Oracle Linux fails to match up to Red Hat Linux

By siliconindia   |   Thursday, 27 August 2009, 10:05 Hrs
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Bangalore: Oracle had launched Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) in order to compete with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and to strengthen its position in the market. But even heavy discounts and improved support for customer has not helped Oracle change the market scenario, according to Gartner's research report 'Red Hat vs. Oracle Linux Support: When and How Does It Matter?' It will be difficult for Oracle to compete against Red Hat as it contributes only 3.3 percent as compared to 12.3 percent of Red Hat to the Linux kernel. Oracle has been offering large discounts and lower support fees than Red Hat. "Some 90 percent of users that have gotten a price quote on Linux from Oracle claim that Oracle has lower support fees due to aggressive discounts, with most users saying the fees are 50 percent below Red Hat," according to Gartner report. 50 percent discount is huge but Gartner points out that OEL customers might have to spend a bit more to ensure that their applications run seamlessly on OEL. OEL uses source code of a RHEL version as its base. So if a complex configuration problem comes in RHEL code then it can create trouble for customers. Thus, Oracle users are likely to have a different patch from a Red Hat-supported configuration. Some customers have been facing problem with Red Hat's pricing/contractual terms as it becomes difficult to mix-and-match support. Even so, Gartner only finds 20 percent of Red Hat customers surveyed are annoyed by its contract policies. This is a significant number but not enough for RHEL customers to look somewhere else. Although Oracle is providing great discounts, it is still failing to attract more customers. OEL has roughly two percent market share, compared to Red Hat's 60 percent market share. OEL still has a long way to go.