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Operating Systems Software Linux

Oracle To Finish Linux Makeover This Year 299

An anonymous reader writes "According to a CNET News article: 'Oracle will finish switching its 9,000-person in-house programming staff to Linux by the end of 2004, the database powerhouse said Wednesday. In October, the company finished the Linux transition for the 5,000 programmers of its Oracle Applications software. Now the transformation has begun for those who work on the database product, said Wim Coekaerts, director of Linux engineering, in an interview at the CeBit trade show in New York.'"
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Oracle To Finish Linux Makeover This Year

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  • by funkytwig ( 780501 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:37AM (#9265301)
    This prompts me to ask the above question whitch I have been asking in several other places.

    Was wondering what the potential was for using Linux on fairly standard PC hardware to run an Oracle server. Is anyone actually using one in a
    production set up and if so what number of users/size of database/applications are they using.

    What I was thinking was something like fairly standard main board (i.e. gigabyte/Abit) Inter/AMD 2000 (possibly dual) with 1-2GB memory (or even
    less) and Serial-ATA (or possibly IDE RAID) disk.

    I guess my question is can oracle be run on a sub 1000 system for real world applications in SME?

    your general experiences/feeling (based on real world rather than theory) would be interesting.
    • by Super_Z ( 756391 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:43AM (#9265317)
      Databases are usually pretty disk intensive, so I would probably go for SCSI disks. Anyway - when the hardware costs are dwarfed by the Oracle licence cost - why skimp on the hardware?
      • Whether the database is disk intensive depends heavily on the type of applications you run on top of the database. For many Web applications, most of the operations is reading and you can have most of the data you need cached in RAM. The throughput of the database system is also heavily dependant on the way you use (or abuse) the database and its transaction manager.

        As for the licencing fees, according to oraclestore.oracle.com, Oracle Standard Edition One costs USD 999 per processor per year. It is perfec
      • Anyway - when the hardware costs are dwarfed by the Oracle licence cost - why skimp on the hardware

        The cost of licensing Oracle for development purposes is 0$. You only pay licenses for a production instance.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:44AM (#9265318)
      Sure, depending on the load the server is
      going to get.

      At my office there's a Pentium 3 with 512 MB
      of RAM running just fine with Oracle 9i on Redhat 8 for a small intranet site (about 60 users).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:45AM (#9265322)
      If you are spending the kind of money necessary to have a licensed copy of Oracle the cost of the hardware involved is not significant. You could run Oracle on low-end hardware but why? If you are going for a budget solution then use Postgre or MySQL.

      Putting Oracle on a low-end box is like putting a $3000 stereo system in a Yugo.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        A few years ago I saw a completely pimped out Pinto. Perfect paint, perfect everything. And in the rear window a panoramic landscape painting that was stippled so the driver could see through it.

        As completely inexplicable as such things are, they do happen.
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:39AM (#9265465)
        Putting Oracle on a low-end box is like putting a $3000 stereo system in a Yugo.

        But about the only way you'll get someone to steal your Yugo for you. Might be worth it.

        This guy walks into a NAPA store and up to the parts counter where he asks, "Excuse me, can you give me a rear view mirror for my Yugo?"

        The gentleman behind the counter gets a thoughful look, scrathes his a head for a moment, and replies," Yeah, sure. Why not? It sounds like a fair trade to me."

        I'm not at all sure that the same would apply to a PC with Oracle on it though. A thousand dollar PC is actually good for something and you might miss it.

        I think what Oracle is good for is still an open question, but at least many find it useful. Kinda like a brick is useful when you need to swat a fly. It's a crude instrument, but it gets the job done.

        But I advise not using it on Windows.

        KFG
      • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:18AM (#9265582)
        You could run Oracle on low-end hardware but why?

        Because Oracle is fast. Very, very fast. Not only is it fast, but it has serious database features. Its like putting a $30,000 engine in a Yugo.

        Also, Oracle allows you use their database for development and prototyping for free. You don't need to pay for a license, or for high-end hardware to host the system, until you are ready to deploy.
        • Oracle is not fast. Not not fast. Speed isn't Oracle's game. Data integrity is. The point is that you sacrifice speed for things like real atomicity.
          • It's fast because basic features that you would have to code yourself in your apps are integral to the database engine.

