Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

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.

Friday Apr 05, 2013

All for One, One for All: MySQL, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM Tech Tours

MySQL Tech Tours: From the Web to the Cloud

Are you looking to deploy MySQL-based applications with Oracle Linux and Oracle VM either on-premise or in the cloud?

Are you in Europe?

Join us to learn how you can reduce costs and improve business agility while achieving the highest levels of MySQL scalability, security and uptime and hear about benefits of using Oracle Linux and Oracle VM for your infrastructure. 

Register today: 

April 11, 2013, Reading, UK

April 17, 2013, München, Germany

April 18, 2013, Hannover, Germany

April 24, 2013, Baden (near Zürich), Switzerland

May 07, 2013, Rome, Italy

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Announcing Ksplice Inspector!

Everyone knows a good inspector is crucial when buying a home or looking for clues in a "whodunit". And now you also have an "inspector" for your Linux kernel!

Today Oracle released a new tool called the Ksplice Inspector enabling Linux users to analyze kernel updates available for their Linux kernel. With so many kernel updates released, it can be difficult to keep track. At Oracle, we monitor kernels on a daily basis and provide bug and security updates administrators can apply without a system reboot. To help out, the Ksplice team at Oracle has produced the Ksplice Inspector, a web tool to show you the updates Ksplice can apply to your kernel with zero downtime.

Read the Ksplice blog article for more details on this new tool and who can use it. 

Monday Apr 01, 2013

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Tweet Chat with Wim Coekaerts, April 11, 1pm PT

Tweet Chat with Oracle Executive, Wim Coekaerts on all thing Linux

When : Thursday, April 11 at 1 p.m. PT

Join Oracle Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Wim Coekaerts, on Thursday, April 11 at 1 p.m. PT for an hour of tweets about all things Linux!

Please submit your questions on Twitter by using #AskOracleExec. Wim will be responding to questions using the @ORCL_Linux Twitter handle.

Wim Coekaerts is the Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering for Oracle. He is responsible for Oracle's complete desktop to data center virtualization product line as well. Mr. Coekaerts joined Oracle in 1995.

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.


Oracle Linux Overview: Animated Demo

Oracle Linux Website

Linux Cost Calculator (RHEL vs Oracle Linux)

Thursday Mar 21, 2013

New blog: Oracle Mainline Linux Kernel Development

The Oracle mainline Linux kernel team lead by James Morris works as part of the Linux kernel community to develop new features and maintain existing code. It is globally distributed and includes leading core kernel developers and industry veterans.

They now have their own blog, to share some insights about recent Linux developments with you. Quoting from James' introduction:

In this blog I'll be discussing new and interesting happenings with the team. There'll be some technical deep dives and contributed posts from team members. The primary audiences are technical Oracle Linux users and the wider Linux community.

They just posted their first IETF 86 NFSv4 Working Group meeting report by Chuck Lever - if you'd like to learn more about the latest developments around NFS, this one is a good read!

Wednesday Mar 20, 2013

Oracle Linux at Collaborate 2013

Are you attending Collaborate 2013 ? 

Oracle Linux and Oracle Virtualization teams will be there and we are inviting you to our booth to see the latest Oracle Linux and Oracle Virtualization enhancements and talk to experts. We will also give out Oracle Linux/Oracle VM DVD Kit and Server Virtualization for Dummies booklet.  Visit Oracle booth #1091.

We also have a great session that Michele Casey, Director of Product Management for Oracle Linux, will be presenting. Don't miss this opportunity to register:

Date Session ID Session Details Product Line Track Add to Planner
Mon. Apr. 8
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
345 Linux, Oracle Database Database

Add to MyShow

Collaborate  logistics:

Date: April 7-11, 2013 

Colorado Convention Center 

700 14th Street

Denver, CO 80202

Exhibition Hall Hours:

Monday, April 8, 2013 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Welcome Reception)

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Sean D. Tucker will be signing autographs at the Oracle booth

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Attend the Oracle Keynote on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. presented by Sean D. Tucker.

Special invitation for Partners in Collaborate: 

If you are a Partner and interested in getting certified on Oracle Linux, we have limited FREE Vouchers available for OPN Specialist Test Fest @ Collaborate 13 Conference:

 At Collaborate 13, Oracle Partners have a unique opportunity to become Oracle Certified Specialists in their chosen Oracle solution area from exams available at the event site. Understanding there are times the Exhibit Hall is closed to your staff, special hours and an onsite location have been arranged to make it as easy as possible for OPN Partners to take advantage. 

