Very exciting and sad news, there are a number of companies that have performed similar stunts before their agonizing demise (Novell comes to mind purchasing Word Perfect and then later SuSe). Now Sun Microsystems joined the club. Do not get me wrong here – I have been one the Sun’s biggest fans and have personally contributed to their bottom line - and I mean serious contributions here. Being a database consultant for nearly two decades I have suggested and implemented Sun hardware at a number of large sites, dealing with mostly incompetent sales reps, back and forth with configurations. Ahhhh the Sun Microsystems once the darling of Oracle DBA’s, everything seemed to work on Sun, well everything except E10000 fiasco, and E6500 processor nightmare, and…. Fine, I will not get carried away here. Sun was and still is a viable platform. I used to hold their stock, did I say used to? Yes I did. Scott is not steering Sun's ship any longer and the ship is about to run ashore. Sun fell the victims of their own success and business luck, lucky breaks – such as renaming their workstations into “internet” servers in the early nineties and then successfully jumping on the phenomenal growth of the internet, Costling’s Java escapades - the list could go on. Unfortunately a lot has changed since early nineties Firefox is again “new”, google, databases in terabytes are not “large” anymore, but Sun never changed its sales model – back and forth to the sales reps with hardware configuration, overly priced hardware and operating system, outrageous support costs, poor consulting division and not to forget ridiculous hardware offerings- “Black Box” comes to mind. I always wondered why aren’t Sun’s leaders looking at Dell? Haven’t they learned anything? Commodity Hardware – that is the end of Sun Microsystems hardware sales and failure of betting on Intel. Well you say they still have Java and Sun OS you would say, sorry folks the Sun OS will be dead with Spark architecture, and Java will outlive Sun. Things are pretty bad and now to top it all off Sun goes out and blows one billion (well only half of it in cash) for MySql. Why???!!! Simple- to speed up the its painfully slow demise. Here is the quick look in the future:
Oracle will wait for Sun to continue to loose money and soften up and then will snag Sun and MySql, the next step will be MyOracle and the end of that database. As you all know Oracle already owns the only viable MySql database storage – InnoDB.
MySql the database. MySql - the darling of developers – was never really a viable database platform, plainly SQL engine on top of text files, major features were added in Release 5, INNODB is still the only “viable” database storage for MySQL. It used to be mind boggling for me the to understand to as why so many start up companies would choose MySQL over Postrges, until I had the opportunity work as a DBA in one of them. The “Developer” attraction to MySQL is simple – you need to quickly throw a prototype of your application without worrying about security, permissions, data integrity, ACID etc … simply put all that ability that DBAs hate and developers love. Now after MAXDB is gone back to SAP AG, MySQL no longer has so-called “enterprise” grade database, I had very high hopes for MySQL cluster but they can not seem to get over physical memory/database size limitation (MySQL sells it as a “feature” of course). Developers and DBA (truly your) loved MySQL as an underdog alternative to Oracle, the “dark horse” – I liked them for that and passed their certification (very easy compared to Oracle or SQL Server). But you can hardly call Sun Microsystems an “underdog”, well may be in near future after yet another attempt at DBMS market (Sun tried to market Postgres before).
Sun Microsystems and MySQL. The answer is simple Sun is dying and in its aging brain starts making incoherent decisions – see for yourself: Sun tries to offer support for Postgres, fails at that and then buys MySQL database while supporting Greenplum’s Postgres offering and creating “database appliance” to run Greenplum Postgres, finally to make matters worse Sun unveils project “Black Box” – simply put a shipping container staffed with Sun’s hardware – truly an idiotic idea. Go make sense of that?! Well there is no common sense here just a desperate moves in the view of inevitable demise, sadly Sun is being steered by a “political” leader not a visionary, yes you can become a CEO by being “political” but sadly you cannot grow your company with the same skill set, you need a visionary. Scott you have sealed Sun’s fate by choosing your successor…
Thanks Sun for killing MySQL in your agony. But the story does not end here…
Near Future - I will assume the role of Nostradamus here:
Oracle will buy Sun and kill MySQL, Oracle will also aggressively market its own OS that will eliminate AIX, Sun OS, HP-UX and Red Hat. Oracle and Microsoft will divide the enterprise computing. Microsoft will own desktops and email, Oracle will own servers OS and the databases. But wait there more to that….
In conclusion underdog Postgres Database company (Not Greenplum) will kill Oracle, just like GNU Linux will rain supreme in OS computing….
And Apple will still fail to wrestle the desktop from Microsof, Steve Jobs will get booted from Apple (once again).