RealTime IT News

Of Databases, Telcos and Linux

SAN FRANCISCO -- Looking to extend their presence in the growing Linux telecommunications sector, MySQL AB and MontaVista Software have expanded their relationship.

Under the revised partnership, MySQL validated its open source database on MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) for the telecommunications and network equipment provider markets. MontaVista Linux said its support for MySQL also extends to the MySQL Cluster, a version of the MySQL database that is designed specifically to address the uptime requirements of the telecommunications industry.

The software is ready to purchase. MontaVista Linux CGE is available as a product subscription. The two companies said they would also participate on joint marketing and sales efforts, including pitching MySQL on MontaVista Linux Professional Edition for the traditional embedded market.

"MySQL is increasingly being used for embedded applications, in everything from network appliances to sales kiosks," Bertrand Matthelie, director of alliances at MySQL AB, said in a statement. "As database functionality becomes a requirement for intelligent devices, MySQL on MontaVista Linux enables manufacturers to provide customers and service providers with maximum cost savings and flexibility."

MontaVista said CGE offers significant advantages beyond standard or "enterprise" Linux in that it is designed to address specific needs of network communications equipment providers that need to deal with ever-increasing time-to-market pressures.

"Network communications equipment providers are pushing for a robust and flexible operating system, with strong networking capabilities, scalability, and a high level of service reliability," said Stacey Quandt of Quandt Analytics. "The availability of an open source carrier-class Linux platform that addresses the requirements of the telecommunications industry is a major step that will drive innovation in the sector."

MontaVista has been currying favor with other database vendors of late. Two weeks ago the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said its Carrier Grade Linux would support database software from Sleepycat.

MySQL said they've seen the momentum. A growing number of leading telecommunications and networking companies, such as AdventNet, Alcatel, Aprisma, Atchik, Cox Communications, F5 Networks, Onlinetel, Siemens and Tekelec, now rely on MySQL, the company said. MontaVista recently named nine global Tier 1 network equipment providers that use its Carrier Grade Edition Linux as a preferred development platform. The list includes Alcatel, Agilent UK, Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, and Samsung.

The mixture of Linux and telecommunications is proving to be a perfect storm. The telco services industry has seen recent increases in cap-ex spending driven by deregulation, infrastructure upgrades, pent-up demand in the developing countries and Voice over IP services. Research and analyst firm IDC is forecasting the telco services market should grow by 11 percent over the prior year to $137 billion. Linux has been playing an increasing role in the saga.

According to its Enterprise Server Tracker, IDC also said Linux server shipments and spending will grow at compound annual growth rates of 40 percent and 31 percent, respectively, from 2002 to 2007.

This is the second consecutive quarter in which Linux servers have posted more than $900 million in worldwide factory revenue, nearing the $1 billion mark. Compared with the first quarter of 2003, Linux servers showed 56.9 growth, while unit shipments grew 46.4. IDC noted that Linux server revenue and unit shipments have grown at double-digit rates since the second half of 2002.

"Despite past concerns about Linux scalability and its suitability for enterprise applications, the data shows that the market continues to invest strongly in Linux servers," Jean Bozman, IDC research vice president, Global Enterprise Server Solutions said. "Linux servers are playing increasingly important roles in IT customers' computing infrastructure. They are taking on enterprise workloads, now that more ISV applications are available for both technical and commercial workloads on the Linux server platform."