Propelling business innovation across on-premises and cloud environments with Linux

March 28, 2023 | 5 minute read
Gursewak Sokhi
Technical Product Manager - Oracle Linux & Virtualization
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Organizations are accelerating their digital transformation processes for long-term growth and often looking to run their workloads on-premises and in cloud environments. Linux has proven to be a critical technology, especially well-suited for cloud computing. However, not all Linux distributions offer the same benefits. Enterprises need a distribution that delivers specialized features, scalability, and leading performance to help bring products to market faster. Oracle Linux, a secure and optimized operating environment, is at the forefront of helping organizations innovate and is supported across on-premises and multicloud environments. 

Oracle's business operations, product development, and public cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), all run on Oracle Linux. Because consistency is key to transformation and business agility, we offer our customers the same Linux that we use, including the performance and reliability tunings we perform. We also provide our customers with testing that we carry out across a large footprint. But that's not all. We integrate and test Oracle Linux with all the open source DevOps and cloud native tools that you need to drive innovation: Kubernetes, Ansible-based automation, KVM-based virtualization, and more. And we make it easy to adopt: A single support offering has it all. 

We’re immersed both in the Oracle Linux ecosystem and the global open source Linux community. Oracle developers not only contribute millions of lines of code, but many of them are maintainers of Linux’s critical elements. They also collaborate with other contributors from the Linux community. 

In this blog, we discuss how Oracle continues to be a top-tier Linux contributor, and how Oracle Linux helps deliver superior performance and top-notch security for you to innovate, build once and deploy across on-premises and multicloud environments, and expedite time to market.

Linux kernel contributions that help increase performance and reliability 

To help Linux run well, from data centers to the cloud, Oracle’s Linux kernel team is involved with the development of many new features and is constantly making improvements to the code. This involvement enables scalable performance and high availability for business-critical workloads that rely on Linux. Recently, for the Linux kernel 6.1 release, Oracle was responsible for the most lines of code changed, making it the top contributor to the release. One of the most significant contributions to the release was the official integration of the Maple Tree data structure. Impactful work also continues to be done for XFS, especially through XFS Online Repair.

High performance with the new Maple Tree data structure

In Linux, blocks of virtual memory are split into areas, each described by a virtual memory area (VMA) structure, vm_area_struct. A process can have a VMA for its code, another VMA for the memory it uses while running, and so on. Because practically everything that runs on Linux involves memory, operations, such as lookups and modifications, on such structures characterizing VMAs must be fast and efficient. Maple Tree is a lockless B-tree data structure that has been designed to efficiently use CPU cache, significantly reduce contention on the memory management subsystem, and overall increase the performance of applications running on Linux systems.

High availability with XFS Online Repair

Online Repair, which has been in the works for multiple years, is a remarkable and substantial change for XFS. It permits XFS corruptions to be validated—without having to unmount filesystems—and even repair them online, ultimately allowing for high availability.

Boosting innovation with Oracle Linux

Innovate with OL

Oracle Linux is engineered to increase the performance and stability of enterprise applications, from data-heavy to compute-intensive. Oracle Linux provides a 100% application binary compatible alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux is highly optimized to deliver performance improvements and the latest security patches, helping customers to continue innovating. On top of realizing performance gains, Oracle Linux Premier Support enables customers to reap powerful, cost-effective solutions to build and deploy products at scale. Along with 24/7 technical support from Oracle experts, you can help strengthen your systems with many Premier Support offerings, such as Oracle KspliceOracle Linux Automation Manager, and Oracle Cloud Native Environment.

Support for the following benefits is included in Oracle Linux Premier Support:

  • Enhancing security: Zero-downtime patching with Ksplice helps you guard your Linux systems against security breaches, whether they’re running on-premises or in the cloud. Ksplice is a proven technology that can substantially improve productivity and lower administrative effort because it can update your systems with the latest kernel, hypervisor, and key user space libraries without a reboot. 
  • Automating DevOps processes: You can streamline the provisioning, deployment, configuration management, and automation of IT operations with Oracle Linux Automation Manager. A robust solution based on the open source AWX and Ansible projects, Oracle Linux Automation Manager allows teams to easily create, share, and manage infrastructure automation tasks. You can create or apply existing playbooks to simplify various IT tasks, such as scanning and patching systems to help them remain compliant with security policies. By using the OCI Ansible Collection in Oracle Linux Automation Manager, you can provision and manage resources in OCI in a straightforward manner.
  • Cloud native DevOps: For the development and management of cloud native applications, Oracle Cloud Native Environment provides open standards-based software promoted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the Open Container Initiative, and other best-of-breed cloud native projects. Through its delivery of a production-ready environment for running containerized applications and standalone container tools for development, Oracle Cloud Native Environment helps customers accelerate cloud native DevOps and reduce the time to market for new products.  

With support for modern programming languages including Java, Python, Node.js, Go, Ruby, and PHP, Oracle Linux offers developers the freedom to choose the tools and languages that work best for them.

Customers with OCI subscriptions benefit from all the offerings of Premier Support at no extra cost. Furthermore, OCI customers can use Oracle Autonomous Linux systems that stay patched and have automatic self-tuning capabilities, helping to eliminate human error and management complexity. Autonomous Linux helps customers avoid security vulnerabilities due to pending patches while being able to maintain low operating costs in OCI.

Start using Oracle Linux now!

You can download, use, and distribute Oracle Linux free of charge from the Oracle Linux yum server. You can also obtain the latest security updates, bug fixes, and errata for Oracle Linux for free. If you have an OCI subscription, in a few clicks, you can launch Oracle Linux-based compute instances with preinstalled Oracle Cloud Infrastructure utilities and start developing in minutes.

For more information, see the following resources:

Gursewak Sokhi

Technical Product Manager - Oracle Linux & Virtualization

Gursewak Sokhi is a Technical Product Manager for Oracle Linux and Virtualization. He holds a Computer Engineering B.S. with a concentration in Systems Programming, and a Mathematics and Economics B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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