Oracle sometimes seems to be a bit miffed by enthusiasm for Linux container darling Docker because its own Solaris “Zones” have done containers for ages.
Big Red also knows in its heart of hearts that Solaris isn't for everyone, but reckons its own Linux is for anyone who fancies robust, well-supported Torvalds-spawn. And given that Docker needs an OS in which to run containers, Oracle has therefore decided to make Oracle Linux available in the Docker repository. The company will also package an Oracle-maintained version of MySQL and pop it in the same place.
Oracle reckons doing so will give developers the chance to do Docker on what it feels is a particularly resilient platform, and also one that's well-integrated with a database.
Oracle Linux is free, so there's no reason developers won't be interested. Perhaps so interested that a few start paying for support. Maybe even so impressed that they swing momentum behind Oracle Linux as a preferred platform for Docker, an outcome that would give Big Red a reason to feel rather happier about the evolution of the market for Linux containers.
It won't be easy for Oracle to achieve that outcome: Ubuntu and CentOS top the charts on Docker's repository and Oracle Linux is well-regarded but not a hit beyond Oracle's heartland.
If nothing else, Oracle does now have a Docker story and with interest in the container company's offerings at extraordinary level that's no bad thing. ®