Red Hat shouldn't write off Oracle just yet

Red Hat shouldn't write off Oracle just yet

Summary: Red Hat on Wednesday released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, touted its virtualization capabilities and solidified its standing as a leading open source player. With all that momentum, Oracle and its grand plans to offer Red Hat Linux support shouldn't be a concern to Red Hat right?

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TOPICS: Oracle
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Red Hat on Wednesday released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, touted its virtualization capabilities and solidified its standing as a leading open source player.

With all that momentum, Oracle and its grand plans to offer Red Hat Linux support shouldn't be a concern to Red Hat right? Not so fast.

A survey by Pacific Crest analyst Brendan Barnicle finds that 23 percent of operating system buyers are using Oracle Linux and 5 percent cite the company as its primary vendor. Oracle's standing still pales compared to the 70 percent of respondents that use Red Hat (51 percent say Red Hat is their primary Linux vendor), but the company appears to be swaying a few customers to its corner.

Barnicle's findings contrast with chatter that Oracle's Linux effort had fallen flat. Barnicle notes that his survey can't be taken as gospel, but it is worth noting. "The survey results are very surprising in our view. In discussions with industry contacts, we heard that Oracle was having very little success," said Barnicle in a research note. "At Linux World last month, we didn’t not talk to a single person that had heard of an Oracle win."

Simply put, the Linux market is gaining momentum overall, but remains in flux amid Oracle's encroachment, new products from Red Hat and Novell's partnership with Microsoft.

Among other findings from Barnicle's survey:

15 percent of Red Hat users are considering a switch to Oracle. The good news: That tally is down from 33 percent in a November survey by Barnicle.

Only 2 Oracle users switched from other vendors. One jumped ship from Red Hat and the other from Hewlett-Packard. Oracle fares best with enterprises with more than 5,000 employees.

35 percent of respondents reported using Novell, down from 42 percent in November. Of the respondents, 13 percent cited Novell as their primary vendor, down 1 percent from November.

17 percent of HP Linux customers will consider switching to Oracle; 12 percent of IBM customers will consider switching.

33.5 percent in the magic discount. Respondents said a discount of 33.5 percent relative to what they are currently paying for Linux support would get them to switch to Oracle. 

Overall, respondents all reported using less Linux support from Red Hat, IBM and Novell.

Barnicle notes that his results shouldn't be overanalyzed as they are only intended to show the cross currents in the Linux market. He has another survey planned to examine the impact Oracle is having on other Linux support providers.

Topic: Oracle

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5 comments
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  • Just numbers!

    We are an Oracle shop with a few other Redmond Servers. Oracle is a good product but their support sucks. They themselves don;t know how it works. I wouldn;t bet on their Linux support. Redhat is doing a good job with a very good product and we will support even if it its a few bucks more.
    PaulWallen
    • You are right, untill Oracle hires more kernel developers and brings more

      expertise in house, they will just be able to nibble around the edges. But, if they do bring kernel developers in house and actively participate with developing RedHat Linux, that will accelerate the platform and give it more credibility, making the pie a whole lot bigger, so RedHat would get a smaller piece of a bigger pie, but still make more money. Really, with Oracle (and CentOS, WhiteBox, there is a bigger ecosystem, which is important.
      DonnieBoy
  • Still, a rising tide lifts all boats. Oracle is adding a lot of credibility

    to RedHat's version of Linux, AND helping support it.

    The problem for Oracle, is that they will not be able to sell an expensive database forever. The combination of RedHat's OS with JBoss, and PostgreSQL or MySQL is pretty powerful.

    But, the other problem for RedHat, possibly more than Oracle, is that fewer and fewer little guys will be running their own servers, and are buying services from people like Salesforce, that can roll their own.

    RedHat bought JBoss to move up the chain, and will be moving even farther up the chain as time goes on. RedHat may also have to eventually morph into a service provider and host applications instead of customers hiring admins and running their own servers.

    The size of companies that can justify their own server room is increasing every year.
    DonnieBoy
  • Generic vs. Specialized OS

    Red Hat Linux is seen as a generic OS which will run any app. While Oracle Linux is based on Red Hat, many may see it as optimized for Oracle, which may break compatibility with other Linux apps. Oracle Linux seems too much like Microsoft Windows.

    I don't think this is good for Linux.
    meh130@...
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