Oracle to support Linux platform

Oracle to support Linux platform

Oracle's announcement last week that it will port versions of its database and applications to the Linux platform could give the open-source Unix operating system another nudge toward enterprise acceptability.

Although acknowledging that Linux is a dependable operating system, many analysts and users have said the lack of formal technical support has kept most large organisations from considering Linux as an alternative operating system for mission-critical applications.

"There are IS managers who won't even consider Linux because it is not backed by a known name," wrote analyst Bill Peterson in an International Data Corp (IDC) report.

Although Oracle won't provide technical support for Linux, it will work with Linux vendors - including Red Hat Software, SuSE, VA Research and Tokyo-based Pacific HiTech - on marketing and technology issues.

Arvind Jain, a product manager at Oracle, agreed it would take time to change public perception about Linux but said that "by offering our database and our applications [on Linux], we will promote further adoption of it as a viable platform".

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said it is possible that Linux will become the standard Unix for PC-based systems.

Paul McNamera, vice president of strategic relationships at Red Hat Software, said that sort of Linux endorsement from a large applications vendor is critical to corporate decision makers.

"They're looking for signals that indicate that this really is a prime-time operating system," he said.

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