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HP Gearing Up to Resell Oracle Linux

Turns out Oracle CEO Larry Ellison does have a few friends and one of them is HP.

Earlier this week Ellison claimed that Oracle had displaced Red Hat at search engine giant Yahoo. But neither Yahoo nor Red Hat completely agree with Ellison's claim.

Ellison also said Oracle had signed HP, CDW and Dell as resellers for Oracle's Enterprise Linux (OEL). Oracle entered the Linux support business last fall when Ellison announced he would be undercutting Red Hat by offering direct Oracle support.

Turns out, Ellison was a little off on his reseller claims, though not by much.

Dell has not responded to request for comment from internetnews.com, but HP has. From what Doug Small, worldwide director of R&D of HP's Open Source & Linux Organization wrote in an e-mail sent to internetnews.com, it looks like Ellison might have been just a little ahead of himself.

"HP and Oracle are in discussions about partnering and supporting OEL. Meanwhile, HP is testing Oracle Enterprise Linux on HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers, as well as HP StorageWorks products."

Small declined to speculate on the potential business potential that OEL might represent for HP, though he noted that his company feels confident enough to invest in testing its products with OEL.

Additionally Small commented that HP has received requests from customers to support OEL.

Unlike its competitors at IBM and Dell, HP already supports three Linux distributions for enterprise deployment with support for Red Hat, Novell and Debian. IBM and Dell today are only supporting Red Hat and Novell. HP's support for Debian is also paying off so far with indirect revenues in the tens of millions.

HP has said in the past that it would only pick up additional distributions if there was the opportunity to generate sales since each additional distribution requires an investment in testing and support.

Though HP will soon be supporting four different Linux distributions, it will not necessarily be pushing one over the other.

"It is up to Oracle and Red Hat to differentiate their product to customers," Small said. "HP is in a position to provide the appropriate levels of support to customers using our servers and storage whether they choose Debian, Novell, Oracle or Red Hat."

Tags: Linux, Oracle, Red Hat, HP, Novell, Debian