Oracle Linux Review

Ksplice allows us to apply kernel patches without rebooting the system. BTRFS detects file system corruption and fixes it.

What is most valuable?

Native support with Oracle database and these features:

  • OCFS2 (Clustered File System): Open-source alternative to proprietary cluster file systems.
  • Ksplice: Apply patches to the kernel without rebooting the system; zero downtime for critical security updates.
  • Dtrace: Excellent diagnostic tool for analysis and troubleshooting ported from Sun Solaris.
  • Docker containers: Full support, framework optimized and integrated with WebLogic Server Docker containers.
  • Btrfs: Detects file system corruption and fixes it; improves backup operations and improves file system and storage capacity by reducing disk seeks and disk I/O operations.

How has it helped my organization?

Each month, my team makes a full update of the environment, including: Windows system, databases, Linux system and network systems. We reduced the downtime considerably on our Oracle databases by using Ksplice on our Linux systems.

What needs improvement?

Hardware vendors certified by Oracle for installing Oracle Linux are: Dell, HPE and Oracle. The product needs to be certified by more vendors to gain more clients and increase the size of market share.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using this solution four years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any stability issues. My databases servers have been up since the last maintenance and there have been no issues during the business day.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I own a RAC cluster with two nodes. It is a medium-size environment supported by Oracle Linux. Scalability never was a problem in my scenario.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is technically good, but the response time is high. It can take up to weeks to actually solve the problem.

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

We used Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but licensing costs with Oracle VM decreased significantly, which motivated the change.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was very complex, using cluster resources and fine tuning at the OS level to improve performance.

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

If possible, use Oracle VM; prices decrease absurdly!

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn’t evaluate any other options, because we use Oracle Linux only for Oracle databases. And the Oracle database was in Red Hat and was supported only for two OSs available for my employer: Red Hat and Oracle Linux.

What other advice do I have?

Study and learn about the Red Hat kernel and follow the news releases on the manufacturer site. Read the rich manual that Oracle offers.

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