Sun acquires MySQL

Sun made a huge announcement today. They are acquiring MySQL AB, for roughly $1,000,000,000. From Jonathan:

But the biggest news of the day is… we’re putting a billion dollars behind the M in LAMP. If you’re an industry insider, you’ll know what that means – we’re acquiring MySQL AB, the company behind MySQL, the world’s most popular open source database.

You’ll recall I wrote about a customer event a few weeks ago, at which some of the world’s most important web companies talked to us about their technology challenges. Simultaneously, we gathered together some of the largest IT shops and their CIO’s, and spent the same two days (in adjoining rooms) listening to their views and directions.

Both sets of customers confirmed what we’ve known for years – that MySQL is by far the most popular platform on which modern developers are creating network services. From Facebook, Google and Sina.com to banks and telecommunications companies, architects looking for performance, productivity and innovation have turned to MySQL. In high schools and college campuses, at startups, at high performance computing labs and in the Global 2000. The adoption of MySQL across the globe is nothing short of breathtaking. They are the root stock from which an enormous portion of the web economy springs.

But as I pointed out, we heard some paradoxical things, too. CTO’s at startups and web companies disallow the usage of products that aren’t free and open source. They need and want access to source code to enable optimization and rapid problem resolution (although they’re happy to pay for support if they see value). Alternatively, more traditional CIO’s disallow the usage of products that aren’t backed by commercial support relationships – they’re more comfortable relying on vendors like Sun to manage global, mission critical infrastructure.

This puts products like MySQL in an interesting position. They’re a part of every web company’s infrastructure, to be sure. And though many of the more traditional companies use MySQL (from auto companies to financial institutions to banks and retailers), many have been waiting for a Fortune 500 vendor willing to step up, to provide mission critical global support.

In addition to the current MySQL offerings, Sun is unveiling new global support offerings. This has huge implications, not only for Sun and MySQL… but for Open Source in general. MySQL AB was one of the hottest commercial Open Source companies. Almost everyone thought they were headed for a 2008 IPO. Sun was already one of the largest contributors of Open Source in the world, but this puts them at the epicenter of the LAMP stack. How this will impact their on again off again relationship with Linux remains to be seen, but I’m already seeing promises that this acquisition will not impact MySQL support on non-Solaris platforms.

As you can imagine, the blogosphere is buzzing due to this announcement. I’m still digesting the news and doing as much research as I can, but the real implications of this will not be fully known for some time. I’d like to congratulation the entire MySQL AB team. Monty and David have built not only a wonderful product but a fantastic company. This is well deserved. Marten has been an exemplary Open Source CEO. Congratulations should also go to Sun. They continue to prove their dedication and understanding of Open Source. This is a fantastic pickup for them and I think it could be a great fit.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this once I have a chance to do more research and think about it further, but in the meantime here is some additional reading:

Zack Urlocker
Q&A from kaj
Press release
Tim O’Reilly

–jeremy

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One Response to Sun acquires MySQL

  1. Pingback: Sun acquires MySQL II at Jeremy’s Blog

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