Sun Buys MySQL

In the gosh-I-didn’t-see-that-coming department, Sun Microsystems has entered an agreement to acquire the world’s most popular open source database, MySQL. The total price for the acquisition is ~$1,000,000,000.00 US, or a cool billion. Cha-ching.*

With this purchase Sun is really becoming one of the top commercial open source sponsors out there. The MySQL user base is humongous, with millions of global deployments, and probably 10x that number of deployments like mine that aren’t even on the record books, as I don’t buy MySQL AB support and services. It’s the ‘M’ in the LAMP stack and probably powers all of your favorite sites. As much as a RDBMS can be called ubiquitous, I would call MySQL ubiquitous.

I have MySQL at work powering this blog, our Mantis bug tracking software, our Mediawiki wiki, and a custom project tracking/balanced scorecard app I wrote. At home I have MySQL running my MythTV backend and even housing my Amarok (woot!) music collection, as that extra .01 seconds it takes to rummage through a SQLite database for “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance is just too honking long. I’ve done semi-pro** database administration for quite a while, and I give MySQL high marks for performance, reliability, and above all, ease of use. Once I set up MySQL or Postgres, they are almost transparent in terms of support. By way of comparison, I used to practically wet-nurse MS SQL Server.

I’ve read some alarmed posts about this merger, but I think it will be a good thing. Putting a big company like Sun behind MySQL should quell some of the fears skittish DBA’s had about running MySQL in the enterprise. Sun has been pretty good to FOSS the last few years, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I have high hopes this acquisition will benefit both the FOSS community and Sun over the long run.

*Had I known it was for sale, I would have written them a (bad) check for twice that much.

**Semi-pro database administration: identical to pro database administration, sans pager.

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