OPN certification differentiates Oracle Partners in the marketplace by providing a competitive edge through proven expertise. Earning these certifications will also contribute to increasing your company's level in the OPN Specialization Program. Oracle Specialized partners are recognized by Oracle, and preferred by customers. Make sure you check the exams available at the event site and register early as there is a limited number of FREE vouchers enabling partners to take exams at no charge. Read more and Register today for the OPN TestFest 

List of exams available for this Test Fest includes:
  • Oracle Linux 6 Implementation Essentials (1Z0-460)
  • Oracle Linux Fundamentals (1Z0-402)
  • Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Essentials (1Z0-590)

For additional information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.collaborate13.org/

We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Free APAC Sysadmin Day for Oracle Linux - March 14

Hands–On Labs for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux and Oracle VM

We're taking the very popular OTN Sysadmin Days and going virtual! On Thursday, March 14, 2013, we're going to climb into a virtual platform and open our hands-on labs to you. This time it is for our Asia Pacific audiences. 

You'll be able to perform real-world tasks with Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM, and if you get stumped, jump into the chat window and ask for help from the Oracle experts.

There's one caveat: you'll have to do a little homework ahead of time. Load the virtual images onto your laptop, find the instructions, and make sure everything is working properly.

This wiki https://wikis.oracle.com/display/virtualsysadminday/Home explains what you need to do. If you have questions, ask them as comments to the wiki:https://wikis.oracle.com/display/virtualsysadminday/Home.

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Start – 9:30am (India time)/ 12noon (Singapore)/ 3:00pm (Sydney)
Close – 1:15pm (India Time) / 3:45pm (Singapore)/ 6:45pm (Sydney)

Register online now! for this FREE event

Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Announcing Oracle Linux 6.4

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 6.4, the fourth update release for Oracle Linux 6. The individual RPM packages have already been published from our public yum repository and ISO images will soon be available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Oracle Linux 6.4 includes new features and improvements, most notably a new version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 6.4 Release Notes.

Oracle Linux customers also have access to a number of recently announced unique features/benefits, including:

Support for XFS file system: Today we also announced support for XFS file system in Oracle Linux. It is now available for customers with Premier Support subscriptions using Oracle Linux 6. Read the XFS support blog article for more details.

Ksplice offline client: We recently announced a new feature in our Ksplice service, known as the Ksplice offline client. Ksplice provides zero downtime updates for your kernel and now this new option eliminates the requirement to have a direct connection to the internet to apply Ksplice patches. Read more details in Wim Coekaerts’ blog and watch this video describing updating and patching in Oracle Linux.

DTrace for Oracle Linux: Another new addition is the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework available to Oracle Linux customers. It is available to download from ULN for supported customers. 

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge, including updates and errata which are also freely available.

Announcing XFS Support for Oracle Linux

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce a new offer for our customers with Premier Support subscription using Oracle Linux 6.  We have had many requests to provide a supported option for the XFS file system on Oracle Linux and effective today customers with Premier Support subscriptions using Oracle Linux 6 will receive XFS support, at no additional charge!  The XFS filesystem is a journaling file system known for high-performance and scalability.   With fast transactions, extreme scalability and near native I/O performance, it is easy to understand the popularity of this versatile filesystem.  XFS support is offered on the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 and also with the Red Hat compatible kernel.  We are excited about this new offer and the great news is, most of the features are already available on your system today.  Install the RPM package  'xfsprogs' from ULN using the command  'yum install xfsprogs', which provides utilities for managing XFS and you will be ready to create and deploy. 

Monday Feb 11, 2013

LIVE WEBCAST: Migrating from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux- Feb 28

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013 

Time: 9am PT/12pm ET

Are you looking to migrate off SUSE Linux (SLES) to mitigate risk, get highest-quality support, and lower your cost?

Oracle Linux offers the best performing andlowest cost alternative with 24/7 worldwide support.

In this webcast Linux experts will discuss why and how to migrate off SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux. We will cover:

  • Why migrate from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux
  • Benefits and unique features of Oracle Linux
  • General migration steps including platform differences
  • Tips and advice for a successful migration process


Monica Kumar, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

Michele Casey, Director, Product Management, Oracle

Register Today


Monday Jan 14, 2013

Finding Important Errata and CVE Information on ULN

I have recently received several questions about how to find information relating to critical security updates or important errata releases for Oracle Linux. I realized that perhaps people were not aware of the new features and improvements to Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN), which assist users with common administrative tasks. I wanted to take a quick moment to highlight for you some of the changes we have made. First, there are two links you will want to bookmark:

Each link will allow the user to evaluate what updates have been made available for Oracle Linux.

