Oracle officially supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux on OCI

Oracle has strengthened its commitment to supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux with a new cloud partnership to better fit users’ multi-cloud environments.

Oracle has long provided its users with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) cloud, even offering updates to the Red Hat offering. But it was just a dwelling for long-time RHEL users. Oracle always prefer users run their Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) workloads primarily on the company’s own Linux distribution, Oracle Linux.

Today, the company is taking a more democratic approach by making RHEL a first-class citizen in the Oracle environment.

“This is a great example of Oracle demonstrating its willingness to work with former rivals to further grow its cloud business,” said Dave McCarthy, vice president overseeing IDC’s Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services practice. . “Oracle is on a mission to change the perception that OCI is the best place to run Oracle workloads to a place that says [OCI] is a cloud that can handle any workload.”

Companies are looking for consistency in their cloud environments, especially if those environments span a growing number of deployment sites, McCarthy added.

“For those who have standardized on RHEL, this announcement makes OCI a viable alternative to more established cloud providers,” McCarthy said.

Oracle’s official support for RHEL paves the way for deeper collaboration with Red Hat’s product portfolio, including OpenShift and Ansible.

OCI, Oracle’s public and private cloud service, now offers a variety of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) instances for a variety of OCI virtual machines running on AMD, Intel, or Arm processors. All instances are now generally available for public and private OCI customers.

Many Fortune 500 companies use Oracle technology, usually as on-premises software or hardware, and Red Hat Linux is among the most popular distributions of the operating system available.

Although Oracle has its own flavor of Linux, the widespread adoption and popularity of Red Hat Enterprise Linux makes it a wise addition and partnership to advance both Oracle and IBM/Red Hat cloud ambitions.

Red Hat on Big Red Cloud

Oracle has made aggressive efforts to increase the adoption of OCI among enterprise clientsespecially customers who are hesitant to expand their multicloud strategies.

Many popular enterprise features are already available on OCI alongside cloud capabilities used by developers, such as Oracle’s Container Engine for Kubernetes, said Leo Leung, vice president of product and strategy at Oracle.

This new interoperability between Red Hat and Oracle Cloud further helps customers of both companies adopt cloud capabilities, he said.

“We will collaborate in the future. This is a first step,” Leung said. “For both companies, it’s about supporting [customers] with what they want to run where they want to run.

RHEL is the technology backbone of many enterprises, providing a complete ecosystem of storage, applications, and other technology stack services.

Many companies have deployed their own versions of RHEL for Oracle hardware, but having a more streamlined version available on demand helps Oracle respond more quickly to the potential cloud needs of these customers.

Popular services in Red Hat’s catalog, such as the OpenShift Container management service, can get their own OCI variants, similar to Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWSsaid Sid Nag, vice-president in the Technology and Services Providers group at Gartner.

New partnerships, past history

When the first version of RHEL was released in 2003, Oracle was quick to approve the product, which gave it a “really big boost,” said Mike Evans, vice president of technical business development at RedHat.

But with joint customers much more focused on migrating to the cloud, this deal comes at just the right time. Evans said the agreement marks the first time since the early 2000s that the two companies have expanded the relationship beyond “just the basics” of databases and applications, Evans noted.

“There was never an agreement to have a supported version of RHEL on their cloud,” Evans said. “But RHEL is the foundation for all Red Hat products going forward, so this [deal] is the starting point of our [cloud] love relationship.”

Another benefit of the relationship for users is the two companies’ association with IBM’s Global Technology Services group, Evans said.

“IBM has done a significant amount of business involving Oracle’s enterprise applications,” Evans said. “This agreement now gives them another opportunity to support Red Hat technologies, whether on-premises or in the cloud.”

Over the past 20 years, the two companies have created a “massive customer overlap,” centered around Oracle’s on-premises databases and other enterprise applications, according to Evans.

Oracle’s push into the cloud market has not been without its challenges, as OCI accounts for just 2% of the overall cloud market, according to market research.

Oracle’s early cloud ambitions lacked the technical capabilities expected by modern cloud customers, according to Nag, but tooling revisions to serverless functions and containerless layers matured platform. Hiring teams from AWS and Microsoft Azure likely also added to the technical depth of the company.

“OCI has matured significantly over the past few years,” Nag said. “They are a serious contender.”

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It covers cloud and data storage news.

Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and writing breaking news, news analysis, and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting enterprise IT professionals.

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