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Oracle Linux OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle Linux is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Operating Systems for Business. It is most often compared to Ubuntu Linux: Oracle Linux vs Ubuntu Linux

What is Oracle Linux?

Oracle Linux and Oracle Virtualization are powerful open source foundation products optimized for building both Private and Public Cloud Infrastructure. They provide a secure, scalable, and flexible platform for running both legacy and next generation Cloud Native Applications. As the foundation for Oracle’s Public and Managed Clouds, customers benefit from the comprehensive co-engineering which ensures a robust and highly manageable platform that is battle-tested in one of the worlds largest public clouds.. Unlike many other commercial Linux distributions, Oracle Linux is easy to download and completely free to use, free to distribute, and free to update. And Oracle Linux Support levels are simple and low cost, featuring Premier lifetime support, access to additional management tools such as Oracle Enterprise Manager, zero-downtime kernel updates using Ksplice, and access to award-winning Oracle support resources and customer support specialists.

For more information on Oracle Linux, visit Oracle.com/linux and see a whitepaper here

Oracle Linux is also known as Oracle Enterprise Linux.

Oracle Linux Buyer's Guide

Download the Oracle Linux Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle Linux Customers

See here

Oracle Linux Video

Archived Oracle Linux Reviews (more than two years old)

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FB
Product Development Manager at Greene Waste to Energy
User
Easy development of professional-looking web pages but support is terrible

What is our primary use case?

  • Installing Oracle APEX for testing purposes
  • Learning Oracle APEX
  • Making some fancy web applications, including forms that load and display images

How has it helped my organization?

The main aim of installing Oracle Linux was to test it after years of using CentOS, and  to test Oracle APEX. After one year of testing,  I encountered problems that I was not able to solve: 
I was not able to do rotated backups; upgrading to a newer version of APEX was a nightmare; I could not enter GlassFish admin console; and I could not install SQL Developer. Then I thought that if I bought the cheapest version of Oracle Database I would get the support neccesary to get this know how. Two sales persons contacted me. But they were not interested in solving my doubts. Their only interest was selling me the cloud database, for the fantastic price of (more or less) 1000 euros per year. I explained to them that my alternative was a second hand PC, plus CentOS, plus Postgres, plus Eclipse.  They did not offer me a cheap version of Oracle database. I understoo the message, Oracle, both Linux and database, were not for me.

What is most valuable?

Ease of development of professional-looking web pages, full of functionality and with secure access.

What needs improvement?

I decided to purchase Oracle Database. I thought that if I bought the product, I would get support. I asked some easy questions to the sales agent who contacted me. He was more interested in selling me the cloud database than answering my questions. I learned that I am too small for Oracle. I continued with CentOS and Postgres. Google provides me with all the information I need. I could not get all the information I needed from Oracle.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JM
DBA Oracle at Timestamp SI
User
It has the simplicity and agility to deploy Oracle Database configurations with a single RPM

What is our primary use case?

New infrastructure for Oracle databases: deployment of several database environments with no issues and in a faster way.

How has it helped my organization?

Speed, simplicity, and performance. Every DBA and OS administrator like the simple fact that one RPM install can be very powerful and can configure all prereqs.

What is most valuable?

Simplicity and agility to deploy Oracle Database configurations with a single RPM and custom tweaks on Oracle Linux kernel.

What needs improvement?

Improve performance and integration with new releases without affecting the ability and stability of the system.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

New infrastructure for Oracle databases: deployment of several database environments with no issues and in a faster way.

How has it helped my organization?

Speed, simplicity, and performance. Every DBA and OS administrator like the simple fact that one RPM install can be very powerful and can configure all prereqs.

What is most valuable?

Simplicity and agility to deploy Oracle Database configurations with a single RPM and custom tweaks on Oracle Linux kernel.

What needs improvement?

Improve performance and integration with new releases without affecting the ability and stability of the system.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Oracle Linux. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,089 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user899421
Software Development Manager
Real User
We are using the firewall for intrusion prevention, but it needs reporting on attempted intrusions

What is our primary use case?

We are using the firewall for intrusion prevention, and it has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

It prevents intrusions. It does what it says it will do quite accurately.

What is most valuable?

It does intrusion protection.

What needs improvement?

It does not have any reporting on attempted intrusions.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is perfectly stable; no downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have scaled it. It is sufficient to meet our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

We were not…

What is our primary use case?

We are using the firewall for intrusion prevention, and it has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

It prevents intrusions. It does what it says it will do quite accurately.

What is most valuable?

It does intrusion protection.

What needs improvement?

It does not have any reporting on attempted intrusions.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is perfectly stable; no downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have scaled it. It is sufficient to meet our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

We were not previously using another solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit complicated, as there are a lot of pieces that you have to look at.

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

The pricing and licensing are good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nobody else was on the shortlist. We chose it because we were using it.

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: We look at the characteristics of the vendor, then see if they suit us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ian Leath
CTO EMEIA at Fujitsu
Video Review
MSP
Ksplice allows us to apply hot-patching without downtime and avoid scheduling issues across multiple organizations

Pros and Cons

  • "With Oracle Linux Ksplice specifically, we have organizations looking for minimum downtime. We're able to apply hot-patching at any time; once we've proven they're tested, ready to go, we don't need to take downtime to apply them."
  • "What we found in moving from Oracle Linux 6 to Oracle Linux 7 was the whole interfacing with the application and the fact that operating had all changed, all the commands had changed. You need to be aware that there is some kind of training, some kind of handover required for your technical guys, understanding different ways of interacting with it. Bear that in mind."

What is our primary use case?

Fujitsu's Oracle/Intel platform has been specifically designed with Oracle in mind using Oracle VM, Oracle Linux, for our customers wanting to use Oracle product, applications, databases. We've designed it in a way that we get the best possible performance from the applications and databases on our engineered system.

How has it helped my organization?

What it's allowed us to do, initially, it allowed us to develop an Intel platform specifically for Oracle. What's most important for us, where it comes across is the licensing. It's very difficult - sometimes you can build a platform that is optimal, but when you apply Oracle licenses across that platform, it isn't the most economical. All of our Intel platform for this has been optimized towards which Oracle solutions are going to be running on it, to get both the best performance but also that will be economical for our customers.

Because it's specifically built for Oracle, with Oracle applications and solutions in mind, we have standard pricing, a standard way of working, a standard cost for each organization. That allows us to save time, on both bid and, once new requirements come along for each organization, we know exactly what it takes to add to that solution, to add to that platform. The saving for us is, we can feed back quickly to grow, respond to new requirements.

What is most valuable?

With Oracle Linux Ksplice specifically, we have organizations looking for minimum downtime. We're able to apply hot-patching at any time; once we've proven they're tested, ready to go, we don't need to take downtime to apply them.

We have a shared services platform with multiple organizations set on it. So planning downtime across all those organizations becomes more and more difficult. The more organizations we get onto the platform, the less "white space" is available. Ksplice allows us to do hot-patching without the downtime. That, for us, is quite key.

Also, the virtualization, Oracle VM, allows us to get the best performance for our Oracle applications and database solutions. We know it's proven to be more performant with Oracle applications, so we get the best performance out of it on our platform.

What needs improvement?

What we found in moving from Oracle Linux 6 to Oracle Linux 7 was the whole interfacing with the application and the fact that operating had all changed, all the commands had changed. You need to be aware that there is some kind of training, some kind of handover required for your technical guys, understanding different ways of interacting with it. Bear that in mind.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

What we experienced is, the stability is key. What we can't take into account with customers is how they're going to want to use the platform, once we've installed it, once we've got different solutions running on that platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a use case of a shared platform where we have one large organization set on our Intel platform. The virtualization then allows us to grow out for when we get more and more organizations on.

We've just added another huge organization, DHL, they are now set on that shared platform along with another organization. That hasn't impacted it in the least. We are able to scale out and scale with that organization. That organization itself, that specific program, could grow and grow. So it allows us that flexibility to grow that whichever way. If that organization's business case grows and becomes bigger and bigger, the platform can scale out to that.

It also allows us to add in more organizations on the same platform with one overview of managing. For us, as an organization we can manage it from a single point with multiple organizations using it, with no impact on each other.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't have any problems with Oracle technical support. Our guys can normally resolve most of the issues themselves, but where we do require further help, we have direct contact with Oracle, and the turnaround is what we'd expect.

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

There is a gap for the type of Intel platform we're now providing, from an Oracle perspective. For a lot of the platforms we have our own cloud at Fujitsu, our K5, which is not geared towards Oracle specifically, because of the licensing implications. So we knew there was a requirement for a quick, economical, engineered system, so that the customers can either sit in their own datacenters or we'll place it in our datacenters and manage the service that way.

With Oracle VM and Oracle Linux, it then allows us to scale up, scale out as and when the customers want, their requirements grow, their enterprises grow. Or the requirements change over time; it could be an easy path for them to move from on-premise to cloud, or they may want to bring the cloud, themselves, on-premise.

It's the perfect step for them, if they're not quite ready to move to the cloud - they might never want to go to the cloud, but they want to control security, data, data integrity. All the features they're after as an organization - they may want to go one way, they may not want to go the other way. This fits that platform at that point.

For us to work with any vendor, it's the support and ongoing roadmap with that vendor. We need to understand where it's going, where it's going to end up in the next one to two years, as well as then three to four years. We also need to be able to work closely with them to almost guide that roadmap from our experience, and be able to have input into it as well. That is key with any partner and vendor.

How was the initial setup?

The key for us with our engineered systems is specifically how quick and easy it is to "plug in and play," with a solution. We got the platform in place within a couple of weeks and then another week or so to get everything up and running with the virtualizations, and then the Oracle Linux with all the solutions and applications on top of that.

End-to-end it will take us three to five weeks, depending on the install.

What about the implementation team?

We use our in house expertise at Fujitsu.

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

As per above, pay attention to how Oracle license their products and make sure you are clear as to the implications of choosing products which can have a significant impact on license cost and supportability. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were driven to some part by how the cost of licensing of Oracle databases and needed to ensure the most cost effective way to do this, so really OVM was the only option for us .

What other advice do I have?

I am the Oracle practice CTO. I work for Fujitsu. We cover all the aspects of IT, for enterprise, for infrastructure, through to applications and managed services. I work for the Business Applications Services, we cover anything around enterprise solutions, enterprise architecture, anything that will aid them in their business process. In my role at Fujitsu I oversee all of the Oracle architects, so any solution owners from infrastructure to applications, and all the bits in between. All architects and solution owners report to me.

In the context of, if you're wanting to use the Oracle workloads, absolutely, this is the way you need to go. For non-Oracle workloads, again, no problems with that at all. From Fujitsu's point of view, and where it sits on our Intel platform, this is a no-brainer. We specifically built it with Oracle in mind. Therefore, using Oracle VM and Oracle Linux was the way forward.

If that's the way you're going, if you're looking to use Oracle applications, Oracle Databases, I would definitely recommend using the OVM and Oracle Linux.

It performs perfectly for what we require it to do. There are, obviously, certain issues that have been highlighted in the next version. That's not the product itself, that's just the usability of it. We would rate the Oracle OVM, the Oracle Linux, eight to nine out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CB
Consultant at Agfa Healthcare
User
Provides for stable Oracle deployments

What is our primary use case?

Healthcare IT.

How has it helped my organization?

Stable Oracle deployments.

What is most valuable?

Easy Oracle integration: Oracle preinstall packages available on YUM.

What needs improvement?

Kernel updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What is our primary use case?

Healthcare IT.

How has it helped my organization?

Stable Oracle deployments.

What is most valuable?

Easy Oracle integration: Oracle preinstall packages available on YUM.

What needs improvement?

Kernel updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user860853
Oracle Propositions Manager at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Virtualisation, Linux have contributed to reduced cost and time to create customer bids

What is our primary use case?

Fujitsu uses OVM and Oracle Linux extensively with Fujitsu hardware to provide our customers with a certified, scalable, pre-tested platform to run Oracle Applications and technology.

How has it helped my organization?

The use of a pre-defined and certified architecture that combines a market leading Fujitsu server architecture along with Oracle's virtualisation technology and Linux operating system, has allowed Fujitsu to reduce the cost and time to create customer bids.

What is most valuable?

Optimising the use of Oracle licenses on behalf of our customers to get most efficient cost of ownership.

What needs improvement?

Fujitsu works closely with Oracle's product development team to provide feedback on areas for improvement on behalf of our customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the early days of using the product, Fujitsu had some issues with both the stability and functionality of the product. Oracle was very responsive to this feedback and, as a result, has incorporated many of the ideas that were shared by Fujitsu. The result is a market-leading solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

Excellent. Oracle also encouraged a direct working relationship with the product development team, which has served to help in getting support.

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

Work with Fujitsu to learn from our experience. We are able to provide a pre-certified architecture that incorporates the best of both Oracle and Fujitsu technology to provide a highly scalable platform for Oracle workloads.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Suk Kim
senior managed consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
With Ksplice, which is provided free, it can be patched without downtime.

What is our primary use case?

Ksplice is a really cool feature. The availability is maximized because it can be patched without downtime. Oracle Linux provides free Ksplice.

How has it helped my organization?

