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Red Hat haunts Ellison's Linux dream

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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

OpenWorld This time last year, Oracle's Unbreakable Linux Network launched at OpenWorld to much fanfare. It was supposed to be a Red Hat killer. It has had as much impact upon Red Hat has a dead sheep. Larry Ellison says this is going to change.

During his OpenWorld keynote this year, the Oracle CEO said the company means business next year. Oracle VM server virtualization, launched this week, will "differentiate ourselves from Red Hat", he proclaimed. And "going into the second year we will have sales with support and engineering, and we will grow faster."

Once again, Ellison stressed switchabilty: "If you are a Red Hat customer, it's very easy to swap from a Red Hat system to an Oracle system and from Red Hat support to Oracle support, and a number of customers have done that."

Explaining his company's inability to poach customers from Red Hat this last year, Ellison said Oracle had spent 12 months "getting the service right and offering right." Right.

He claimed 1,500 enterprises are using "Oracle Linux or Oracle support for Linux. Not only do we have a lot of customers, we have a lot of partners."

ULN launched at OpenWorld 2006 amid dire prophecies of Red Hat's death, and much name dropping from Ellison.

Despite headlines claiming companies that like Yahoo! have switched to ULN, the reality is that organizations are not switching wholesale, but are putting individual or groups of servers on the network. In sales and marketing though, a customer win, is a customer win is a customer win, so shout it loud.®

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