            Compare DB2 or Oracle to a MySQL database... you'll find that with the exception of a "read only" database with prepared queries, the commercial DBMS's will blow MySQL away.
          • Oracle is not fast. Not not fast. Speed isn't Oracle's game. Data integrity is. The point is that you sacrifice speed for things like real atomicity.

            Oracle has phenomenal speed, and superb query and index optimisation. Its even faster if you give it raw access to disk. The point of paying a lot for a system like Oracle is you don't sacrifice speed for atomicity. You don't just get speed, you get scalable speed.
            • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @10:24AM (#9266961) Journal
              Raw devices are only negligably faster, and much more of a pain in the as to actually use. from Oracle documentation:

              Raw Devices
              Raw devices are disk partitions or logical volumes that have not been formatted
              with a file system. When you use raw devices for database file storage, Oracle
              writes data directly to the partition or volume, bypassing the operating system file
              system layer. For this reason, you can sometimes achieve performance gains by
              using raw devices. However, because raw devices can be difficult to create and
              administer, and because the performance gains over modern file systems are
              minimal, Oracle recommends that you choose ASM or file system storage in
              preference to raw devices.

          • I think that the place where Oracle really shines is in product integration. PostgreSQL might provide all the capabilities of the Oracle DATABASE, but the app framework around Oracle is really, really nice. If you have the $$$, that is.
        • Also, Oracle allows you use their database for development and prototyping for free

          That is not true. Well it made be true for you and your company, depending on what deal you guys cut, but not for everyone. I just spoke to oracle sales today about getting a license for our new dev environment and they said that we would have to pay for the same license that production runs. IE to run our dev environment on a dual CPU dell 4600 with the same DB features of the enterprise edition running in production

          • That is not true. Well it made be true for you and your company, depending on what deal you guys cut, but not for everyone.

            From the oracle website:

            "All software downloads are free, and each comes with a development license that allows you to use full versions of the products only while developing and prototyping your applications."

            Perhaps you are working on updating an already deployed system? Sounds like it.
          • Oracle may be fast in comparision to other enterprise databases (Db2, sqlserver etc....) but for some applications/organisations it is just far to over the top.

            Absolutely, but that was not the question. It was why use Oracle on low-end hardware, not why use Oracle at all.
        • Its like putting a $30,000 engine in a Yugo.

          Do you have to uprate the brakes, suspension, transmission, wheels, tyres and seatbelts too? How much does it cost to run? How much does it cost to service? How much are spare parts for the fancy engine?

          After uprating the Yugo that much, wouldn't it have been better to buy a sportscar in the first place? One that's been designed and engineered as a balanced, integrated and tuned system to begin with?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Oracle licenses (at least for the database) are not nearly as expensive as everyone thinks. Yes, for a large machine, they can be expensive, but Oracle Server Standard Edition is similar in price to SQL server or Sybase. Probably about $2000 for a single CPU linux box. Oracle is a complicated product, but it does have a lot of features. And I find the documentation to be very good.

        Most of the cost is the support contract anyway

        As for PC hardware - generally more than adequete for running most Oracle i
    • by toledo ( 227 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:42AM (#9265478) Homepage
      We have a sitewide license for Oracle, so the license cost wasn't an issue for the department, but hardware costs were.

      We set up an unused desktop PC with a copy of Red Hat Advanced Server (P3 730Mhz, 512 Mb RAM) and it is running several databases in Oracle which compare favourably with our aging Sun boxes. What's more, because IDE drives are so cheap we got several huge disks and got reliability and speed extremely cheaply.

      Well worth the try if the license cost is not a issue.
    • Unfortunately, Yes (Score:3, Informative)

      by magnum3065 ( 410727 )
      Now, I can't comment on the performance, etc. at this point, but I can tell you the installation was miserable.

      First of all, Oracle won't install without X, which this server wasn't going to have. There is an option for a completely non-interactive install which just reads the options from a file, but the installer still won't load without X installed on the system.

