Sun To Acquire MySQL
The open source database supports sites like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, and provides Sun with a “full stack” it can offer customers.
Those customers have tended to underlap, according to Sun’s Rich Green, who will be MySQL CEO Marten Mickos’ new boss. This acquisition could give Sun more access to the emerging companies and economies that have turned to MySQL’s open source model, rather than the proprietary products from Oracle, Microsoft, or IBM.
Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said in a press conference this morning the MySQL deal is “the most important acquisition in the history of the company.”
For Sun, it looks like the deal is a support play, one that provides Sun with a chance to offer services to the global firms that have deployed MySQL, but may otherwise not do business with Sun. Schwartz said Sun has “the ability to give piece of mind regarding mission critical applications” relying on MySQL as the back end.
Mickos said in the conference the deal helps getting MySQL into high performance environments. Along with Sun’s other products, they can offer a full stack of applications (and hardware) to prospective customers.
Green noted the acquisition “instantaneously provides a world class support organization” to MySQL customers.
In open source, firms like MySQL made their fortunes in what some might think of as the Gillette model. Instead of giving away blades and selling the razors, MySQL gives away the database and sells the support.
With so many MySQL installations in the world (Mickos reckons they are the biggest), the appeal of the company to Sun becomes apparent. If enough customers take Sun up on support contracts, Schwartz’s opinion of the acquisition may turn prophetic.