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IBM Oracle Linux

IBM Refuses To Certify Oracle Linux 124

Posted by kdawson
from the doesn't-look-red-to-me dept.
Andrew writes "IBM has thrown a spanner in the Oracle Linux works by refusing to certify that IBM's software portfolio will run and be supported on Oracle Unbreakable Linux. If IBM applications turn out to be incompatible with Oracle Linux, then it will be up to Oracle to resolve any issues. This conservative stance of IBM's is unlikely to help Oracle sell Linux subscriptions to businesses that use any of IBM's large software portfolio."
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IBM Refuses To Certify Oracle Linux

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  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @07:49AM (#18165100)
    Now that Oracle has added "Unbreakable" in front of the word "Linux"... Linux is finally going to become insecure :(

    Note to Linux developers: remember to add all your SVN commits as cron jobs, and forward date them all 2 years, or 3 years if they're critical security patches.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It appears that advertisers for software are lots dumber than advertisers for cars. Can't Oracle afford a decent slogan, one that folks won't laugh at? One that isn't so obviously bogus? I mean, Oracle is trying to sell to IT people, not Microsofties. IT folks know damned good and well that no software is unbreakable. Microsoft could get away with it, considering its user base, but not Oracle.

      Now, the car companies know how to lie - just tell the truth. For instance:

      Chevy - like a rock. (Damned thing won't
      • by IdleTime (561841)
        1. We are not talking about single machines
        2. We are talking about a grid of servers, all accessing a single database instance.
        3. If one server goes down, the other servers continue to work.

        Is it too much to ask for, that at least you have a clue what is meant?
        • There is redundancy, and "dependable" probably fits (I've not worked on this product, it seems nice a priori), but anyone who's spent a significant amount of time working in IT knows nothing is "unbreakable". It's just laughable. Give it enough time, something (or someone) will break it.

          It's not like we haven't heard boastful claims from salesmen before. When something breaks we say "it's not a bug, it's a feature", if it's a third-party product we usually add "it works just like the salesman said it w

        • by jedidiah (1196)
          ...assuming that problem on the one node doesn't bring the rest of them to a screeching halt.

          You still have the problem of there being only one database.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Often it's not the techies making the purchasing decisions, but rather some manager who has no idea what's really going on. If some manager hears that Oracle Linux is unbreakable, then they will jump right on and buy into it.
      • by mengel (13619) <mengel@use[ ]sou ... t ['rs.' in gap]> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @11:41AM (#18167274) Homepage Journal
        Oracle isn't selling to IT people; they're selling to IT peoples' managers.
      • by sheolaus (972907)
        How many IT managers aren't Microsofties? Ours came back from the Dell/Oracle presentation gushing like a schoolgirl.
  • CentOS too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jabuzz (182671) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @07:53AM (#18165126) Homepage
    They don't certify CentOS works either, but I can tell you for sure that Tivoli Storage Manager Extended edition works just fine on CentOS 4.4

    If Oracle Linux is from the same mold as CentOS then it is a fear factor rather than anything serious. Personally if I where Oracle I would hire as many of the CentOS developers as possible and get them to do a spin of CentOS as Oracle Linux.
    • Re:CentOS too (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:06AM (#18165192)
      but big enterprise doesn't think that way, they want certified compatibility and adherence to the letter of support contracts. Good luck calling EMC or Hitachi and saying your CentOS has problems accessing your 20TB disk array with a given HBA and switch. You'd void your warranty right then and there. As an aside, CentOS lags RedHat in patches, and also has to rewrite parts of the redhat admin system, it isn't 100% the same.
      • Re:CentOS too (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pirhana (577758) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:36AM (#18165346)
        You have perfectly summed up it !! I had a DB cluster setup on HP DL-385 and had to migrate to RHEL just to get support for Hardware issues from HP. They blindly refuse to support telling that "we don't support anything other than RHEL". The fact is that vendors are looking for an excuse to say no to support and RHEL/CentOS is enough for them
        • Re:CentOS too (Score:4, Informative)

          by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:50AM (#18165430)
          worth mentioning that HP does support RedHat, SuSE and Debian.
        • Re:CentOS too (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:55AM (#18165468)
          No offense, but as a hardware vendor I'd do this too. Because otherwise, where do you stop? "Yeah, we're running on this custom-compiled Gentoo with a few third party extensions. We're seeing some errors in our custom logs that look like our proprietary apps can't connect to your hardware. Send an engineer."

