RealTime IT News

China's Red Flag Joins Unbreakable Linux

The booming Chinese market for Linux solutions witnessed the birth of another alliance Wednesday, as home-grown market leader Red Flag Software joined Oracle's Unbreakable Linux program through the company's Oracle China subsidiary.

The alliance means that Oracle has now brought two of China's largest Linux distributors -- Turbolinux (through the UnitedLinux consortium) and Red Flag -- into its fold, where it hopes to crack what is shaping up to be one of Linux's strongest worldwide markets.

Spurred by the Chinese government's strong endorsement of the platform, Linux has been growing by leaps and bounds in the country. The Evans Data "2002 Chinese Developer Survey, Vol. 2," released last November, found that 65 percent of Chinese developers expected to write a Linux application this year and 44 percent said they had already written at least one. Additionally, the research found that intentions to use Linux as a primary host operating system this year were expected to leap by 175 percent.

"The establishment of our alliance comes at no better time than this -- Linux is being adopted at a fast pace in China and enterprise-class products are mature and ready," said Liu Bo, president and chief executive officer of Red Flag. "So it is a big milestone not only in the history of Red Flag and Oracle, but also in the history of Linux development in China."

The alliance will provide customers of Red Flag's Linux platform the ability to deploy Oracle Unbreakable infrastructure with full technical support from Oracle. Oracle said the two partners have already completed certification of Oracle9i Database on Red Flag's distribution, and are now pursuing certification of the rest of Oracle's product line on the new Red Flag Data Center Linux operating system, including Oracle9i Application Server, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Oracle E-business Suite.

The alliance also covers a joint support lab which the two partners -- under the aegis of Oracle Software Research and Development Center (Beijing) Co. and Red Flag -- plan to open in Beijing in "the near future." The support lab is intended to provide customers with "fast and integrated engineering support," and is expected to play a critical role in the two partners' product development, certification, R&D and support.

They have also identified their key target markets, which they said include government, transportation, utility and energy. They said they are planning sales and marketing campaigns to secure those markets, and have already begun to recruit application providers to round out their offerings.

"The strategic partnership between Oracle and Red Flag for the China market underscores Oracle's strong commitment to helping China's software industry to grow," said Andrew Hu, managing director of Oracle China. "The Chinese government is encouraging organizations and enterprises to adopt Linux because of its cost effectiveness and superior performance. Our goal is to work with Red Flag and local application providers to come up with world-class Linux products, applications and services that fit the needs of customers in China.