For those who had forgotten, Oracle provides Linux support. It's called "Unbreakable Linux."
Most of you stopped thinking about it long ago, but for those who didn't, Oracle's chief corporate architect, Edward Screven decided to remind everyone. Edward is a big fan of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. So much so, in fact, that he wants the industry to rally around the Red Hat flag as the Linux standard.
The hitch? He's willing to take money from Red Hat to aid in the effort, but give absolutely nothing back. Just the sort of person you'd want in your community, right? Public Parasite Number One?
This has long been Oracle's problem with its Unbreakable Linux program. Not only has it not been very successful (according to two inside sources affiliated with the program with whom I recently spoke), but by its very design it hurts the party investing the resources to make the RHEL distribution solid in the first place.
Screven says it's all about providing a better RHEL experience for the customer:
You know, they [Red Hat and Novell] were charging a lot of money for support levels that, in our minds, were insufficient for many enterprise customers....Now, we really want Linux to be the default choice for Oracle customers in their data centers. So we got into the business to fix it.
If you didn't grok the logic, let me parse it for you: "We love Linux, and especially Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We didn't feel the support around it was good enough, however, so we decided to undermine Red Hat's ability both to continue building the best enterprise-class Linux distribution and its ability to support it."
Got that? Makes a lot of sense, no?
To my friends at Oracle: There's a very good way to improve RHEL for your customers. It's called collaboration with Red Hat. No, your attempts to break Red Hat with Unbreakable Linux have largely gone nowhere, but you have such incredible resources that you could add a lot to Red Hat and its RHEL distribution if you'd just join forces with Red Hat rather than attempting to undermine it.
How about it? You up for a little community-building?