      So, Oracle indicated that we could install the database and then remove X afterwards and it would still work. So, we started to install it a
    • Oracle, like all other databases, is pretty disk intensive for non-trivial volumes of data so you'll probably want to go for SCSI rather than IDE if you can. IDE will work tho'. Running Oracle on Linux you need either Redhat AS or SuSE Enterprise Server, it requires libraries not shipped in the free download versions or the personal/desktop versions. There are work arounds but they're far from guaranteed and you need to get seriously down and dirty with the innards. Not a job for the faint of heart or t

      • I have Oracle 9i running on a 266MHz PC with 512Mb RAM on top of the download version of RedHat 7.3.

        It's my Oracle testing box and it works just fine. No extra libraries/workarounds required.

        Granted it doesn't run anything except Oracle and it's slow. But who cares about that for app testing (it kinda simulates heavy load/lots of data - in a round about way)

        Bob
    • My Question is this, what version of oracle are you going to use? IE entprise, standard etc..

      The chances are that if you are only looking at sub $1000 hardware the price of an oracle license is going to kill you.

      But to answer your question I have setup oracle on redhat linux on a machine that was close to your specs for a "proof of concept" It was able to handle 4k-5k transactions a day without break to much of a sweet but big DB operations (IE full exports imports, sqlldr) really killed the machi

  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:38AM (#9265306)

    Microsoft sometimes claims that it has more full-time programmers working on Microsoft software than there are working on Linux software. If we add up IBM, Novell and Oracle, all of which have moved thousands of programmers to Linux, do we have Microsoft beat yet?
  • Momentum (Score:5, Interesting)

    by johnhennessy ( 94737 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:39AM (#9265307)
    Is it my imagination, or is there actually a reasonable migration to linux underway ?

    I would imagine that Oracle had a long ramp up for this.

    Putting it in perspective - the next chance M$ will have to try and pull accounts back is in two years time.

    What am I getting at:
    If Acme Co decides to start a Linux changeover today - it could be implemented before the next OS release by MS.

    My Point: The traffic is really only going to go one way for at least two years (assuming that the companies that switch now benefit from the change).
    • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:45AM (#9265320)
      An interesting question is, how much revenue is MS going to lose as a result of much of heavyweights of the IT industry (Sun, Novell, IBM, Oracle) moving their many or all of their staff to Linux?

      Seriously - all those companies pay MS considerable sums each year in licencing fees. Now MS is effectively losing all of the key players in an important sector of US industry. That's got to hurt a bit, hasn't it?
      • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Insightful)

        by not_a_product_id ( 604278 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:52AM (#9265347) Journal
        I'd have thought it would be less to do any direct loss of revenue and more to do with smaller companies saying that if Linux is good enough for "Sun, Novell, IBM and Oracle" it should be good enough for us.
      • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AlecC ( 512609 ) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:11AM (#9265396)
        More significant, I think, is the impact on the jobs market. On one side, people looking to get jobs in these big, relatively secure (yes, I know, nowhere is secure) companies will ensure that they have Linux skills on their resume. And at the other end, people looking to move on from these companies will be trained up in Linus, ready to act as advocates in their new employers or startups, and pressuring hirers to use Linux because the skills are available.

        This is not a major event, but it is a good straw in the wind. At the moment everybody uses Microsoft because everybody uses Microsoft. When it is obvious that not everybody uses Microsoft, people will put more thought into what they should uses - giving Linux a level playing field.

        And yes, I have read that Oracle is dumping Solaris, not M$. But it is not the jumping off that matters, it is the jumping on. They are still giving more credibility, both as an employer and as a software manufacturer, to Linux).
        • Re:Momentum (Score:3, Interesting)

          by xlyz ( 695304 )

          I would add that will force "windows only" hardware/retailers/web pages/application to be linux compatibile as well
      • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Informative)

        by PerryMason ( 535019 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:34AM (#9265455)
        A couple of things;

        a) Oracle moved from SUN to Linux and not from MS, so there is no loss there.

        b) MS still gets licensing fees from OEMs so anytime a big company buys a few thousand Intel based workstations, MS still get a stack of cash regardless of what OS you run on them.

        I honestly think the whole Intel/MS licensing thing is the biggest thing holding back Linux from gaining acceptance in the small to mid size firm (at least in the desktop market). There just isn't any financial incentive to not run MS operating systems when you get it free with every system you buy and financial reasons are the only ones that are going to persuade businesses to change.

