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Sun buys MySQL, Oracle buys Sun…

So, big news of the week, Oracle just bought Sun Microsystems for some ridiculous amount of money ($7.4 billion in cash).  Aside from the obvious moanings of how I wish I had $7.4 billion in cash just sitting around so I can buy up companies like playing monopoly, this deal has me (and likely a number of other people) wondering about the future of MySQL now that its going to be owned by Oracle.

I’ve been reading up on the topic a lot, and it seems as though no one’s really talking about whats going to happen with Sun’s newest acquisition.  I can’t say I’m not just a little concerned, since all of our work here at MRX is powered by MySQL databases.  Thats not to say I’m afriad of Oracle, just its both expensive (as in not free) and complex.  I’d argue, so complex that not many people out there who know Oracle are looking for work.

One interesting point I did find when reading up on the topic that I didn’t really know, is that Oracle does own a number of other database systems including TimesTen, Berkeley DB open source, as well as InnoDB.  However, none of these directly competes with Oracle, whereas MySQL does.  So, the question is, do they monitize MySQL to a lesser degree than Oracle (while maintaining some form of stripped down free version), do they drop MySQL alltogether and provide some form of migration path to Oracle 11g, or do they simply let both co-exist and continue monitizing Oracle.

If I had to guess, I’d say they will likely monitize MySQL to a lesser degree than Oracle, probably in the form of support contracts mostly, and still continue to provide a free open source version of MySQL.  Obviously they would charge for any new features they decide to add to MySQL along the way.  Probably very similar to Redhat Enterprise’s business model – seems to be successful for them.


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