          As a vendor, I will tell you "OK, we've checked out and certified that we work with these distros. Anything else, it will probably work but you're on your own if it doesn't." Seems reasonable to me.

          Now, if you're concerned that vendors will use this to shut out "free" distros from being supported, maybe that's a case worth making. But some of this is market demand--if HP kept getting the question about "hey, will you support this on CentOS?" from hardware customers, and were losing customers by saying no, you can be they'd look into CentOS support. They are not vested in propping up RedHat's licensing business.

          IMO, the main issue that big companies have and will continue to have with Linux is distro fragmentation. It's just not feasible anymore to test your applicaiton/server/hardware with every conceivable distro that's out there. So you pick some, and those are the ones your customers tell you they're running.

          Put another way, *I* could come out with a RHEL clone distro tomorrow. Are you telling me it would be reasonable for me to expect HP to support it?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LinuxDon (925232)
            The "problem" with free distro mainly is that they're a moving target.
            If you look at Novell SLES 9 and RHEL 4 you will see that they're still running on (a heavily patched up) 2.6.7 and 2.6.9 version of the kernel.
            Free distro's usually update their packages very frequently which is a good thing, except in an enterprise environment. Also, 2 years later there will be absolutely no support for anymore for those verions. SLES and RHEL versions on the other hand are supported for at least 5 years.

            The point is th
            • The point is that they only patch (security) bugs and nothing else, so the entire system is essentially frozen for years, hardly any new features are added.

              We just switched from RHEL 4 update 3 to RHEL 4 update 4 on our build machines and found that C++ symbol mangling seems to have changed, leading to incompatible builds. So now we're having to scramble to update all our machines to update 4 and rebuild everything include code that hasn't changed. Update 4 also broke Java 1.5 runtimes. Yay for stable pac

            • by jabuzz (182671)
              Or you could have modified /etc/redhat-release so that it is the same as genuine RHEL machine. The CentOS people cannot do that due to trademark issues, but it is an easy change to make.
          • Well, the software configuration you are using is not supported, our software engineer can be onsite in 3 hours to help you sort the problems out. Oh and btw, that'll be $300 per hour with no guarantee of a fix.

             
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hackstraw (262471)
          They blindly refuse to support telling that "we don't support anything other than RHEL".

          In my experience, "support" is pretty much a misnomer.

          What happens basically 100% of the time is that they blame anything and everything besides their product. The only way around this is if you buy all of your stuff from one company and have one support contract for all of that stuff.

          Example, I had a certified and partnered RAID array, HBA card, OS, and system hardware that were all OK with each other. When I had a p
      • Re:CentOS too (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Undertaker43017 (586306) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:56AM (#18165480)
        "Good luck calling EMC or Hitachi and saying your CentOS has problems accessing your 20TB disk array with a given HBA and switch."

        I do this all the time, I run CentOS in development and most of the test environment. When I see a problem on CentOS, I verify that the problem exists on one of my RHEL test boxes, and call them up. When they fix the problem on RHEL, it is either automatically fixed on CentOS, or I replicate whatever they did on RHEL on CentOS and the problem is fixed. You just have to learn how to play their game, if they say they only support "expensive X", then have as few of "expensive X" around to satisfy that requirement.

        "it isn't 100% the same"

        It's enough the same that I have never run into anything that broke on one that didn't break exactly the same way on the other. CentOS is so good that I have started to move some of my production systems to it, but I will always keep a fair number of RHEL boxes around, since third parties need someone to point a finger at when they determine that it isn't their stuff.
        • by rubycodez (864176)
          I agree CentOS is *good*, I've installed it at a manufacturing plant that prefers to use in-house and T&M based support. But in very large enterprise environments the folk from Hitachi, Veritas, EMC, etc. are actually going to be on site and on the machines and SAN gear at times, your trick won't work in that case, and those who manage IT aren't going to go for that anyway, too risky to contracts & warranties
          • I have EMC folks on site all the time, and they are fully aware that I have both RHEL and CentOS boxes hooked to theirs boxes. My managers also fully aware of what I do, and support it.

            I use VCS, volume manager and NetBackup, but would never let a Veritas person even close to the datacenter, I can't afford the downtime they would cause.
            • by morcego (260031)

              I have EMC folks on site all the time, and they are fully aware that I have both RHEL and CentOS boxes hooked to theirs boxes. My managers also fully aware of what I do, and support it.

