Oracle Linux Review

Oracle has a repo pre-installer entry that is explicitly for Oracle Database, and when installing the database on Oracle Linux, I'm able to simply install the 11g or 12c pre-install settings.


Valuable Features:

I value Oracle's commercial vetting of enterprise-grade Linux. I value the enterprise grade repo which has all the functionalities of what Red Hat offers -- but Red Hat wants to charge a fortune for self-sufficient end users like me who do not require support and who are qualified and capable of supporting themselves. Oracle does not do this and they value that I have an interest in their products and do not charge me an arm and a leg to build my professional knowledge of any of their products. 

This serves to benefit Oracle in that they are growing the knowledge base. Indeed, it is an ever expanding knowledge base, and with a larger knowledge base comes a larger customer base for them. They understand the needs of engineers who want to grow their skillset around Oracle product offerings as they know and understand, that it is people like me, who are down in the trenches of doing the actual work, that Oracle uses as a reference base for making inroads into a solid customer base.

Another thing that I value is that Oracle has a repo pre-installer entry that is explicitly for Oracle Database, and when installing the database on Oracle Linux, I'm able to simply install the 11g or 12c pre-install settings, and this provides the optimal Oracle Linux configuration to run an Oracle Database server. I really love this enhancement from Oracle in their Linux, on behalf of 11g and 12c database servers.

Room for Improvement:

I have a beef with the installer (Anaconda / Kickstart) on occasion, especially between versions. What I find sometimes is that it has bugs and doesn't work. I have to burn up a lot of time in trying to craft workarounds and getting it to work. It doesn't happen all of the time, but the last couple of versions (7.0, 7.1, 7.2) had some nasty issues where the installer would just simply crash and burn. It's fine as long as the buggy version isn't your only version of choice, in which case, you would be up the creek without a paddle. Oracle need to make sure that their bare-metal installers work, as I don't want to have to debug their code for them.

We could, at some point, benefit from an enterprise-grade Linux solution without paying huge support fees to Red Hat. Besides, Oracle would already have a ready-made investment in people like me for getting Oracle Linux into their existing enterprise customer base. Simply by making it painless for people like me to learn how their stuff work as opposed to Microsoft and RedHat. They want to charge a fortune for the 'privilege' to be taught by them. They don't do this because they already know what I am doing and they are not going to force me to cough up thousands of dollars to learn how their stuff works. They have demonstrated that they are quite confident in their OTN users abilities to learn about their products simply by reading what Oracle has documented and what they have shared about their products. They have given us credit that we are all professionals and that we 'should' all know how to read, write and count to 10.

Now what I don't want to hear from Oracle is "oh, that's what we got from the master source tree from Fedora (or whoever they rely on)." So, I don't care if bugs fell in their lap - don't send those bugs out into the field. I really couldn't care less whose fault it is I just want them to fix it! And if they can't fix it, don't upset the customer by sending out software that they know good and well has issues in it and hope that no one notice. I notice and it only serves to upset us. Oracle needs to keep in mind that although I am an OTN user on their network I am also working with one of their largest customers in their customer base. Oracle doesn't need to forget this fact or take it for granted that I don't work for anyone important so, they need to simply handle all of their OTN users as if each one of us works for a very important customer of theirs.

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