Linux was the talk of the Oracle database user conference in the US last week, with firms looking at evaluating or moving corporate applications with database servers to run on the open source operating system.
In a recent survey of roughly 100 International Oracle Users Group (IOUG) members, just about half indicated that they were interested in running mission-critical Oracle databases on Linux.
Rich Niemiec, president of the Chicago-based IOUG, and chief executive at Oracle support and services firm TUSC, claimed that the figure is an increase of 15 per cent from a year ago.
He attributed the increase to Oracle's alliance with Linux vendor Red Hat.
One wholesaler attending the conference said: "We use Linux in production and manufacturing areas and we've seen a tremendous price-performance benefit. Using Oracle on Red Hat Linux we've cut our costs by 30 to 49 per cent."
And a business services company administrator added: "Our objective is to increase the presence of Linux.
"Our first inroad was a firewall, but we're all excited as database admin to run Oracle 9iRAC [Real Application Clusters] on Linux."
Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president for database tools at Oracle, told attendees that as many as 15 per cent of RAC users are running the clustering technology on Linux systems, up from almost none at the same time last year.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Aventis Behring said that it is running more than 10 Hewlett Packard ProLiant servers equipped with Red Hat Linux and Oracle8i or Oracle9i databases without any sacrifice of reliability or availability.
Dave Dargo, Linux executive at Oracle, explained that customers had started to ask whether Linux was ready for the enterprise about two years ago.
He said that to improve Linux, Oracle's Linux kernel development team had been working across a number of platforms, specifically designed to enable the operating system for the enterprise. Oracle is also developing its cluster file system in Linux.
"I have a very strong personal belief that this time next year we're going to see transitions to Linux," said Dargo.
"My expectation is that we're going to see a lot of companies over this next year move to Linux being part of the standard procurement process where it's easier to buy a Linux system than non-Linux."
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