              I second that, having similar experiences with other vendors (not EMC). They usually just take the stance: "Ok, you say it is the same, so we will do the same thing we do. If it doesn't work, it is your problem, and we will never touch it again". And since "it works" is the case here (RHEL/CentOS), think will just go as plann

      • Funny that you mention, but the company I work for uses both Hitachi and EMC mainframes and CentOS. We have never been denied support from either of them. The techies who really do the job know our setup is reasonable and won't bother us.
        • by rubycodez (864176)
          is the gear and support contracts in millions of dollars? for the support contracts our clients have we have to go through everything with a fine-toothed comb, to kernel version, firmware versions, app version minor number etc. No unsupported OS version is allowed
          • "is the gear and support contracts in millions of dollars? "

            Yes. We spend $20M-$50M with EMC yearly, our Oracle support contract alone is $1M+. We have never had a problem with vendors not supporting us, or nullifying our contracts (they like their money too much), and they are aware of our environment.
      • by notque (636838)
        It is. I work for a big enterprise. We use CentOS because it works, and I don't have to go through any financial hoops and approval processes to spin up 200 machines on a dime.

        I run Oracle on them as well. No issues, this is just political maneuvering.
      • by morcego (260031)

        As an aside, CentOS lags RedHat in patches, and also has to rewrite parts of the redhat admin system, it isn't 100% the same.


        I don't know if you are trolling, or just misinformed.

        CentOS is not aimed at being a RedHat (as in RedHat Enterprise Linux) close. It is asimed at being 100% binary compatible, which is a whole different ball game.

        Maybe it is time for a "Get your facts straight" page on the CentOS site ?
        • by rubycodez (864176)
          you can read on centos site how updates lag, and also about differences in the admin system which I mentioned. how is that trolling? I think centos is great alternative to redhat for those who don't want redhat support. It also just happens the government agency clients I mainly do work for must use redhat as a Linux distro for a number of reasons.
      • by afidel (530433)
        Most of the time support isn't worth a damn anyways. For instance Oracle's "supported" configuration for JD Edwards Enterprise One 8.12 on Windows is to use Oracle on 32bit Windows. The problem with that is you can support less than 50 users before you start to experiencing database lockups due to out of memory conditions. Under Windows x32 Oracle's SGA has to fit into a max of 3GB for all components. The problem with that is that after going to x64 Windows in an "unsupported" configuration we found that in
  • No wories (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @07:54AM (#18165130)
    If you are not allergic to IBM, and need a powerful database, you would probably rather run db2 than Oracle anyway, especially if you are using other large IBM packages.

    IMNSHO, db2 pisses on Oracle from a great height.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by djbckr (673156)
      A terrible post that got modded "Informative" with NO BASIS FOR THE CLAIM!!! Sheesh! Tell me exactly *why* DB2 is better.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DrJokepu (918326)
        Because it has approximately the same features and performance, a more human-friendly UI, no WTFs like VARCHAR3 and empty string IS NULL (if you don't believe it, just try it: oracle actually treats empty char fields as NULL), and it is slightly cheaper?
        • Because it has approximately the same features and performance, a more human-friendly UI, no WTFs like VARCHAR3 and empty string IS NULL (if you don't believe it, just try it: oracle actually treats empty char fields as NULL), and it is slightly cheaper?
          Does it have the words "Don't Panic" on the cover in big, friendly, letters?
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        Believe it or not, DB2 scales better. It never achieves the kind of speeds Oracle can (at least, it couldn't last I looked) but it didn't slow down very much at all as you stuffed more and more data in there. I have to admit that this is based on older research, so perhaps it was "DB2 scaled better" but this was my last experience.
        • by jedidiah (1196)
          No it doesn't.

          Oracle & DB2 scale about the same. They can run the same sort of ginormous datasets at a high transaction volume.

          The skill of your developers will be more of a factor in this sort of situation than what brand your RDBMS is.

          Better developers will even also give SqlServer some hope of keeping up with Oracle & DB2 for a while longer before imploding.
        • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
          You, sir, have run benchmarks with Oracle and published about the results. You will be arrested by the Oracle Thought Police.
  • Looks to me like IBM is just looking after their own bottom line and protecting their own business by doing this. This is definitely not in the open and giving spirit of OSS and Linux.

    IBM should rethink this decision if they want to hold onto the goodwill of the community.
    • by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:02AM (#18165168) Homepage Journal

      I don't recall any of Rick Stallman's lectures being about charity.

