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Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal
Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:07 AM EST

If you are curious about the Sun-MySQL deal -- and why wouldn't you be? -- here are some resources for you that will probably answer most of your immediate questions.

First the primary resources:
1. Sun's press release and much more. Pics of the happy couple and wedding guests. Also the joint conference call, and information on MySQL. I don't need to read that, since I've followed MySQL and viewed Marten Mickos, who is now joining Sun, as a friend for some time, and I'm happy for him. Here's an older interview of Marten by Guy Kawasaki that gives you a feel for the man.

2. Jonathan Schwartz's blog entry. He announces they'll be providing worldwide mission critical customer support. There will be a ZFS connection, and Sun is also going to be providing research grants, "watering the tree at the roots". They will tell us more about these global research fellowships "designed to advance the state of engineering on the internet" in the next couple of months. But the most significant part is where he says this:

The good news is Sun is already committed to the business model at the heart of MySQL's success - first investing to grow communities of users and developers, and only then creating commercial services that attract (rather than lock in) paying customers....Until now, no platform vendor has assembled all the core elements of a completely open source operating system for the internet. No company has been able to deliver a comprehensive alternative to the leading proprietary OS. With this acquisition, we will have done just that - positioned Sun at the center of the web, as the definitive provider of high performance platforms for the web economy.

3. Simon Phipps' blog explains that it's about investing in both the community and the marketplace "to accelerate the industry's phase change away from proprietary technology to the new world of open web platforms." And there is this significant sentence: "Sun is committed to preserving all the strengths we've come to expect from MySQL - broad platform support, high quality engineering, frank and transparent community engagement - all under the GPL."

4. Zack Urlocker's TheOpenForce tells why he's glad to be joining Sun: "Overnight, MySQL goes from being a small (but rapidly growing) company to being part of the Fortune 500. And with Marten Mickos at the helm inside of Sun, we can continue to stay the course delivering the world's most popular open source database. And with Sun, we will have more resources at our disposal to support users and customers worldwide."

And some media reports add to our knowledge:

The Wall St. Journal quotes Mickos:
"Sun's culture and business model complements MySQL's own by sharing the same ideals that we have had since our foundation -- software freedom, online innovation and community and partner participation," said MySQL CEO Marten Mickos.

Martin LaMonica, CNET:

The acquisition is a bold move for Sun, which has embraced open-source software and development practices in an effort to garner more revenue from its software business. Until now, it has sold support services for a competing open-source database, PostgreSQL.

Company executives said they will continue to support PostgreSQL and continue to partner with database giant Oracle....Sun will gain access to MySQL's large customer base and have the opportunity to sell hardware and addition software, he said. About 75 percent of MySQL installations run on hardware from other vendors than Sun. About 20 percent of them run Sun's Solaris operating system, although the majority of MySQL databases run on Linux, executives said.

Between the Lines, ZDNet:

With the move, announced Wednesday, Sun takes a big leap into the $15 billion database market and pits it against the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. MySQL (all resources) also gives Sun entry to some customers that may be interested in buying more equipment and software. MySQL counts Facebook, Google, Nokia and Baidu as customers....

Sun (all resources) can also distribute MySQL through its channel and OEM partnerships and create various bundles. The overarching goal is to give MySQL more “commercial appeal” and boost adoption of open source software in the enterprise.

There's a picture of Mickos on Between the Lines, and the caption reads:

Marten Mickos, MySQL CEO, joins the Sun open source soul train and managed a healthy exit for his company’s founders and investors, which includes Benchmark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Holtron Ventures, Intel Capital, Presidio STX, Red Hat, Scope Capital and various angels.

So, what's the theme? You can make some money with FOSS. Period.


Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal | 205 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections thread
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:34 AM EST
Place corrections to the story here.

Stating the nature of the correction in the title of your post is helpful.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
  ―IETF RFC 1925

[ Reply to This | # ]

[NP] Discuss Groklaw News Picks
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:36 AM EST
The Groklaw News Picks Discussion thread.

Please help us by stating which News Pick you are commenting on.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
  ―IETF RFC 1925

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic discussion
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:39 AM EST
"Everything else" not related to the story goes here.

The "Allowed HTML" note at the bottom of the comment box helps, if you need to make a Hypertext Link.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
  ―IETF RFC 1925

[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:42 AM EST
Unfortunately, Sun has a long track record of buying companies with good
software products, then killing the company and the product. Those products that
do survive slowly become Solaris only, with only a token gesture (if that) for
other platforms.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:56 AM EST
So, asside from the fact they gave SCO a bunch of Money, Sun has been behaving
pretty well lately. I was very pleased when Sun said they were going to open
source Jave!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some???? Only Some Money???
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:08 PM EST

Ouchies, if a Billion dollars is some money, I wonder what P.J. considers a fortune ;)

P.J.: Hmm.... a billion dollars, pah, that's pocket change!
I guess that team of IBM lawyers is making a fairly hefty salary ;)

And for those humor impaired: nope, P.J. didn't actually say that, I'm just having a little fun with subtle jokes poked at MS and company for their "can't make any money on FOSS software" stance.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal - Real Player
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:26 PM EST
announcement in real player. Have you read the Real Player EULA?