Productivity has improved as it is easier to deploy and use. In particular, various open source packages can be more easily installed and managed, and systematically maintained.

What is most valuable?

Ksplice is a really cool feature. The availability is maximized because it can be patched without downtime. Oracle Linux provides free Ksplice.

What needs improvement?

I hope you have a built-in package to visualize your performance and analysis tools.

I can install and use the open-source tools, but I hope to use the proven packages.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues. It was very stable. Safety is at the highest level and there has never been a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues; scalability was also very satisfactory.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is wonderful.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very skilled and stable. However, in Korea, 24-hour call service is only available in English.

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

I switched some of my UNIX systems to x86. As a result of the U2L project, I chose the OS as Linux.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was very simple. Installation was quick and easy with a few clicks.

What about the implementation team?

We used to use UNIX. And I'm using some Red Hat and CentOS. I switched some of CentOS to Oracle Linux. We do it directly. We have many engineers with various levels of experience.

What was our ROI?

  • Service continuity through zero downtime and low-cost subscription

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

Oracle Linux is provided by Oracle subscription and is equivalent or better than other Linux technical support. However, support costs are about half that level.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also considered Red Hat and SUSE. However, we chose Oracle Linux to use the Oracle kernel optimized for Oracle applications.

What other advice do I have?

If you convert UNIX to Linux... and if stability and service downtime are to be minimized, Oracle Linux is the solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769605
Managing Partner at Viscosity North America
Video Review
Consultant
The container engine is built on the Enterprise Linux kernel, it's extremely stable and secure

What is most valuable?

Docker containers allow you to deploy a lot of workloads at scale. If you can think of the old batch jobs, what they do is allow us to deploy that into the cloud so we can elastically expand or contract and only pay for what we use. I think that's part of it.

How has it helped my organization?

You have high availability, so you can run your containers in multiple availability zones. They're very cost-effective, much more cost-effective than writing your own scripts. And they're layered so they're very lightweight; they don't consume quite as many resources as how we would traditionally deploy this.

What needs improvement?

I would really like to see more frequent releases and I would like to see a very lightweight kernel for embedded systems. I'm really anticipating the new Oracle Database XE as it relates to Oracle Linux because now I can run that in production, and that was just announced as well.

It's young, so I think it's fair that they have some work to do. A little bit more variability, the ability to expand, take advantage of bare metal. I think that that's really going to be a key as they grow.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The Oracle container engine is actually built on the Enterprise Linux kernel. So I think it's extremely stable and secure. I think it's one of the most stable and secure Linux variants in the world. When we actually build our Docker containers we utilize Oracle Linux as a basis for those as well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think what's great about it is if you're a small customer you can install Oracle Linux, just pull it down off of the site, update it. And if you're a large customer you can go with the unbreakable kernel. You can run that on on-premise, and when you go to the cloud which, of course, is scaled out to literally millions of nodes, it's the basis for all of Oracle's cloud.

How are customer service and technical support?

What's great is having the Oracle Linux, also having Oracle products. You've really goy one vendor to call. Some people like to say one neck to choke but I say one hand to high-five.

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

You might have a development team that kind of runs off and goes rogue and installs several different operating systems. Or they've assembled a Docker container and deployed it in the Cloud under the guise of microservices. The first time you have a hiccup with that, or the credit card doesn't process and you don't know where to find the code or the developer, I think at that point you really need to put some controls in place.

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to important criteria when selecting a vendor, I think experience is there, but they really have to care. They have to own the problems; I think owning your client's problems is the number one thing.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769608
Alliance Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Real User
Moving to OEL not only cuts costs, there is no code change and no technology challenge

What is most valuable?

Oracle Enterprise Linux offers a cost effective solution, especially for customers who are currently supported on Red Hat. They find it extremely comfortable moving over to OEL, Oracle Enterprise Linux. It not only it cuts down the cost, but there is no code change, there is no technology challenge that they have to undergo. I find it extremely comfortable talking to clients and asking them to move over from Red Hat to Linux.

How has it helped my organization?

It's comfortable, kernel calls are very important. Lines, application codes, it's a lift and shift kind of a platform. The customers that I'm getting on there, they are very comfortable moving over to Linux. It not only ensures performance, it ensures cost effective solutions.

What needs improvement?

We are still naive, I would say. We need to see as we go there.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have just transitioned about four customers as of now. We haven't faced any such challenges as of now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

That is what we are trying to do now. We have selected three or four as a pilot. Now we are trying to launch it on a big scale.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support has been excellent. Support has been really excellent and for every account they work closely with us; right from getting the PO to closing the order, so extremely convenient.

What other advice do I have?

I'm getting excellent support from Oracle as of now, the team dynamics are very good, my team finds it extremely comfortable working with the OEL team. We may have a lot more accounts in the next financial year.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769617
CEO at C3dna
Video Review
Real User
Tuned for the performance of Oracle Stack; mature, stable, scalable

What is most valuable?

I think it is very specially tuned for the performance of Oracle Stack, and therefore all of the things that Oracle Stack works on work really well on Oracle Linux.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, I think actually it is the other way around. Oracle Linux is specially tuned for Oracle Stack, and therefore it works better with the Oracle Stack.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable. I think it's a very mature system, so I think it is, in general, quite stable and in a high performing state.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Most of the Linux systems are designed for high scalability, so it should not be an issue.

How was the initial setup?

It's as easy as any other operating systems, so there is no issue.

What other advice do I have?

It is not only the Oracle operating system, but also the support that goes with it, and also the reliability and the backing of a large company. That is most important.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Shrikant Navelkar
Director at Clover Infotech
Video Review
Real User
Top 5
You can run mission critical application while patching in the background, no down-time

What is most valuable?

I think one of the most valuable features, I can see is Enterprise Linux. and it has been universally supported. There are some enterprise features which Oracxle added, which I don't see in any other Linux. So we recommend it to a lot of our large customers who are running their mission critical applications on Linux.

I think one of the biggest criteria I see is that customers don't have to have any downtime if they have to do patching. Patching is important because customers are running their critical applications, but there is nothing called "planned down-time" for patching. You can literally run your mission critical application, keep on doing patching in the background and I think that's the biggest feature Oracle Linux has which I don't find anywhere else. 

How has it helped my organization?

One of the major benefits I have seen is that a lot of customers have unsupported Linux in their datacenters. With Oracle Linux, you have the chance to standardize entirely on one Linux platform. 

The second thing is that if you're running a lot of Oracle workloads on Oracle Linux, you get universal support, you get support 24/7 from the same company -  right from your operating system to the application - and it has enterprise features. I think these are major advantages.

What needs improvement?

They added a lot of features on Oracle Linux. As a consulting company, and as somebody who's working with customers, obviously the demands from the customers are plenty.

I think they should market it more aggressively now because a lot of people think, "If I have to move from Red Hat Linux to Oracle Linux, it's a migration," when it is not. I call it a movement. You literally can move your large Red Hat Linux to Oracle Linux very simply, there's no migration involved in that. I think they should market these features more aggressively.

One of the things which customers have been asking about is what are the security features that Oracle is going to add. We do a lot of OS hardening, Linux hardening for customers, but I think there should be some tools within Linux where the hardening can be done pretty fast. Now, in this open world Larry Ellison announced, autonomous and self-secured databases, I'm sure those features will come to Linux, and we're looking forward to that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Linux is an extremely stable platform. You implement it and you can forget it. On top of it, Oracle has added a lot of features which has made it extremely stable. We have been doing this since 2003, I have not faced any major outage at any of my customers or of any mission critical application on Oracle Linux.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The fundamental approach Oracle took in early 2000 is horizontal scaling, and Linux became an extremely important part for the horizontal scaling. We have seen large implementations on Oracle Linux which have been scaled horizontally. 

I think if a customer needs to look into a larger customer, they should look at Oracle. Oracle, themselves, must be the largest user of Oracle. The entire Oracle cloud now works on Oracle Linux so you have thousands of customers running their applications on Oracle Linux. Extremely scalable.

How is customer service and technical support?

You have to see support from a different angle. Definitely support is good because Oracle is known for that, providing 24/7 support. But the biggest advantage you get here is that, because it's one company supporting you over the entire platform, you can actually get help from them to identify the problem, whether the problem is at the Linux level or the problem is at the database level. You don't get that when you have Linux with some different vendor and the database from a different vendor. We have not faced any problems.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769602
Enterprise Architect at SRC.SI sistemske integracije d.o.o.
Video Review
Consultant
Up-time could be two to three years, which is unbelievable compared Windows

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator from Slovenia and we work extensively with OVM and Linux products.

What is most valuable?

Definitely price. And when it comes to OVM, apart from License benefits, we see that it's possible to monitor all Oracle products across the Oracle infrastructure with one product, Oracle Enterprise Manager, in combination with OVM Manager. To have a single source of truth, that is really, really valuable for us.

What needs improvement?

I think there is always room for improvement. We would like to see new features, we would like to see lots of enhancements, especially in OVM, because Linux is already stable enough and for us it does the job.

In OVM, I think it's hot cloning. I think it's also more analytical capabilities, reporting could be significantly improved, and also SLI dashboards, so that we can follow and monitor SLI more precisely and more profoundly.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Linux is stable. OVM could be better but it's still stable enough to do day-to-day operations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes it's scalable, but we don't have a big installation. We only have four physical servers with two OVM server pools, so it's not really a very extensive installation. We don't see any projects on the horizon that will extend this to a large scale but, so far so good, we are happy with it.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support is good, we have OVM support and Linux support. OVM support, especially, has proved to be very valuable because they provide us with code and scripts that are already developed for other customers. Otherwise, it would take a couple of days or even a week to develop on our own. In this way, we share the knowledge that was acquired by Oracle at other customers' sites and that's really great, it cuts the time needed to do the job.

What other advice do I have?

Linux is a 10 out of 10. I would say that it's very affordable, that it's very stable, it has a great community behind it, and it's also very scalable and it performs really, really well. Up-time could be two to three years, which is unbelievable compared to the Windows world, for example.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769596
Developer at a tech services company
Video Review
Consultant
Open source provides cost savings yet we still get Oracle performance and support

What is most valuable?

What is most valuable is that it's supported by Oracle. It's performing, we are not facing any performance problems. Of course, it's open source, so we are saving on the licensing costs that we have when using with other proprietary license software.

How has it helped my organization?

At the end of the day, we are getting Oracle performance in the optimal manner with a Linux operating system, which we had before, but in a different flavor.

I think the biggest benefit that we have is cost savings. That's what the company is looking for at this point. We don't have to spend a high amount of licensing costs on the previous solution that we were using with the HPE operating system. Now, we are on the Linux flavor, which is open source, as I said, and it saves us a lot of money on licensing.

It is fully supported by Oracle. If we look at the certification matrix on the Oracle MOS (My Oracle Support) site, Oracle is supporting it, all the features are supported. We are using Linux HugePages with it, which saves us a lot of money for memory. We are defining our memory using Linux HugePages for growing our system in global areas, which is helpful for performance. Those are the few features I can think of off top of my head at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. We haven't seen any major problems so far. If we have issues, then we have to open an open source ticket with Red Hat. And they do resolve those, with solutions, but so far we haven't seen any roadblocks.

How was the initial setup?

The set up is basically Linux servers, and we have Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 running there. Non-RAC, but a Data Guard environment, where we have a primary instance set up, and that application is done on the standby. The primary and the standby are running on Oracle Red Hat Linux, actually.

What other advice do I have?

I would say, from my experience, that you need to make sure that all the features you are using are compatible with the OS version, the Oracle version that you are going for.

So far, we haven't seen any problems, it is fully certified with Oracle, and all the features are working without any issues, it is very performant. You can go for it as long as all your features are supported with this operating system.

We are very happy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769590
Developer at Miracle Sweden
Video Review
Consultant
Stable, flexible, easy to work with

What is most valuable?

It's stable, you have flexibility and dynamics, and it's easy to work with.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Linux is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scales well as well.

How is customer service and technical support?

It works quite well, if there's a problem you can open a ticket and the support works quite well.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on the complexity of the environment, but you can download images and there are all kinds of tools nowadays, so it's quite easy.

What other advice do I have?

I always liked Linux and Unix and Nix operating systems, so I always favor them before anything else. Always recommend them.

What is most valuable?

It's stable, you have flexibility and dynamics, and it's easy to work with.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Linux is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scales well as well.

How is customer service and technical support?

It works quite well, if there's a problem you can open a ticket and the support works quite well.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on the complexity of the environment, but you can download images and there are all kinds of tools nowadays, so it's quite easy.

What other advice do I have?

I always liked Linux and Unix and Nix operating systems, so I always favor them before anything else. Always recommend them.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769587
IAM Architect at Federal Identity
Video Review
Vendor
I can develop, deploy, and test rapidly; I love the portability, moving it to other versions

What is our primary use case?

My company is based out of Virginia. I do a lot of work with the federal government.

What is most valuable?

I absolutely love how I can go out, get Oracle Linux, develop something with the Identity and Access Management, and be able to deploy, it and test it, and work on it very, very quickly. That's absolutely what I love, how portable it is and how much it relates. 