        Admittedly Linux will continue to gain market share in areas such as file and print serving where Samba is both cheaper than a Windows Server license and also performs better but MS got where it is today by having its desktop as the de-facto choice. Every chimp (manager) used it on the desktop so assumed that it was the way to go for servers.
        • It would be my guess that Oracle is probably getting their machines without the license fee being paid to MS by the OEM.

          If they are getting their PCs without OS or with Linux preloaded and money is still being paid to Microsoft, either Oracle or the OEM in question should take MS back into court for antitrust violations.
        • Re:Momentum (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 )
          There just isn't any financial incentive to not run MS operating systems when you get it free with every system you buy and financial reasons are the only ones that are going to persuade businesses to change.

          you work in a really small shop dont you.

          most corperations but windows TWICE. once on the PC they bought and once in the blanket license that guarentees that the BSA goons wont come knocking.

          I know of NO corperation that is silly enough to try and maintain thousands of descreet software licenses...
    • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Informative)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:49AM (#9265334)
      Oracle did not migrate from MS though. They previously used SUN workstations for development.
      • Re:Momentum (Score:3, Informative)

        by johnhennessy ( 94737 )
        Did you forget, this is slashdot. Post first, read the article later!
      • Oracle did not migrate from MS though. They previously used SUN workstations for development.

        So? The point is, Oracle is sticking with Unix. In the late 1990s, the trend was to migrate from Unix to NT. Oracle has had their software available for NT for several years now, but they kept the whole ship running on Sun Solaris. Now they're moving to Linux. So... true, this isn't a "MS to Linux success story", but it is just as important... Oracle is stemming the tide and showing the world that porting and movi
    • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:51AM (#9265340)
      It is my impression that Linux has momentum, but I think Sun is suffering more than Microsoft. To date, most of the major server migrations have been large companies switching from proprietary Unix systems to Linux.

      Small to medium size organisations are still installing a lot of Microsoft servers for in-house use. On the desktop, Linux has made virtually no impression in smaller organisations, and I think they feel more comfortable with desktops and servers based on common technology. It will be interesting to see if this changes over the next year or so.

      • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Interesting)

        by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:38AM (#9265635) Homepage
        Small to medium size organisations are still installing a lot of Microsoft servers for in-house use. On the desktop, Linux has made virtually no impression in smaller organisations, and I think they feel more comfortable with desktops and servers based on common technology.

        While it's true that Linux has not made many inroads on the small to medium organization desktops, it *HAS* made a huge change in the way small to medium size businesses handle server tasks. Yes, there are MANY small businesses that run dedicated Microsoft-based servers, but there may be just as many running Linux. In fact, I've seen more Linux than "Windows Server" in the small businesses I've worked with. The Internet and Internet-related protocols and standards are one reason this is even possible. Another driving force is cost savings.

        From my own experience and informal polls amongst friends, I would say that the popularity ordering for internal servers in small to medium size businesses is:
        1) Windows personal file sharing
        2) Dedicated Windows client running as a server
        tie
        2) Linux/Unix based dedicated server
        3) Dedicated "Windows Server" (such as Server 2003)

        For large businesses, Microsoft is king. There are a few corporate giants that run Lotus, but most are MS Office + Exchange based. It's not uncommon to see an entire rack dedicated to Exchange running on a cluster of Dells serving the email and calendar needs for a 3000 employee company. Overkill? Maybe. Overpriced? Probably.

        I wish Sun hadn't killed Cobalt... I knew a lot of very happy small businesses using RaQ and Qube servers for their internal servers. The big thing today seems to be Network Attached Storage, but such applicances generally lack email daemons.
      • Re:Momentum (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CommandNotFound ( 571326 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:41AM (#9265641)
        It is my impression that Linux has momentum, but I think Sun is suffering more than Microsoft. To date, most of the major server migrations have been large companies switching from proprietary Unix systems to Linux.

        However, it is effectively consolidating the Unix market into more or less a single front, which makes it a more formidable opponent to Windows in the long run.

