Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Unbreakable Unfakeable Linux

Oracle just dealt a body blow to RedHat by offering what amounts to an upgrade path for current Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4 subscriptions. By changing the "up2date" program on a RHEL server, you point to a new RHN server, or in this case what Oracle is called ULN, the Unbreakable Linux Network. Now RedHat's answer to this, RHN, or what's on the server side happens to depend on Oracle's Database.

So, one interesting observation is that unlike RedHat, Oracle seems unwilling to sell the ULN "Satellite" equivalent. Which begs the question, maybe Oracle is in fact using an RHN Satellite server to host this ULN. At the very least, they are endorsing this design by imitation or even reuse depending on how much of the RHN Satellite infrastructure they may or may not have redesigned ore replaced. My guess is very little. I'll make an effort to find out exactly what ULN is. I'm downloading the UL isos now and will install them on a test machine Monday.

Red Hat's stock took a 30% dip on the news.

Any way you look at it, you have to give it up to Larry Ellison. This is an aggressive business move no doubt designed as retaliation against RedHat for scooping up JBoss before he could. This also puts to rest all the speculation that Oracle was going to throw its weight behind Ubutnu as a third alternative supported OS on which to run Oracle.

I've also got to hand it to Michael Suzlick of Red Hat. He immediately responded with the Unfakeable campaign and announced that Red Hat would not be dropping prices to compete.

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