      Oracle is trying to shift the blame from their software stack to IBM's before they've even deployed a box. In other words, if you have a problem and are running IBM software, Oracle wants IBM to foot the bill of researching the bug or issue.

      Who is Oracle to dictate that problems are automatically some other vendor's fault instead of their own?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rubycodez (864176)
      bwahaha, the issue here is one closed proprietary package not being certified with other closed source proprietary packages on Linux. The open and giving spirit of OSS isn't even relevant.
  • by quiberon2 (986274) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @07:58AM (#18165146)
    It's probably more a case of 'IBM has contracts in place with RedHat and Novell, and testing efforts in place, so that if a client buys (for example) IBM Websphere with an expectation of running on Linux, then IBM will warrant timely resolution of any defects that may threaten to get in the way of the IBM customer's use of the IBM product'.

    I'm fairly sure that if someone offers enough money, they could have that assurance on Oracle, Ubuntu, or anyone else's Linux too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oyenstikker (536040)
      Probably not. IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse. I recently spoke to tech support about IBM Workspace Managed Client failing to install on Debian, and was told over and over that the only reason it gave me a particular error was because I needed to install a particular outdated version of Mozilla in a particular directory, and make a particular file with a line pointing to it. Over and over I tried this, and it did not wo
      • by hearnz (951951)
        "IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse"

        Simply not true. IBM's support for Linux, in my experience, is very good - at least for the distros their customers are actually running in any significant numbers.

        I've run significant portions of the WebSphere, Tivoli, Rational and DB2 product families on RHEL 3, RHEL 4, SLES 9, and SLES 10 (that's the current and previous versions of both). Unsurprisingly, since they are certified for
        • I got DB2 to work just fine. No thanks to the installer - I had to figure out which RPMs I needed and use alien to install them. Lotus Notes/Workspaced Managed Client is a different story. I guess if it worked well and made sense, it just wouldn't be Lotus Notes.
          • by hearnz (951951)
            Agree with you there - Lotus Notes is a huge WTF in its own right.

            Many of their other product families are very different though. For starters, most of them actually work - at least most of the time :)

            Other than Notes, I haven't had an IBM product put me into a murderous rage since WebSphere 3.5... but even IBM people admit that version was horrible!
      • I found this to be true myself when toying with a copy of DB2. Their installer and most of its programs rely on statically coded filepaths, so it breaks quickly on new versions of RHEL and SUSE. For being so dedicated to Linux, they've managed to make using their software on it a real PITA.
        • This is simply not true with DB2 V8 or DB2 V9.
          It might have possibly been the case with some older versions of DB2 but not recent ones.
          With every release of DB2 it gets even easier to install on Linux. IF you don;t want to use the GUI installer then you can just
          install the RPM's. You can run "rpm -Uvh *.rpm" can you?
          I run DB2 on RHEL 4, CEntos 4.4, Fedora 5,6, SUSE 10.1 & SLES 9.
          I also run lots of websphere products and generally the current versions install and work fine on a variety of Linux Distros.

          I
      • by diamondsw (685967)
        Oh please. I've deployed Websphere Application Server on dozens of systems, RHEL 3 and RHEL 4. There may be an occasional dependency on an older library, but seriously - what linux sofware doesn't run into that particular problem? It's why we have to use "package managers" and such in the first place.
      • by swillden (191260) *

        Probably not. IBM's products don't really work on Linux, they work on one particular outdated version of RHEL and one version of Suse.

        In addition to the points made by the others who responded to you, I want to mention that you seem to have missed the part where the GP said

        I'm fairly sure that if someone offers enough money, they could have that assurance on Oracle, Ubuntu, or anyone else's Linux too.

        You're talking about the basic support options. If you want Websphere to run on your home brew Linux, you just have to call up your IBM sales rep and tell them what you want done and that you're willing to pay whatever it costs, even if it means heavy customization of the product. Between the IBM development labs and IBM Global Services they'll find a way to make

      • I guess what I want to say is that companies should aim to support every distribution and focus their QA attention on certifying a few rather than aiming to support only a few, as IBM seems to do, at least with Lotus Notes.
      • I've never used Workspace Managed Client, but I was involved in a WebSphere deployment before I left my last job. Some of the installers started out as Java Swing applications, but then they'd fire up on old-school Motif installer. I assumed this was due to IBM inheriting the software from Lotus and then not updating the installer (other than with IBM branding). In addition, the user interface typically wasn't coded properly (ie. multi-threaded) so certain installs wouldn't redraw the screen and appeare

  • A bit of an aside but I was told that Sun won't support Oracle Apps servers with their Identity management s/w Access Manager.

