From the ‘Hot Patching’ files:
Make no mistake about it, Oracle is serious about its Linux business. Today Oracle announced what I consider to be a significant addition to that business with the acquisition of Ksplice.
Ksplice is this really neat tech that lets Linux admins ‘hot patch’ that is patch an in-use system without the need for a reboot. For a mission critical system, that’s a big deal.
It means that Oracle now potentially has a feature that other distros do not. Oracle has explicitly stated that they will not support Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
It’s not clear how much Oracle is paying for this technology as the financial terms are not being publicly disclosed. Whatever it is, it’s a good fit in my opinion for a company like Oracle, that is all about mission critical.
“The combination of Ksplice technology and Oracle Linux Premier Support is expected to be the only enterprise Linux provider that can offer zero downtime updates,” Wim Wim Coekaerts Senior Vice President, Oracle Linux and Virtualization wrote in a letter to Oracle customer.”Oracle plans to make the Ksplice technology a standard feature of Oracle Linux Premier Support. Customers are also expected to be able to introduce and remove diagnostic patches without business disruption and make Oracle Linux easier to manage and more secure, Ksplice technology is expected to improve the uptime of Oracle Linux based environments.”
So far as I’m aware, Ksplice is mostly based on proprietary code. As such, there is still an opportunity for an open source alternative to emerge and/or for Oracle to open source this tech (not likely).
I fully expect to hear and see Oracle’s massive sales force to push this no-downtime update message far and wide in the coming days and months. It will be interesting to see how Red Hat responds.