BOSTON – Oracle Corp. is highlighting its partnership with Red Hat and opening a Linux Test Lab to experiment with its software on the open source platform and the mainline Linux kernel.
Oracle will dedicate a team of 15 developers to Linux kernel development. The lab will provide a single point of contact for technical support for Oracle products running on Red Hat and Novell SuSE operating systems, said Wim Coekaerts, director of Linux engineering at Oracle.
Coekaerts and Paul Cormier, executive vice president of engineering at Red Hat, held a joint press conference Tuesday at the Linux World Conference & Expo 2005 to discuss their longstanding partnership and the value of Oracle's Linux Test Lab.
"When customers deploy our software, they're deploying more than just our database, so we'll be testing virtually the entire Oracle stack in the lab," Coekaerts said. "We'll be taking our entire company workload as a stress test in Linux environments 24/7."
The company has had a longstanding partnership with both Red Hat and Novell SuSE for certification of its products on the operating systems, Coekaerts said.
Oracle has been trying to take market share away from Germany's SAP AG in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software market. It has been quickly working to certify its ERP products on Linux. In January Oracle ramped up its efforts to battle SAP by officially taking over PeopleSoft Inc. and combining PeopleSoft technologies into its E-Business Suite.
Cormier said Red Hat's relationship with Oracle, SAP and other software vendors have given its operating system more clout in business environments.
"The more mission critical apps we get involved with, the more and more our missions equal out," Cormier said. "We're winning more and more bids every day on technical workstation environments."
SAP has run a similar Linux testing lab with Red Hat and its partners for several years.
The SAP LinuxLab and Unix Platforms Center currently provides patches and information on Linux fixes to SAP customers. Developers from Bull, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, RealTech, SuSE and Red Hat share the lab with SAP developers.
In 1999, SAP began shipping the company's core R/3 product on Linux. That same year, Oracle Corp. pledged its support for Linux. It was unclear at that time whether Linux would ever be ready for prime time. Since then, the open source platform has been widely adopted, and enterprise software vendors are rushing to figure out how to take advantage of its popularity.
Oracle is taking a similar strategy with its new lab. Coekaerts said the developers will fix operating system issues as they are discovered and release the fixes to the Linux community, Red Hat and Novell.
Coekaerts also said the lab will provide a single point of contact for technical support for Oracle products running on Red Hat and SuSE operating systems.
In a separate announcement, Oracle said its products have been certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. SAP traditionally gets certified on SuSE and follows with Red Hat. Last week SAP announced that its mySAP Business Suite has been certified on Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 operating system.