Oracle Customers Stand Up

Infoworld’s Matt Asay wants it both ways. A couple months ago he took on Mark Shuttleworth for “not getting” enterprise Linux. He rightly wrote:

What Mark doesn’t recognize – either out of pretence (meaning, he knows better but pretends otherwise) or out of ignorance (because Ubuntu isn’t yet being used in the enterprise, so he doesn’t yet know better) – is that the so-called closed binary is an important requirement for making Linux work in the data center, and across the enterprise, generally. No one writes applications to the source RPMs because no one wants to do so. Enterprises buy Red Hat (or Novell’s SUSE) because they want certified stability and performance.

Those are very important criteria for enterprise users. Now Asay writes that Oracle should use Ubuntu instead of Red Hat.

I still don’t understand why, other than out of spite, Oracle doesn’t simply adopt Ubuntu and run with that, but perhaps it’s the same reason that we used to start with Red Hat Linux back in my Lineo days (as did every other embedded Linux vendor of which I’m aware) – it was just easier to start with what was perceived to be the best.

First, Larry Ellison and his company are both serious enough and smart enough to do things the right way rather than out of spite. Second, the reason why Oracle won’t use Ubuntu over RHEL for their trusted Linux is the same two reasons Asay addressed Shuttleworth’s “not getting it” back in January: certified stability and performance. Ubuntu LTS has been available about eight months. RHEL has a much longer track record and a well-earned reputation for critical and and enterprise use. Third, Oracle knows that last point very well, and they also already know RH inside out. If their customers demand Ubuntu over RHEL, that’s exactly what Oracle will give them.

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