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Oracle Contributes Enhancements To Linux Community


Continuing to deliver on its commitment to enhance Linux for all users, Oracle today announced new projects and code contributions designed to augment the enterprise-class capabilities of Linux. These contributions are further proof of Oracle’s dedication to helping ensure enterprises’ success with Linux.
A result of on-going work with the Linux community and strategic partners, Oracle has spearheaded enhancements including: development of a new file system designed for superior scaling; porting the popular Yet another Setup Tool (YaST) to Oracle® Enterprise Linux and the fully compatible Red Hat Enterprise Linux; open sourcing tools to streamline testing, collaborating on an interface for comprehensive data integrity and developing a new asynchronous I/O interface to reduce complexity. These contributions are available under appropriate open source licenses.

“One of greatest assets of the Linux operating system is the Linux and open source communities -- which are directly responsible for the success that Linux has had in the market,” said Al Gillen, research vice president System Software, IDC. “With contributions from individuals and from the vendor community alike, Linux continues grow and evolve as an enterprise-class platform for data center deployments.”

“Oracle continues to strengthen its involvement in the Linux community by providing enhancements that facilitate the development and deployment of enterprise Linux solutions,” said Wim Coekaerts, vice president, Linux Engineering, Oracle. “By developing enhanced capabilities and contributing code, our Linux engineering team continues to make the Linux experience better for all.”

File System Addresses Increased Scaling Requirements of Data Centers
Adding to the wealth of Linux file systems and its prior contribution of the Oracle Cluster File System (OCSF2), Oracle’s Chris Mason has developed the Btrfs file system. The Btrfs file system is designed to address the expanding scalability requirements of large storage subsystems, common in today’s data centers. Btrfs will allow enhanced scalability and simplified management for large storage configurations, while also adding flexible snapshotting, fast incremental backups and other features missing from Linux today. An alpha release of the Btrfs file system is available under the GPL license at:

Popular System Management Tool Available for Oracle Enterprise Linux
Oracle has ported the popular system management tool YaST to Oracle Enterprise Linux and the compatible Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Now available under GPL, this code can be freely accessed by anyone. Originally developed and made available under GPL by Novell, YaST has been used with openSUSE and Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to enable these Linux users to easily install and configure system software, hardware and networks. By contributing YaST for Oracle Enterprise Linux and RHEL code, Oracle is helping to improve Linux for all users. Oracle Unbreakable Linux support customers have access to the YaST functionality integrated with the Oracle Management Pack for Linux, thereby gaining a fully supported, easy to use, feature-rich system management environment for their Linux servers.

Oracle Linux Test Kit Automates and Streamlines Testing
Now available as open source under the GPL and Artistic licenses, the Oracle Linux Test Kit, derived from the Oracle Validated Configurations program, is designed to verify Linux kernel functionality and stability essential for the Oracle Database. The Oracle Linux Test Kit provides an automated mechanism to define, execute and analyze tests. The kit contains tools such as DBT2 and DBT3 workloads that can be used with Oracle single instance or clustered databases, as well as specialized workload simulators. The Oracle Linux Test Kit can be used for running tests on Oracle Enterprise Linux, RHEL and SLES distributions and in a variety of topologies (storage attached network, network attached storage). Server and storage vendors can use the Oracle Linux Test Kit to test and verify that specific hardware and software combinations are stable and scale adequately for Oracle deployments on Linux, helping to make Linux deployments for customers easier, faster and lower cost.

Open Source Data Integrity Interface Planned in Collaboration with Emulex
Oracle, in collaboration with Emulex, is implementing a leading, first of its kind initiative to bring enterprise-class data integrity to the Linux platform. An open source interface is being implemented by Oracle to expose the T10 Data Integrity Field (DIF) standard to the Linux kernel and end-user applications. DIF technology in the Linux kernel should allow applications and kernel subsystems to take advantage of these crucial data integrity features, enabling reduced system downtime and cost savings for end-users. Oracle plans to make this available under GPL in the next 12 months.

New Asynchronous I/O Interface to Reduce Complexity
Oracle is working to replace the existing asynchronous I/O interface in the kernel with a more generic subsystem. The new kernel based implementation should provide a single access point allowing most system calls to become asynchronous, reducing complexity at both the kernel and application level. The new subsystem is expected to be faster for Oracle, and is intended to make it easier for other applications to benefit from asynchronous programming under any workload.

Oracle and Linux
A long-standing key contributor to the Linux community, many members of Oracle’s Linux Engineering team contribute directly to the development, testing and maintenance of the Linux operating system. Oracle produced its first commercial Linux database in 1998. Since that time Oracle has worked steadily to improve the experience of all Linux users. Oracle’s Linux Engineering team is a trusted part of the Linux community, and has made major code contributions such as Oracle Cluster File System that is now part of Linux kernel 2.6.16. Oracle continues to contribute Linux-related innovations, modifications, documentation and fixes directly to the Linux community on a timely basis.

Recognizing the demand for true enterprise-quality Linux support and an opportunity to significantly reduce IT infrastructure costs, Oracle rolled out its Oracle Unbreakable Linux program at Oracle OpenWorld 2006. The support program offers operating system support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution and delivers bug fixes for future, current and back releases of Linux to provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.


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