Oracle's cut-price Linux 'will threaten Red Hat'

Give it a go, says Gartner...
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Give it a go, says Gartner...

Oracle's cut-price Unbreakable Linux will be a threat to the future of Red Hat and organisations should consider testing it on mission-critical systems, according to analyst Gartner.

Oracle is taking on Red Hat by offering support for half the price, discounts until the end of January next year and a promise to indemnify customers against Linux patent infringements.

The move has been backed by the industry's main vendors including Dell, EMC, HP, IBM and Intel, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said the company was forced to make this move to stop Linux adoption rates suffering.

Analyst Gartner has now also backed Oracle's Unbreakable Linux move, having previously warned that Red Hat users will face increasing support and service problems as Linux-based mission-critical systems become more complex.

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Gartner says Oracle's move will raise questions about Red Hat's long-term future and advised Red Hat customers to start compatibility testing of an all-Oracle Linux set-up in data centres, and to consider piloting "one or two mission-critical systems", especially maximally loaded ones.

A Gartner briefing note stated: "Oracle's entry into the Linux support market will inevitably slow Red Hat's momentum and raises doubts about its long-term viability. Just as significant, Oracle has given the growing commercial open-source vendor community a wake-up call."

Red Hat customers happy with their current quality of support should renegotiate their contracts and expect to get 50 to 70 per cent discounts on list prices, while those Red Hat customers not happy with the support should consider Oracle's offering, Gartner advised.

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