Oracle, most known for its database software, is considering whether to release its own Linux distribution, and has even discussed the possibility of buying Novell in the process. The news, revealed Monday by the Financial Times, follows the purchase of JBoss by Red Hat.
With JBoss providing software that competes in the business market with Oracle, Red Hat has become a potential rival. Red Hat is the largest distributor of the Linux operating system, which Oracle relies upon to sell its own products. "We have to re-look at the relationship; so does IBM," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told the FT.
Along with IBM, Oracle has long embraced the open source world as a way to compete with Microsoft's dominance on Windows. Microsoft's SQL Server is a top competitor to Oracle, and the companies have a number of overlapping products.
However, in the process, Oracle has become reliant on third party Linux vendors, which have increasingly been expanding into business solutions as a way to raise revenues.
"I'd like to have a complete stack," Ellison said, referring to both applications and the operating system they run on. "We're missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux."
According to the FT report, Oracle has even considered acquiring Novell, the second largest Linux vendor thanks to its purchase of SUSE. But at this point, such talk is merely explorative, Ellison says.