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Oracle respins Red Hat (sort of)...

Christoph Doerbeck wrote:
> I just searched the BLU archives and didn't spot any threads on the
> Oracle announcement.  I am curious to here what opinions you folks have.

I've been working like a dog, otherwise I would have brought it up,
because I was curious about that too.  Especially because distro wars
are always great flame bait!

> What motivated Larry E. to make such a move?

I think he's got two goals in mind.  One is to pre-tune a Linux distro
to what works best with Oracle.  On first pass, there's some sense to
that, but as Jerry said, IT departments don't want to support multiple
distros.  If their distro is so finely tuned for Oracle, it will likely
have a lot of goodies removed "for stability".

The other is juicy support contracts.  I'm not sure why LE thinks he can
offer support so much cheaper than RH, unless it's a loss leader to get
companies hooked, and the prices are going to triple over the next three
or four years.  After all, it's not like Red Hat is a startup that
doesn't have the support system in place yet.  I think Oracle has to
either multiply their prices over the next few years, or offer crappy
service. Your choice.

> Does anyone think this is a good idea for Oracle (share holders)?  

Time will tell, but I think not.

When I was working at Polaroid on this embedded Linux project (oddly
enough, I was not working on the embedded part itself, but the
interfaces to it), the IT guys decided they needed to roll their own
distro.  This had more to do with testosterone and lack of knowledge
than informed decision-making.  In fact, our IT department had never
done that before, and didn't even know all that much about Linux, and
weren't willing to listen to others outside the group that did.

Well, needless to say packaging up your own distro from scratch was WAY
harder than they thought, and required much more special knowledge and
tools than they imagined.

Of course, Oracle already has quite a bit of Linux experience, but
maintaining your own distro, even if based on someone elses', and
offering commercial support for it, requires lots of people just to
track changes to each subsystem included.

> Do you think they can succeed at delivering a long term Linux solution?

Yes, but not as profitably as they probably imagine.

> I remember when SUN made a lot of noise with their own respin of RH-v7.2
> I think it was.  They were UNIX people (also owned Cobalt/Linux) and
> still failed to gain traction.

Sun tends to be very arrogant, and that sometimes gets in the way of
them making the right decisions.  7.2 was almost unanimously considered
Red Hat's most stable release evah.  The installers back then weren't
nearly as robust as they are today, but I don't think it was technical
issues that caused Sun to fail in this venture.

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