MySQL has long built a great database. It's increasingly also building a great database business.
MySQL made two big announcements on Wednesday, one product-related (the final release of MySQL 5.1) and the second licensing model-related (improvements to the subscription-only MySQL Enterprise Monitor service with Query Analyzer). Of the two, I believe the latter is the more important as it helps Sun to monetize the research and development investments it has been making in the MySQL product.
The product announcement is that MySQL 5.1 will ship on or before December 6. Sun announced MySQL 5.1 back in April, but now it's ready for release. MySQL 5.1 is not important because it adds transactions capabilities (MySQL has had this functionality for years), but rather because it augments MySQL's sweet spot: industry-beating scalability and performance.
Better than Oracle? Absolutely, as Sun senior vice president of Database Products, Marten Mickos, told me in a phone interview:
Performance and total cost of ownership are the two areas where we beat Oracle. Having said that, we aren't adding new functionality in order to compete with Oracle, but rather to serve our existing market and new markets.
Which markets? As the enterprise moves applications to the Web, that's MySQL wins. That's where we want to be relevant. That's why in 5.1 we have new features in replication and partitioning, for example. Both are targeted at scaling out, meaning that we're delivering enhanced throughput more than syntactical features.
As Google, Facebook, and other Web companies know, MySQL is the gold standard of Web-savvy databases. The more enterprises move to the Web, the better for Sun's MySQL business.
But only if Sun actually knows how to make money with its open-source assets like the MySQL database. This is why the addition of MySQL's Query Analyzer tool to the MySQL Enterprise Monitor service is so important. The Query Analyzer helps database administrators to quickly resolve problems in their database queries, thereby boosting performance. … Read more