At his OpenWorld keynote session on Sunday, Larry Ellison announced Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, a second Linux kernel that will not have strict Red Hat compatibility. Oracle recommends the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) as the preferred platform for all Oracle software on Linux.
Larry argued that Red Hat is too slow in adopting enhancements from the Linux community and implementing bug fixes suggested by Oracle and others. With UEK, Oracle is able to optimize Linux for Oracle software and specifically for Exadata and Exalogic systems. Oracle has not abandoned the Red Hat compatibility they’ve promised when releasing Unbreakable Linux four years ago. Both kernels will be included in Oracle Linux and can be chosen at boot time.
Some of the promised improvements of UEK over Unbreakable Linux are:
- optimized for Solid State Disks
- support for bigger servers
- better power management
- more reliable and better hardware fault management
I am curious to see if Oracle can continue this two kernel strategy and even more what the usage statistics will be. With the OS experience of Sun, they could very well be successful.