23 Jan 2008

The OS DB vs Commercial DB War Continues - A View from the Sideline

Yet Another Sun Bought MySQL Post

So Sun bought MySQL…. dunno about you, but I was surprised. My first impression was “nooooooooooooooo, I liked it when it was small and my contributions made a difference”, but I realized that it has obvious big advantages.

The main one, which has been mentioned over and over again, is the support of MySQL will grow to the level which I might see it in companies that opted not to get it and use commercial databases.

When I was interviewed for my current job, I learnt that the company made a website for a large customer and that they were using MySQL along side open source frameworks for it. The customer would want in the future to integrate the data, the website gathers, to their CRM system. Because of that, they were thinking about moving to using Oracle. They were also thinking of moving to Oracle anyway, because and I quote “we have more then 500 views a day on the website and we should upgrade our database”. Now, I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking “if Google and Facebook use MySQL, why would he think of using Oracle for just 500 views”.

When I joined the company, I asked someone about that and he answered “have you ever tried to setup a MySQL cluster??”
This guy was a developer, so I asked why is he doing it when he needs a DBA to do that.
He mentioned that it was very difficult to find MySQL DBA in our area (although I don’t know how hard they tried) and that with Oracle you can just phone in and get support. I answered that MySQL also has a support line and that they would be more then happy to offer their service. He mumbled a bit and was “yeah.. you know.. this is like that and its not so easy…”


In the end, it was clear to me that there is something in the heads of people about using important things like databases with open source projects. I am hoping that this will change in the case with MySQL now that Sun will help build its reputation for offering support.