Red Hat customers should perform compatibility tests and pilot one or two mission critical systems on Oracle's new Unbreakable Linux support for Red Hat Linux, according to analyst firm Gartner.
Oracle revealed last week that it will start offering commercial support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
The database vendor will charge 50 percent less on average than Red Hat's current list prices, and will offer a premium support bundle that includes indemnification.
Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison claimed at the program's unveiling that Red Hat's support is "insufficient" to meet the demands of enterprise users.
"There is a lack of true enterprise support for the Linux operating system which has slowed the adoption of Linux," he said.
Gartner research director Brian Prentice and distinguished analysts George Weiss and Donald Feinberg said in an analysis that Oracle users running Red Hat's Linux distribution face increasing support and service problems.
This has led to increasing user dissatisfaction with Red Hat's support pricing, according to the analysts.
But Red Hat has warned that Oracle's support offering will create a fork in the Red Hat Linux distribution, requiring software and hardware vendors to re-certify their products for the new software.
Gartner explained that the two distributions will drift apart when Oracle and Red Hat issue different patches for the same flaw.
The analyst firm urged users testing the Oracle service to get written guarantees from independent software vendors to confirm that they will keep their software 'synchronised' with Oracle's distribution and address any variances.
Gartner also suggested that firms using Oracle's software should negotiate 50 to 70 percent discounts on Red Hat's current listed support prices.
The analyst concluded that switching should only be considered by companies that are dissatisfied with the quality of Red Hat's current support and require Oracle's indemnification services.
Gartner urges users to test Oracle's Linux support
By Tom Sanders on Nov 1, 2006 8:26AM