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Oracle Linux

The Real Truth About Oracle's 'New' Kernel 177

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-we-said-it-was-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday at OpenWorld, Oracle announced a 'new' Enterprise kernel for its so-called Unbreakable Linux. What's the real truth? The company is simply sticking a 2.6.32-based kernel on top of its re-branded Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone and trying to spin it as a new and innovative development."
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The Real Truth About Oracle's 'New' Kernel

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  • Ohhh the truth!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:07AM (#33650374)
    If the idea was to cause panic or start a conspiracy theory, it failed miserably. Nothing to see. Oracle is simply making a new kernel available which is newer and has more enhancements. Instead of waiting for RH, they are taking control of that piece of the distribution (if customers want it). Oracle should do the same with the rest of the OS and try to innovate there, instead of simply distributing pristine RHEL with their logos. But then, they already have Solaris which is much more suited for the markets they are aiming at (high-end enterprise servers), so why waste the time ?
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:10AM (#33650460) Homepage

    They made direct comparisons to RedHat kernels claiming performance, security and stability enhancements? If it is the same, then those claims cannot possibly be true. This is confusing... and troubling.

  • Re:Ohhh the truth!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:16AM (#33650584)
    The high-end server market doesn't need as many drivers as desktops. Oracle has all the agreements with Intel, LSI and whoever helps them build servers to have drivers developed. For the high-end, they aren't going to expect the community to do that for them. Oracle is wasting time on Linux because Sun failed to bring Solaris to the masses. Now Linux is the mainstream datacenter OS and Oracle can't ignore that. But I'm sure we'll see they pushing Solaris a lot more now.
  • Good for databases (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:18AM (#33650614) Homepage Journal

    Just one example of why this is good - iotop.

    I've been watching the RHEL bug for adding iotop since at least RHEL 5.3. It keeps getting bumped, now RHEL 5.7 IIRC.

    It would require a bunch of backporting work from the kernel beyond 2.6.18. But once sysadmins get used to knowing which disks are busy they really get used to that. And doubly so for optimizing database servers.

    Redhat's strategy gains them certainty and loses them opportunity. That's certainly a niche that's done well for them, but there are also users with other needs. Oracle's strategy will be very popular with some of them. When Redhat brings RHEL6 to market there will be lots of required subsystem changes to get the new kernel. Some people will just want the new kernel and not want to change all their underlying dependencies, and Oracle is meeting that need. Eventually Fedora will adopt a rolling-release model and RHEL will track that (probably with more QA) but it's a hard problem and not well-solved yet.

    It's great that we have such a vibrant market that there's room for so many approaches.

  • Re:Ohhh the truth!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:23AM (#33650708) Homepage Journal

    Oracle has all the agreements with Intel, LSI and whoever helps them build servers to have drivers developed

    I have a server with a year-old Intel gigabit chipset where only one LAN port works under Solaris, both work under Linux. Last month the Solaris bug was sitting at "3 - Yes, that's a problem". I think the bug was reported about 10 months ago.

  • Re:Consistent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:33AM (#33650884)

    Maybe Oracle should acquire Embarcadero, so we could have Oracle Delphi! *drum fill*

    Funny since Borland named came up with the name Delphi as a reference to its ability to connect to the Oracle database.

  • Re:Ohhh the truth!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:36AM (#33650940)
    You know the official Oracle answer for that: get a support contract on a supported hardware and they'll fix it for you.

    Sadly as it is, that's how they are running the business now. They want mid-range and high-end servers and support contracts for everything.

    They dumped OpenSolaris and have repeatedly said they have no interest in the entry-level server market. I also have many bugs opened (for whitebox hardware) that have had to attention from Oracle after the acquisition.

