A recent ZDNet interview with Jesper Anderson, Oracle’s senior vice president for application strategy, shed some more light on Oracle’s open source strategy. Oracle has a strong preference for the use of Linux internally at Oracle, which Anderson said is driven by Larry Ellison.
“I mean I’ve been in meetings with Larry where people walked in with purchase order requests for big Sun Solaris or HP-UX servers and Larry just looked at it and said ‘Nope, denied’.
And then he turned around and said ‘it’s not the money, you come back to me with a purchase order, same amount or more for Linux, and I’ll approve it right away’,” Anderson said.
It was good to see that this strong preference for Linux usage internally at Oracle is not driven as a cost savings move, but for more strategic reasons.
Anderson also pointed out that “the service component of our software business is increasingly important. The maintenance revenue of our business is a bigger and bigger part of our business.” This seems to be part of why they see open source as an opportunity for them. I am still concerned that Oracle may try to acquire a critical mass of open source companies, which would consolidate too much of the open source ecosystem under one company; however, with the Red Hat acquisition of JBoss, this is becoming less of a concern.