RealTime IT News

MySQL Grows Its Network

MySQL AB is continuing its march up the enterprise stack with a new subscription-based offering announced today at the LinuxWorld show in Boston. The open source database vendor also unveiled a certified partner program for the new MySQL Network at the event.

"What we're doing here is realizing that MySQL serves two widely different groups: the enormous open source community and then the more conservative corporate users," Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB, told internetnews.com. "In order to serve the latter group, we've now bundled together all of the goodies that you need in order to run with high uptime low risk and be able to manage it properly."

MySQL Network subscriptions include enterprise-grade support, automatic updates(MySQL Update Advisor) and Technical Alert Advisor, which notifies customers about issues related to their specific computing environments. The Network subscription also offers warranties and indemnification for MySQL's database.

There are four different tiers in the MySQL Network subscription model -- basic, gold, silver, platinum -- with different levels of service for each. Subscriptions to MySQL Network are available for 11 platforms, including Unix (SUN Solaris and HP-UX), Linux (Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) and Windows (Windows Server 2003). Prices for the annual subscription mode are on a per-database server model and range from $595 to $4,995.

MySQL AB will not force its users to migrate to the new Network subscription model, and they will continue along the "dual-licensing" strategy, which makes the database free to use.

"End users will want to migrate over though it's not compulsory," Mickos said. "There is no one forcing them to do so. It's important to know that there is nothing stopping people from continuing to use our software completely free of charge. They can jump on to the MySQL Network bandwagon if they want or they can jump off; it's completely based on customer choice."

The MySQL Network Certified Partner Program is an effort to ensure that partners' solutions will work properly with the new network offering. The program allows certified ISVs to use a "MySQL Network Certified" logo in co-marketing promotions, as well as offers other multi-tiered benefits. MySQL has already signed up more than 25 companies to the partner program, including industry heavyweights like HP, Novell, Sun and Red Hat.

Many of those same vendors also partner with and support Oracle, though, according to Mickos, the two databases aren't really competitors.

"Oracle and us are very different animals and are used for very different purposes. When I refer to my most successful customers and reference sites, many of them also use Oracle," Mickos explained. "It's important here to see the distinction that if you have an application that's running Oracle already, why go and change that?

"But when you build new things, when you build add-ons to the application, when you do data warehousing and Web fronts, then why spend money on Oracle when you can use us?"