EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.26.07

Is Oracle Microsoft/Novell’s Worst Enemy, Not Red Hat’s?

Posted in Fork, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Virtualisation at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letting two gorillas fight rather than relying on guerrilla

Oracle has been a quiet (yet giant) GNU/Linux user and vendor. We had it mentioned in the context of Novell and Microsoft recently. Given Oracle’s membership in OIN, is it truly an enemy of the spirit of Free software? Arguments can be made which support both sides; one side says that Oracle will protect Linux and another says that Oracle will destroy, crush, and even steal Linux from its parents and origins.

NovellsoftThe main victim which is repeatedly mentioned in this context is Red Hat, whose product Oracle uses (some would say “rips off”). But what about Novell? Yesterday, the following article appeared in ComputerWorld and contained an interesting bit.

He noted that Burlington Coat Factory is also evaluating whether to replace its SUSE Linux software with Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux implementation, which would give the company another reason to use Oracle VM.

Therein lie some interesting possibilities. Several weeks ago, another article was published to say that Oracle’s goal with Linux may be to eliminate a Windows (Microsoft) dependency and basically weaken this beast which is known as the “Microsoft ecosystem”, of which Novell seems to have become a part.

Thus, a win for Linux is a win for Oracle as it immediately eliminates SQL Server, Exchange, and Visual Studio from the equation and increases the likelihood that a customer will choose Oracle software, Aslett said.

That’s true regardless of whether customers choose Oracle Unbreakable Linux – or Red Hat.

Ellison’s hatred (or jealousy) of Microsoft is nothing new. Watch this video for some more visual evidence.

Of course, it would still be silly to assume that Ellison and Oracle have become friends of Free software. As Matt Asay shrewdly pointed out a fortnight ago:

Larry doesn’t understand open source. This isn’t surprising since the people who report to him apparently don’t, either (though I don’t include Mike Olson in that crowd – he’s a victim of golden handcuffs :-). Oracle desperately wants open source to be “just another tool” that it uses for IT domination. It’s not. It actually has the opposite effect.

Oracle just can’t grok this.

It wants to own the Linux kernel. It can’t. It wanted to own JBoss. It couldn’t. Open source is about controlling through sharing, but Oracle doesn’t do the “share” thing very well.

And so we’ll have to sporadically endure Mr. Ellison’s ego pronouncing himself god of the Linux world, despite his Linux business being so anemic that he won’t break out its numbers. If the numbers are so great, report them, Mr. Ellison. (Having said this, it’s important to note that Oracle stopped breaking out revenue by product line many years ago.)

To put things in perspective, consider the following half a dozen recent articles as well:

1. Ellison: ‘Fusion Must Coexist’

Ellison also acknowledged Red Hat’s growth in “a healthy market” for both companies. “We’re also doing something Red Hat isn’t, which is shipping Oracle VM underneath our Linux offering so there is a single stack of code. If you have applications that run on Red Hat, it will run unchanged on Oracle’s enterprise software.”

2. Larry Ellison thrashes Red Hat

“At Oracle we’ve been in the Linux business for a year now,” he said.

“With the Red Hat code all we did for the first year was fix bugs. Now Oracle growing a lot faster than Red Hat. Red Hat’s been growing too because it’s a growing market.”

3. OpenWorld: 1,500 companies adopt Oracle Unbreakable Linux

Despite Oracle’s fast growth, Red Hat remains the top dog in the enterprise Linux market, with tens of thousands of subscribers to its support business. During its Q1 2008 call with analysts, Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik said it added “multiple of thousands of customers” in that quarter alone.

4. Ellison touts Fusion Applications

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison didn’t display much of his traditional flamboyance Wednesday at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference, but he did preview the company’s next-generation Fusion Applications and said its Unbreakable Linux offering has met with initial success.

5. OpenWorld: Oracle restricting app support to its own virtualization

Buried under the surface of Oracle Corp.’s Monday announcement that it plans to get into the virtualization market is the fact that the company won’t support its database and many other applications if they are running on virtualization software from VMware Inc., Microsoft Corp. or even Red Hat Inc.

That effectively limits enterprise users who want to run their Oracle applications more efficiently through virtualization to just one platform: Oracle’s new VM.

6. Oracle’s mixed messages on “compatibility” with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

No offense, Oracle, but if it looks like a fork, smells like a fork, and acts like a fork, it’s a fork, and “fully compatible” is simply not a credible guarantee. You can’t change someone else’s code and crown it “fully compatible.”

Taking all the above into consideration, it seems fair to say that Red Hat is snubbed by Oracle, but the compatibility limits (artificial they might as well be) are bad news to Novell as well. In the long term, despite Oracle’s denial, it is expected that Oracle will go its own way and create its own, fairly independent Linux distributions. Articles to watch out for include:

1. Oracle’s got a giant Red Hat fork coming, says spaceman

Oracle’s assault on Linux looks to take the shape of a fork in the near future, according to Canonical founder and Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth.

2. Is Unbreakable a long-term Linux play?

After initial cynicism I have been forced to rethink my opinion on a couple of occassions, notably Oracle’s patent pledge, the naming of customers and the naming of partners, although I remain unconvinced that OEL is a long-term strategy for the company as opposed to an attempt to disrupt the market.

Linux is clearly a long-term commitment. Oracle Enterprise Linux? Not sure.

3. Ubuntu chief: Oracle Linux has ‘tactical value’

Oracle has the ability to support Linux, and doing so could have “tactical value” for the database company, the founder of Ubuntu Linux–and a potential Oracle partner–said Friday.

4. Shuttleworth: Oracle-Ubuntu partnership only a matter of time

Canonical Ltd. CEO Mark Shuttleworth said a partnership with Oracle is no longer a matter of if, but when.

5. Oracle claims no Linux ulterior motive

Oracle is using LinuxWorld to try and calm concerns its Enterprise Linux and Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) will fork Red Hat and fragment the Linux market.

The impact of Oracle’s Linux endeavors on Free software as a whole will be interesting. If Oracle permits Novell’s Linux to gain acceptance and receive ‘interoperability’ (under discriminatory terms), then Oracle lets Microsoft get its way. Oracle has a lot of weight that can stop this, along with giants like IBM and Google, who are also in OIN (essentially as Linux guardians).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Scott Mace said,

    November 28, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Oracle won’t have certify its software to run under the VM Sun announced at Oracle’s own conference.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 29, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Gravatar

    With the Common Development and Distribution License, it’s unlikely that Oracle will ever adopt OpenSolaris, as well. Oracle wants total control of its stack.

What Else is New


  1. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  2. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  3. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  4. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  5. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  6. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  7. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  8. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  10. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  12. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  13. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  14. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  15. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  16. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  17. Is Linux Foundation a Microsoft Branch Now?

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF) nowadays helps Microsoft cement its monopoly — the very opposite of what ages ago it said the LF would do



  18. Are Songs Property? And Maths Also Property? Artificial Monopolies Are Not Property...

    Patent maximalists continue to face stronger arguments from their sceptics, who rightly allege that words are being intentionally misused and numbers fabricated so as to distort underlying facts



  19. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  21. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  23. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  25. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  26. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  27. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  29. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  30. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts