Oracle's business to run on Linux

Oracle is about to replace three Unix servers that run the bulk of its business applications with a cluster of Intel servers...

Oracle is about to replace three Unix servers that run the bulk of its business applications with a cluster of Intel servers running Linux, according to an announcement from Oracle chairman and chief executive Larry Ellison.

Ellison also predicted the "inevitable" demise of large servers systems, putting him at odds with the interests of Oracle's long-term ally, Sun Microsystems.

Instead of upgrading three of its older Hewlett-Packard Unix servers, Oracle will move its application server and business software to Linux-based Intel machines later this year, Ellison said.

"We'll be on Linux no later than the summer, so we'll be running our whole business on Linux," he claimed.

While it was not made clear exactly which applications would be moved to Linux, but the Oracle chief portrayed it as a significant step. Ellison favours Intel servers because they are "cheap" and can be easily replaced, he said.

He picked Linux over Microsoft Windows because Linux is "much safer if you're on the Internet."

Oracle is also working closely with Linux provider Red Hat to offer pre-configured servers loaded with Oracle's application server.

"You'll see us taking full support responsibility for Linux," Ellison said. "If you're running the app server and something goes wrong, call us and we'll come and fix it."

Promoting smaller Intel-based servers would appear to put Oracle at odds with Sun, which makes powerful servers based on its Solaris version of Unix. Both Intel and Microsoft have worked hard to boost the performance of their products in a bid to compete in Sun's more profitable, higher-end market.

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