[sf-lug] oracle offers RHEL support at discounts--why?

Andy Grimm agrimm at gmail.com
Tue Nov 7 11:02:58 PST 2006

There are several reasons, but I think it's mostly because they want
more power over applying nonstandard OS patches that will specifically
benefit them, but may not be accepted by Red Hat.  It's worth noting
that while Red Hat hardly uses a "vanilla" kernel, they are very
careful to only introduce patches that they feel are going to be
incorporated into the standard Linux kernel at some point.   The same
goes for other Red Hat packages; they do backort patches and end up
with some nonstandard versions of packages at some points, but they
always know that they're staying close to main line development of a
project and not really forking.  My impression is that Oracle has had
some frustration with this process in the past (the waiting to see if
the community OK's a patch); they have often released their own
versions of packages such as binutils and required customers to use
these alternate packages.  I would not be surprised if their Linux
distro essentially becomes a fork, where they have little concern for
whether their changes are accepted by the community.  And I'm not
going to say whether that's right or wrong; it's just what I think
will happen.

I don't think that sinking Red Hat is their primary motive; I think
they chose the distribution as a starting point because it has the
most enterprise market share, especially when it comes to the Oracle
on Linux install base.

(I should mention that I'm currently employed by an Oracle competitor,
but I spent a lot of time dealing with the Red Hat / Oracle
combination at my previous job.)


On 11/7/06, jim stockford <jim at well.com> wrote:
>     Can anyone shed light on the recent news that Oracle is
> offering RHEL support at a hefty discount?
>     What is the benefit for Oracle? Are they trying to sink Red
> Hat? Are they trying to learn the RHEL support market? Do
> they think this will be a big revenue stream?
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