Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RALEIGH, N.C. – Oracle’s Larry Ellison just loves Red Hat.

Proof? Look at his opening keynote at Oracle’s annual conference Sunday night in California.

Ellison and Oracle spelled out plans for new servers and an expansion of its own Linux products. Thus Oracle is stepping up its combat with Raleigh-based Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) that began four years ago when Ellison announced “Unbreakable Linux.”

Ellison and former Red Hat chairman/CEO Matthew Szulik exchanged some pretty heated arguments over the years even though Oracle has according to one report several thousand customers that utilize Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Here’s Oracle’s latest announcement:

“Oracle today announced the availability of Oracle’s Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, a fast, modern, reliable Linux kernel that is optimized for Oracle software and hardware.

“The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is part of Oracle Linux, which was previously named Oracle Enterprise Linux.

“Based on the combined efforts of Oracle’s Linux, Database, Middleware, and Hardware engineering teams, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is:

• “Fast: More than 75 percent performance gain demonstrated in OLTP performance tests over a Red Hat Compatible Kernel; 200 percent speedup of Infiniband messaging; 137 percent faster solid state disk access.

• “Modern: Pro vides optimizations for large NUMA servers; improved power management and energy efficiency; fine grained CPU and memory resource control.

• “Reliable: Supports the Data Integrity Extensions and T10 Protection Information Model, to stop corrupt data from being written to storage; hardware fault management enables improved application uptime; low overhead performance counters for tracing.

• “Optimized for Oracle: Built and tested to run Oracle hardware, databases, and middleware with the best Linux reliability available.”

Note the jabs at Red Hat.

"There are always concerns, but keep in mind that Oracle … acknowledged that Red Hat is the technical leader in the market," Szulik told The Associated Press when Oracle unveiled Unbreakable Linux. "We still have a rich product pipeline. We will compete."

Oracle didn’t have many kind words for Red Hat this time.

How will Red Hat answer this time under CEO Jim Whitehurst and new Chairman Hugh Shelton, a retired general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs?

Don’t expect any flags of surrender.

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