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Oracle OpenWorld: UnBreakable Linux / 5015.2 not on the horizon

By Dick Weisinger

 Oracle Linux announcement

After ringing the closing NASDAQ bell on Wednesday at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison announced that Oracle would begin providing support for Red Hat Linux at half the cost of Red Hat’s Linux support package.  After that announcement, Red Hat stock dropped 16% and costumed Penguins started roaming the OpenWorld show floor.  Oracle Penguin Baby-on-Board-like car window signs were also scattered through the booths.  Oracle’s move to add Linux to their stack had been predicted for some time, but many expected that Ubuntu would be acquired. 

The morning session at the OpenWorld show started out more lackluster.  John Wookey gave an update on Oracle’s application business.  Nothing really new.  Oracle reiterated their plan to continue support for the many newly acquired applications that are now part of the Oracle family. 

A parallel roadmap for all the products was given with no dates.  The Fusion project is on-going and SOA/BPEL provides a mechanism for all of Oracle applications to interact. Some have questioned whether Fusion is off-track and has turned out to be a much bigger task than expected — eWeek questioned why no Executive-level interviews were allowed during the conference, speculating that Oracle didn’t want to risk putting any attention on possible delays of the Fusion project.

The highlight of the Oracle Applications presentation was a customer success story presented by Giovanni Contino from Ducati Motor Holding, an Italian motorcycle company.  He joked that a major deciding reason for why Ducati selected Oracle’s eBusiness suite was because both Ducati and Oracle use the same shade of red in their logos.

The follow-up keynote by Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz was much more interesting.  Schwartz pledged to announce Open Source Java within the next 60 to 90 days.  Open Source Java is expected to be released under the OSI license (Open Source Initiative). 

Schwartz also touted the 6-million-license mark for downloads of Sun’s Open Source Solaris.  He emphasized Sun’s drive towards delivering more power-efficient eco-friendly hardware solutions (“Good for your business/Good for the Planet”).

Schwartz also had video footage of Sun’s mobile data center Project BlackBox which crams the computing gear of a data center into an 8 foot by 8 foot by 20 foot standard shipping container box.  The containers can withstand a shock of nine times the force of gravity.  For $3000 the box can be shipped almost anywhere in the US to provide computing power whereever and whenever it is needed.  Plug in the electricity, water for cooling, and internet connection, and you are set to go.   

Vendor exhibits sprawled throughout San Francisco’s Convention Moscone West and South Convention buildings.  Oracle seemed to be well represented with many booths across all their technologies and applications, and given the proximity to Oracle headquarters, the Oracle booths were filled with Oracle developers and product managers eager to explain products at any level.

I tracked down the Content DB group to check the status from them.  Surprisingly they didn’t seem to be positioned as prominently as they were at OpenWorld 2005.  One product that was missing from their representation was RM.  There was no Records Management DB booth. 

I was disappointed to learn that Oracle had removed their name from the waiting list to be certified for 5015.2 compliance.  I was told that on review of the Oracle RM implementation that there were some problems that were discovered and they blamed the 5015.2 spec as being a little vague in its specification/definition.  They said that most of the requests they are getting now for RM standards are related to European MoReq rather than 5015.2, so Oracle is now focusing on MoReq.  There were no dates for when Oracle might again sign up for 5015.2 compliance.  It looks like Microsoft has the lead on them for 5015.2 certification now.

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