Oracle aims for Linux administration pros with new management pack

Oracle is beefing up its support program for Red Hat Linux users with the new Oracle Management Pack for Linux.

Oracle Linux administration professionals currently taking part in the company's newly unveiled Linux administration support program now have the option of deploying a new Linux management package at no additional cost.

Unveiled today, the new Oracle Management Pack for Linux represents the first major Linux-related announcement that Oracle has made since last October when the company pledged to offer full support to users of Red Hat Inc.'s Linux distribution. The Linux administration and support initiative -- dubbed the Oracle Unbreakable Linux program by Oracle chairman Larry Ellison -- also promises to undercut Red Hat's support prices by about half.

Oracle says the Management Pack for Linux is based on Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g and includes tools that let users more easily handle tasks like provisioning, patching and monitoring Linux servers. It's currently available to Oracle Unbreakable Linux customers free of charge.

"Linux servers are getting increasingly common in the production areas of enterprise data centers," said Adam Hawley, director of product management for Oracle Enterprise Manager. "Customers have been using it to develop and test for years, but it's really now getting to be a critical platform for them. What we're really offering is a very simple way to get access to an enterprise-class management solution."

Hawley said the Oracle Management Pack for Linux is different from other Linux administration offerings in that it doesn't require the purchase and integration of multiple tools. He said the Management Pack gives users a real-time, centralized view of Linux environments, including Linux servers and the applications and database instances those servers host.

According to Oracle, the new Management Pack for Linux offers tools that cover Linux provisioning, using a centralized software library; Linux operating system patching through integration with the Oracle Unbreakable Linux network; server configuration management, which allows users to collect and search for configuration information; server monitoring, including alert generation and notification; and server administration, including system services and network setup.

The pack also includes a tool for centrally managing operating system jobs on individual or multiple servers and a tool for managing groups of servers as one.

"We are very committed to making sure that not only do we bring enterprise-class support for Linux, but that we also keep enhancing our users' experiences by delivering more functionality to the Linux platform," said Monica Kumar, Oracle's senior director of product marketing.

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