Ksplice is an extension for the Linux kernel which allows the Linux kernel to update without the need to reboot. This is particularly useful for servers, where we want to minimize downtime as much as possible.
Well, for all the users of Ksplice, there is a very bad news – Oracle has acquired Ksplice. With the acquisition, Oracle will no longer provide Ksplice as a separate product. It will be included as a part of Oracle Linux Premier Support.
On the Ksplice website, they say that their technology is used by more than 100,000 servers at 700 companies. If these companies want to keep using Ksplice Upstart, they have to get the full Oracle Linux Premier Support now.
The combination of Ksplice technology and Oracle Linux Premier Support is expected to be the only enterprise Linux provider that can offer zero downtime updates, and Oracle plans to make the Ksplice technology a standard feature of Oracle Linux Premier Support. Customers are also expected to be able to introduce and remove diagnostic patches without business disruption and make Oracle Linux easier to manage and more secure, Ksplice technology is expected to improve the uptime of Oracle Linux based environments.
As I have mentioned above, Ksplice is used by 700 companies on more than 100,000 servers. Oracle’s decision to acquire Ksplice is probably influenced by prospect of selling Oracle Linux Premier Support to these Ksplice customers. Actually that is reflected in their announcement where they said that with Ksplice technology, Oracle Linux Premier Support is expected to be the only enterprise Linux with zero downtime updates.
I cannot understand how Oracle plane to have the Ksplice technology restricted to Oracle Linux Premier Support only. They do not seem to have read the license of Ksplice. While Ksplice, Inc. charges a monthly fee for Ksplice support, the software itself is open source - it is licensed under the GPL ver. 2 - and Ksplice, Inc. do not have any patent for the technology. This means that anyone can fork it. Red Hat is already a very big player in the enterprise Linux market and I will not be surprised if they decided to fork Ksplice.