The results of a new Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) member survey indicate that Linux will overtake Sun Microsystems' Unix-based Solaris as the top operating system (OS) for Oracle database deployments in 2007, an IOUG official said in an interview.
Ari Kaplan, president of IOUG, who will be discussing the survey at next week's Collaborate '06 user conference in Nashville, said the results offer further proof that users are continuing to move away from expensive Unix deployments in favor of more cost-effective and now time-tested Linux offerings.
"Within one year [the survey] shows that Linux will become finally the number one platform for Oracle databases," Kaplan said. "It's really showing that the enterprise has finally adopted and embraced open source technology."
The e-mail-based survey was conducted during January and February. It was sent to 14,500 IOUG members, including database administrators, developers, technicians and IT managers. IOUG says it based the results of the survey on 812 usable responses the group got in return.
The IOUG survey also asked members which database management systems they run. Oracle 9i was the number one answer followed by SQL Server at number two.
"This shows you that it's a heterogeneous world out there," Kaplan said. "People are running a little bit of everything."
Tony Iams, a vice president and senior operating systems analyst with Ideas International in New York, said that he's not surprised by the IOUG survey results, given the amount of energy that Oracle and Dell Inc. have put into promoting Oracle and Linux on commodity hardware.
"Dell has been very aggressive in positioning Oracle and Linux as an alternative to Unix systems, and so starting about two years ago, Oracle has been strongly advocating building systems using a scale out approach where you use smaller industry standard servers and connect them with Oracle's clustering software," Iams said. "For many users that is a compelling alternative to spending a lot of money on proprietary hardware running Unix."
Last week, Oracle's chief executive officer Larry Ellison floated the possibility of Oracle launching its own Linux OS. It's a move that Iams said would have some major benefits for Oracle in that the company would truly be able offer a comprehensive package of software. But the problem with launching a new Linux OS is that it's tough to get sales channel partners on board, he added.
"There are many Linux distributions but only a few of them are fully supported by a broad base of ISVs and hardware suppliers," Iams said. "There is really no technical reason why Oracle couldn't do that. The issue is that to really be effective a distribution has to be fully supported by third parties."