Oracle has supported Linux almost from day one. But it wasn't until 2006, when Larry Ellison got into a disagreement with Red Hat, that Oracle decided it had to have its "own" Linux distribution — a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux. It's eight years later, and Oracle is still copying RHEL with its release of Oracle Linux 7.
The one major difference between RHEL 7 and Oracle Linux 7 is that the commercial version of the Oracle distribution supports Ksplice, a program that enables administrators to apply Oracle or RHEL security updates to the Linux kernel without requiring a reboot.
While Oracle's never done that well with its Linux distribution — by their own admission, they have no more than 12,000 customers — the company thinks Oracle Linux offers users a good deal.
In prepared notes, Wim Coekaerts, Oracle's senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, said “With Oracle Linux 7, users have more freedom to choose the technologies and solutions that best meet their business objectives. Oracle Linux allows users to benefit from an open approach for emerging technologies, like OpenStack, and allows them to meet the performance and reliability requirements of the modern datacenter.”