    Is this a case of ganging up on Oracle by it's allegedly strategic partners.
  • TFA is a troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:16AM (#18165240)
    This is hardly unusual. Companies spend a lot of money to certify software distros, and put their own maintenance dollars on the line when they certify them.

    A third party saying "use our stuff--it's just the same as theirs" isn't necessarily credible. Maybe they're a clone, or maybe they're a clone today and might not be tomorrow. Or maybe they'd only clone part of the distro, leaving out critical parts. Or maybe they'll add custom stuff to the distro. IBM isn't under any obligation to believe Oracle's marketing materials and automatically certify based on taking Oracle's word that "it's the same and always will be."

    There are DOZENS of RHEL clones out there (CentOS is the most popular, but hardly the only one). I don't think IBM considers any of them "certified."

    Actual quote from TFA: "We are going to wait and see if there is traction in the marketplace," McMahon said. "If clients want it (Oracle), then we will support it."

    This is a non-issue, and someone's using the "IBM vs. Oracle!" angle to generate traffic and controversy by stirring people up. Looks like they succeeded.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      Oracle isn't a clone of RHEL. If it were, it'd have Red Hat logos all over the place and no mention of "Oracle" anywhere. So if they changed that, it already isn't a 100% verbatim copy.

      Who knows; perhaps the Oracle logo's filesize causes the filesystem to work differently enough to crash DB2 or something else that sounds ridiculous but cannot be disproven without testing.
  • by segedunum (883035) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @08:54AM (#18165462)
    I just hate the whole concept of Linux distribution certification, because it tells me that there's something wrong with running software on it. I doubt whether a huge amount of older software is certified to run on Windows 2003 either, but you can bet your life that many organisations are running that software on Windows 2003. Organisations generally just try it out on a newer version of an OS, and if it works OK in a trial period (even if they have to tweak things to get it to work) they go with it, and they don't fly into a massive panic. I've done this many times, including an older piece of, now totally unsupported, software written for NT 4 in C to communicate with a mainframe that needed to run on 2003.

    If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

    In terms of backwards compatibility, and getting the software you want to work, Windows is still way ahead of Linux, and this whole concept of distributors and software vendors protecting themselves (and engineering some lock-in, incidentally) by certifying, or certifying for, certain distributions just isn't helping Linux or open source software get more widely used.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

      True. But if Orcale says "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it DOESN'T run, then they will care a great deal. Particularly if their hardware vendors say "Look, we support certain distros. We don't consider it our job to debug issues with the new distro you want to try out. Feel free to try, but you're on your own."

      Windows is no
      • Why can't companies release software with a script that checks to see if you have all the required dependencies and tells you exactly what you are missing? Maybe you could call it 'configure'. And then they could have a command that would install the program. The command could take parameters to do slightly different things. Maybe you could have a configuration file for this program. The program could be called 'make', and the configuration files, 'Makefile'.

        But no, they have to have spiffy graphical instal
        • by hearnz (951951)

          There's a reason that large companies care about certification on various platforms - if they are going to make an investment of hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars in a platform or product suite, they want to be damn sure that it will all work properly together, and continue to do so for its anticipated lifetime. "It should work" just doesn't cut it.

          The configure/make approach produces so many possible combinations of slightly different builds/configurations of a product that certification an

          • That, and the fact that configure/make don't help much without releasing source code. . .

            You could have 'make install' to install without 'make' to compile. Ship it with compiled binaries.
        • Because not every distro uses a pkg manager capable of such. Nor does every distro name their versions the same. Version 1.5_p1_11 on debian sarge could be identical to 1.5 on RHEL.

          Also, not every distro puts the same files in the same place. Some might put something in /opt, others in /usr/bin, still others in /usr/sbin. Some might put config files in /usr/etc, and so on.

           
          • Also, not every distro puts the same files in the same place. Some might put something in /opt, others in /usr/bin, still others in /usr/sbin. Some might put config files in /usr/etc, and so on. ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
            • The comment was in response to this question:

              Why can't companies release software with a script that checks to see if you have all the required dependencies and tells you exactly what you are missing?

              Which is to say, it'd be nigh impossible for a script to "just know" if it's dependencies are met on varying distros.

