Oracle, Red Hat stoush leaves users unfazed

Support for Linux not a worry

Linux big guns Oracle and Red Hat may be battling it out for support supremacy, but local IT shops have little concern for how any outcome may affect their operations.

A CIO of a NSW government department, who requested anonymity, told Computerworld, "good luck to them".

The CIO, who presides over both Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Oracle's clustered database products, said "intentions are one thing", and actually offering support is another.

Oracle rocked the Linux world last week when it announced it would provide source code-level support for RHEL at a lower cost than Red Hat under the Unbreakable Linux brand.

Judging by this government department's experience, Oracle is yet to approach local customers about migrating Red Hat Linux to Unbreakable Linux.

"When [Oracle's] offer becomes real we can always look at it and see if there is value in it [but] it's too early in the piece to try and speculate how it's going to end up," the CIO said, adding he has no concern about any supplier entering a new business.

"We work with Oracle and Red Hat and, like any other vendor, they have the goods but we are not doing anything dramatic."

While the IT department "doesn't have a problem" with Red Hat or Oracle tools, if they start "getting in on each other's game" it can look at how the market evolves, according to the CIO.

"Red Hat might see it as a threat but we don't," he said. "There are a couple of dozen Linux distributions out there and you can buy support for them. The choices are great and many so it's no concern on my behalf."

William Wheatley, a systems administrator with manufacturing company Australian Arrow, was also nonchalant about the idea of Oracle muscling in on Red Hat's turf.

Australian Arrow uses RHEL but no software from Oracle.

"It doesn't affect us in our current role because we don't have Oracle," Wheatley said, adding he wouldn't consider Oracle's Linux support unless he was working with an existing deployment.

Wheatley is happy with Red Hat's Linux support and has not experienced any problems so is "not particularly concerned".

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