Database options widen for Linux users

* Oracle software to support SuSE; IBM to support Sybase database on Linux

There was good news for Linux enthusiasts from the database front last week, as enterprise Linux suppliers and database vendors made some deals.

Oracle announced that its key wares for business data centers - database software, clustering tools and collaboration apps - will now run on Novell's SuSE Enterprise Linux 9.

The move gives Oracle another major Linux distro to play with - it was primarily associated with Red Hat in the past. It also gives Novell's emerging SuSE Linux platform a major boost as an alternative to Unix and Red Hat Linux in data centers. SuSE has a slight edge on Red Hat as it is, since its introduction of a Linux version based on the 2.6 kernel this summer. Red Hat is expected to have a 2.6 kernel for enterprises next quarter.  

In another, more curious announcement, IBM said it would start supporting Sybase database products on its Linux servers. This is a bit weird, since IBM's DB2 is a direct competitor to Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) offering. But the move is not that much of a stretch, since IBM had previously resold Sybase on its AIX Unix boxes.

IDC says that the market for Linux database software licenses will be up by around 150% this year, reaching $522 million.  The research firm says a migration from Unix to Linux servers for running databases is the main driver. 

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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