[ Reply to This | # ]

And the bad news
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:38 PM EST
They will keep it gplv2 for one. Probably take the MySQL in the solaris unix
direction for the best bits, leaving linux as far behind as it can to
"enhance" its own unix aka solaris.

Don't see this as a good thing and in time if thats the move they do then
alternatives will begin to creep out. SO to you SUN make sure it shines for all.
Lest you pull a mandriva and watch the SUN set .....again.

I know your watching and reading for feedback....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:38 PM EST
Sun doesn´t just buy companies only to have their products become
¨Solaris-only¨. Those who make such statements either forgot or did not know
that Sun bought StarOffice (which was *not* OSS at the time) and released the
Open Source version that we know as ¨¨

Having said that - I´ve never liked MySQL. I´ve tolerated it because so many
amateurs insist on using it, but I much prefer PostgreSQL over MySQL - as do
most other database professionals I´ve worked with.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't be in such a hurry to write off Mandriva
Authored by: delboy711 on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:49 PM EST
No where in this announcement does it say that Mandriva has any intention of using any technology based on MS patents. The only things it mentions are gcc; glibc; rpm; kernel; bin-utils; mkinitrd; udev. Where is the harm in co operating with Turbo Linux on those components?

Mandriva publish every single line of code they write under the GPL and have repeatedly stated they are not interested in a patent deal with MicroSoft.

How about waiting for a comment from Mandriva before condemning them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1 billion? Oh, please
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 12:51 PM EST
Crap deal for MySQL, outstanding deal for Sun. It costed Microsoft 1.9b to buy
out the Java lawsuit Sun brought against them. And what is Java? Garbage that
hasn't made any impact whatsoever. And now Sun acquires this company that makes
a ground breaking product called MySQL. And for how much? Almost half the cost
of Java? So, MySQL is half as valuable as Java? What's happening to the world

PS I imagine this GPL hater Jimmy Gosling being greatly upset over the
acquisition. I hope everyone remembers his "GPL is viral" statement
from a few years ago.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Details on the Sun-MySQL Deal
Authored by: Toon Moene on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 01:11 PM EST
To me this is not actually a surprise. Sun representatives have been talking to
our IT department for at least two years about "how they could just as
easily employ MySQL on Sun servers instead of going for <competitor

Toon Moene (A GNU Fortran maintainer and physicist at large)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Opening the MySQL docs
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 01:23 PM EST

If Sun really wants to support Open Source they need to Open Source the MySQL documentation.

I quote here my post on Jonathan Schwartz's blog:

Sun really has an opportunity to show their commitment to Open Source here. Please step up to the plate and Open Source the MySQL documentation.

A project cannot be considered Open Source unless there is freedom to fork. The MySQL documentation cannot be forked, and is un-free in other ways. There's little point in forking the MySQL program if the result must be completely re-documented from scratch. Undocumented or incorrectly documented features may as well not exist. Please Open Source the MySQL documentation and make MySQL a completely free and open project. Show you mean business when you say you want a completely open set of core elements for the Internet.

Karl O. Pinc <>

[ Reply to This | # ]

And all the Blogistanis were smoking IPO n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 02:42 PM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

Used to be a Groklaw Fan
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 04:40 PM EST
... but things are going downhill rapidly. For example, it's been more than an
hour since the last blog entry.

What are we supposed to do between blog updates? Look at OTHER websites?

PJ, you're going to be losing readers unless you take this blog seriously and
provide a regular stream of content.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Other websites? What?? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 05:16 PM EST
  • Try getting a life? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 05:27 PM EST
  • ha ha ha - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 06:01 PM EST
MySql doesn't own the real thing
Authored by: BuggyFunBunny on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 05:30 PM EST
Note to thread: MySql, per se, is just a SQL parser fronting a file system.

The real engine, InnoDB, has been Oracle property since 2005.

I still haven't figured out why Sun paid so much for so little.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is branching from mySQL a possibility?
Authored by: JR on Wednesday, January 16 2008 @ 11:17 PM EST
Being mySQL an open source project, is there the possibility that if Sun goes
the greedy way, that anybody with the right knowledge and resources create a new
project based on mySQL?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Of course - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 17 2008 @ 06:02 AM EST
What Is FOSS - Really
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 17 2008 @ 09:52 AM EST
I posted a study here a month or so ago, that showed that the vast majority of
people developing FOSS are being paid to do it - they do it as part of their

Why the pretense that at the heart of FOSS is a vast "community" of
developing FOSS?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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