Memo From Novell to Oracle: No Oracle Linux NeededMemo From Novell to Oracle: No Oracle Linux Needed
Call it an open letter from Novell to Oracle and the broader Linux industry. In a blog post, Novell Director of Linux Appliances Michael Applebaum says the world "doesn't need a third Linux distro." Translation: Applebaum is attacking the Oracle Linux initiative. Plus -- consciously or not -- he's dismissing potential Novell SUSE Linux rivals like Canonical's Ubuntu distribution. Here's what Applebaum had to say, plus The VAR Guy's perspective.
September 24, 2010
Call it an open letter from Novell to Oracle and the broader Linux industry. In a blog post, Novell Director of Linux Appliances Michael Applebaum says the world “doesn’t need a third Linux distro.” Translation: Applebaum is attacking the Oracle Linux initiative. Plus — consciously or not — he’s dismissing potential Novell SUSE Linux rivals like Canonical’s Ubuntu distribution. Here’s what Applebaum had to say, plus The VAR Guy’s perspective.
In his blog entry, Applebaum asserts:
“It’s well known that Novell and Red Hat still rule the roost when it comes to enterprise Linux, but Oracle is trumpeting a new Linux offering that it hopes will improve its fortunes in the Linux market. Will this latest news tilt the market toward Oracle? Industry observers are “totally unimpressed” with this announcement.
Perhaps a better question is: Does the market even need a third Linux distro?”
He goes on to write:
“Novell and Red Hat together held an overwhelming 95% share of Linux revenue, up from 94% the prior year. Oracle did not garner even 1% of the industry’s Linux revenue.”
Applebaum certainly has a point: When it comes to business-centric Linux, Red Hat and Novell seem to dominate the market. But Applebaum doesn’t take the time to disclose individual market share numbers for Red Hat and Novell. Hmmm…
While Red Hat continues to grow organically, some Novell customers are delaying purchases because of Novell’s unclear ownership status. Novell’s board reportedly has been trying to sell the company off — perhaps in two parts — but the potential deals apparently hit a snag amid unclear valuations for Novell’s legacy businesses.
Which Numbers Matter?
Meanwhile, Novell continues to tout SUSE Linux’s ISV momentum. Applebaum writes:
Does Novell really have more certified applications than Red Hat? The VAR Guy isn’t sure. But our resident blogger does know this: The Novell SUSE Studio appliance development tool has been a hit with ISVs. And Novell maintains strong ISV relations with industry giants like IBM and SAP.
Oracle Linux — for Oracle Applications?
Still, The VAR Guy doubts Oracle wants to go after the Linux masses. Rather, CEO Larry Ellison’s strategy seems pretty simply: If a customer wants to run Oracle applications on Linux, then Oracle wants to be the Linux of choice.
Oracle’s buyout of Sun Microsystems was all about building integrated hardware and software stacks — from the microprocessor all the way up to the application. Oracle has publicly stated that going forward, Oracle applications will ultimately run best on Oracle hardware. So, you can expect Oracle to make Oracle applications run best on Oracle Linux.
Will that Oracle goal become a reality? The VAR Guy isn’t sure. But Ellison’s goal is clear: Maintaining account control for Oracle applications and databases, and minimizing influence from Red Hat and Novell within those accounts.
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