        My anecdotal observation shows a slow-simmering movement to open source in general by the "proles" of the IT industry: bread-and-butter IT departments for hospitals, industrial firms, etc, who don't really care about software religion, but just want to save money over the long haul. I knew when a friend of mine told me that the CIO of his rural hospital system was looking to migrate to OpenOffice/StarOffice to save costs, a slow movement based on raw economics was underway, techie religions be damned.

        These types of migrations can stay under the radar for a long time before hitting a critical mass. Watching this unfold will keep things interesting, if nothing else.
    • There might be some interesting stuff in the next service pack actually.

      We'll see how ccumbersome it is but it sounds like it'll decrease security concerns.
    • Is it my imagination, or is there actually a reasonable migration to linux underway ?

      Honestly? Not really.

      If Slashdot reported every company that migrated from Windows 9x/NT to Windows 2000/XP then you'd find that the stories of Linux migrations will be submerged under the huge volume of Windows migrations.

      Thats not to say that migrations aren't happening (they are) but lets just not get ahead of ourselves. A small number of companies are migrating, the average working Joe is still no more likely to s

      • You're looking at the finger that points to the moon, and not the moon itself. These companies who are moving are the big industry ones...the most technologically respected companies. When the jump ship other companies follow. If Sun, Novell, IBM, Dell, and all the other ones we read about in the papers are all moving to Linux then smaller companies are going to start questioning why they haven't moved also. Where the shepherd goes, the sheep will follow.
    • Re:Momentum (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aralin ( 107264 )
      This is more significant than it seems at the first sight. Switiching from Sun to Linux as primary development platform means that there is actually more demand among customers for Linux systems than for Sun systems. This means that Oracle thinks that its customers are already far along in move to Linux and they have usually pretty good idea about their customers.
  • Anti-Linux zealots have been predicting the death of Linux since 1998, yet Linux is only getting stronger and stronger.
    But I guess this, along with all the other switches (like the City of Large), won't make them stop flaming Linux all day.
  • The tide turns (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whitecloud ( 649593 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:46AM (#9265327) Homepage
    Oracle switches to Linux because its "less expensive and faster", but im sure a bonus factor is the pro-Linux news this will generate, which will be a body blow to Microsoft.

    Oracle isn't alone in embracing the open-source movement. Oracle are not alone, from the article: Dell is switching internal servers [slashdot.org] to Linux, while Novell is dropping Windows in favor of its own Linux desktop software [slashdot.org] for PCs.

    Also various governments around the world have rejected Windows for Linux lately, the tide is turning.

  • by buro9 ( 633210 ) <(moc.9orub) (ta) (divad)> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:49AM (#9265332) Homepage
    The headline doesn't make it clear, whilst it is a good thing that migrations to Linux happen from all other OS's, it should be highlighted before the anti-MS crowd jump in too fast:

    This is a move FROM Sun Solaris TO Linux.

    Oracle never used Windows for development because of portability issues to other OS's ;)
    • This is a move FROM Sun Solaris TO Linux.

      Ok, but I'm not sure it really matters. It's still a big win for Linux.

      Personally I'd like to see Sun get purchased by Novell. Then they'd have all the peices of the jigsaw to do some really serious damage to MS.
    • by Whitecloud ( 649593 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:57AM (#9265363) Homepage
      You are correct, but I think the public perception of Linux as "okay to use compared to microsoft" is very important. So any pro Linux publicity is going to damage Microsofts income base.

      It will be interesting to see what happens from Redmond HQ...if you cant beat em, join em?

    • This is a move FROM Sun Solaris TO Linux.

      You are correct.

