SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle chairman and CEO Larry Ellison reaffirmed his company's support of Linux Wednesday, saying it promotes the open-source code operating system to its customers and uses it extensively within its own business. "We're encouraging our customers to pick Linux for the very simple reason that it's cheaper and faster and more reliable than any other environment around," Ellison says.
Ellison told a packed audience at the LinuxWorld trade show that Oracle will soon release source code for a Linux version of its Clustered File System. The software manages data stored in Oracle9i Real Application Clusters, which distribute a single database across a cluster of servers for large-scale computing. Oracle believes Linux is ready for enterprise-level platforms such as clustering. "Almost anyone will grant that Linux costs less," Ellison says. "Most people will not agree that Linux offers enterprise-level performance. We don't think that's true anymore." Oracle has been working hard with Red Hat software to improve the Linux kernel, he adds.
All of Oracle's midtier applications will run on Linux by the end of this year, Ellison says. The company's Linux clustering customers already include Dell Computer and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as several European companies. Market research shows that Oracle's databases and application servers are the No. 1 choices on Linux, he says. "I don't think we've had a single new technology take off as rapidly as clustering on Linux," says Ellison, adding that the company has expanded its strategy of promoting Linux to existing users to others who might not have considered it. "The uptake is quite breathtaking among some very conservative areas of the economy. Wall Street is going for Linux in a big way."