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Oracle tempts Red Hat users with Ksplice kernel security patch trial

23 Feb 2012
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Oracle is offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers a 30-day free trial of its Ksplice zero-downtime security patch technology, in an apparent move to tempt them into switching to its own Oracle Linux platform.

Ksplice is a technology that enables customers to apply security patches and updates to the Linux kernel on-the-fly without rebooting, eliminating the need for scheduled downtimes of vital server infrastructure while updates are applied.

Oracle acquired Ksplice last year, and made it a standard feature of the Premier Support package for its Oracle Linux customers. This allowed the firm to present itself as the only enterprise Linux provider able to offer this kind of zero-downtime update capability for security patches.

While Oracle said it would honour existing Ksplice subscriptions, the firm explicitly said at the time it would not support new customers wanting to use Ksplice with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Now, Oracle is offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers a free 30-day trial of Ksplice, which it said will allow them to try the zero-downtime update technology without the need for any system reconfiguration.

Red Hat customers can sign up via Oracle's website, but it appears that Oracle is still not prepared to support them beyond the 30-day trial.

"Ksplice is a standard feature of Oracle Linux Premier Support, and when your trial ends, we'd be happy to help you make the switch," the company states on its sign-up page.

At the same time, Oracle announced it has extended the support lifecycle for Oracle Linux from eight to 10 years.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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