Oracle Just Bought Out Ksplice
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 21 July 2011 at 06:06 PM EDT. 15 Comments
Oracle's latest acquisition is that of Ksplice Inc, the company behind the software to apply updates to the Linux kernel in real-time without requiring a system reboot or other downtime. "Never Reboot Linux For Security Updates," as Ksplice says.

Ksplice works on an unmodified stock Linux kernel and functions by examining a unified diff and the original Linux kernel source code, then analyzing that compared to the running kernel to be able to update the areas of the kernel where the security update resides. Processes are automatically turned off while loading the new kernel code into system memory and then automatically resumed afterwards. Ksplice is mainly targeted for enterprise environments where downtime must be at a minimum and security updates are critical.

Up to now, Ksplice has been offered for free to Ubuntu and Fedora users while a product subscription is required for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, etc. Oracle is looking to use Ksplice to bolster its Oracle Linux operating system and to make Oracle Ksplice part of their Oracle Linux Premier Support program.

From the press release, "The addition of Ksplice's technology will increase the security, reliability and availability of Oracle Linux by enabling customers to apply security updates, diagnostics patches and critical bug fixes without rebooting. Oracle believes it will be the only enterprise Linux provider that can offer zero downtime updates, and expects to make the Ksplice technology a standard feature of Oracle Linux Premier Support."

This latest Oracle acquisition is likely more bad news for Linux and open-source, unless you happen to be an Oracle Linux customer.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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