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September 20, 2010

Oracle promises ‘unbreakable’ Linux offering

Red Hat ain't good enough, says Ellison

By Steve Evans

Oracle has dismissed Red Hat Linux and unveiled its own version at its OpenWorld event in San Francisco.

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel was pitched by CEO Larry Ellison as a fast, reliable alternative to Red Hat, one that is optimised for Oracle’s own hardware and software. In OLTP performance tests it offered a 75% performance gain over a Red Hat Compatible Kernel. It also offers 137% faster solid state disk access, the company said.

Following earlier criticism of Ellison used his keynote to have a pop at another company, this time Red Hat.

He said that the company was too slow to fix issues and bugs in its platform that Oracle and the rest of the community had discovered. He also criticised the fact that Red Hat’s kernel is four years old. "We can’t afford to be four years behind in software. By using the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel you get our updates and the community’s updates as well. It’s a much more modern Linux," he said.

Ellison added that although Oracle will not stop supporting Red Hat Linux because of the number of customers still running it, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is now the only Linux kernel Oracle recommends for use with its software.

"Today’s hardware innovations are fast and frequent – making it very important that the Linux distributions evolve quickly to leverage the latest hardware," said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and virtualisation engineering, Oracle. "This new offering is a result of Oracle Linux kernel development efforts, on top of the current mainline kernel."

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