Hoping to tap into the Linux market and gain more sales for its bread-and-butter database, Oracle at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo this week plans to detail a clustered file system for the Linux OS along with a Linux installer wizard and other tools, as well as make source code for these products available to users.
The file system, to be available this week in a developer's release and in production release in two months, is intended to enable users of Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters software to build and manage files in a clustered environment, according to Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, California.
"It makes it much easier for developers to manage clustered databases," said Robert Shimp, Oracle's vice president of database marketing.
Source code will be made available via GPL (General Public Licence), Shimp said. "It means any developer can download this source code free and do any kind of development work and projects they want, and it's all available as part of the open-source community," he said.
An Oracle and Linux user at Texas Tech University was enthusiastic about the file system. "We're real excited about the possibility of a clustered file system for Linux," said Brandon LaBonte, director of software development for the IT division at the university.
"It's going to mean being able to use multiple nodes to access data for our Oracle databases simultaneously. It's going to provide us with redundancy and high availability," LaBonte said.
Also being released at the same time as the file system is Rasta, an installation wizard for Linux. "Linux doesn't have a Windows-like installation wizard. This will make it possible to create little installation wizards, dialogue boxes, things like that," Shimp said. It, too, will be downloadable for free.
Other freely downloadable technologies planned for release in the same time frame include Timbo, which is a messaging catalogue to provide database internationalisation, and a Unix-like user file system, which enables developers to extend file systems as if they were in the kernel but are actually managed in the user space. This file system can be linked to the Gnome Virtual File System.
Also planned for free download are patches to FireWire, which is a networking standard used in clustered servers, and improvements in high availability for network cards, providing for card failover in Linux.