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Oracle on Unix/Linux vs. Windows

We have had Oracle databases running on HP-UX for seven years or more. Management is looking at the possibility of rehosting these mission-critical/high-availability databases onto a Windows platform due to the cost of maintenance of these boxes. We haven't made a decision as to which way we lean, Windows or Unix. What are the advantages of running Oracle on Unix/Linux vs. Windows? We run on HP-UX 11.0 64-bit. Is it a wise decision to move to Windows when we have a fairly time-tested and robust platform now?

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I always follow the rule that if I have a time-tested platform and it has been working just fine, then leave it alone. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That being said, hardware that is seven years old may be getting ready to fail any day now. So moving to new hardware may be necessary.

I personally prefer Unix and Linux over Windows for production Oracle databases. But Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 have pretty good uptime records. So you can run a mission-critical Oracle database on the Windows paltforms and have some sense of stability. But if you are looking at moving towards an Intel platform, then you might want to consider Linux instead. Your SysAdmins who are used to managing HP-UX platforms will have an easier time managing Linux over Windows.

This was first published in July 2006

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