OOW2K6: Larry's keynote
Larry was adamant that this was not about Red Hat, it was about business. Oracle want their clients to be able to use Oracle on grids of Linux clusters. One of the barriers to adoption of Linux is the problem of having bug fixes backported to existing versions of Linux. This is the key differentiator of the Oracle service. Oracle's Linux Engineering division will fix bugs which will be available as patches for Support customers. This is not just Oracle database customers using RHEL, but anybody using RHEL who wants to sign up. Oracle will release the bug fixes to the Linux community including the distro vendors. Finally they will incorporate them into every extant version of RHEL and compile the binaries. The resulting RPMs will be available on the Oracle web site to be downloaded by anybody for free. As the icing on the cake Oracle are going to indemnify their Support customers against any legal fall-out from the SCO court case(s).
There were video messages of support from Dell, HP, AMD, Intel, Accenture, EMC, NetApp, etc. The glaring omission was Sun. And apparently nobody from Red Hat was available to comment.
In the Q&A someone asked whether the death of Red Hat was just an unintended side effect of this. Larry replied, "This is capitalism. We are competing." Yeah, right. Someone else asked about adding storage to the Oracle technology stack, like Network Appliance. Larry grinned, "there's always next year".