If the enterprise I work for has licenses for Red Hat, I don't have to go get a license from Red Hat to start working on my Oracle product. But, once it's developed in Oracle Linux, I can easily take it, and adapt it, and move it onto Red Hat, and it works seamlessly. 

How has it helped my organization?

Benefits: If you start with Oracle Linux, you can adapt to any of the Oracle products a little bit easier than any other OS. 

What needs improvement?

The kernel could be expanded, a little bit more maximized to work with Kubernetes and the like. That's probably where they are going to go, a little bit more orchestration, system maintenance management.

The ability to do self-diagnostics. Run one command and it runs top head memory, tell me what's going on. The ability for the OS to regulate itself, to do self-diagnostics, so you could take out the UNIX admins and the UNIX supports. Tell me what's really wrong, right now in the OS, what does it look like right now?

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability, scalability, like I said, it compares directly with Red Hat. In some things, the packages, the ability to reach out to the Oracle yum packages, and do automatic updates, it gives you the ability to scale. 

Patching, there's quarterly patches. I actually think they may even do bi-weekly patches now for Oracle Linux. 

The scalability, as long as you have someone to manage it, you're good to go and it's right up there in reliability with the Red Hat stuff.

How are customer service and technical support?

I can't tell you any experience about the Oracle Linux. But Oracle Support in general, I have to put in tickets for Identity Management all the time. They usually come back, depending on the severity of the problem, within a reasonable amount of time, and I always get what I need. 

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

At an organizational level, I would love to see them going more Oracle Linux, actually adapting that, getting rid of a little bit of the Red Hat, the notion that Red Hat is the best. I want to see Oracle Linux, it's expanding. 

I think all the stuff that they are doing with analytics and all this work with the autonomous database, it's only going to get to the point where you're going to have autonomous OS's and Linux is going to be autonomous. Why not move to Oracle Linux now? It'll be easier than to move off in the future.

How was the initial setup?

If you don't know Linux, then go learn some Linux. But relatively, if you want to set up a virtual box, set up the Oracle Linux stuff, it's pretty much drag, drop, click, click, click.

What other advice do I have?

I wish my enterprise would adapt it, so I give it a 10 out of 10 in my book. But I guess we'll have to give it a seven and eight out of 10 from an enterprise level, just because they haven't bought in yet.

If you're going to go into the Oracle industry, learn Oracle Linux, learn the ins and outs, and it'll help you out. Like I said, with the whole cloud infrastructure, the whole cloud architecture, I think Oracle Linux is the way to go.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769584
IT Infrastructure Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Consultant
We are able to deploy a valid distribution of Linux; direct support from the vendor is key

What is most valuable?

It's a solution that enables us to deploy a valid distribution of Linux. Regarding looking around for a valid patch, and support, so we can sleep well at night with this release.

How has it helped my organization?

The idea is to have something that is coming directly from the vendor, instead of having trouble looking around for solutions. We are supported directly from Oracle and this means we can achieve better stuff.

What needs improvement?

What is missing on this operating system, but it's missing on any Linux flavor, are the clustering capabilities of Solaris. The best clustering solution is on Solaris. Having this kind of feature also on the Linux side would be a good idea. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, problems. A year’s running without problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At the moment, for us, this is not important for us because we designed the solution in a proper way. Today I'm not facing this kind of problem.

What other advice do I have?

For sure, choosing a vendor that has been around a long time is important for us. The relationship with the vendor is important, because if you have to run a business on top of this operating system, you need to be sure; you don't want to have nightmares, because production is first of all. Then, all the other stuff.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769581
Senior BI Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Vendor
Because it's well known, I can leverage the skills in my organization; but needs better bug logging

What is most valuable?

I would say it is more in the "soft" part. Lots of people love Oracle Linux and it gives a lot of stability to our platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

It's the skill, I can leverage the skill because it's known by the majority of the people in my organization. It's not a constraint, the fact that I need resources. And it's the stability and the tuning of the system.

What needs improvement?

I would say better logging of the bugs. Recently we had an issue and it was extremely painful to find out what the issue was on our platform. Only after three weeks of deep analysis did we find out it was a bug in the kernel of Linux. Maybe something that can help to provide better information on the issue itself.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability I found is extremely good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are pretty good in planning, no issues. Every now and then we face some problem but given the fact that we have really qualified and skilled people we can solve it pretty fast, and the support is good.

How is customer service and technical support?

It's good when you reach the people, the people with the skill that can support you. Sometimes it's difficult to find the right people and get the right attention. When you have the right people and the right attention, things go smoothly.

How was the initial setup?

I would say straightforward with a little bit of complication. Complication depending, possibly, on the hardware or other stuff related to the platform where it’s running. But overall, straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest start to get some knowledge on your own, know what it is about. Then, when you approach the expert, you know what to ask. Make a dichotomic approach, the right questions.

Basic training is always recommended. I would not go too deep in unnecessary training; do basic training and then start working on it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769575
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Video Review
MSP
We can stabilize environments because the drivers and kernel are optimized for stability

What is most valuable?

I think the most valuable feature for me, as a database professional, is an operating system that has been modified to have more stability in terms of drivers, in terms of the kernel. We have found a lot of problems using other equivalent systems when upgrading the kernel. Using the unbreakable kernel, we have been able to stabilize many systems.

How has it helped my organization?

As an organization I would say that having the same company that provides support for Linux, for the operating system, and also the software on top of it -  in my case it's Oracle database - I think that it's closer to having better support, a faster response from support and, of course, better solutions.

What needs improvement?

I think that the only improvement is staying up with the pace of the technology evolution. As long as Oracle Linux supports all the recent technologies, there are really no more innovations it will need. If the technology itself evolves, as long as Oracle Linux supports it, it's the perfect product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You start it and you shut it down only when you need to, really, but it never crashes. I have not experienced the crash of Oracle Linux recently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Well, depending on what you mean by "scaling," in vertical scaling we have systems at my customers that go up to 700 gigabytes. I don't know if it's the most scaling, but definitely it's more than enough to have good database consolidation on the server.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think it's good. It's not really necessary, too often, to need support for Oracle Linux. Sometimes it depends on hardware drivers, if there is the necessity to have something special. But in general, my impression is that it's stable and we don't need much support.

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

Again, I have to mention that I am an Oracle database professional, so I'm really focused on this technology. Of course, other operating systems often have many more problems in configuration, in stability, they need much more fine tuning. I don't want to mention them but I will say that many customers are trying to switch from, for example, legacy Unix systems to Linux.

How was the initial setup?

We use, of course, a configuration management tool like Chef Puppet nowadays, or Ansible, so it's really easy to maintain the system. But, even installing for just one server, by hand, now is straightforward. It's not a whole day of installing Linux, that's not the case any more.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769572
Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Real User
If you are running Oracle systems there is no vendor conflict when you need support

What is our primary use case?

We use Oracle Linux with multiple clients for multiple applications.

What is most valuable?

Over a period of time, feature-wise, functionality wise, the reliability is important for us. 

How has it helped my organization?

First of all it is a zero-dollar value, it is free. We only have to pay for support. So it brings down the overall cost. And it is providing the same functionality as any other Linux system that is out there in the market.

What needs improvement?

Some customers feel about Oracle licensing, while it is free, they are not able to understand the support model for it. They feel the price is high for support. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have seen running production systems on it, there is no issue at all, because of the operating system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have no experience with scaling, but I believe scalability is as part of it as any other Unix based operating system that is out there in the market.

How is customer service and technical support?

It is world-class.

How was the initial setup?

It is straightforward and well documented. If people have basic Unix knowledge, they can jump on it. But I would definitely recommend going through the documentation before implementing any operating system in an enterprise environment.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding criteria when selecting a vendor, if I am working in an Oracle world, I would what's important is being "family." If you are using Oracle as a database, using Oracle Linux is a good choice, because you are in the same family. Support is coming from the same vendor. The chances of vendor conflict - for example, being able to pull in people from different vendors; if I'm using Red Hat Linux I would be pulling people from Red Hat Linux, I would be pulling people from Oracle databases - that kind of scenario would not be there. Support would be seamless.

In terms of advice I would say, know your needs first, and if you know your needs, compare Oracle Linux with other operating systems. If you are running Oracle systems, Oracle databases, Oracle Linux is certified by Oracle. I believe all of Oracle is using it internally when building the system. For example, when they're developing Oracle databases or when they're developing Oracle EBS, they're running it on Oracle Linux.

Go for it. Evaluate it, know your needs first, and then see what solution is addressing your need.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Mike Turner
Product Lead at Zenotech
Video Review
Real User
Red Hat compatibility allows us to move very easily between platforms, including the cloud

What is our primary use case?

We're quite heavy Linux users. We do high performance computing on Linux so we like a Linux which is compatible with several platforms, so we don't have to cross-compile for too many Linux editions.

What is most valuable?

We like that Oracle Linux is Red Hat compatible, it makes things very easy for us. We can move between platforms very easily. 

How has it helped my organization?

Oracle Linux has helped us to use some of the Oracle cloud platforms, it's made that quite easy. Really, access to that is why we use Oracle Linux.

What needs improvement?

Just keeping up to date with the latest releases, so Red Hat Enterprise having Linux 7 compatibility would be useful. Other than that, the tools that we need are there, we use the GCC compilers and those tool chains.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had absolutely no problems at all, we've never had any stability issues with Oracle Linux.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We run, as I said, high performance computing, so we run across several nodes at any one time. We've scaled up to 30 Oracle Linux instances talking to each other, with no problems at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

Luckily, I haven't had to use it yet. Obviously we use some of the Oracle online documentation, that's always been useful. And any time we've had any contact with Oracle it's been fairly positive. So what little contact we've had has been good.

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

We didn't feel much of an investment because we use the cloud platforms, then it's an option to us there. The actual investment of just trying Oracle Linux out was very little, it was just one of the choices on the cloud platform, and it turned out to be one of the best.

How was the initial setup?

It was relatively straightforward. Again, the compatibility with other Linux distros makes it quite straightforward, so we've had no issues really. It was very simple.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of important criteria when selecting a vendor: support, and stability of the product as well. Obviously having the packages certified by Oracle, a known stable platform, makes it easy. We don't have to worry about doing an update and then breaking things. That's probably one of the key things for us.

I'd say try it out, it's simple to get running, get it onto a CIN and then just give it a go.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
it_user769578
President at Viscosity NA
Video Review
Consultant
UEK kernel is optimized for Oracle databases; online kernel patches with zero downtime

What is most valuable?

By far, the most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is the fact that the unbreakable UEK kernel is optimized to run Oracle databases. Basically out of the box, the kernel parameters are automatically set up for I/O, for memory, and for performance.

How has it helped my organization?

Benefits of Oracle Linux for a lot of customers include things like Ksplice, for example, the ability to perform online kernel patches with zero downtime. In fact, a lot of the other vendors like Red Hat and SUSE are starting to embrace that technology, but they’re years behind.

What needs improvement?

Overall, Oracle Linux is full of great features and functionality. Because it is an Oracle product, what would be nice is if there better integration between the Linux operating system and Oracle ASM and things like ASMLib and the integration with Oracle RAC.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a stability perspective, Linux has been around for decades, and Oracle Linux is going to be around for a long, long time, and it’s going to be a dominant player.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a derivative of Red Hat, but for all practical purposes, it’s immensely scalable, especially as you're talking about doing multi-node clusters with Oracle Linux. There are numerous customers who are leveraging Oracle RAC on Oracle Linux, that’s a very common platform for a lot for customers today. 

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

A lot of customers who are on Red Hat, for example - it’s all pricing. Again, this is another key benefit of being on Oracle Linux. If you buy Oracle hardware, for example, be it x86 or ODA or even Exadata, all those platforms will run on Oracle Linux, but because you're paying annual support for the hardware, you will automatically get free support on Oracle Linux. That’s by far, probably, the biggest benefit of going on Oracle Linux. 

If you compare also from cost of support of Red Hat versus Oracle Linux, Oracle Linux is going to be a lot cheaper overall.

What other advice do I have?

When selecting a vendor, the cool thing about Oracle Linux is that the customers are going to be running an Oracle database on it. At the same time, if they’re going to be running Oracle databases on top of Oracle Linux, you have one vendor to call for support, you have one vendor to choke at the end of the day if things go wrong.

It's a 10 out of 10. You are going to get great support from Oracle Linux. The portal that you would log into for support for Oracle Linux is going to be the same portal that you would log into to get your database support. It will be the same portal that you log into to get your Exadata and ODA if you're running those hardware appliances as well.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Oracle Platinum Partner.
ITCS user
CTO/Architect at Viscosity North America
Video Review
Consultant
Paying only the support cost and getting Ksplice are key features for us

What is most valuable?

The ones I really appreciate are things like the fact that, from a costing perspective, it is only the support cost. That's the only thing you have to pay for.

There are the little hidden things like Kubernetes of packaging, OpenStack, it's all built in to the subscription as part of Oracle Linux. When you get Oracle Linux, you get OpenStack and Kubernetes which, is coming down the path.

Ksplice is a huge piece for us for supportability as well.

How has it helped my organization?

Pre-validated configuration is a huge benefit for us, because we're doing database installation all the time. 

