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 “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

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?”

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