              My apologies for not stating that ahead of time.
              • The configure scripts on many applications I have installed from source seem to figure it out just fine. How do they do it?

                Please forgive any naivety on my part. I don't know C, I've never written a configure script or a Makefile, I've only installed things.
        • by LarsG (31008)
          Why can't companies release software with a script that checks to see if you have all the required dependencies and tells you exactly what you are missing?

          Would you like the job as the QA engineer that has to test all possible permutations?

          It is likely that the software will work fine on RHEL-clone or SLES-derivative, but look at this from IBM's perspective. If IBM says 'yes, that's supported', they will have to do regression testing on each supported platform and their support staff needs to replicate the
      • "I doubt we'll see Knoppix in the datacenter any time soon, "
        I realize it's not what you meant, but we have knoppix in our datacenter. It's in the form of live CDs that specifically don't touch the HDD for any reason to evaluate non-booting servers (*nix and windows).
        In that role, it works like a charm.
        -nB
    • by ady1 (873490)
      There is only one vendor which manufactures windows.
    • At any one time. With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista. Before it was XP. Before that Win2k/98. Now with Linux at any one time there are literally hundreds of distros available. This is why Linux certification is necessary. If you want Linux certification to go away then somehow convince the community to stop spreading itself thin and concentrate on a few major distros.
      • "With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista. Before it was XP."

        We live in different worlds. Right now I see laptops running WinXP and Win2k. Vista might as well not exist. We are members of the Microsoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance, so we can download free-as-in-beer copies of WinXP and Vista. I've only ever seen one copy of Vista running on campus.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by NDPTAL85 (260093)
          "We live in different worlds. Right now I see laptops running WinXP and Win2k. Vista might as well not exist. We are members of the Microsoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance, so we can download free-as-in-beer copies of WinXP and Vista. I've only ever seen one copy of Vista running on campus."

          Of course we live in different worlds. You live in the academic world and I live in the real one. :)
      • by Ash Vince (602485)
        At any one time. With Windows there's only one current version of Windows. Right now its Vista.

        No, there are currently the following versions of windows:

        1)Windows XP
        2)Windows 2003 Server
        3)Vista - but who cares, nobody in corporate land is using it yet so very few companies will be promising to support it yet.

        Then there are all the 64 Bit versions of the above as well. These actually count as different operating systems as the same software designed for 32bit may not run on the 64 bit version (eg - MS Exchan
        • by Macthorpe (960048)
          You have a fair point. However, without going into too much detail:-

          Current Windows builds: Including Windows 1.0 and later, but excluding 64-bit versions, 16 [wikipedia.org].

          Current Linux distributions: At least 160 [wikipedia.org].

          This doesn't really help GP, who was just plain wrong, but there is an order of magnitude between the number of versions of Windows and the number of versions of Linux.
    • http://www-306.ibm.com/software/data/db2/windows/ [ibm.com]

      Tada! DB2, IBM's database product, certified for Windows.

      If you can read you will also note that they list the versions of 2003 that are certified.

      So your entire argument is null and void. Specific windows distro/version's get certified or not to work with software by the companies supporting said software. You will not that windows XP for instance is NOT certified to work with DB2.

      Doesn't mean you cannot run DB2 on Windows XP (or other versions) just tha

      • by segedunum (883035)

        So your entire argument is null and void. Specific windows distro/version's get certified or not to work with software by the companies supporting said software. You will not that windows XP for instance is NOT certified to work with DB2.

        -------> Point




        -------> You

        Hmmmmm. No it isn't. You've missed the point. I bet that DB2 would actually work on Windows XP absolutely fine, but the fact that IBM doesn't certify it is really not of any importance to anyone. The vast majority of software wr

        • by swillden (191260) *

          I bet that DB2 would actually work on Windows XP absolutely fine, but the fact that IBM doesn't certify it is really not of any importance to anyone.

          It's not? It's of great importance to the company that decides to run DB/2 on XP and then runs into difficulties, because whether the difficulties are related to XP or not, IBM is not going to provide support. Even if what they ran into was ultimately a bug in DB/2, IBM's not going to do a thing about it until the company has replicated it on a certified, supported platform, and IBM is in no way unique in this regard.

          The vast majority of software written for Windows is not certified in any way - it just runs on Windows, with some caveats between versions generally.