I think the biggest benefits you'll see are things like rapid deployment, things like templates. Again, like I mentioned before about validated configuration. You don't have to set individual parameters, and set up settings. DBAs just run this RPM and, boom, you have an environment that's already pre-configured, pre-set for Oracle configurations.

What needs improvement?

Kubernetes, as I mentioned before, that's coming down soon. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability and scalability, we don't have any issues. We're running it on PCA, we're running on bare metal, we're running on different cloud configurations, OVM. For us, UEK versions 2 and 3 have been very stable and very scalable. We run RAC on it as well.

How is customer service and technical support?

That's interesting because I came from Oracle support, it's near and dear to my heart. One of the beauties of Oracle support is the fact that the guys who are in Oracle support actually came from Oracle database support. So when you make a call to Oracle support, if you're calling about a web or app server, especially a database server, they know exactly what you're talking about, because they came from that world. You don't have to explain to them what a database is, what a process is. They totally get it.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward. Setting up Linux, we usually use templates, ISO images. We use Spacewalk, which is part of the subscription model, it's free; so we use Spacewalk quite a bit.

What other advice do I have?

I always tell them, if you're running Oracle workloads like database, that's a natural fit for Oracle Linux. Because, like I said, It's pre-configured, you get to validate configuration, you get Spacewalk, support. It's a nice little bundle.

When selecting a vendor, the things we focus on are high availability, scalability, and business requirements. All those things come together. We figure out whether it's a RAC solution, OVM solution, virtualize, a middle-tier stack that all fit in together.

I would say it's a nine out of 10. Start using it. If you're familiar with Red Hat, you're going to be familiar with Oracle Linux. It's pretty much the same thing, so start investing time and testing it in-house.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user769599
Chief Innovation Officer at Viscosity North America
Video Review
Vendor
It's on the fastest machines on planet Earth, it's more secure and more private

What is most valuable?

When you look at Oracle Linux over the years, you've got to go back to the beginning of Linux. Nobody would accept it in the community because it was open source. A guy by the name of Larry Ellison said, "Let's put Linux on every app server we have in the company because I believe this is what's coming next." When I look at Oracle Linux, Larry really drove Linux, to some degree, into the market. 

But when I look at Linux and some of the value of it, you look at privacy, security, it's much more secure, much more private than other operating systems. It's very easy to install and a lot of people use it. It's very common.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Linux since it came out, a very long time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Is Linux scalable? Let's see. It's on the fastest machines on planet Earth, which is Exadata. Does it scale? Yes. Proven in many clients out there, Exadata is the highest selling and best product that Oracle has ever put out in their history.

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

When I'm comparing Linux, I look at the things like Windows - and a lot of people call it "Windoze," d-o-z-e, like they're dozing off because it's so slow. Linux is extremely fast and that's why it took the entire market. It's why it's the standard right now. Oracle Linux, when I look at it, it's very fast, it's really not comparable to anything else. It's very good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the solution is very common for people who are familiar with installing Linux. I don't see any issues there. Also, with Linux, they have patches that come out when there's any issue. That's why you get a lot of good security. The after-support, never really had an issue. Linux is pretty simple to where you set It up and it's done.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend Oracle Linux regularly because it's a standard that works well with the Oracle Database, it works well with all the different needs. When you look at the topology in a general IT department, it fits very well. In the cloud, Linux runs the cloud. 

Linux is a 10 out of 10. Windows, not so much; maybe down at two or three, especially on the privacy side and security, in my opinion.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Platinum partner.
it_user656313
Oracle Unix/Linux Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
We use it to implement a virtualized environment. The documentation can be improved.

What is most valuable?

KSPlice feature that allows you to install kernel updates within a live environment without downtime.

How has it helped my organization?

Less downtime during updates installations.

What needs improvement?

The documentation of the product can be improved. It often lacks a lot of documentation, but so do a lot of Oracle solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I am not the end customer, but I have been supporting the product for a year now.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered during deployment. Very smooth deployment

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were a few stability issues because of the hardware that we used. For the most part, it is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I do the technical support with the help of Oracle.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was a straightforward implementation.

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

The product is a part of an Oracle Enterprise Solution. You only pay for support to use the product. It is a free product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We wanted to implement a virtualized environment under the Oracle VM for x86. This was the right product for that, so we did not look at any other products.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product to have. It is even better to run it on Oracle hardware.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Oracle Gold Partners and field delivery partners, i.e., one of the two in the country.
it_user603813
Owner Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
I like the Operating System alignment with Oracle Database.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature in Oracle Linux is its design. Oracle Linux is built with features to align very closely with Oracle products and specifically the Oracle Database. For example, it’s delivered with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel which is a kernel developed and optimized by Oracle for Oracle products.
It’s an important part of the system that makes Oracle Database so powerful.

How has it helped my organization?

The Oracle Linux system is configured, by default, to schedule I/O for database usage and this I/O management plays an important part in database performance.

What needs improvement?

Dynamic tracing could be improved. In Oracle Linux, you have some very powerful (for example "perf" or "systemtap").

If Oracle can deliver such tools like dtrace for linux (publicly), this would help albeit actually dtrace is delivered through the Unbreakable Linux Network.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Linux since 1997 and Oracle Linux since its availability in 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have never encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I usually use forums, Google and My Oracle Support (MOS )Knowledge Base (a great tool) to find answers to my questions. I never used Support Engineers to resolve issues related to Oracle Linux.

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

I used Red Hat Linux solutions before, but Oracle Linux is better engineered to run Oracle products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. If you understand Linux basics, it won’t be a problem.

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

Oracle Linux support is not free but the product is free. You can use it and test it safely for your tests environments. As soon you run your production, purchase a support if you have to access patches etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Red Hat Linux a couple of years ago, but both products are very close. Only Oracle Linux has specific features that can be optimized for Oracle products (Database, Engineered systems etc.)

What other advice do I have?

If you are searching for an operating system build to run your Oracle products, then Oracle Linux is the best product to do that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user660024
Solutions Architect Senior Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
LXC containers lock down applications within the OS.

What is most valuable?

Starting with Oracle Linux 5, we’ve started to use ext4, which has provided us better disk performance. The unbreakable kernel has been very secure and has provided us a robust OS that has outperformed many of its counterparts. Starting with Oracle Linux 6, we’ve used LXC containers to lock down applications within the OS. We’ve been extremely happy with the scalability and performance of each version across a multitude of platforms.

How has it helped my organization?

The reliability of the product has increased our efficiency. With needing 99.98% uptime, the OS has been incredibly stable. In the 10 years I’ve been using the product, I’ve had to open zero product defects as it has functioned in every way we needed it to.

What needs improvement?

With many other operating systems, including this one, I would love to have the ability to upgrade the kernel in place. This currently requires a reboot of the OS. With today’s applications and customer needs, having the ability to perform in-place kernel upgrades with no reboots would be huge.

There are some capabilities with Oracle linux to do this, but it is not widely used. KSPLICE can be utilized but there are many features of it such as stack tracing after the fact you may not get what you need and a reboot would still be required. Starting with version 6 you can utilize KSPLICE. Most customers especially hours are hesitant to use such methods like KSPLICE. It does require a higher kernel version (4.x) and many many applications have not yet been supported on that kernel rev that myself and company support.

There is a product you can purchase from cloudlinux called kernelcare. It works well and has fewer nuances. Worth a look for POC at a minimum for any critical business applications. Much like KSPLICE, kernelcare will only work with Oracle linux 6+.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using these versions starting with Linux 5 from Oracle since 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any issues related to stability of the OS. Application-related issues have caused the downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No problems at all with scalability. We’ve been able to extend clusters without issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

Since I’ve not had to use technical support, I am unable to rate it.

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

We used to use RedHat. Support costs drived us to switch. We’ve saved thousands of dollars.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is all straightforward; however, we utilize very complex installations. We use a variety of tools to speed up the acquirement of software, deployment of systems, patching, backup and recovery. We believe in segregation and following NIST/IRS/DOD standards in all of our builds. Straightforward is nice, but to protect our customers, we go the extra mile.

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

With everything from hardware to software, we recommend to analyze all options. Not every customer or application will fit the bill for the Oracle Linux OS products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a few other OS providers. Those include RedHat, CentOS, Debian and openSUSE.

What other advice do I have?

Read the documentation, follow best practices and if you do not have standards in place, follow up on NIST/IRS standards for OS configurations to protect yourself and your client.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Engineer at a tech company
Vendor
It is free and provides support for Spacewalk.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are:

  • It’s free.
  • Kernel 4.x.
  • RPM-based.
  • RedHat clone.
  • Support for Spacewalk.
  • Easy and stable upgrades.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Oracle Linux for all Oracle database servers.

What needs improvement?

Updates are very slow in our part of world (Slovenia). Now, we use Spacewalk for distribution of updates, but replication to Spacewalk is slow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used support for Oracle Linux.

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

We are still using RHEL 5.x, 6.x and 7.x, SLES 9,10 and 11 and CentOS 6.x and 7.x.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is straightforward.

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

I recommend Oracle Linux to everyone who needs the stability of RHEL and the newest kernel.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

Just use it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an important Oracle Partner.
it_user417540
Oracle Database Technical Systems Consultant at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
It provides us with templates and Oracle-validated configurations that allows quicker install and configuration of Oracle Database software.

What is most valuable?

It provides us with templates and Oracle-validated configurations that allows quicker install and configuration of Oracle Database software.

The existence of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is special adjusted for the best performance of Oracle software. It updates the OS using Ksplice.

How has it helped my organization?

We have no downtime for OS upgrades, hence customer production isn't affected, and we have no security breaches and higher performance of Oracle stack software due to its usage of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

What needs improvement?

Although Btrfs does a great job, I would like to see ZFS being part of future distributions.

Also, a distributed replicated block device (DRBD) feature would better provide a sort of mirroring over a network of block devices, becoming a superset of Oracle Database Data Guard for a range of applications with storage residing on related block devices.

From another perspective, the adjustments needed for implementing a powerful PPPoE server (PPP over Ethernet) in a similar way, what the guys from Mikrotik (www.mikrotik.com) did for X86 platforms (also starting from Linux kernel) could be interesting. Imagine how secure the connection to related OS using PPPoE would be, the simplicity of routing in the environment, and many more advantages.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

For small and medium clients, there were no issues with deployment. For larger enterprises, Oracle VM is preferred.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For small and medium clients, there were no issues with stability. For larger enterprises, Oracle VM is preferred.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For small and medium clients there were no issues with scalability. For larger enterprises, Oracle VM is preferred.

How are customer service and technical support?

They get an A for the outstanding customer service and technical support.

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

We had to choose this solution in order to have the technology used on the same line. Since Oracle Databases is the market leader, as well as other successful software platforms on the stack, the OS from the same provider needed to be considered and analyzed in-depth from technical and cost perspectives also. To keep the answer short, the balance leaned towards Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The fact that the images can be freely downloaded from OTN allowed us to set up a lab environment and perform initial simulations of the targeted environment. The large number of existing templates saved lots of time for “in-depth” documentation, adjustments, configurations, and so on. Since the testing provided more than sufficient positive signs, the solution was chosen.

What about the implementation team?

The operating system implementations were in-house. There is no need for a vendor team to perform the OS install once you have in-house system administrators with needed skills. Related skills can be quickly gathered by professionals familiar with various Linux flavors, and certification for Oracle Linux can be achieved by taking a rather simple exam in one of the many Pearson Vue centers. I've heard that for other Linux distributions the process isn’t as simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.5, but improvements in Oracle Linux and better support price incline the balance to that one.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to act on the pattern: Plan – Do – Check – Act. From the way the question is formulated, the first step is done. They should now download the product, install an in-lab environment along with the related applications, check how the framework responds to the specific needs, and make the Go / No-Go decision. My estimation is that for most cases the Go decision will be taken, but that can depends on specific other elements.

Another advice is to have one person providing infrastructure support with at least one Oracle Certification in this area, so easy issues become solved in agile style.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436146
President at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The licensing is simpler because customers usually don't have to go to VMware, Microsoft, or any other company to get different things. The functionalities they need are already built-in.

What is most valuable?

For me, I like that fact that Oracle Linux is very similar, of course, to CentOS and Red Hat. Plus, Application Testing Suit makes it a lot more customizable for us. We're also able to monitor it with our software. These features make Oracle Linux very simple with very little configuration changes needed.

How has it helped my organization?

When we work with customers who are more Oracle-based, then Oracle Linux seems to follow more along the lines of what they want to do. The licensing is simpler because they usually don't have to go to VMware, Microsoft, or any other company to get different things. The functionalities they need are already built-in.

What needs improvement?

The installation needs some improvements because, as my admins have told me, it's a little bit tedious compared to others. Also, it takes a little bit of time to actually find files, download them, and install them. That kind of goes for anything with Oracle in that unless you know exactly where to go, it can take a bit of time. But once it's installed, it just works.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A handful of customers that are using it haven't had any issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been able to scale using Linux just fine.

How was the initial setup?

I would say that the initial setup is pretty much straightforward. It falls along the lines of the others. Some of the newer versions of other flavors of Linux make it a little bit simpler, but overall it's straightforward and we've hadn't had any trouble once it's been installed.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves with our in-house team.

What other advice do I have?

I would probably have them explain, at least to themselves, what they're going to use it for, what applications are going to be running on it. And if it's going to be Database or something more Oracle-based, it's going to be great for that. If it's going to be something else, it may not be the best fit, depending on exactly what they are going to do with it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
it_user418443
IT System Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It gives us the ability to cover kernel bugs by using Oracle Ksplice online patching, which can be done without any unnecessary downtime.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us with Oracle's Linux product is the online kernel patching.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us the ability to cover kernel bugs by using Oracle Ksplice online patching. The best part is that we can do this whole process without any unnecessary downtime.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, from my experience the documentation and resources are not complete and I sometimes have to refer to Red Hat for Linux documentation.

Also, because we use HP servers, the drivers for Oracle Linux are not complete yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Oracle Linux for about four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I've had no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues scaling it for my needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

I'd say that technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

For the initial setup, you need some expertise to configure a good and stable system.

What about the implementation team?

I perform all Oracle Linux implementations myself. The most important point that I've found is to plan, plan, plan, and then deploy.

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

The price is good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user611982
Vice President of Enterprise Services at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The stability and supportability are valuable. The vendor releases security fixes and bug fixes for this product first.

What is most valuable?

  • Performance – Running on an operating system that is optimized for Oracle software provides significant performance gains.
  • Stability – Oracle Linux provides a far more stable platform than Microsoft Windows.
  • Supportability – Oracle releases security fixes and bug fixes first on Oracle Linux. Environments are more secure and easier to support.
  • Cost – Oracle Linux is roughly half the cost when compared to other comparable Linux distributions.

How has it helped my organization?

When designing a new Oracle database platform, Oracle Linux provides built-in benefits for database customers that are not available on any other platform. This has improved the performance, availability, scalability, and security of our architecture.

What needs improvement?

While the Oracle Linux software is perfectly suited for our needs, the related support processes within Oracle can often be challenging. Having your ticket routed to a capable support engineer can involve several escalations, and there is then a risk that the ticket is transferred to another engineer when the original person’s shift ends, often resulting in a frustrating process of answering many of the same questions again.

Similarly, the time to receive a bug fix can often be longer than in open-source equivalents. Therefore, we always recommend that Oracle Linux implementations are handled with an experienced Oracle Partner, specialized in Linux, who can supplement Oracle’s own support structures with a deeper level of expertise and faster response.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We hit a couple of bugs in the early days of Oracle Linux 5 but in the last few years, the platform has been extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The platform is extremely scalable, either in a virtualized fashion or by using the available clustering technology.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the support provided as a 6 our of 10, due to some slow responses and some delays on getting senior, experienced technical support personnel engaged.

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

In the past, we had primarily used either Oracle Solaris or Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a standard. Oracle Linux provided a more-agile, easy-to-deploy platform than Solaris, at a lower cost than Red Hat, and including optimizations not available in either of the previous platforms.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward for a basic server. However, there are complex configurations that can (and should) be added in for enterprise-level environments to provide better performance, stability, and redundancy.

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

Oracle Linux is roughly half the cost in terms of licensing and support when compared to other comparable Linux distributors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had primarily been using Red Hat Linux in the past. We also evaluated SUSE Linux and CentOS.

What other advice do I have?

While it is very straightforward to set up an Oracle Linux server, seek advice from experienced Oracle Partners to ensure that your new servers are customized and optimized to provide the performance, availability, and redundancy you need.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cintra offer a full suite of services including procurement, design, implementation and ongoing support for Oracle Linux.
it_user607413
Senior Oracle Database Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
ASMLib is pre-installed. All Red Hat-certified applications are also certified on this platform, by default.

What is most valuable?

As a DBA, I prefer Oracle Linux as it is fine tuned to run Oracle databases. I can easily install pre-requisite packages using pre-install rpms. ASMLib is pre-installed with Oracle Linux.

How has it helped my organization?

Most of the patches are publicly available and free via public repositories. Any application that is certified in Red Hat Enterprise Linux is certified in Oracle Linux by default, as they both share the same source code.

What needs improvement?

Desktop environments should be designed better. Red Hat Enterprise Linux's desktop environments are much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for 3.5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never had stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support gets 3.5/5.

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

I was using AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The main reason for switching was that Oracle Linux is much cheaper compared to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward.

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

Oracle Linux itself is free. But, if you need support, you need to purchase a support license. Following is the price range:

  • US$500 for a 2-socket server.
  • US$1600 for unlimited number of CPUs in a machine.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked on AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

What other advice do I have?

The UEK kernel is optimized for Oracle databases, Oracle applications, and Oracle engineered systems. So, go for it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user607410
Oracle Database Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
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.
RM
Unix System Administrator Ii at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It is cost effective. The platform provides good uptime and runs on commodity hardware.

What is most valuable?

It’s a good product. It’s Linux.

Oracle Linux is Red Hat Linux is Linux. It is a good and evolving platform that is an excellent base for today’s world where uptime and commodity hardware are the expected norm.

How has it helped my organization?

Linux is a cost effective substitute for Unix.

What needs improvement?

Support could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for over five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Of course, we have had stability issues. Linux is a work in progress.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 3/5. The support for Oracle Linux is effective for less difficult problems. We had problems with support when an engineering level of review was required; Oracle basically said they couldn’t help.

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

We were using Red Hat Linux. We went to Oracle because of licensing problems. We went back to Red Hat because of support problems.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is somewhat complex. It’s Linux.

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

Oracle Linux saves money, but it is at the expense of support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Red Hat Linux.

What other advice do I have?

Support for difficult problems is lacking.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ErmanArslan, Oracle ACE
Sr. Director, Systems & Databases at GTech
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Fully compatible with RHEL and provides free binaries and errata.

How has it helped my organization?

  • We use Oracle Linux templates for Oracle VM Server to provision our clone environments quickly.
  • We installed Oracle RDBMS almost without any effort in the OS layer,(thanks to preinstalled rpms, yums, and an easy Oracle Linux installation). It is always good to use Oracle Yum, for easing the installation of additional OS packages when needed.
  • We are supporting lots of critical customer environments that are mostly Oracle EBS or Oracle RDBMS running on Oracle Linux and we did not get any unexpected reboots or OS problems.
  • Oracle Linux is interoperable almost with every Oracle product, and this interoperability comes built-in by default.
  • Oracle Linux is well known in the community and that means quick information access when needed, for example, when data is lacking on administration or a requirement to diagnose a component.

What is most valuable?

  • The preinstall packages for Oracle RDBMS.
  • Single vendor support, as my customers mostly have Oracle Applications, Oracle cluster stack and Oracle RDBMS running on top of it.
  • It is fully compatible with RHEL. (Considering Red Hat is a widespread distribution, it is a valuable thing, as we can run a wide range of applications that are developed for RHEL). So, any application that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux will run the same on the corresponding Oracle Linux version.
  • Ability to have Oracle Support. (It is a sophisticated support environment.)
  • Having Oracle Community for additional support.
  • Free binaries and errata.
  • Tested and verified by Oracle.
  • Ability to check the Oracle Validated Configurations, which offers documented tips for configuring Linux systems to run Oracle database.
  • It is a Linux OS but it comes with management and HA tools that are integrated and included for free. Oracle prefers to use Oracle Linux in its Engineered Systems. This also makes Oracle Linux more valuable for me. So, at the end of the day, if you know Oracle Linux, then you automatically get familiar with the Oracle's various Engineered Systems.
  • Oracle Linux comes with 2 kernels: 1) UEK, 2) Base kernel. We mostly use UEK because it is Red Hat compatible, modern, current, tested and reliable. But in case of a problem, we can always boot with the base kernel. Offering the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) as part of Oracle Linux alongside what we call the Red Hat-compatible kernel gives us the ability to provide current, modern, tested code to customers without reducing reliable and availability.
  • Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache is a key feature for those who use Oracle Databases. It allows us to extend the Oracle Buffer cache using flash-based storage.
  • “cgroups” are also a key feature which let us create resource groupings based on CPU, memory or disk parameters.
  • Ability to use Oracle YUM server, which gives us a free and convenient way to install the latest Oracle Linux packages.
  • New Oracle product patches are firstly available in Oracle Linux... Also, Oracle Linux is quite frequently updated (even the DST patches are directly released).
  • Ksplice lets us update the Linux operating system (OS) kernel, while it is running, without a reboot or any interruption.

What needs improvement?

  • Oracle should increase the interaction between Oracle Linux and Oracle RDBMS. (Oracle RDBMS can be packaged into Oracle Linux; a tight integration will bring advantages.)
  • File recovery should be added to Oracle Linux. (When you delete a file, you should recover it easily.)
  • The RDBMS know-how that Oracle has, should be used to also develop Oracle Linux. (Oracle RDBMS has lots of features; why not mimic some of them in the OS tier?)
  • Oracle Linux documentation should be enhanced.
  • Oracle Linux clustering should be enhanced and made widespread. (Oracle should certify it in its products.)
  • We need a file system other than ASM or ACFS. We need a file system which can be used for replication; maybe integrated Oracle databases.
  • We need an Oracle Database-aware GUI but with a consolidated administration console added to the distribution.
  • A GUI-based performance analysis tool should be added to the distribution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 5 years. I have used Oracle Linux for hosting several critical Oracle Databases and Oracle Application Servers. 90% of my customers are using Oracle Linux for hosting their Oracle E-Business Suite environments. Also, in the past 5 years, I have migrated lots of Oracle Databases and EBS environments from other OS vendors to Oracle Linux. I have also done several Exadata and ODA administration, which have Oracle Linux in their OS tier.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use Oracle Real Application Clusters for RDBMS-level scalability. We also use engineered systems, which are by default scaled out. All these environments are based on Oracle Linux and we didn't have any issues on the OS layer.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 8/10.

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

We were using Red Hat Linux before. We started to use Oracle Linux, because it is free and supported by Oracle (owner of almost all the products that we are using or administrating). It has stabilized as time goes by and compatible with RHEL.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

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

There is no license required for Oracle Linux; however, we recommend having an Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) license for getting at least basic level support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are using Oracle products including Oracle RDBMS, Oracle FMW applications and Oracle EBS, so this is why the strongest option is always Oracle Linux.
Unless there is a hardware-OS relationship (i.e., IBM AIX and IBM Power Systems), we always use and we always recommend that people use Oracle Linux as the operating system.

What other advice do I have?

  • Check out the validated configurations.
  • Read the guide to get the considerations (such as basic security considerations).
  • Check the certification matrix for ensuring your applications and hardware are compatible with Oracle Linux.
  • Get at least basic ULN support.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Our company is a Gold Partner of Oracle.
it_user598938
Cloud Operation Engineer at a marketing services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Expect it to work well with OVM and Oracle OpenStack. The knowledge base isn’t as good as Red Hat’s.

What is most valuable?

The operating system is tweaked to work well with Oracle DB and other Oracle applications. Some kernel parameters have already been adjusted to suit Oracle products.

Ksplice is a cool feature with Oracle Linux that allows you to patch your systems without reboot.

The DTrace tool is available for debugging issues. If you’re a Solaris professional, you might be used to it and it’s always handy.

The Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS2) works well with OVM and other cluster scenarios.

All these features come with the Oracle Linux UEK kernel, however a Red Hat supported kernel is also available. It always feels good to have a choice.

How has it helped my organization?

I think it’s fair to compare this product to Red Hat Linux and although both OSs almost have same features, Oracle Linux is cost effective.

You can expect it to work well with Oracle products like OVM and Oracle OpenStack. I have been using it on physical boxes, VMware vSphere and Oracle Virtualization for x86.

As someone who has also worked with service based companies, I would say the choice of using Oracle Linux will depend on the environment.

Oracle environment: If you plan to run mostly Oracle products in your environment, then Oracle Linux is a good choice since you don’t have to run behind multiple vendors for troubleshooting. It also gives you a chance to convince Oracle to throw in some discounts.

Cost: If cost is a big factor in your environment, you could save some money by going for Oracle Linux support.

Availability: Linux has seen increases in security patches and most of these kernel patches require reboot. The Ksplice feature comes in handy if your environment can’t afford any downtime.

Despite these cool features, the choice would depend on over all IT goals and is mostly driven by two factors: how your environment is setup and how you plan to support your IT infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

The product is not very different from the market leader Red Hat Linux Operating System.

However, it has some issues when run in a virtualized environment. These NTP and other bugs get worse with the kind of support Oracle provides for Oracle Linux. Oracle support drags out issues and they like to play ping-pong between various teams.

I faced few issues with time sync on Oracle Linux when running on OVM & I had a tough time resolving it with Oracle support.
They could not provide any proper solution & dragged out the issue for a very long time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for over three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The operating system is fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate them at 2.5/5. This is a big area of improvement for this product. Even the knowledge base isn’t as good as Red Hat’s.

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

I have used both OL5 and OL6. The choice depends on the application running on the OS.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is not different from other OSs in the market.

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

You can certainly save money on support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have worked with other Linux distributions like Ubuntu and CentOS. I have also worked with Oracle Solaris, HPUX, and AIX.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have good Linux support staff.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521934
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It is user-friendly. I would like to see portability to other hardware vendors.

What is most valuable?

It's very easy to use. We have admins who have been able to administer this product. It is user-friendly. On top of that, we don't have any major issues with this product. The main issue we have with other, similar products that we use is performance. This product does not have any performance issues.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using it on a normal scale, but we are using a competitor application on a large scale. The application and the OS that we are using on a large scale has some performance issues. If we are talking about this application for this product, we are satisfied with the performance; we are satisfied with the output and throughput; and we have satisfied customers.

On top of that, this application does not break as compared to other applications.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see portability to other hardware, such as Dell and Intel platforms, instead of just putting a blinder on only Oracle products or Oracle hardware. The portability is the main challenge, I think. We should be able to port this application to other hardware and other vendors.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is more stable as compared to the competitor product that we have. It is more reliable. It doesn't break quite as often. It's user-friendly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think that it's that scalable, because you have to install Oracle Linux on an Oracle proprietary product. It is not that scalable; meaning, if you want to install this product on Dell or any other platform, you cannot do that. You have to buy an Oracle product in order to use this operating system.

How is customer service and technical support?

Oracle technical support is quite good. We always have a few issues in this environment. They're user friendly; they’re cooperative with the customer. Their customer app is also excellent, and they provide excellent support.

Actually, my team was involved in supporting this product after it's built. We are in IT operations, so all the support after the handover was done through my team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

About 10 years ago, we were using this product a lot. Over the years, when we saw that it was not that scalable, we looked around for different solutions. We moved new applications onto the new product’s environment. This one we left as-is, so right now, it is in containment; meaning, any new product or any new applications are not porting into this application.

The number one criteria when choosing a vendor such as Oracle is reliability. Number two is cost. Number three is efficacy.

We chose this solution because it doesn’t break down. It provides good performance. It's reliable. Reliability was one of the factors in the decision to choose this.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for a reliable product, this is the product. If you're looking for anything which can be scalable, you might need to look something else.

Based on performance, I would rate it higher. Based on scalability, I would rate it lower.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8013
Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
If you're running an Oracle database, use Oracle Linux.

Valuable Features

Well, the most valuable features are not the technical features. The most valuable feature is more of a support case feature. They build the operating system, we also run on Oracle hardware, and we run an Oracle database on top of that. The big benefit is having one vendor to go to for your hardware questions, your database questions and the operating system in the middle. So it makes life a lot easier. In general, they know more about it. They are simple cases, because you've got everything from one vendor.

One technical aspect I like is Ksplicing. You can patch Linux without having downtime.

Those two combined with the sophistication from Oracle products on Oracle Linux sums it up. Ksplicing and a certified one-vendor approach is in many cases the biggest benefits.

Improvements to My Organization

In general, if they move off from Windows, they will see quite heavy cost-cutting. You've got some heavier costs when you move off from Red Hat and especially if you combine it with the hardware deal where you run it on Oracle hardware. You get the support for the operating system for free; it's quite a major case. That is something you can expect and see a return on investment quite quickly.

In all honesty, there are not that many additional benefits except for the money and the other items I've mentioned, in relation to Red Hat, because the operating systems are quite the same. It is more about the financial and support and Ksplicing; those are the main differentiators. But, in general, we see customers going down in costs when they move off from Red Hat to Oracle Linux.

Room for Improvement

Regarding areas for improvement, I think they follow the main kernel filler. The only thing from what I can see as an improvement is the level of adoption in the Linux community because I too often see non-Oracle products at first not being released or not being certified as Oracle Linux. You see more adoption in Red Hat even though they are binary-compatible. You often see that those extras are not directly available on the Oracle download repositories, whereas with Red Hat there is a lot available. And Oracle is quite focused on its own product stack. You can get everything running; everything that you can run on Red Hat you can run on Oracle Linux. However, it is not that integrated. It's no big deal, it takes you a couple of extra commands, but they could spin off more adoption by doing that.

In all honesty, I know that their graphical user interface is very basic, but I think 99.9% of people use it on a server version that doesn't have any display connected to it. Therefore, there's no reason for doing that. I don't see that much improvement specifically for Oracle Linux; I have the same stuff as for Linux in general. There's the adoption of specific drivers as such, but nothing specific for Oracle Linux. I think that they are a very good competitor to Red Hat.

Use of Solution

We adopted Oracle Linux seven or eight years ago, when we started moving off from Red Hat. In that time frame, you're generally investing knowledge into Oracle Linux. I think it's around seven years or something.

Stability Issues

I haven't seen any big stability issues with a couple of customers that are doing Oracle Linux. The only issues we have seen are more generally kernel-related, so Red Hat would have the same issue.

The big benefit is that you have additional stability if you run Oracle products, because you always have the guarantee that if you upgrade anything, Oracle software will continue running. You're not running the risk that you'll break anything, within reason. A bug is always possible, but if you're running an Oracle shop, running Oracle Linux makes absolute sense because it is part of their testing strategy to ensure that the databases work if they bring out stuff.

That is, in general, what I tell my customers: "You're running an Oracle database, use Oracle Linux." There is stuff in there that helps you run your database optimally and those guys always have their own products in mind. If you are an Oracle shop, don't go for Red Hat. You've got the financial part, but also it's from the same vendor. They know the guys from database themselves, and they keep them in mind when they bring out a patch. That makes absolute sense.

Scalability Issues

With scalability, we have customers that are scaling up their machines, but also scaling up cluster-wise. In general, there is no big issue with scalability. It is really stable; Oracle puts out really stable releases.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I do not engage a lot with Oracle's customer support or technical support. In general, we do the outsourcing part. Our teams engage a lot with Oracle and we step in when things are not going that smoothly. If it is a really big issue and they can't find the root cause or a solution, that's when I step in. It's not that much, but every now and then I need to engage with those guys. Sometimes support is good, sometimes support is bad. I think that's the case with every vendor, but in general they have quite knowledgeable teams. What I see with Oracle is that they are willing to build you a solution if you can tell them what's wrong with something. If you find a bug, you quite quickly know that it's being promoted to the development teams. And you see that ending up in the next version, you see it ending up in patches. That's quite good.

Initial Setup

There is not really that much to say about setup and the transition. It was quite a walk in the park for a lot of our engagements where we had a very simple transition, especially for databases. You have to remember everything is binary-compatible, so we just brought the new machines and moved over all the applications and all the databases we were running with Red Hat for those specific customers. We anticipated undergoing quite a heavy transformation, but it turned out that, in general, it was quite a simple transformation.

We still do that today, for new customers that onboard that are running IT professionally and say "We would like to move to a cloud-generated data center". We say, "Okay, you can stick with Red Hat, but for the same money, we can move you off to Oracle Linux and then you actually get a discount."

Because we already have Oracle Linux, we don't charge them for that and it makes our lives easier. Every now and then, you have an off-case where they did some funny stuff, but in general it is a very simple transformation. Nothing scary, nothing complicated over there. Quite easy.

Other Advice

My general feeling would be "Don't worry too much." It is not that complicated. It's a very stable Linux distribution, and especially when you're in doubt, you can always reach out to the guys from Oracle. That is, of course, if you chose to pay for it, but you can try this stuff for free. You can spin it off on a VirtualBox image. Just download stuff, just give it a try and you will see how easy it is. That's my general advice.

If you're an Oracle shop, it should be the first operating system in the Linux sphere to think about. Don't start doing stuff yourself with Red Hat or other distributions.

If you like it, buy the support. It is a stable release and in my honest opinion, I think we will see more and more that Oracle is optimizing their kernels for their software. In that case, it will continue to grow. I think in a couple of years, you will see much more Oracle software-specific stuff within that kernel. For the future, it's a good direction to head into if you're running Oracle shop and also if you're not running on Oracle shop.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an Oracle Diamond-level Cloud Premier partner.
it_user436116
Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
The most valuable feature is that it's supported by Oracle with a kernel called Unbreakable Linux.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature is that it's supported by Oracle with a kernel called Unbreakable Linux, which I believe is being used by most customers. It's the same flavor as Red Hat, but it's better because it's supported by Oracle.

Room for Improvement

Right now a lot of people are migrating from traditional Unix to Linux, which performs much better. I'd like to see Oracle continue to improve on the performance of Linux, particularly in regards to scalability, so that we can move completely away from Unix. We'd like to have all our applications on Linux as Unix is fading away.

Use of Solution

I've been using Linux for maybe five or six years.

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues

Linux is always stable and Oracle Linux is no different. Customers are predominantly running their systems on Linux.

Scalability Issues

Scalability is related to how much compute power you are providing. The OS is there but you'll run your application on top of Linux. So that's where you'll scale Linux, which will depend on your application.

Customer Service and Technical Support

They're overall knowledgeable, but I've seen some instances where they're completely focused on a single product instead of seeing the end-to-end solution for a customer. That's where they get lost.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user486498
Solutions Architect Hyperion at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The valuable features are the performance, the backup and the restore mechanism.

Valuable Features

The valuable features are the performance, the backup and the restore mechanism. We have had to restore once, and everything was able to restore.

Improvements to My Organization

It’s up and running the way the business wants it to be, and it doesn’t go down like other systems do.

Room for Improvement

Performance and storage could be improved. Dashboard reporting could also be more dynamic, and it would be nice if future versions were easier for users to navigate and drill down into.

Use of Solution

We have been using the product for six years.

Stability Issues

It is a very stable platform. It never goes down.

Scalability Issues

We have a couple environments, which have scaled according to business requirements and user growth. So far, it is going well.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We use partners for Oracle, so when we ask for support, we are forwarded to the partner that works with the solution in question. They are really good. If there is an issue where I can just drill down or look into the online forums, I do that as well.

Other Advice

Performance is amazing, and it’s better than Windows. I would give it a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436173
Senior Oracle Database Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
With the licensing, it was clear what we had to pay for it, what we got, and what we can get in the future.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is that it's a very stable product. It seems to be based on Red Hat. We waited for a few years before adopting it, but now that we've adopted it, it's been very stable for us. The license and adaptability of it is probably be the biggest selling point for us.

In this day and age, we'd be very cautious in terms of licensing, but with the Oracle Linux it's very clear how you license it, and also it's the flexibility of it. Sometimes we find with the Oracle licensing it's quite vague in some of the products. With this here, it was very, very, clear what we had to pay for it, and what we got, and also what we can get in the future.

What needs improvement?

Oracle's products are quite expensive. The reason why they're expensive is probably the reason why we purchase them, in terms of the stability, and we know that even though we're paying heavily for the product, we can't afford to be going with other inferior products.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We want to run -- we do run -- a High Availability environment. The documentation in and around Oracle Linux and the hosting of WebLogic on Oracle Linux from a clustering point of view was, at best, average. We had to search for many, many articles and get MyOracle support involved to get to the point where we actually ended up with the High Availability solution that our business needed. Again, when they put these products on the market, their documentation needs to be an awful lot clearer about how you get to the places you want to be.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's incredibly stable. We've had little to no issues with instability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Before any major software releases or major changes to our infrastructure, everything is tested to a really, really high level. We would never actually go live with anything without being stable, but it took us longer than it should have to get there.

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

The reason why we went for Oracle Linux ahead of even Red Hat or, originally HP-UX, was because the product licensing was very, very, clear, whereas it was a little bit vague with the other products. In this day and age, there's very much a focus on cost, keeping the costs down, and spending wisely.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was difficult. We wanted High Availability, and it was that part in particular that was giving us severe problems. It uses a repository to holder details between the High Availability instances, and we found that that was quite complicated to set up, and even now it's a little bit buggy.

It would have been difficult. We try to have high availability, and in particular the high availability part of it gave us severe problems. It uses what's known as a repository to hold details between your high availability instances, and we found that they're quite complicated to set up, and even now a little bit buggy.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436206
Oracle Applications DBA/UNIX SA at a agriculture with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I like that it can run on generic hardware, which is definitely a plus over the proprietary hardware that we had on previous Oracle installations.

Valuable Features

The most valuable aspect of Oracle's flavor of Linux is that there's a one-stop shop for support to which I can go. I can get support for our Oracle basket of products that includes Linux and Database.

Improvements to My Organization

I like that it can run on generic hardware, which is definitely a plus over the proprietary hardware that we had on previous Oracle installations. This mean that we have a tremendous cost savings when we're able to run Linux on hardware for which we don't have to pay a premium. We'd rather spend our money on the software.

Room for Improvement

There are some features that might be in Red Hat Linux that aren't in Oracle Linux. I can't think of anything specific, but we had that issue about a month ago.

Deployment Issues

It's deployed just fine for us. We've had no real issues there.

Stability Issues

It's been very stable. We've very rarely had any issues with instability.

Scalability Issues

It's been scaling just fine for what our needs are.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The support is pretty good. There are some issues with first-level support providing just basic, generally not-very-helpful advice, but they're generally responsive and help us to resolve smaller issues.

Initial Setup

The initial setup is straightforward, if you know what you're doing. It's not that difficult or unnecessarily complex, but you should have some experience with previous installations for best results.

Implementation Team

We implemented it ourselves with our in-house team.

Other Advice

Be sure you follow the instructions for installation, setup, and configuration.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user284961
Senior Product Manager at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Video Review
Vendor
Out of the box it's already pre-optimized and pre-configured. Having that marriage between the OS and the database is critical.

What is most valuable?

What I like about Oracle Linux is that out of the box it's already pre-optimized, pre-configured, has all the right RPMs, has checking packages. It's basically all the stuff I would have to do with a different distribution manually. It probably saves me a couple of hours on each time I do a database install, and that's worth a lot. Plus, the performance is better because it's been highly optimized or tuned. The kernels been optimized. The memory management specifically is better, so it makes for a very stable platform.

How has it helped my organization?

Performance and stability. I can get maximum performance with the least amount of effort, and stability-wise, I never have a crash. I've yet to have one.

What needs improvement?

One of them is because I'm lazy, and most people wouldn't admit that, but when you go from version 6 to version 7 of Linux, a lot of commands changed, and even some file locations have changed. I wish they would keep the compatibility mode, or the stupid mode for me for a couple of years. I hate to learn new commands right away, but it is what it is.

Just keeping up, keeping the pace with the Red Hat main distributions, so if Red Hat's on 7.3, I'd like to see Enterprise Linux on 7.3, at the same time. On one occasion, I think they actually beat Red Hat. I think they came out with their point release first. That's what I would kind of like, is for them to stay very aggressive on that, because kernel modifications typically end up being performance. They have taken the best of Solaris and put it into it. They keep adding tools that are necessary for doing performance optimization and monitoring. It's very mature.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

What's really nice about the stability is that even when you have situations that might cause issues with other OSs, other variants of Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux seems to do a better job of catching and handling those exceptions. An example would be, maybe I'm doing a wrap-cluster or I'm using ASM, automatic storage management, there are some cases where those products can cause an error that might cause a different distribution of Linux to maybe hang or lock or get confused. With Enterprise Linux it seems to be a non-issue. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I love the scalability. Because of the fact that it's already optimized for performance, I can scale it to whatever maximum numbers I need very easily. The only time I have to make any adjustments is if I'm doing RAC, real application clusters, I may want to tune a little bit differently based on the number of nodes, but it's very minimal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle technical support is like most companies with technical support. It's either great or horrible. It sort of depends on the phone call. Generally speaking, it's great. A lot of times though, if you're in a mission critical situation, you need to get them to escalate you to level two so that you can get beyond the first level and typically you can get an answer quicker. I would say the most interesting interaction I had with them was, one time I was patching an Exadata machine and I did a step wrong because I didn't read all the directions. Did an incorrect step. Ruined my Exadata box. Made sure that they got me to second level support, and then it took us about eight hours working together but we got it recovered. Very few vendors would have spent eight hours, midnight to eight AM, just on a phone call.

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

I was an early adopter of Linux, long before companies saw the light, and before it went mainstream. I would say I got into the early adopter, sort of experimental stage, so that I would be prepared when my companies were positioned to take advantage of it, I would already be an expert.

I actually started using Linux, probably about the time that Red Hat was Red Hat version 3, so more than a decade ago, probably closer to 15 years, and part of that was because I could see that the commoditization of hardware was going to mean that server rooms were going to be predominantly Intel, and they were going to predominantly be Windows and Linux, and you'd better know both of them. With Linux being a much lower cost OS, and also hosting databases like Oracle really well, you just knew it was going to end up in the Enterprise environment, and it just made sense to work with Enterprise Linux. Now I worked originally with Red Hat and CentOS, but it very clearly became evident to me that Oracle Enterprise Linux, starting at version 5.8, was just as good, just as stable, offered more with very few differences in the learning curve.

Oracle does have a few additional tools that are not on the standard distribution, but they actually make your job a lot of easier, like for example, one of them is an RPM check. It just checks to make sure we have all of the pre-loaded or the pre-required RPMs loaded, and there's nothing to do other than to activate it, and it just gives you a message. It's not very hard to learn these additional features.

What about the implementation team?

Honestly, if you've done any Linux installation of any distribution, and specifically if you've done CentOS or Red Hat, all that really changes are some of the images and backgrounds and colors and labels, but other than that, it's probably 98% identical, but Oracle does have some optimizations and some additional RPMs already installed. It's a very small difference, but if you know Linux, and even if you're with a different variant, say like a Ubuntu, you'll still be okay. You won't be a fish out of water.

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

I think that the licensing model is fair. It's reasonable. What's nice is that if you have the database tech support or maintenance, and you have the Linux support or maintenance, for them it's one phone call. Now you may switch a person on the phone, but you're not having to call and get back in the queue again, so it's nice to deal with one company, especially for a critical asset like a database.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The marriage with the database, to me is the most critical or most important item. Now I know that sounds like I may be pandering to Oracle, since they make the database and they make the OS, but it's just a natural. The same as with Microsoft SQL Server. Why do you run it on Windows? Now, I know it's coming on Linux, but where will it probably run best for a long time? Probably on Windows.

Having that marriage between the OS and the database is critical, and Oracle really understands their database, better than anybody else, and they seem to understand Linux as well as anybody else, and they were an early contributor, so it's just a natural progression to put the database on their Linux.

What other advice do I have?

Rating: It’s a 10, because even though there are free alternatives, I mean totally free alternatives, like CentOS, I've quit using them. For me to quit using something that's totally free, with no even maintenance charges, must mean that what I've chosen is worth every penny of whatever costs there are. Oracle Linux is clearly there.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user418419
Linux System Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
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.
it_user436065
IT Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We can get support for it as part of our Oracle infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

The biggest advantages of going with Oracle Linux are that it's very stable and it's an open source solution. Also, because we run a lot of other Oracle products, it's great that we can get support for it as part of our Oracle infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

It's really improved the reliability of our applications both in terms of the fact that Oracle Linux is so stable and because it works well with our other Oracle products. That's very valuable as we maintain an infrastructure that includes basic, high quality technologies from a one vendor.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if they could release newer versions quicker. Sometimes we have to wait a while for some new versions to come out with features that we need. You want to be taking advantage of some newer features as soon as possible in order to function better.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues at all deploying it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it's fine, there's no issue there. It's been very, very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have no issues scaling it for our needs.

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

We use Red Hat as well. They're pretty comparable. I think they're pretty much the same from what I could tell, the differentiator being, of course, that we also run other Oracle products.

How was the initial setup?

It's implemented just fine. The installer is pretty easy and straightforward. The ease of setting it up was a combination of the product and knowledge on our part.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

Study ahead of time so you know what you're working with. It's not difficult, but you should know enough to make it easier on yourself.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
it_user436122
Sr. Systems Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
In Oracle Database shops, Oracle Linux tends to have a little bit higher level of trust among DBAs as the more reliable solution.

What is most valuable?

Most people see Linux as just Linux. However, in Oracle Database shops, Oracle Linux tends to have a little bit higher level of trust among DBAs as the more reliable solution.

How has it helped my organization?

I'm at a big Oracle shop right now, and although we do run Oracle Linux, it's not to the exclusion of another Linux flavor. We're standardized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server because it tends to be cheaper.

What needs improvement?

Oracle Linux tends to be a little buggy and sluggish at the virtualization layer. It's been my experience that probably about 85 to 90% of the time certain features are about three-quarters baked. I don't like that.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with deployment really, except for that bugginess and sluggishness at the virtualization layer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are those bugs at the virtualization layer, though it's overall generally stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've not had to experience scaling it at that level because I don't do a lot of architecture work. I don't see an issue with scalability, though.

How are customer service and technical support?

If you've got a problem with Oracle Linux, because it's an Oracle product, you log a ticket. I've never had to log a ticket, but it should be a straightforward process.

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

Compared with my many, many years of experience in the commercial UNIX world, if we had a problem or didn't know how to fix a particular issue, we called IBM. With SLES, we just referred to the many different resources available.

What other advice do I have?

If they decide they want to have all the tools, if you have to have the support and if the DBA's are calling the shots that, you know, it's a big Oracle shop and they decide they want to have all Oracle Linux and maybe there was a deal cut and maybe they got a better deal from them than they got from Novell who own SLES.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user436125
Lead Product Dev at a tech company
Vendor
Easy to use and configure for other Oracle products, as I can just run a pre-validated package.

Valuable Features

Oracle Linux is very easy to use and very easy to configure for other Oracle products. For example, if you use NoteTaker, it's so easy to just get to the part that's the pre-validated package and very easy to script everything. I can get a new machine in a few minutes. Of course, you don't need a subscription, you can use the public key repository, so it makes the installation even easier. I can run tons of Linux boxes like this for all of our QA, for example. I can just spin a new one and that's very nice.

Room for Improvement

It needs things like OpenStack and LXC containers, support for Docker and resource manager in Docker. However, this is all in their road map and they have it all covered. Even before I find something lacking, Oracle already knows about it and it will get done.

Use of Solution

I've used it since version 4.

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

It's rock solid. It's completely perfect. It's enterprise-grade Linux, so we've had no issues with instability.

Scalability Issues

I don't really know about its scalability because we don't use it for large installations. We just usually use many smaller ones so we can run independent tests on them.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It's been so stable that I've never had to contact technical support.

Initial Setup

It's very straightforward and simple to set up.

Implementation Team

We implemented it ourselves without in-house team.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
ITCS user
OATS Engineer-Onsite Consultant at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We wanted to move to a Linux operating system for our backend servers, and we used Oracle Linux to do that.

Valuable Features

The stability and security of the product is at the top of its class. These features are really the most valuable for us in our experience with it.

Improvements to My Organization

We wanted to move to a Linux operating system for our backend servers, and we used Oracle Linux to successfully do that.

Room for Improvement

We would like Oracle to add more functionality in terms of the GUI. There are more things we'd like to be able to do straight from the GUI itself.

Use of Solution

We used this solution as a prerequisite for deployment of a Keyword driven Automation Framework (Oracle Flow Builder).

Deployment Issues

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

The stability was great. We haven't had any issues with instability.

Scalability Issues

We had no issues scaling it for our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Customer service has been good in our experience.

Technical Support:

Technical support has been good in our experience.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was complex in a Linux environment compared to setting up on a Windows OS.

Implementation Team

We implemented it through our own in-house team.

ROI

Since it is open source, you'll have a great ROI.

Other Solutions Considered

We had previously tried Red Hat Linux but stuck with Oracle Linux for our installation of other native Oracle products.

Other Advice

My advice would be to follow instructions and have a Linux technician at hand. You could try to install it in a sandbox before using it in a production machine.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an Oracle Partner.
ITCS user
Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Compared to RHEL, it is much easier to install, configure, and run Oracle Database and Grid Infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

I learned Linux on Red Hat, so Oracle Linux was an easy transition. When I first started using Oracle Linux, it wasn't that much different from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but now, the differences are dramatic. It is much easier to install, configure, and run Oracle Database and Grid Infrastructure on Oracle Linux than Red Hat.

How has it helped my organization?

Many of the customers I work with are used to working with Oracle Database on Unix or Windows and are new to Linux. It is much easier to get a customer who is not familiar with Linux running on Oracle Linux than on most other Linux platforms because there are fewer prerequisites. For example, ASMLib is included with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK is the default kernel in Oracle Linux) and the preinstall RPMs take care of almost all of the prerequisite OS requirements.

What needs improvement?

I had some issues going from versions 5 to 6 to 7 because of the change from SysVinit to Upstart to Systemd.

Also, you wouldn't fully replace another Linux product with Oracle Linux. Although it is a full Linux distribution, Oracle Linux is formulated (especially the kernel) for Oracle software and hardware products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it since 2010.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment methods and software used for other Linux variants should have no problem provisioning Oracle Linux. In addition, Oracle Enterprise Manager has a number of features that make it much easier to deploy dozens or hundreds of Oracle Linux installations. I have found that the kernel enhancements make the OS perform better under heavy loads, especially when running Oracle Database and Enterprise Manager.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle Linux is free and open source, just like Red Hat, so a support contract is not required. If there are issues with the product requiring support, the answers are almost always the same as those for similar issues in Red Hat or CentOS. If you do have a support contract and access to My Oracle Support, there is a ton of information available on Linux in general and Oracle Linux specifically. I have found My Oracle Support issues involving Oracle Linux are generally resolved quicker and with less back-and-forth than issues involving the database.

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

I continue to use Oracle Linux, Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Debian and a number of other distributions. They all have different purposes and complimentary strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to running most Oracle products on Linux, I almost always choose Oracle Linux because of its familiarity and ease-of-use.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is almost exactly the same as Red Hat, so those familiar with that distribution should have no trouble porting their knowledge to Oracle Linux. The most difficult transition I had was going from versions 5 to 6 to 7 because of the change from SysVinit to Upstart to Systemd.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation of all OS's has always been through our in-house team. Once we have a repeatable build, we usually turn it over to an automated deployment tool like Puppet, Ansible, or the native Anaconda kickstart.

What other advice do I have?

This probably isn't something you would replace another product with completely. Although it is a full Linux distribution, it is formulated for Oracle software and hardware products. Try it first for the Oracle database and see if you like it. Make sure to test out support as well. Oracle isn't the only vendor that will support this product, but they do have direct influence when something needs to change or troubleshoot.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Oracle partner.
ITCS user
Senior Oracle DBA at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The first most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is its kernel design to meet business needs, especially on other Oracle products like Engineered Systems and Cloud Services.

What is most valuable?