      BUT! Oracle stuck with Unix in general. They didn't move the whole ship, captain, and crew to NT as was common in the late 1990s. They're showing everyone that NT is not necessarily "the future" or "the only way to stay competitive" as so many other companies have said.
  • by drizst 'n drat ( 725458 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:51AM (#9265343)
    Oracle on Linux isn't a bad product. You can get the latest release; Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1.0.2) for Linux x86 or Linux Itanium from their Oracle Technology Network website at http://otn.oracle.com/software/products/database/o racle10g/index.html [oracle.com] for your own non-commercial use. I played with it for a while but went back to using MySQL only because performance seemed to be better than Oracle's on a Linux box. In all fairness though, the box was an old Dell Inspiron 7500!
    • by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:57AM (#9265364)
      Oracle has so many cache levels and tuning options going on it's pretty easy to have it running slow. To be fair though, if basic MySQL does the job, you don't even need to look at something as complex (and complete) as Oracle. IMHO, a happy medium is either SAP DB / MySQL Max or Postgresql.
    • MySQL is bound to be faster than oracle because compared to oracle it douse very little. MySQL is a small lean RDBMS whitch douse the basic stuff fast. Oracle douse a lot more and as a result of this is not so fast. This is why MySQL is very popular for holding web content and Oracle for complex business aplications.
      • You would think so. I did some comparisons against Oracle and mySQL for a software engineering project and found some interesting results. Granted I was using the personal free version of Oracle not the 30K version. But yeah Oracle and mySQL are pretty equal in speed. Oracle is defintately no slouch but mySQL wasn't the ultra speed demon I was expecting either. I would say they were pretty close to equal. However Oracle did much better in one department and that was the number of concurrent users. No
  • What else is there? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by basingwerk ( 521105 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:52AM (#9265348)
    This is the natural thing to do. Oracle started out on VMS and Unix type systems, and departed later into Windows. Since they ported their install process to Java between 8.1.6 and 8.1.7, and with their moves into the Application Server arena, it is clear that they have platform transparency in mind. Coupled with the fact that Unix is the dominant server platform, and Linux is a decent form of free Unix, this is a good move.
  • That's great news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:54AM (#9265350)
    Now can we please have a version of Oracle for Linux that just installs out of the box, so to speak? So far every version I have tried either fails to install completely, or installs only on highly specific versions of Linux (like Red Hat 7.1), or requires arcane knowledge of the installation process to complete.

    I have developed several large applications that involve an Oracle database as one of their components, but the idea of actually having to install Oracle anywhere sends shivers down my back (and not from joy). If this keeps up I can see future work centering around PostgreSQL, just to avoid the endless hassle associated with the installation.

    Really, I like Oracle a lot, but I wish they would fix the endless installation issues...

    • Re:That's great news (Score:4, Informative)

      by 1001011010110101 ( 305349 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:12AM (#9265402)
      Arcane knowledge?
      If you install it on the supported linux versions, the process is pretty well documented.
      Going for a non-supported config will be a bit of pain, but there's information around the net with help on how to do it. Considering the level of complexity of the software, I woudn't expect otherwise.
      BTW, its supported under RH ES, Suse SLES and United Linux. I've seen it installed under RH9 and some other platforms with some tweaking. Obviously, who would run a production database on unsupported OS escapes to me.

  • Significance (Score:5, Informative)

    by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) * on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:58AM (#9265365)
    This is perhaps both more and less significant that it first appears.

    For those that don't know, from version 8.0 Oracle is in fact two seperate components, VOS (virtual operating system) and Oracle itself. VOS completely abstracts everything from the actual OS; Oracle programmers have their own APIs for file I/O, memory management, networking, threading, scheduling, you name it. To port Oracle to a new platform, VOS is ported, then Oracle itself compiled against the new VOS libraries.

    Solaris was the primary platform, which meant that everyone developed on a Solaris box and then compiled against VOS on all platforms prior to release. This meant that inevitably useful new features went into Solaris first, but eventually they would have to be incorporated into VOS otherwise Oracle itself would fail to compile anywhere else.

    So, this means that everyone gets a Linux box on their desktop, but they are still developing against VOS, and so while Oracle is pushing Linux as its platform of choice, all its other builds such as Solaris and AIX will remain current.
  • by gsasha ( 550394 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:01AM (#9265369) Homepage
    Migrating development from Solaris to Linux is not that hard - they're both Unices, and in my experience, Solaris as a dev platform... to put it politely... not the best out there. For a long time there's been no decent C++ compiler, their IDE is so-so, and for compilation speeds, a Linux workstation is beating Solaris unless you are prepared to pay some serious $$$ for a large server. Now migrating development from Windows is another story - there's MS Visual suite of tools, which are generally very good (and requires a different mindset at that). Getting people of that camp to work on Linux would be much harder.
    • by Decaff ( 42676 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @08:21AM (#9265833)
      Solaris as a dev platform... to put it politely... not the best out there. For a long time there's been no decent C++ compiler, their IDE is so-so, and for compilation speeds,