    Personally I think they are missing a lot of opportunities to spread Solaris, but they seem happy with those 50k paying Solaris customers. Let's see how long that lasts. As a sysadmin working on Solaris daily, I hope it does... but I'm also being realistic as to where Oracle wants to focus when it comes to servers and Solaris.
  • Troll Harder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by canajin56 (660655) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @11:51AM (#33651256)

    So, let me get this straight. Oracle is "bad" because they announced that their distribution had a "modern" kernel, but it's "only" 2.6.32 with custom patches, not 2.6.35 which is totally almost 2 months old now so there's no excuse for it not to be in there!!!! And, Oracle is a jerk who just takes and takes without contributing back, because they are "only barely" in the top 20 contributors to the kernel (and the kernel is only one small part of Linux so basically they don't contribute at all). What a troll! At least the article is up-front about being written by a Novell employee. (Wait no it's not, it sort of slips that into the middle).

    And Mr. Sour Grapes Novell employee is just pleased as punch over pointing out the "dirty secret" Oracle tried to hide, by publicly announcing that Oracle Linux would be running the 2.6.32 kernel, with custom patches to improve performance on certain hardware, and for Oracle software. How sneaky of them, you could never tell by reading that, that it's actually the 2.6.32 kernel (WHICH IS SO OLD HOW DARE THEY CALL IT MODERN).

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @12:28PM (#33651856) Journal

    >>>Nintendo didn't want to give Sony complete control over something that Nintendo had essentially created.

    False. Sony and Nintendo had created a partnership for the CD addon and of course would share both expenses and profits. The arrangement was similar to the Sony/Phillips arrangement (they both bore the cost of developing the Audio CD). Then Nintendo decided they didn't want a CD addon after all because it would be too easy to pirate the games, so they jumped ship, leaving Sony with all the incurred debt.

    So YES Nintendo screwed Sony, just the same as if we agreed to buy a car together but then I suddenly backed-out, leaving you with the $20,000 bill.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @01:02PM (#33652298) Homepage

    There are things Oracle could use if they really wanted "unbreakable". There are some very tough microkernels available. LynxOS is certified to DO-178B leval A for safety-critical software, yet it can run Linux ABI binaries.

    LynxOS drives quite a number of systems with serious firepower. The Navy Shipboard Self-Defense System, the "Multiple Missile Kill Vehicle", stuff like that. On the civilian side, LinxOS powers the Airbus navigation system.

    There's a performance penalty over Linux, and LynxOS is not free. But if it really has to work, there are options.

  • by anss123 (985305) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @01:33PM (#33652782)

    So YES Nintendo screwed Sony, just the same as if we agreed to buy a car together but then I suddenly backed-out, leaving you with the $20,000 bill.

    Nintendo didn't just screw Sony. They made the Philips announcement without telling Sony that the deal was off first. According to interviews Sony was demonstrating the SNES-CD when this happened and were utterly humiliated. Up to then the company at large was reluctant to enter the gaming marked, they only entered because but some engineers at Sony had managed to get some contracts with Nintendo (for instance they designed the SNES sound chip), but when Nintendo made a fool out of them the big boss took it personally.

    Sony wasn't the first big-corp that tried to take a chunk of the gaming marked. NEC, for instance, was bigger and went in sooner. But Sony didn't just release great hardware, they went the extra mile by getting the needed games and marketing campaign to make it all matter. It's possible that Sony's rage is the reason for that.

  • by Doc Hopper (59070) <> on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @04:00PM (#33654840) Homepage Journal

    Now, one can say that their customers are stupid, and Oracle is milking them by offering a product of little or no additional value. Or one can say that Oracle is trying to milk the Linux cash cow by attaching their name to what's effectively a rebranded existing Linux distro. One can also say that their execution is incomplete or poor. But by no means would such a product be useless.

    Or one could say that Oracle Enterprise Linux fulfills its role: an Oracle-controlled software platform that allows the Oracle kernel folks to have their say about the way a stock configuration should look to better run Oracle databases and middleware. Which, to me, is really the point of the distribution entirely. Oracle undercuts the Redhat price for support, gets more of the profits, and guarantees the OS will do what it needs to do.

    I support some 2,000+ physical Linux machines, and of those, the vast majority are running OEL or Oracle Virtual Server (a Xen-based product). By and large, the stock configurations work perfectly for us -- with some tweaking for RAC, and tuning for the memory/CPU configuration of the box, of course -- while I cannot say the same for our Redhat instances.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren