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The latest Linux salvo to come from Oracle Corp. will arrive at LinuxWorld in New York on Wednesday.

That’s when Dave Dargo, vice president of Oracle’s Linux Program Office and the Performance Engineering team within the Platform Technologies Division, takes the keynote stage to detail the challenges companies will face as they standardize on Linux in the enterprise.

Besides discussing topics such as server consolidation vs. standards consolidation, open- vs. closed-source implementations, and how best to support environments as enterprises move to grid computing, Dargo may also discuss Oracle’s plans to take Linux beyond servers. Oracle this week said it plans to add the open-source Mozilla browser to Oracle applications. Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas recently caught up with Dargo to discuss Oracle’s ongoing plans first to put Linux everywhere and then to layer it with a good, thick coating of grid.

Could you give us a little background on Oracle’s Linux initiative?

We started 1.5 years ago with our Linux support program. It’s still unique. We’re the only vendor providing code-level support for the distributions. If a customer’s running Oracle on Red Hat or SuSE Linux and they have an issue, Oracle has the business relationships with those vendors so we can fix the code.

We’re still the only ones doing that. We’re looking to expand it in the coming year. Most of our support has been in the area of servers. We’re looking to enable Linux as a client for Oracle applications via the Mozilla browser, so Oracle customers can use Mozilla to access Oracle applications. We’re looking at not just supporting Linux as a server but as a client.

Reiterate for me, please, why Oracle’s so Linux-focused.

It’s an enabler of a few things in the market. It enables customers to retain the skill sets they’ve built over the past decade or so in Unix while enabling them to take advantage of low-cost, high-performance processors from Intel [Corp.] and [Advanced Micro Devices Inc.].

The reason Oracle’s made such a huge investment in Linux is so we can have a platform where we can make it easier for customers to deploy Oracle and our clustering technology.

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