Oracle Linux Review

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


Valuable Features

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.

Improvements to My Organization

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

Room for 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

Use of 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.

Deployment Issues

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

Stability Issues

We have had no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

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.

Previous Solutions

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

Initial Setup

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

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.

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.

Other Advice

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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