SANTA CLARA, CALIF. -- An ongoing legal challenge to Linux is not likely to stop the market's march to Linux overall, but it may stall some movement to the open source platform, an Oracle official said at the Enterprise Linux Forum conference here on Friday.
Unix vendor SCO has alleged that Linux has purloined Unix code and is suing IBM for allegedly damaging the economic value of Unix. But Oracle's Dave Dargo, vice president of the Linux Program Office at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., said Linux will march on, although some customers may delay decisions to move to Linux.
"I think [the lawsuit] causes drag but it's not causing drag at Oracle. We are full speed ahead. We have seen nothing that tells us we should change our stance on Linux," Dargo said.
"It still remains as a contractual dispute between SCO and IBM and we'll have to see how that plays out in the market. Everything else, frankly, is just noise," said Dargo.
Some customers may want to postpone a move to Linux to wait on any decision in the lawsuit, while others will move ahead because they cannot wait, he said.
Dargo emphasized Oracle's support of Linux, including the company's internal use and promoting it as a deployment platform for grid-based computing. In a grid, multiple systems are pooled together as a single IT resource.
"We are becoming a Linux company," Dargo said.
Dargo stressed that Linux must remain unified and not have separate, special distributions such as a carrier-grade or secure Linux. All this should be included in the base Linux platform, he said.
"We don't want to see special-purpose Linux distributions out there," said Dargo.
A Sun Microsystems official on Thursday at the conference, meanwhile, reaffirmed his company's commitment to Linux on the 32-bit Intel x86 platform.
"We have an entire range of products that are going to run Linux and others and we also have some storages products as well. We're serious about this," said Bill Roth, Sun marketing manager for the Sun Fire V60 and V65 servers.
But Sun's 64-bit computing platform remains the Solaris Unix OS on SPARC, he said.
The company is backing both Solaris and Linux, Roth said. "We've got a bunch of people who buy Solaris from us, ut it's clear that [Linux] is growing," said Roth.
He added that Sun has made substantial contributions to the open source community, including 8.5 million lines of code for the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite and 3.5 million lines of code for the NetBeans tools platform.
Roth also touted Sun's Project Orion strategy, which is intended to provide a unified platform for greater simplicity and affordability in enterprise computing environments. Orion features components for messaging, clustering, calendaring, and portal, along with a Web server, application server, and directory. He said no decision has been made on making Orion open source but that the platform would leverage open source pieces such as Apache Jakarta, a Java-based open source effort.
Roth also said he expects an update of the x86 version of Solaris in the fall timeframe.