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Oracle Developers Switch Allegiance to Linux.

By Jason Stamper

Oracle Corp's army of about 5,000 internal applications developers have migrated from Unix on RISC to Linux on Intel, ComputerWire has learned.

Reflecting the increasing strategic importance of the Linux operating system to the company, Oracle's entire application development staff now run their various application development tools on centralized Linux servers, atop the Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1 distribution.

The company has used Tarantella's thin client-server software for the past three years to enable the developers' development environments to be hosted centrally. Tarantella's software also enables developers to log in to their customized development environments from any networked computer in any location.

Tarantella has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, having had to make a number of cutbacks after poor quarterly sales. The company has also been delisted from Nasdaq, and is being investigated by the SEC over alleged "unauthorized practices" this summer that involved a $600,000 financial restatement. It also recently raised $2.2m in a stock placement to keep its head above water.

Meanwhile, Dave Dargo, Oracle's VP of the Linux Program Office, confirmed the developers' move to Linux. Highlighting the growth in enthusiasm for Linux both within the company and among its customers, Dargo said that of the company's 400 largest customers who use server racks, one year ago none were running Linux, while today 15% are using the open source operating system. Additionally, of customers installing Oracle's recently-launched Collaboration Suite, 75% are running it on Linux.

As for what impact SCO's recent lawsuits have had on the uptake of Linux, Dargo said: "If anything interest in Linux has grown among our customers." He said: "[Oracle has] seen nothing [from SCO] that tells us we should change our position, development, or advocacy of Linux."

Dargo also said that Oracle's developers who are building software for Linux are "compartmentalized", so that there is no chance of cross-contamination between Linux and Oracle code. Oracle continues to develop applications and infrastructure software for Unix and Windows platforms as well as Linux.

Dargo said that Oracle would also continue to work with the open source community to help to scale Linux to larger servers. However, he said that it is even more important that Oracle enables its customers to "scale out", since the imminent launches of Oracle's Application Server 10g and Database 10g will usher in what it calls grid computing.

"Microsoft is trying to scale [Windows] to 32-way and 64-way servers," said Dargo. "We've already done that, so what we want to do is scale out instead." Dargo said that there will be a "symbiotic" relationship between the Oracle 10g products when they are launched, and Linux, since many customers taking advantage of the clustering and virtualization technology of 10g will also take advantage of the relatively low cost of Intel servers running Linux.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 29, 2003
Words:474
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