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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.

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