Although Oracle has thousands of partners, it created a special partnership program for Linux vendors as part of the Oracle Unbreakable Linux support program. To qualify, a vendor must participate in Oracle's configuration testing program, and its products must be certified to run on Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL).
"This [announcement] shows the momentum and wide deployment of Linux applications on Oracle," said Monica Kumar, senior director of product marketing for Linux and open source.Oracle Unbreakable Linux support to broaden Linux customer base
In the 18 months since Oracle began offering OEL based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, tens of thousands of users have downloaded the free software, and about 2,500 pay for Oracle support, Kumar said. The key for Oracle, though, is not the revenue from OEL but the opportunity to reach new customers with its Linux OS and then offer them other Oracle products, according to Wim Coekaerts, Oracle's vice president of engineering.
Oracle is already in every major company; now it can market Linux to its customer base and its partner network to further spread Linux adoption for high-end servers, Coekaerts said.
The new partnership network will benefit customers because the robust testing and best practices should result in fewer problems and faster deployments; and if a problem arises, a customer with an all-Oracle stack has just one vendor to call, Coekaerts said.
Asked if Oracle plans to make a more aggressive effort to go after Red Hat customers with this initiative, Coekaerts said, to the contrary, that Oracle is simply focused on expanding its Linux base in the enterprise market.
Kumar did not know how many Linux vendors were in Oracle's partner network prior to the announcement of the 15 additions, but she said the new partners included providers of a range of Linux products including backup and recovery, storage, and security.
The new partners are 3Par Inc. ActiveState Software Inc., BakBone Software Inc., FalconStor Software, Likewise Software, Mellanox Technologies, Silicon Graphics Inc., SteelEye Technology Inc., Quest Software Inc., Tripwire Inc.,TeamQuest Corp., Trusted Computer Solutions, Voltaire Ltd., Zeus Technology Ltd. and Zmanda Inc.