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What if Oracle 11gR2 never gets certified on RHEL6/OL6?

I’ve been involved in a number of blog comment, email and twitter exchanges over the last few months about the 11gR2 on RHEL6/OL6 certification issue.

The last time I blogged specifically about it was in October and it’s now over 6 months since Red Hat completed their part in the certification of 11gR2 on RHEL6, yet still no news.

In the course of these conversations I’ve come across a number of ridiculous conspiracy theories, as well as statements from people who know a hell of a lot more about Oracle platform certification than me. It’s worth saying at this point that none of the sources of these ideas are current Oracle employees, so they are not privy to “inside” information. Same goes for me. I’m just another person trying to figure out what is going on.

Here are some of the points from the last few months that stand out to me:

  • Oracle software working on a platform and certifying it on that platform are not the same thing.
  • Platform certification is a labor intensive operation, most of which is the responsibility of the platform vendor.
  • Even though RH have completed their part of the RHEL6 certification process, Oracle have not done the same for OL6. Oracle will *never* let RHEL6 be certified if OL6 is not.
  • Certification of Oracle on OL6 will have an impact on all Oracle appliances and engineered systems currently on sale. All of these systems currently use OL5.x. How long after certification will customers start demanding an OS upgrade?
  • Oracle have no pressing need to certify RHEL6/OL6, since all the performance improvements of the RHEL6 kernel are already in the OL5.x UEK. Oracle are a business and why throw resources certifying an “old” version of the database on a “new” platform when a new Oracle version is just around the corner.
  • Distro version is unimportant on an Oracle server. The kernel is the biggest factor. Most of the software in a Linux distro is useless guff as far as an Oracle installation is concerned. Do you really care what the version of the browser or LibreOffice ships with your server OS?
  • Oracle 12c is currently in beta. The rumor is it will be announced/released at OOW12. Once it is released Oracle will have to go into overdrive to make sure it is certified on all the important platforms and presumably shipping on all their appliances and engineered systems. That is going to be a mammoth task. Do you really see them wasting time on 11gR2 at this point in the DB lifecycle?
  • The support cycle for RHEL and OL has increased to 10 years, so there is no pressing need to upgrade your OS from a support perspective.

Of course, nobody on the outside really knows what is going on and I imagine anyone on the inside would be looking for a new job if they let slip. From this point on I will follow the advice of people far more qualified than me and assume that “Oracle 11gR2 will never be certified on RHEL6/OL6″. If by some fluke it does happen, then it will be a happy surprise.

To end this depressing post on a lighter note, this is one of my recent tweets on the subject…

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I purposely didn’t attribute names to these points. Not everyone wants to be outed to the world, especially when their opinions were expressed via email.