Reasons You Should Consider Migrating From SUSE Linux (SLES) to Oracle Linux

Each day we receive inquiries from Oracle customers who are interested in migrating from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to Oracle Linux.  As a result, we hosted a webcast to provide additional information for customers who are considering migration and there are a few key points from the webcast I would like to share.

First, I believe all Oracle customers benefit from using Oracle Linux for their Oracle workloads.  Oracle Linux is the corporate Linux standard for all development groups at Oracle.  The Oracle products you use are developed on Oracle Linux.  This development standard creates a natural synergy between Oracle Linux and the Oracle application stack.  Oracle Linux receives over 128,000 hours of testing  from Oracle products, including extensive regression testing, while SLES receives only basic installation testing as an operating system. 

Oracle Linux subscriptions also offer tremendous value.  With Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Support subscriptions you receive 24x7 support, 365 days per year with unlimited incidents. Compared to SLES, Oracle Linux can significantly reduce your operating expenses which translates directly to your bottom line.   Let's take, as an example, a 4-socket system hosting several virtual machines with 24x7 support:

 Oracle Linux Basic Support Subscription
 SLES Priority , 4-socket, Virtual Subscription
 $1,199 annually (per server)
 $3,878 annually (per server)

As you can see in the table, the SLES Priority Subscription list price is $3,878 annually, per server.  For Oracle Linux, the equivalent Basic subscription would be $1,199, about 69% less.   If you had 100 servers in your data center, this would be an annual savings of $267,000!   In addition, the Oracle Linux Basic and Premier Subscriptions include solutions for high availability and system management, at no additional charge.  To receive these features with SLES, you must purchase additional extension subscriptions per server.  Using the previous example, for the SUSE Linux High Availability extension you will pay an additional $1,398 for each 4-socket server in the cluster, per year.  This now represents a 77% savings with Oracle Linux.  If you want to use their system management tools, there is a separately priced extension.  As you can see from the example, the SUSE extension-based pricing model quickly adds up.  With Oracle Linux, our pricing is straightforward and subscriptions include more features, providing greater value for you.

There are also features you will only find with Oracle Linux.  For example, what if I were to tell you Oracle Linux provides all bug and security errata on our public yum repositories and it is free, would you be interested?  With Oracle Linux, you receive:

  1. Free ISO downloads for each major and minor releases
  2. Free software channels for bug fixes and security errata
  3. All source code, including changelogs, for free.  No subscription required.
  4. The ability to freely redistribute without a requirement to modify copyrights, trademarks, or sign additional agreements
  5. Freedom from restrictive support term requirements to cover all systems with subscriptions.  Oracle Linux support is only required for systems that you intend to receive support services for.  Systems that are static, and don't need support (testing, development, etc.) do not have to be covered by a subscription.

With SLES, you can download the product under a 60-day evaluation, but after 60 days you'll need a subscription if you wish to receive any further updates to the software or to access the source for those updates.  You will not have access to the changelogs for the source and if you want to distribute you will need to remove all trademarks, trade dress and logos before doing so.  In addition, depending on your buying program, you may be required to cover every instance of SLES with a subscription, regardless of whether you require support for that system.

There are also unique features for Oracle applications which are offered only with Oracle Linux.  One example is Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache.  Introduced originally with Oracle 11g Release 2, Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache provides the ability to extend the database buffer cache without adding additional main memory by expanding to second level cache on flash memory.  This ability to leverage flash improves Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environments by improving transaction throughput and application response times.  Oracle Linux is the only Linux distribution with support for this feature. 

Also, have you ever considered what the actual cost is for system downtime in your data center?  Every data center schedules maintenance for production environments and for every maintenance window needed, an administrator must coordinate with multiple groups to plan and schedule downtime.  When you consider large systems, like the Oracle database, the man-hours needed to coordinate, schedule and implement maintenance updates quickly add up.  What if I told you Oracle Linux Premier Support subscriptions include Ksplice, a service for installing kernel updates without requiring a system reboot.  Ksplice eliminates many of the common maintenance scenarios which result in a system restart, allowing administrators to keep up to date with the latest kernel errata, without bringing down the server.

Finally, let's end by talking about support.  As everyone knows, Linux is open source and when you choose to purchase subscriptions for Linux, you are buying access to a vendor's knowledge and expertise.  With Oracle Linux, customers have access to the best support professionals in the industry, who not only understand the operating system but they also understand the Oracle applications running on it.  You will spend less time being shuffled from vendor to vendor when you have a critical issue, producing quicker resolutions for your production systems.

I have highlighted several key reasons why you should consider a migration from SLES to Oracle Linux and I encourage you to  review the materials we have available on the Migration Made Easy web site, where you will find additional tips and guides to get you started.  If you have additional questions or you are ready to talk about your migration, please contact us for more information.


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