Conflicts of MySQL Interest

Michael Vizard

Ever since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and took over stewardship of the open source MySQL database, many existing MySQL customers have been waiting for a shoe to drop in the form of a price increase for support.


Well, this week Oracle did just that for some customers by essentially raising the prices for basic support. That might trouble customers who rely on entry-level support, while giving others cause for pause.


In either case, the folks at SkySQL, a startup of former MySQL employees that aims to provide support, are hoping prices increases will push customers to look for another support option.


According to the startup's CEO, Ulf Sandberg, SkySQL has a lot less corporate overhead to carry than Oracle and, given the history of most of its employees, a lot more dedicated MySQL expertise.


In addition, Sandberg says SkySQL is committed to helping create a vibrant MySQL ecosystem by working with third-party vendors that want to create products that Oracle might deem to be competitive with its offerings for MySQL or the company's core commercial database offerings.


When it comes to MySQL, Oracle may be in one of those positions that no matter what it does, it will always be seen to be acting in the best interest of the Oracle database. The degree to which that is true may almost be irrelevant because new and old competitors alike are going to try to exploit the perceived conflict of interest between MySQL and the Oracle database. And as we all know too well, perception eventually turns into reality.



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