Oracle Linux Review

There needs to be more rapid upstreaming of security fixes released by Red Hat or Fedora.


What is most valuable?

It is nice that it's ready made for deployment in OVM (Oracle VM for x86) with templates.

But, there's only some/limited vendor support when running on Oracle-branded hardware. There's no other reason I can think of to use Oracle Linux over any other Linux. If it were completely up to me, I'd be running the latest LTS version of Ubuntu Server.

How has it helped my organization?

We're able to deploy easily with the read-made templates for OVM.

What needs improvement?

From a product perspective, there needs to be more rapid upstreaming of security fixes released by Red Hat or Fedora.

Free vendor support? There's not much really. And Oracle Linux is feature-poor compared to other Linux distributions, and they're much slower than Red Hat, CentOS, or Amazon to release security patches and bug fixes

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for five years or longer. I've also worked extensively with Solaris, OEL (5 and 6) and OVM for X86 and OVM for SPARC (LDOMs). I'd still recommend Solaris, but not OEL. I haven't used OEL for 9 months since leaving my previous job. Where I work now we use exclusively Debian Linux 7.x Stable, with a view to migrating our cloud platforms to Debian Jessie Stable.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were vulnerabilities during deployment due to extended lead-time releasing security fixes (e.g. shellshock).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was average, and support for other Oracle products (e.g. Solaris) deteriorated substantially after Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. I do not like Oracle's support model one bit, and I loathe having to use WebMethods, which looks and feels and behaves like something from the 1990's.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

If I had to use an RPM-based distribution, I'd rather use CentOS or Amazon Linux.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup with the ready-made templates was nice.

What about the implementation team?

We performed the deployment with our in-house team only. The only assistance from Oracle has been with Oracle hardware issues in OVM for x86, and installation of Oracle applications on OEL.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'd only use it if I was forced to use Oracle x86 hardware. I'd opt for something else given the freedom to do so. OEL seems confining, restricted, and primitive.

What other advice do I have?

Just don't do it, unless you're locked in by your vendor, or hardware, or project manager.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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