When Oracle looked at all the distributions of Linux, to decide what to use as a base for the “unbreakable Linux” on which to mount its 9i database system, each one was seen to lack some vital facility.
Red Hat Linux was chosen because it had more optional facilities than the others, says Dave Dargo, a performance engineering executive in Oracle’s platform technologies division, but also because Red Hat was willing to work closely with Oracle. It took Oracle’s test suite as a standard, for example, and ran the new release of Linux through it before it went to production. Oracle put in what it saw as the comparatively few missing pieces, in areas such as asynchronous I/O and virtual memory management.
Oracle is also collaborating in “hardening” Red Hat Linux from a security point of view as a separate exercise, Dargo says.
All Red Hat Linux users will get the benefit of the same improvements and makers of other Linux distributions can also make analogous improvements, he says. “That’s the point of the open source community”.
Oracle 9i is, however, also certified on SuSE’s SLES7 release, one of the key bases for the planned UnitedLinux, a uniform distribution for business use, he says.
Compaq has released a “parallel database cluster” of ProLiant DL580 servers certified for Oracle9i Real Application Cluster on SuSE Linux SLES7.