The first most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is its kernel design to meet business needs, especially on other Oracle products like Engineered Systems and Cloud Services. It supports demanding workloads such as those on Oracle Database; has features such as Btrfs, Dtrace, OCFS2, Smart Flash Cache, InfiniBand, OpenStack, Linux Container and Docker; and supports data integrity by providing hardware fault management.

Secondly, the Ksplice feature enables zero-downtime kernel updates for bugs and critical security updates. It also minimizes security risks by keeping the system up to date without downtime. It will provide critical kernel patches for both kernel and user space without needing to reboot.

Third, it supports the automatic storage management library for Oracle Database and Oracle Clusterware for Linux.

Lastly, with Spacewalk, you can manage and monitor systems in different locations.

How has it helped my organization?

The Oracle Linux OS plays a significant role in my organization. We've moved most of our systems and applications that were running on Windows, Solaris 10, and Red Hat and consolidated them on our database machine with Exadata, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle Secure Backup/NetBackup, Domain, NTP, and Oracle VM Manager. We've also deployed many of our business applications using Oracle Linus and the Oracle VM hypervisor.

What needs improvement?

I think there's a lot of room for improvement. As our business shifts to virtualization and the cloud, the Oracle Linux infrastructure has seen a lot of changes. And even as virtualization consolidates servers and hypervisors have matured and assumed a strategic position within our datacenter, many applications still don't run on hypervisors. Instead, they run on OS's that run on top of hypervisors. This means that in order for there to be a larger impact, there are some improvements that could be made, such as:

  • Optimization of Linux for the virtual environment.
  • Containers. We think that the Linux OS will be a great candidate to host container-packaged application workloads. It's still early in the development process, but we expect Oracle to significantly adopt this technology. Oracle has already started deploying some images using Docker with WebLogic and Storage Cloud.
  • New deployment models. With virtualization, there are now new ways to deploy software, such as with software appliances and the integrated stack of OS and application software. Oracle Linux should be tailored and optimized to run a single application and managed as a single entity.
  • Cloud adoption. With the shift towards cloud application deployments, changes in architecture and delivery model are necessary, which will impact other areas of the datacenter ecosystem.

I'd also like to see Oracle Linux for SPARC. Oracle announced last year the SuperCluster M7, SPARC T7, and SPARC M7 servers, all based on the 32-core, 256-thread M7 microprocessor. If this is supported on Oracle Linux, it will be the first end-to-end implementation of data security in hardware for the Linux foundation. Oracle currently doesn't offer support for Linux for SPARC.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Oracle Linux kernel at our data center in 2014. It was deployed on Oracle Exadata X4-2.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn’t encounter any issue during the deployment of Oracle Linux for many different platforms.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no issues with the stability. The OS is stable and reliable on a hardware layer stack, and Oracle has done a very good job of that. Oracle has done a good job of validating hardware Oracle Linux Hardware Certification List. We are very happy with the investment we have made.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle provides enterprise-level support for Oracle Linux:

  • Zero-downtime kernel updates with Ksplice.
  • Management and clustering software is included at no additional charge.
  • Includes premier backports, legal indemnification, and full-stack testing.

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

We used Red Hat, Solaris x86-64 bit, but we chose Oracle Linux for the reasons above.

How was the initial setup?

Oracle Linux is straightforward in its initial setup because it comes with a pre-installed package that for installation of other Oracle products or Oracle Database on Oracle Linux with UEK. The pre-installed package download includes a software package, repertories, and specific versions needed for application installation.

What about the implementation team?

In-house. For this environment, the greatest value gained from implementing Oracle Linux resulted from implementing the management pack components and clustering software that we would have to pay for otherwise. Another was very specific with regard to the value of Ksplice, with which we can update our environment with latest patches and updates with zero-downtime.

What was our ROI?

From our review of Oracle Linux software and support, we believe that tangible ROI benefits can be realized from consolidating the enterprise Linux environment to Oracle Linux.

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

Pricing/licensing is much lower than other commercial Linux distributions. For Oracle Linux support is available at Basic and Premier levels via a yearly subscription that includes support for the UEK and/or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel. Support levels can be assigned on a per-physical server basis. Customers can choose either Oracle’s Enterprise manager (included with Basic and Premier Support licenses) or Oracle’s release of Spacewalk for Oracle Linux. Pricing is calculated on a per-system basis and varies with the level of support from Basic to Premier. A free support option is also available.

What other advice do I have?

I have recommend Oracle Linux for the reason Oracle is the only vendor in the industry that offers a complete Linux-based solution stack—applications, middleware, database, management tools, operating system and hardware—along with a single point of support. Customers that deploy Oracle Linux benefit greatly from the latest Linux innovations as well as rigorous testing with real world workloads. IT departments can deploy applications more quickly using lightweight Linux Containers and Docker images, or combine these approaches to improve application isolation, resource control, and rapid provisioning.

Traditional virtualization using Oracle VM can be an optimal approach for Tier 1 applications or when application requirements dictate the need for multiple operating systems. To deliver applications as private cloud services, Oracle OpenStack technology may be an ideal approach in conjunction with Oracle VM. In any of these deployment scenarios, Oracle Linux can add value through its optimized performance and scalability and the ability to perform seamless, zero-downtime upgrades with Ksplice.

As the number of application environments expands across data centers, managing them on a day-to-day basis becomes a greater administrative challenge and expense. Customers that have Oracle Linux Premier Support contracts can use Ksplice to help keep their critical application environments—whether using containers, VMs, or OpenStack compute nodes—updated with the latest security errata and bug fixes, without interruption.

And Oracle’s comprehensive support—providing support for Docker and OpenStack as a part of Oracle Linux Premier Support—helps IT organizations innovate and evolve cost-effectively.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user428364
Senior Production Support Engineer at a tech consulting company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
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.
Hank Uhl
Systems Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
I was very impressed with the ability of Grid Infrastructure to provide HANFS services, as well as the ability to create a custom clustered service, which I used to implement redundant Samba shares.

What is most valuable?

For Oracle Linux, 100% binary compatibility with RHEL was very crucial (and expected since it’s obviously a derivative of RHEL).

I was also very impressed with the ability of Grid Infrastructure to provide HANFS services, as well as the ability to create a custom clustered service, which I used to implement redundant Samba shares.

How has it helped my organization?

The single biggest enhancement I personally witnessed came with the implementation of OCFS2 for shared filesystems. Prior to implementing this, one particular application cluster running Oracle’s UCM used an NFS share. While I no longer have the testing data available (I left the company), I can say that I/O performance increased by close to ten-fold after the change from file-level reads/writes to an NFS share to block-level reads/writes directly to SAN storage.

What needs improvement?

I have no specific technical improvements to suggest, as my experience with the various products was quite satisfactory, however I do have two non-technical suggestions:

  1. My only real criticism of any the products, based on my experience, comes when dealing with ASM volumes and disk groups, and documentation of the Oracle ASM tool specifically. I felt that documentation of its capabilities were somewhat misleading, especially disk and volume tasks that must be performed either by ASMCA or by issuing SQL statements (e.g. version compatibility) to the ASM database directly.
  2. In my observations, if Oracle intends Oracle Linux to be taken seriously as an enterprise operating system outside of Oracle specific implementations, I believe it could exercise more effort in partnering with other software vendors to obtain certification of their products on Oracle Linux. As someone who has performed as a Sr. Systems Engineer implementing Oracle products in an enterprise environment, I find it frustrating to maintain multiple derivatives of the same operating system (e.g. enterprise licensing and maintenance) because some vendors won’t certify on it (or were even aware of its existence), even though it’s almost technically identical. I do recognize there are other factors outside of Oracle’s control in this regard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have experience with Oracle Linux through v6, OCFS2, and Grid Infrastructure 12c with ASM for RAC implementations, HANFS, and customized clustered services.

There are various lengths of time. I have managed Oracle Linux installations for approx. seven years, OCFS2 for approx. three years, and Grid Infrastructure with ASM for approx. two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no issues with the deployment.

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?

I always found technical support to be excellent, but I was always disappointed by Oracle's penchant for advocating the installation of Oracle products in a virtualized environment based on Oracle VM, and in one particular case, support’s unwillingness to assist with a down-production VM that was running on VMware ESXi unless we de-virtualized it so it could be troubleshot on bare metal.

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

The only product for which I had used a direct competing product was the Oracle Linux operating system. Previously, all of my experience had been on RHEL. The choice to use Oracle Linux was made solely on the basis that the environment already had a large install base of other Oracle products. The transition from RHEL to Oracle Linux wasn’t noteworthy, as it’s almost identical.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup depends on the product. Having plenty of previous experience with RHEL, implementing Oracle Linux was incredibly easy. OCFS2, Grid Infrastructure, and ASM were more complex in varying degrees, with Grid Infrastructure and ASM requiring a massive amount of research to get up and running correctly.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to implement Oracle Linux, OCFS2, Grid Infrastructure and ASM, all with minimal assistance from Oracle customer support or vendor support. The online resources, particularly with how to manage Grid Infrastructure and ASM are more than adequate for a competent Systems Administrator to work through most any issue.

As for implementation advice, I found it beneficial to follow Oracle’s documented recommendations wherever security or other technical aspects are non-prohibitive. That is certainly helpful when opening cases with technical support as technical details are familiar to the support personnel making it easier for them to provide support.

What was our ROI?

I don't think ROI is as quantifiable as market research groups attempt to make it seem. Each occurrence of unexpected downtime has different variables, such as what section of the user community is impacted, how long the downtime lasts, what level of redundancy is in place to minimize the impact to the business’ productivity, etc.

All of the Oracle products I managed were very reliable, as outages were typically caused by factors beyond its control, such as bad SQL queries or in-house application code written without adequate error checking. The redundancy of the Oracle RAC solution made patching much less intrusive to the business (for RAC rolling patches) and multiple node processing, while certainly beneficial, I did not believe we processed workloads with intense enough database I/O to outshine a stand-alone installation by a huge amount.

As it were, very few of our outages were directly caused by a problem with one of the Oracle products. We implemented Oracle RAC as primarily a redundancy solution. Performance gain, and there certainly was some, came as a welcome additional benefit.

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

I also do not appreciate Oracle using huge discounts on various software licenses as a method to coerce customers into purchasing Oracle VM, especially when IT management has already committed to the virtual environment being run on VMware ESXi.

VMware is the leader in virtualization technology, and while I completely understand the difficulty of competing in that market, I feel it is detrimental to the Oracle/customer relationship, as we were forced to modify our environment, which resulted in additional downtime, for the sake of troubleshooting something that had previously been operating without issue.

What other advice do I have?

Oracle’s online documentation was very adequate for most troubleshooting, however, I would infer that only after learning the terminology used for the various products. I don’t know if it’s possible to overcome this technically (e.g. better search capability with online documentation), as this is more of an educational issue. I believe it would be beneficial for Oracle, or resellers of Oracle products, to host a conference at a customer’s location after the purchase of more complex products as an introduction to the terminology and operational philosophy (e.g. Grid Infrastructure is more of an operating environment than a piece of installed software) for both infrastructure and application engineers.

The best piece of advice I can give another administrator is to not underestimate the effort required to learn the terminology and philosophy, in addition to all of the technical details. This will make navigating the abundance of Oracle’s online documentation much easier and reduce implementation and troubleshooting times.

Additionally, thoroughly document your specific environment. With the complexity of some of Oracle’s products, you are bound to forget important details at inopportune times and having documentation to refer back to can be invaluable.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user418464
Oracle DBA, Linux system administrator, IT engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It's easily configurable for Oracle applications (mostly Database) due to the Oracle-validated meta-package. I don't think bluetooth should be installed by default.

What is most valuable?

The feature I've found more useful is that this distribution is easily configurable for Oracle applications (mostly Database) due to the Oracle-validated meta-package.

How has it helped my organization?

Oracle Linux has considerably shortened the time I need to install the OS for Oracle databases, and it has lowered the risks of misconfigurations for it.

What needs improvement?

Given that it's a distribution for servers and not for gaming, I would like it if useless things like bluetooth were not installed by default. It also needs a better text installation interface.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Oracle Linux for four or five years, and I think I'll continue to use it as long as I'm going to work with other Oracle products.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment was fine until version 5.8, and when I tried 5.1.x, the troubles began due to kernel bugs in the network section which isolates the machine from other networks, even though I'm able to recompile the kernel. I prefer not to host it on a machine that will also host an Oracle database.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

As with everything owned by Oracle, the technical support is overly expensive and the service request management system is draining, but the knowledge base section is good.

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

Previously, I used Red Hat, but their licensing policy wasn't clear to me and the uncertainty about availability of repositories, plus the necessity to use Oracle Linux only with other Oracle applications, made me move in this direction.

How was the initial setup?

If you have basic to intermediate Linux knowledge, the initial setup was straightforward. We're far away from the time a system admin should know exactly the name of the module your hardware needs.

What about the implementation team?

I tested and implemented it by myself. My advice is to start with a minimal installation and disable all useless services after the first startup, e.g. bluetooth, IRDA, etc.

What was our ROI?

The only return I had was time savings, avoiding mistakes, and, being free of charge, I'd advise Oracle to keep it that way.

What other advice do I have?

I can only recommend it to everyone has to work with Oracle products and Linux environments.

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