Thursday Mar 28, 2013

Q&A About the Latest Oracle Linux Releases

We sat down with Monica Kumar, Senior Director, Oracle Linux, Oracle Virtualization, and MySQL Product Marketing, to discuss the latest update on Oracle Linux.


Q. What are the latest Oracle Linux releases? 

A. Oracle Linux 5.9 and Oracle Linux 6.4 represent the latest releases of Oracle Linux. These releases are built on top of Oracle Linux 5 and 6 respectively and include updates supporting new hardware and driver features, as well as bug fixes and security updates. For additional details, please see the 5.9 release notes and 6.4 release notes.

Q. Why would customers want to update their Oracle Linux systems to the latest release? What advantages will it give them?

A. Updates play a critical role in the overall lifecycle of an operating system release. An update release provides an opportunity for customers to leverage new hardware features as well as apply critical bug fixes and security updates. Oracle Linux 5.9 is also a consolidation of previously released errata published since the release of 5.8 – and the same holds true for 6.4. As part of Oracle Linux, we also offer an innovative and modern kernel – Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. The combination of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel with the latest bug fixes and new hardware support helps improve performance, enhance stability and enable systems to remain secure.

Q. Why do customers choose Oracle Linux? What do they get from Oracle Linux that they couldn't get by using RHEL or SUSE or a non-commercially supported distribution?

 A. Oracle Linux offers many benefits. Key benefits include:

  1. Technology: Latest innovations (with tracking mainline, optimizations from Oracle Engineered Systems, and Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is the culmination of this technology excellence, offering enhanced performance, reliability and a more modern Linux distribution), as well as unique features such as Ksplice, DTrace, and support for popular file systems including ocfs2 besides the others.
  2. Testing/ Deployment best practices: over 100,000 hours of QA/day using Oracle Linux – most tested distribution with enterprise workloads and over 160 validated configurations.
  3. Support: 24/7 world-class Linux support in 145 countries; by far the widest and largest support network over Red Hat or SUSE
  4. Cost: Lowest cost support
  5. Free Access to software: free download of binaries and patches

Read detailed information regarding RHEL vs Oracle Linux

Q. What does Oracle give back to the Linux kernel community?

A. New Linux kernel development is focused on working with Linus and the mainline kernel community, where we, like other Linux distribution vendors, contribute significant amounts.  Over time, those mainline development projects trickle down into an OS distribution like Oracle Linux 6 through Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel which is a great vehicle – and how we introduce new Linux kernel features into Oracle Linux and provide it to customers. Oracle has a long history of developing open source projects and working with the Linux kernel community. We are active contributors to many features found in the mainline kernel today, including OCFS2, Btrfs, NFS, XEN, to name just a few. In addition, our business model for Oracle Linux is to focus on providing the best operating system for mission critical workloads, and contributing the work we do back to the mainline community. Our git repository for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is publicly available on oss.oracle.com/git so anyone can see our development work and our contributions. In addition, we make Oracle Linux freely available, including all of our errata, whether you have a support subscription or not.

See this link for more on Oracle’s contributions to Linux.

Q. Why is Oracle Linux better for customers than using the most current version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux? What's the value for customers?

A. Oracle Linux including the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel  is developed to provide high performance and stability for mission-critical applications. Users benefit from the innovations and improvements occurring in the mainline Linux community, which we deliver rapidly with Oracle Linux. In addition, Oracle Linux is the most well tested distribution for enterprise workloads, especially Oracle workloads. We conduct over 100,000 hours/day of testing at Oracle using Oracle Linux. Additionally, support of Oracle’s Engineered Systems plus the enterprise application knowledge that we have, is unmatched by our competitors.

The technical support we provide with Oracle Linux also includes important bug fixes that Red Hat may choose not to release. For our customers, these fixes are critical and it is one of the many reasons they choose Oracle Linux. In addition, with capabilities like zero-downtime kernel updates through Ksplice, they receive features that are not offered by Red Hat.

Q. What is being planned for the next release and what is the predicted timing of the next release?

A. Oracle continues to focus on features which improve performance and the innovations found in the mainline Linux community. We are currently working on the next generation of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux.

We expect update releases for both Oracle Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6 and a new release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel in calendar year 2013.

If you want to know more about Oracle Linux, check these resources.

Resources:

Oracle Linux Overview: Animated Demo

Oracle Linux Website

Linux Cost Calculator (RHEL vs Oracle Linux)

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