The news came a day after Oracle announced that a handful of other hardware ISVs had also pledged to support its brand of Linux. For Tony Iams, a senior analyst with Rye Brooke, N.Y.-based Ideas International Ltd., the news was indicative of an upward trend for the company's Linux distribution, which was launched in October.
Iams called the announcement a natural progression for Oracle, given its stated efforts to wrest away market share from Red Hat Inc. in the enterprise Linux space. "It shows they're gaining some traction," he said.
However, Iams was quick to point out that the ISV list provided by Oracle encompasses only hardware vendors. "In some ways this is the path of least resistance for Oracle. As in many cases, it's only a question of making sure device drivers work. Oracle's Linux is identical to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so there's really no reason why these drivers shouldn't work," he said.
The hardware vendors listed by Oracle include 170 Systems Inc., AppWorx Corp., Egenera, Emulex Corp., Hitachi Data Systems, QLogic Corp. and Synoran. Each of these vendors now includes Oracle Enterprise Linux among the operating systems they support.
Monica Kumar, Oracle's senior director of Linux and open source marketing, said that Oracle is seeing growing interest from its partners to support their products on Oracle Enterprise Linux and ensure compatibility for their customers. She said Oracle has also maintained full compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"The announcement is important because it gives users a comfort level when buying into Oracle's brand of Linux," Iams said. "It will be interesting to see if Oracle can keep up these kinds of announcements. For this to be truly effective, Oracle really needs to be able to match Red Hat's support ecosystem with minimum compromises."
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