Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oracle: Eating its Own Open Source Food

The database giant isn't just into Linux and Xen for the money, is it?

Where in the world's largest database vendor does open source fit? At the very heart, according to Wim Coekaerts, Director of Linux Engineering at database giant Oracle.

Coekaerts leads Oracle's Linux and open source support, which includes OracleVM, the open source Xen-based virtualization hypervisor effort.

In an exhaustive interview with Coekaerts outlined where Oracle is going with its unbreakable Linux distribution, Linux kernel development and virtualization. (Oracle's Linux support stepped up in 2006 when it announced its own support of Linux based on the binaries of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the number one Linux distributor.)

Coekaerts said the critical thing for Oracle is to actively contribute to the Linux and virtualization communities that serve as the base for Oracle's open source offerings. That doesn't mean he necessarily agrees with what other vendors, in particular Red Hat and XenSource are doing, even though the company works with both of their open source products. The ultimate impact of Oracle's open source effort could well lead to a broader use of Linux and Xen or it could lead to greater fragmentation among the various open source groups supporting the two projects.

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