I just logged onto the register and noted that they had a link to a conference call to discuss Sun’s acquisition of MySQL. I didn’t get into the call straight away – so missed the beginning and a few names – but this is what I made of it.
The CEO of MySQL, Martin Mikos put forward the view that the acquisiton would help MySQL to provide better service. Having recently increased their enterprise and telco deployments since MySQL 5 two years ago, they now have a global support system behind them in that of Sun Microsystems.
He also alluded to the LAMP stack. Sun are a big Open Source company, and can help optimise MySQL for more and more platforms. In the Q&A session, he also made a point that “Linux is by far the most popular platform, but in terms of downloads we have a high number of windows platform too”. OpenSolaris is lagging third on the list, but ahead of OSX and other platforms.
The move is also to help better serve existing customers, but also to attract more companies making the transition to SaaS. Marten noted that MySQL was the only database to be designed from the beginning for online/networked use. All the others were designed primarily as back office systems – therefore MySQL has the momentum and the current roadmap to continue increasing their market share.
The Head of Software at Sun, Rich Green said he was “very excited” about this new tie-up. Not only is MySQL a massive player in the open source world, but that both companies had a fantastic internal and external ‘synergy.’ They have an alignment of culture and business models that he stressed was massively important in a merger of this size.
The acquisition of MySQL is also perfectly aligned with Sun’s continued development of GlassFish, OOo, Java and OpenSolaris. The ability to instantly provide security of worldwide support and services organisation was another factor linked in to the value of this deal. He said to “not think of it as investing $1 billion in a company, but “putting $1 billion behind the ‘M’ in the LAMP stack.” Investing in that, and working closely with other companies and communities to further develop the LAMP stack.
The other main driver is the ‘mission-critical’ applications. Sun have had a team of ‘hundreds’ of developers working to optimise systems for Oracle and the like. They will now be able to use this expertise to leverage the power of MySQL and evolve it into a mission-critical database.
However, being one of the early backers of PostgreSQL – Rich Green stated that the relationship should continue to thrive. That the $1 billion was money towards web-database development rather than MySQL specifically – and that they’d look to integrate communication and develop the two communities. Having expertise in both, Sun have much of the market covered. He also noted that the pure JAVA javaDB will also continue to be developed.
Kate, from Morgan Stanley asked whether MySQL would be a standalone business within Sun, or whether Sun would integrate it across the whole business.
The reponse was that MySQL isn’t just a database. The services surrounding it lend themselves to both hardware (storage) and software (services). MySQL is a central piece in the development of SaaS. It will enable Sun to “stand as broadly as the internet reaches.” It will enable Sun to both Cross-sell and up-sell too.
Also in terms of the future of MySQL – Marten commented that from a historical perspective, MySQL started frugally in 90s and has grown into an enterprise-ready DB by version 5. One of the beautiful things about this tie-up is that the road-map for MySQL will stay intact – the only difference being that he could see the speed at which that road-map is completed being increased.
The final question of the call was related to the peace of mind of the customers and developers. One of the great values that MySQL bring to Sun is the channel of partners. Sun stated that they would grow these relationships rather than go it alone. They’ll work with emerging and innovative open source companies, as well as IBM, HP, SAP and the other ‘software giants’. The key to the future will be collaboration and systems integration and the 1000 partners in our network will have more power in what they’re doing and access to more markets and value-added technology.
I hope you enjoyed this short summary.