          Vast majority of *what* software? The vast majority of enterprise software, that com

          • by segedunum (883035)

            It's not? It's of great importance to the company that decides to run DB/2 on XP and then runs into difficulties

            That's why you would test it before hand and see whether you actually run into any difficulties. If you're one of these people who relies on certification to give you warm fuzzy feelings of not running into any trouble, then you're not doing your job properly. It also renders the rest of your comment pointless, because you don't know what I'm talking about.

            "Oh, you're using Service Pack 3? Sor

            • by swillden (191260) *

              That's why you would test it before hand and see whether you actually run into any difficulties. If you're one of these people who relies on certification to give you warm fuzzy feelings of not running into any trouble, then you're not doing your job properly.

              Whooooooossssssshhhhhh!

              You completely missed the point.

              The issue isn't whether or not it will work during testing, or even during the first few months of production. The issue is what happens when you run into something that doesn't work and find that the expensive support contract you paid for is useless because the app vendor support staff says "our product isn't supported on that platform. You have to use a certified OS."

              Certification tells you that the vendor will support the platform, and tha

    • 'If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care'

      I think they are correct and should never certify Larry Ellisons stolen Linux code. Personally speaking I don't want to do business with a self confessed software thief.

      "We can just take [itp.net] Red Hat's intellectual property and make it ours, they just don't have it."

      was: I Hate Linux Distro Certification
      (Score:4, who modded this up Insightful !!)
      • by segedunum (883035)

        I think they are correct and should never certify Larry Ellisons stolen Linux code. Personally speaking I don't want to do business with a self confessed software thief.
        And what's that got to do with the comment?
    • The backward compatibility is one thing I do like about Windows. I still use a version of CAD software written for Windows 3.1 under the Win32S API, it works fine under XP. The program is about 13 years old now, and I haven't come across any major bugs that I remember, and the platform is perfectly stable. The only limitation is that that drawing names are only allowed the old 8.3 character naming convention.

      I think the difference is that if a bug fix for the OS breaks the software, you are more likely t
    • by sirwired (27582) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @10:20AM (#18166302)
      I just hate the whole concept of Linux distribution certification, because it tells me that there's something wrong with running software on it.

      For most IT dept.-written apps that rely on super-common well-known library functions, no, the distribution doesn't make much of a difference. But once you start doing lower-level stuff (like the sort of stuff every software application IBM sells does), things start to not work right.

      This is a big problem with Linux, and no amount of wishful thinking will make the problem go away. Apps not working on all distributions is exactly the sort of problem that the Linux Standards Base (went nowhere) and United Linux (supported by Caldera/SCO) were supposed to prevent.

      Organisations generally just try it out on a newer version of an OS, and if it works OK in a trial period (even if they have to tweak things to get it to work) they go with it, and they don't fly into a massive panic.

      Maybe some IT shop that doesn't care about their software actually working can do that, but actual software companies that make their living selling software MUST perform testing.

      Yes, there are many organizations that do that, but those are either small and/or low-quality IT shops and/or non-critical apps.

      I have several healthcare industry customers that are running OS software that is coming up on three years of ageing out of OS vendor support because their app vendor STILL hasn't certified a more recent O/S version. For them, and most customers, the app vendor support is far more important than OS vendor support, because they know that most day-to-day bugs are in their apps, not their OS. Personally, I know that I crash Mozilla (and other apps) a heck of a lot more than I have ever crashed Windows.

      If Oracle can say "Yes, this will run" to their customers, and their customers try it out and it does actually run, then no one will care.

      Those customers will care very much when they try and call IBM to receive assistance under their support contract for their expensive and complex application and IBM says "Sorry Mr. Customer, you are running in an extremely unsupported and untested environment." Usually this will be accompanied by some limited best-effort support to make sure that it is not an obvious bug in the product.

      Now if enough customers ask for it (and are willing to pay), I am sure that IBM will be more than happy to certify their apps on Oracle Linux. Yes, Oracle is a competitor, but so is M$, and plenty of IBM software runs on Windows. But IBM is not going to go out and certify Oracle Linux just because Oracle is whining about it. I am equally sure that if IBM rolled out their own distro tomorrow, Oracle would not be falling over themselves to certify their apps for it either.

      This whole concept of distributors and software vendors protecting themselves (and engineering some lock-in, incidentally) by certifying, or certifying for, certain distributions just isn't helping Linux or open source software get more widely used.

      The fact of the matter is that there ARE differences between distributions, and those differences have been known to break a lot of applications. Because of this, there is no way for a software vendor to get around distribution certification. If you certified your mega-dollar application to run on any Linux distro, what do you do the first time some clown calls up with some home-grown hybrid of five different distros and wonders why it doesn't work?

