find the idea of Oracle offering support for its own version of Red Hat somewhat problematic, the following is unalloyed good news for open source:

Oracle definitely runs on Linux. We have very few servers in our infrastructure that are not Linux; that support, you know, internal IT systems, very few. And even the ones that continue to exist are on a plan to be phased out. So we definitely run our business on Linux. In fact, I mean, our entire IT infrastructure is Linux, our entire development infrastructure as well.

So, you know, our development platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux. Our test platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux. You know, our On Demand business where we have a few hundred customers that we host running mostly business applications, the entire thing runs on Oracle Enterprise Linux.

This puts Oracle right up there with Google and Amazon as superb examples of how GNU/Linux is demonstrably enterprise-ready.

The rest of the interview is slightly less gripping, though there's plenty of stuff about what exactly Oracle is doing with its Unbreakable Linux if you're into that kind of thing. Oracle may have a slightly complicated relationship with open source – I get the impression that free software versions of Oracle's main database products will appear slightly after hell freezes over – but there's no denying that on the platform side it is a powerful ally. This interview has the virtue of making that allegiance clear once and for all.

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