      I'm not sure I understand you here, but there seems to be a confusion between operating system and development tools. There is no such thing as a 'Solaris IDE', any more than there is a 'Linux IDE'. Sure, on most Linux distros you can choose to install GNU C++, but also you might not. The development system is 'GNU/Linux'. You can also set up 'GNU/Solaris' by downloading GNU C++ and all other GNU stuff for solaris from www.sunfreeware.com for years. You don't even need to compile - the software is packaged ready for Solaris.
      • by polarbear ( 611 )

        Sun produces and ships their own compiler and IDE suite called Forte. From my understanding the executables it's compiler generates are still signficantly faster then what gcc produces for the sparc platform.

        I have not seen the telltale GCC strings in executables for many of the proprietary software packages I've installed and used on Solaris over the years.
  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:08AM (#9265387)
    Does this mean Oracle's web-based apps will finally be fully operational under Mozilla? It is incredibly frustrating to have to fire up Internet Explorer to manage some part of Oracle (9iAS management console for example).

    sPh
    • Probably not, most of the oracle admin/end user tools are still aimed for a ms-windows environment.
      This really only effects where new features in the actual database will be seen first. Instead of it being Solaris it is not Linux.
    • by Nadir ( 805 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:55AM (#9265509) Homepage
      Actually, the Oracle Enterprise Manager which comes with iAS 10g says it supports Mozilla 1.4+

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:40AM (#9265468)
    I had some problems installing Oracle on Linux until I found following website which shows you how to do it step by step for database and RAC:
    http://www.puschitz.com/OracleOnLinux.shtml" [puschitz.com]
  • May be now... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KrisCowboy ( 776288 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:51AM (#9265500) Journal
    Since Oracle itself is transforming to Linux, may be installing Oracle Server on a Linux box will become easy. It took me 3 days to figure out how to install and configure Oracle on my Linux box.
    • Re:May be now... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IdleTime ( 561841 )
      No it will not.

      However, I normally use about 30 minutes to install the software on my Linux box (Gentoo, not supported) and about the same time to create a database from scratch, not using the pre-seeded starter database that comes with the software.

      I can understand that you spend 3 days on the install, but that is not Oracle's problem, but yours. Oracle RDBMS is one of the most complex pieces of software commercially available and you need to have a certain lkevel of Orackle knowledge in order to insta
  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:11AM (#9265556) Homepage
    Switching the programming staff from Solaris to Linux is no big deal. I'd be much more interested to hear what Oracle is doing with the PHBs, secretaries, marketers and other non-technical staff. I bet they're still on Windows.
    • by CommandNotFound ( 571326 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @08:11AM (#9265792)
      Switching the programming staff from Solaris to Linux is no big deal. I'd be much more interested to hear what Oracle is doing with the PHBs, secretaries, marketers and other non-technical staff. I bet they're still on Windows.

      Which may be the best route. I recall when I did some time on a Mainframe in the early 90's how ludicrous it seemed to have *everyone* using the same system to do their work: from the managers, engineers, developers, and clerical workers. All of these people had totally different jobs, but they all were forced to use the same setup to get their work done. The PC/LAN revolution was still gaining speed, and I recall thinking how much more efficient this would be: the engineers could upgrade systems rapidly for their uses, while the clerical staff could use more modest equipment that was geared for their jobs, and everyone would be happy now that they didn't have to use the same black Model T.

      I felt this same derision when I was given a new box with Windows XP (I'm a developer). It seems like a return to those days where everyone is forced to use the same system. The file searching in XP is horrible for my uses, because it was altered to help newbies find their documents and digicam pics. The multitasking has degraded even more since Win2K, probably because it was optimized for home users who rarely run multiple heavy-lift applications. It feels like the mainframe days all over again: let's make the newbies and engineers all use the same system. What's old is new, I suppose.
  • Postrgres (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:23AM (#9265592)
    Now all they need to do is switch to Postgres. ^^
    • I would be interested in knowing how much of Postgres has ended up in Oracle. Since Oracle is only in binary, we will probably never know (unless some Oracle employee gets mad because he didn't get his bonus).
      • Re:Postrgres (Score:3, Informative)

        I asked Eben Moglen the same question one time (he is the chief counsel for the EFF). And he says that actually there are ways of knowing, and he was confident he was doing a good job of keeping OSS out of non OSS products.

