People outside of IT seldom think of Oracle as a Linux company, but it is. Not only does Oracle encourage its customers to use its own house-brand clone of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), Oracle Unbreakable Linux, Oracle has long used Linux internally both on its servers and on some of its desktops. So, what does a Linux company like Oracle wants to do with its newly purchased Sun’s open-source operating system, OpenSolaris? The answer appears to be: “Nothing.”
Sun, Oracle and third-party sources are telling me that OpenSolaris developers are afraid that they’ll be either moved over to working on Linux or let go once the Sun/Oracle merger is completed. Other Sun open-source managers have expressed concern that their jobs may disappear once Oracle has acquired Sun.
This can’t come as much of a surprise. Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect, said last year, “”Oracle definitely runs on Linux. We have very few servers in our infrastructure that are not Linux; that support, you know, internal IT systems, very few. And even the ones that continue to exist are on a plan to be phased out. So we definitely run our business on Linux. In fact, I mean, our entire IT infrastructure is Linux, our entire development infrastructure as well. So, you know, our development platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux. Our test platform is Oracle Enterprise Linux.”
He’s not just talking a good open-source game. Oracle has had thousands of Linux developers at work since the 1990s, and Wim Coekaerts, Oracle’s VP of Linux Engineering, is a major Linux developer. Indeed, Oracle is one of the top companies contributing to the Linux kernel.
The hand-writing is on the wall. OpenSolaris is on its way out.