Enterprise Linux Log

Jan 16 2008   4:14PM GMT

The best open-source SQL server under the sun?

Kutz Profile: Akutz

SELECT company FROM mysql INNER JOIN sun ON mysql.about_time = sun.smart_move

By now most people have heard the news: Sun is acquiring MySQL. I was sharing the announcement with co-workers when one of them said that it is old news. He apparently heard about it last night or this morning. But as you can tell from my SELECT statement, I think that MySQL’s acquisition is long overdue.

MySQL: Icarus rising
Some things catch fire when they get too close to the Sun, but MySQL is poised to set the world ablaze. A blog on CNET remarked that “an acquisition by Sun means that MySQL gets to continue being a pureplay open-source company and won’t need to sacrifice the ideals or the benefits of open source to suit a halfway (and half-baked) stance on open source” and another blog wondered aloud if MySQL was ever really innovating. I agree with both of these statements. The reason that MySQL has become the most popular open-source database is not because it is the best open-source database (although you could argue that it is), but because MySQL has a terrific support model. However, the technology itself needs to catch up with some of the competition, such as Postgres schemas.

Almost serendipitous is my previous blog about Trac. The Trac development community has a love/hate relationship with MySQL; that is, for the most part, they love to hate it. Their problems begin with the lack of schema support as well as many others. Perhaps as CNET mentioned, having some backers with deep pockets, MySQL might spend a bit more money on building out its feature set (I cannot wait for 6.0!)

A new Sun on the horizon
Sun has been busy this last year, first rebranding their NYSE ticket from Sun to Java, and then becoming a Windows OEM. Despite reassurances, it is obvious that Sun is looking to make moves that boost its bottom dollar, and acquiring the leading open source database server is the right direction to take. MySQL is famous for its scale-up architecture and what better commodity platform to scale on then one that can offer 32 parallel threads? Sun hardware + Solaris + MySQL equals one fantastic database box.

Will MySQL leverage its newly acquired wings to explore innovative ideas, or will it, like Icarus, get burned by the (ahem) sun?

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