Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oracle's writing on the wall

I received an email newsletter this morning with the headline, "Oracle support betrays a preference for Linux and x86." Sun and Oracle seem to have a love hate relationship driven primarily by thir symbiosis rather than their ideals. This appears to be another chapter in that long story.

The article referenced by the newsletter mentions the fact that Oracle 11g is currently only available for Linux. That's a very interesting move considering the size of the Oracle installed base on Solaris. Not only the population size, but the class of customer. More than one global enterprise is running Oracle on enterprise class Solaris hardware.

I can't help but speculate that we're leading up to a boost in Sun's emphasis on PostgreSQL. First we saw its inclusion in the base Solaris 10 software. This is no small thing; even compilers are distributed separately. Postgres' own FAQ recommends use of Sun's compilers over GCC on the Sparc platform. It's practically heresy to recommend an open source product be compiled on anything other than GCC, so again this is not to be dismissed. Finally, I'll draw your attention to the release announcement for Solaris 10, Update 4 where enhancements to PostgreSQL DTrace probes are released. If this doesn't look like building up a rebellion, I don't know what does.

I give Sun a lot of credit for investing heavily in PostgreSQL and bringing some serious competition to Oracle. Evolution is based upon competition, and I'm happy to see the Sun species evolving into a new predator.

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