Linux Landing: Oracle Delivers Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 2


Oracle is shipping a new production release of its Linux kernel software, touting the operating system's speedy transaction processing capabilities spurred by scalability and performance enhancements.

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 for Oracle Linux also offers improved memory and resource management capabilities, Oracle said Tuesday, and the software is now optimized to be deployed as a virtual guest.

"Oracle Linux continues to deliver timely Linux innovations, backed by real-world testing, providing users a modern, scalable and reliable platform for their business-critical workload demands," said Wim Coekaerts, Oracle senior vice president of Linux and virtualization engineering, in a statement.

[Related: The New Face Of Linux Distros In 2012]

Oracle debuted its own version of Linux in 2006, basing the software on Red Hat's distribution of the open-source operating system and maintaining compatibility with that OS. But in 2010 Oracle developed its own Linux kernel software, saying Red Hat did not enhance its version of Linux quickly enough to run the kind of high-performance servers Oracle sells.

Since then Oracle has offered customers a choice of Red Hat Linux or Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Oracle said it has achieved record database benchmark results using the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 for Oracle Linux, running the OS and the Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Standard Edition One on a two-processor, Intel-based system and on an Oracle Sun Fire X4800 MS server.

The new release is based on the 3.0.16 mainline Linux kernel, Oracle said.

The OS' performance improvements are due to enhancements to the software's scheduler, memory management, file system layer and networking stack technology. Also new is what Oracle is calling "transparent hugepages" that automatically organize memory into larger units that reduce memory management overhead and improve stability for memory-intensive workloads.

The new operating system includes a production-ready version of the Btrfs (B-tree) file system that supports data stores of up to 16 exabytes. It's also optimized for solid state disks and offers built-in data integrity features.

The new release offers full support for the Xen hypervisor, allowing it to run in both hardware virtualized and paravirtualized modes.

Within Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 for Oracle Linux, Oracle also is providing technology previews for DTrace, a tool for identifying the root cause of system performance problems, and built-in virtualization that allows multiple Linux instances to run on the same host.