With https://linux.oracle.com/errata you are able to view all errata releases available, listed by type, severity, advisory, summary and release date. In addition, you are also able to filter this list by release and/or type (Bug, Security, Enhancement) and if you select an item from the list you will receive additional details regarding the errata, including a description, related CVEs and the packages updated by the errata.  You can also navigate to this same information by logging into ULN and selecting the 'Errata' tab from the options across the top.

For those who need information on security errata involving CVE identifiers (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) we have created https://linux.oracle.com/cve. This site allows you to gather information on important CVE identifiers, by providing a summary of all CVE offered through ULN. This summary is listed by CVE identifier and includes a brief synopsis and the release date. You can also filter the list by year. In addition, when you select a specific CVE identifier, you will receive additional details, such as information on CVSS v2 metrics as well as affected platforms.

We have been working to bring more features to ULN and these updates should provide more tools to simplify your administrative activities. Happy patching!

Monday Jan 07, 2013

Introducing the Ksplice Offline client

We are excited to announce the availability of a new feature in our Ksplice service, known as the Ksplice offline client.  This new option eliminates the requirement on a direct connection to the internet to apply zero-downtime Ksplice patches.  The Ksplice offline client allows the user to create a local YUM repository which will mirror the Ksplice channel from ULN (Unbreakable Linux Network).  Once you have mirrored the channel on your local network, you simply apply the patch using the same Ksplice tools and commands you are already familiar with.  Ksplice is available to all customers with Oracle Linux Premier or Oracle Linux Premier Limited support.  Take a look at Wim's blog, where he provides an excellent example for how to setup and use this new service and if you are using Red Hat and want to try Ksplice, you can sign up for a 30 Day Free trial

Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Oracle Linux Hands-on Lab from your Home? Yes You Can Do That!

We're taking the very popular OTN Sysadmin Days and going virtual! We have two days to choose from:

Americas - Tuesday January 15th, 2013

9:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. BRT

EMEA -  Tuesday January 29th, 2013 -

9:00 a.m – 13:00 p.m GMT / 10:00 a.m – 14:00 p,m CET / 12:00 p.m – 16:00 p.m AST / 13:00 p.m – 17:00 p,m MSK / 14:30 p.m – 18:30 p.m IST

You'll be able to perform real-world tasks with Oracle Linux and if you have questions you can ask for help from the Oracle experts through chat window. There's one caveat: you'll have to do a little homework ahead of time. Load the virtual images onto your laptop, find the instructions, and make sure everything is working properly. 

This wiki https://wikis.oracle.com/display/virtualsysadminday/Home explains what you need to do. If you have questions, ask them as comments to the wiki:https://wikis.oracle.com/display/virtualsysadminday/Home

Oracle Linux Track 

1. Oracle Linux Technology Overview - In this session we will go over the latest Oracle Linux features including tools for Linux administration such as the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and public yum. We will also show you a demo of Ksplice zero downtime kernel updates, only available to Oracle Linux customers. You will see how easy it is to switch from Red Hat support to Oracle Linux support by using ULN. Last but not least, we’ll introduce the 3 hands-on labs that will follow this session in the Linux track.

2. HOL: Package Management -  In this lab session you will use the package management on Oracle Linux using RPM and yum. Some of the tasks that you will experience include listing installed packages, obtaining additional information about packages, searching for packages and installing/updating them as well as verifying package integrity and removing software. We’ll also review Linux services and run levels, how to start and stop them, checking the status of a particular service and enabling a service to be started automatically at system boot.

3. HOL: Storage Management - In this hands-on lab session, you will learn about storage management with LVM2, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, preparing block devices, creating physical and logical volumes, creating file systems on top of logical volumes, and resizing file systems dynamically. You will also practice setting up software RAID devices, configuring encrypted block devices.Btrfs File System - In this hands-on lab session, we will introduce you to Btrfs file system. You will be able to create and mount a Btrfs file system and learn to setup a mirrored/striped file system across multiple block devices. You’ll also learn how to add and remove block devices, and create file system snapshots.

Register for this FREE event.


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