      Software companies are in the business of making money, not "helping Linux or open source software get more widely used." If Linux distro writers want to make the burden of application certification easier, then the onus is on the Linux folks to get their act together and make Linux distros more homogenous. Don't blame the software vendors for this sorry state of affairs.

      SirWired
      • by segedunum (883035)

        This is a big problem with Linux, and no amount of wishful thinking will make the problem go away. Apps not working on all distributions is exactly the sort of problem that the Linux Standards Base (went nowhere) and United Linux (supported by Caldera/SCO) were supposed to prevent.

        Yer, and that's where effort needs to go - no on relying on certification.

        Maybe some IT shop that doesn't care about their software actually working can do that, but actual software companies that make their living selling sof

        • This is a big problem with Linux, and no amount of wishful thinking will make the problem go away. Apps not working on all distributions is exactly the sort of problem that the Linux Standards Base (went nowhere) and United Linux (supported by Caldera/SCO) were supposed to prevent.

          Yer, and that's where effort needs to go - no on relying on certification

          I am very sure that SW vendors would love to not have to test/certify apps on individual distros. It's expensive, time-consuming, error-prone, and a real Pain In The Butt. but what exactly are they supposed to do until all Linux distros conform to some comprehensive standard? (This will never happen, because somebody will always find a "better" way to do things.)

          Maybe some IT shop that doesn't care about their software actually working can do that, but actual software companies that make their living selling software MUST perform testing.

          Errrrr, whereabouts did I say that testing wasn't peformed? The point is, relying on certification here gets you nowhere, as you've actually admitted, otherwise testing wouldn't be necessary ;-).

          You said "Organisations generally just try it out on a newer version of an OS, and if it works OK in a trial period (even if they have to twe

    • by notque (636838)
      The problem with that is that some software will not run, and you will only find out about it midway through a long project on a single dependency that you try to fake in some repeatable, but absolutely awful way. If you would have just listened to them then you wouldn't have this problem.

      So you have to get really good at being able to tell when there is an issue, and what things to test that may be critical.

      Unless it's Centos/Redhat. That will just work (although some applications will complain that you ar
  • ... IBM telling Oracle to go to hell. They are my hero.
  • Running a closed-source app on an otherwise open source platform has problems to start. IBM's service organization status means that the liability for apps running successfully is largely on them. DB2 isn't really competitive with Oracle, but IBM also needs any number of Oracle's famous acquisitions to run on their infrastructure. The lightweight, one-toe-in-the-water support that Oracle has for Linux (despite the PR otherwise) doesn't make for a successful relationship. It's up to Oracle to figure this one
    • by dfdashh (1060546)
      DB2 isn't competitive to Oracle? Gartner DataQuest's 2005 numbers show otherwise: http://www.gartner.com/press_releases/asset_152619 _11.html/ [gartner.com]. IBM is @ 22% to Oracle's 48%. Who knows what those numbers look like now, but IBM certainly hasn't been trounced.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by postbigbang (761081)
        With all due respect, those that believe Gartner are doomed. Let's take a look, however, at the revenue models. The basic DB doesn't make that much revenue, although it's nice. What makes revenue are all of the integration services and respective apps and app-building chores. That's why Oracle and IBM both went on an acquisition bender-- to bolster those revenues.

        When you zoom in on the DB and core-related components, Oracle likely trounces DB2 by a 2- or 3-1 margin depending on whose numbers you believe. I
  • Would you use it if you were not going to run an Oracle DBMS on it? All Oracle products that are not the core DBMS exist for one reason: sell the DBMS.

    If you buy anything from Oracle that is not the DBMS (such as OAS) then you are buying a me too, second best product.
  • Of course they have a vested interest not to support it. IBM makes DB2.

    Also IBM wants you to buy an IBM server with your DB2 database. Oracle linux can run on Sun's which also is IBM's competitor.

    This is purely political and not unexpected.
  • the Unix Wars [wikipedia.org] all over again.

    Look, guys. Interoperate, or die. Simple as that.
  • ... wouldn't it be a good idea to keep other stuff off your Oracle box, anyway?
  • This whole concept of distributors and software vendors protecting themselves (and engineering some lock-in, incidentally)
    by certifying, or certifying for, certain distributions just isn't helping Linux or open source software get more
    widely used.

    ozgur uksal http://www.oracle.com/technology/ [oracle.com]

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