Oracle buys stake in Linux company

The agreement also calls for TurboLinux to tune its version of Linux so that it runs the Oracle8i database optimally, particularly for e-commerce and/or mission critical applications.

The dollar value of Oracle's investment, which makes the company a minority investor in TurboLinux, was not revealed.

"We believe TurboLinux was the first distribution to port to Intel's new IA64 processor and we are the leader in Linux clustering," said Cliff Miller, chief executive officer of TurboLinux. "By partnering with Oracle, we are better able to deliver on our promise to provide our enterprise customers with high performance, and highly available Linux solutions," he said.

Some analysts believe the deal may result in Linux getting an exposure in some major accounts where it otherwise would not have been seriously considered.

"Linux is being used more as the foundation for Web-based or distributed applications and distributed database support is crucial for that type of workload," said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of system software research at International Data Corp. (IDC).

"This partnership is likely to help bring Linux into organisations that may not have considered it in the past," Kusnetzky added.

Officials from both Oracle and TurboLinux believe TurboLinux Server will offer competitive performance for a variety of enterprise level database tasks, including those involving large memory support of as much as 4GB for Intel's IA-32 systems.

The companies also announced they will work in concert with Huadi, China's largest systems integrator, to piece together integrated solutions for both government and corporate users.

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