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.