Oracle Linux vs. Red Hat Enterprise Linux – Head to Head Comparison

If your enterprise is already using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you’ve probably already heard of Oracle Linux because Oracle’s is the fastest-growing Linux distribution on the market. Oracle Linux (OL) combines the strength and stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the added security and flexibility that’s only available from Oracle’s world-class development team to provide a robust Linux option that costs less than RHEL – yet provides more.

However, you probably expected us to say that, since we’re one of the leading Oracle Cloud experts in the U.S. What you need is a true comparison between the two products, so you can make the best decision for your enterprise.

That’s why we here at Centroid decided to compare Oracle Linux with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so we could provide you with a no-holds-barred, head-to-head competition between the two products.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux vs. Oracle Linux – The Contender Categories

Of course, the reason so many enterprises choose RHEL is because of its well-recognized stability and flexibility, and because it’s become a relatively easy to use industry standard that simplifies training.

To find the facts and make our head-to-head comparison, we looked deeply into these factors and we also analyzed the two products’ benefits when it came to overall costs, support options, security, and cloud readiness.

Here’s what we found.

  • Stability
    It’s well known that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is created from the most stable and tested Fedora innovations, but since Oracle Linux was grown from the RHEL framework yet includes additional, built-in integrations and optimizations specifically tailored for Oracle products, our comparison showed that Oracle Linux is actually more stable for enterprises running Oracle systems, including Oracle databases.
  • Flexibility
    As an industry leader, RHEL provides a wide range of integrated applications and tools that help tailor fit the Red Hat Enterprise Linux system to highly specific business needs. However, once again Oracle Linux was found to excel over RHEL because OL offered the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), option, which enables any RHEL-certified app to run on Oracle Linux. In addition, OL offers its own network of ISVs / third-party solutions, which can help personalize your Linux setup even more while integrating seamlessly with your on-premises or cloud-based Oracle systems.
  • Ease of Use
    Most Linux enthusiasts have spent years learning the ins and outs of RHEL and should be able to navigate their way around your Red Hat Enterprise Linux setup within a few minutes. But what about your new employees who haven’t spent years learning the ropes of the RHEL distro? Oracle Linux users report that Oracle Linux is faster and easier to learn for non-Linux users, and extremely easy to set up, since many of the required packages come installed by default or can be easily enabled at install time.
  • Overall Costs
    One of the competitive factors for all Linux distributions is that the open-source software provides a lower cost alternative that’s more flexible than walled-garden solutions. Since RHEL is the most popular Linux distribution, many businesses consider it to be the best combination of cost and flexibility available. But businesses under that misconception haven’t done the math on Oracle Linux yet. Oracle Linux provides a world-class Linux distribution with no subscription fees, that’s free to download and distribute, and includes all patches and updates for free. The only cost involved in Oracle Linux is that of support – and even Oracle’s support options are less expensive and offer more options than Red Hat.
  • Support Options
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux is recognized as the well-supported Linux product, as opposed to the playground of Fedora or the community-driven option of CentOS, but in this category, Oracle beats Red Hat by a mile. Oracle’s award-winning, flexible, enterprise-level support is available 24/7, in 145 countries worldwide, and combines the in-depth expertise of Linux experts and Oracle experts into a single, seamless support package that can take care of technical issues quickly and comprehensively, without extra calls or support requests on your part.In addition, Oracle support is more flexible than RHEL support because, with Oracle, you have the freedom to choose exactly what level of support you want, and on which solutions, so you can be assured you have the right coverage at all times for your business.
  • Security
    On RHEL, patching and updates require reboots and service interruptions, so enterprises often experience a delay between security patch releases and their installation. Oracle Linux Premier Support users get access to Ksplice, the zero-downtime, hot patching tool that can apply critical security kernel patches with no downtime and no required reboots, which helps keep Oracle Linux more secure than the competition.
  • Cloud Readiness
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux continues to push into the cloud and is working hard to establish itself as a cloud company but, simply put, RHEL can’t compete with Oracle Linux when it comes to proven cloud capabilities.

Oracle Linux runs the Oracle Cloud, which means OL has been battle-tested for years, and now completes more than 57 billion transactions per day for 29 million active users in 195 countries worldwide. Plus, since Oracle Linux runs the internal IT at Oracle, the distribution keeps getting better each day because the Oracle development team continually optimizes it to run faster and more efficiently in the cloud.

Oracle Linux Is the Clear Choice for Oracle Users

When we compared Oracle Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux head to head, we weren’t that surprised when we determined that Oracle Linux is a more flexible product at a better long-term price point. After all, here at Centroid, we’ve been implementing and supporting Oracle solutions for more than 20 years and we’ve consistently found that Oracle offers well-engineered, sophisticated options for enterprises that are looking for robust technical tools that work better than the competition.

In our professional opinion, we strongly believe that Oracle Linux is more flexible, more secure, and a better fit for enterprises that are already running or plan to switch to Oracle solutions.

And we can prove it.

Download our suite of Oracle Linux materials that explain everything you need to know for a full introduction to Oracle Linux support, and you’ll see for yourself how easy to use, flexible, and stable Oracle Linux is. You’ll also understand why it’s also a lower-cost option than your current Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

Get the Oracle Linux data sheet!