[nycbug-talk] Sun Acquires MySQL

H. G. tekronis at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 10:22:08 EST 2008

On Jan 17, 2008 9:31 AM, George Rosamond <george at ceetonetechnology.com>

> Bob Ippolito wrote:
> > On Jan 16, 2008 9:34 PM, Francisco Reyes <lists at stringsutils.com> wrote:
> >> George Rosamond writes:
> >>
> >>> http://blogs.mysql.com/kaj/sun-acquires-mysql.html/
> >>
> >>> What does the acquisition of MySQL by Sun mean for MySQL users?
> >>> Given Sun's proven track record as the largest contributor to Open
> Source,
> >> Maybe my job doesn't give me time to read as many news as I used to...
> but
> >> has Sun really contributed that much to open sourse?
> >>
> >> Digging around I see: OpenOffice, OpenSolaris and open Java
> >> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=1889
> >
> > Well there's OpenSolaris, or at least parts of it such as ZFS and
> > dtrace. They've also put out press releases about PostgreSQL, though I
> > don't know what their actual contribution was... probably just Solaris
> > related hardware and performance work. Java is a big deal, though it
> > would've been a lot better for everyone had they opened it a couple
> > years ago.
> There's been lots on this on the NYPHP talk list.
> I need to read the Sun site a bit more thoroughly about their licensing,
> particularly with OpenSolaris, before I'd call it open source though.
> Most references note that their open source licensing isn't exactly that.
> What is clear, however, is that if the traditional database stack is
> often Oracle on Solaris, what does this mean. . . database-lite stack of
>  MySQL on OpenSolaris?
> Or is it leverage against Oracle?
> Does Sun see this as a way of getting consulting work based on open
> source software?  So why didn't they just start hacking away at MySQL
> more to do that . . . it's not like the GPL'd license is going to change
> when they purchase it.
> I find it hard to believe that MySQL as a firm is worth $1 billion.
> Pretty amazing to see a technology acquisition like this in the midst of
> the stock indices plummeting, the credit crunch mess and housing collapse.
> g

It probably started when Oracle declared a sort of "break point" with the
announcement that they were going to release their own Linux.  Even long-
time Solaris+Oracle stacked customers would begin thinking, "Well hey,
if this is Linux coming _DIRECTLY_ from Oracle, then wouldn't it make
sense to simply go that way?".  Stability or not, they'd go with the Oracle
branded -nux simply because its coming from Oracle.

Perhaps Sun was thinking to itself, "2 can play that game"?
Perhaps you may soon be hearing things like, "Even though Oracle is
reputable piece of software, you won't be needing half of the features
that their product offers for your use case.  MySQL has been engineered
to work optimally with our operating system, giving you the best in
stability that we could possibly deliver to you.  Sign up for our Sun
SolarDB Support plan...."

As for the $1 billion price tag, I really think its more a result of
perceived hype.  You get a good idea of that if you look at the most
recent example before this, where Schwartz changed Sun's stock
ticker from SUNW to JAVA.  When asked why, the answer was
"Java is Everywhere!"

Theres also the matter of Sun's transition into a much more software-
based company; they're planning to close down a lot of their datacenters.
So this is probably the first in a series of moves to attempt to consolidate
stakes in what is supposedly considered as "bulwark" software
in the Open Source world.

MySQL, whether its better or worse than the alternatives, undoubtedly has
a massive footprint in both the free and commercial domain.  I'm thinking if
Apache was backed by a commercial company in much the same way that
MySQL is, it would probably have been acquired next.  There is a good
chunk of change to be made on support when customers start deploying
MySQL on Solaris with Sun's blessing.

I remember reading someone's suggestion that the overall trend
is that tech companies are moving to provide more and more
"stacked solutions" to their clients, instead of simply "components".
For example, you can not only get just an operating system from Red Hat,
but a full-on "solution", which is RHEL + the JBoss stack and associated
wares.  We also all know about how Oracle does not only offer its
database system, but now full-blown data "solutions", which include an
operating system, database, OLAP and other tools/stacks/doohickeys.

BTW, George, even with the financial situation getting uglier and uglier,
it still won't ever be difficult for an entity that large to borrow money
acquisitions and other moves.  I'm pretty sure the financial lords have
already things drawn and quartered in the unlikely event that their
"investment" was in danger.
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