  • by HighOrbit ( 631451 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:34AM (#9265622)
    Oracle needs to drop the "one Linux" fits all concept and to recompile against different (and up to date) distributions on a more frequent basis. Right now, Oracle for Linux is compiled against old versions of Suse with ancient glibc libraries. This causes its installation to fail on any modern distributation, unless you apply lots of compatibility patches and some ugly hacks to the configuation.

    Because of glibc differences, saying there should be "one binary Oracle for all Linux" is like saying there should be one binary for all of Unix. Granted, the differnces betweeen Suse, Redhat, & Debian are not quite as drastic as the differences between Solaris, HP-UX and AIX, but fact remains that you can't install Oracle compiled against Suse 8 on Fedora without jumping through some major hacks.

    Oracle needs to do frequent recompiles and offer different binaries for the various versions of Suse, Redhat AS, Fedora, Debian, and whoever else they decide to support.
    • I disagree. Whomever writes glibc should be taking backward compatability and code stability into account.

      I can run Windows 3.1 programs written in 1992 on me Windows XP box... try doing that with a non-trivial Linux application without recompiling.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @08:01AM (#9265725)
    ... for an interview for a higher-level position (I'm a scientist, not a coder or manager), I think I can comment a little on the ramifications.

    As pointed out, this is largely a shift from development under Solaris to development under Linux. In part, Linux is more of an open-book to work with, and they'd really like to see better consistency amongst UNIXes in their feature sets and APIs with regard to what Oracle uses. Going to Linux is a statement basically saying -- "we like the Linux environment and you'd do well to make yours like it..."

    That said, there are other ramifications: where some had Sun workstations, others were using mid-range PCs with Windows as sort of heavyweight graphical terminals to develop on centralized servers. There's a shift now towards having more people developing on Linux on the desktop.

    Basically, Linux has proven to be a far more comfortable and flexible development and general use platform for Oracle than the previous Sun + Microsoft setup before.

    The Windows developers will undoubtedly use Windows, and many people will have more than one computer on their desk, each with a different OS. Both Sun and MS are taking it on the chin in this case, but for MS it's probably more a PR/Marketing problem. For Sun, it's bound to be a revenue problem.

    FWIW - I currently work for a company where 48% of the desktops runs Windows and 48% Mac (4% Linux) -- and 90% of the application use is either web-based, Java, or X11 clients where the underlying OS isn't relevelent. The cost of the OS, maintenance, etc. is really the brunt of the cost of a desktop workstation. If the 10% of OS-native apps were not absolutely crucial (or they worked with Citrix/RDP), there would be little incentive to stick with the commercial OS offerings at all. As it stands, we already give preference to vendors that offer platform-neutral solutions and have ruled out many vendors that only offer Windows-server based solutions...

    I don't think any of this is particularly uncommon (at least in my industry). If you are a software vendor, you better hope that you don't get a competitor that offers a platform-neutral/multiplatform solution similar to yours -- if so, you're sunk.
  • Are they asking to get sued by SCO? We all now everyone is switching to Linux, but you have to be quiet about it.
  • by Walles ( 99143 ) <johan@walles.gmail@com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @10:07AM (#9266723)
    So will they keep their SUN boxes but install Linux on them, or will they buy new PCs for all employees?
  • by stanwirth ( 621074 ) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:14PM (#9271589)

    ...in favor of an APT and RPM installer. One that checks the dependencies and what you've got installed before charging on ahead and then crapping out halfway through, forcing you to go back to the beginning again.

    Oh, and fact that having a GUI-only installer forces you have to either have an X windows client + server or rig up a GUI server to talk to the client libraries on a server in your DMZ is just plain stupid. The place where you have (often by company policy) text-only Linux installs.

    Price considerations aside, PostGreSQL is better just because you don't need to fiddle around with special install and maintenance procedures that are contrary to most companies' security policies for servers.

    Oh, and they should keep up with the GLIBC versions, too.

    For a company going "linux first" they're doing a pretty piss-poor job of it.

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