Sun, MySQL synergies stressed in merger

Sun, MySQL synergies stressed in merger

Acquisition called the largest open-source software deal ever

New customers for both MySQL and Sun

MySQL has been extending into mission-critical, high performance environments in the last couple of years, said Marten Mickos, who has been MySQL CEO and will become a senior vice president at Sun. "With this acquisition by Sun, we'll be able to offer those customers even better service, a full stack and at the same time heterogeneous solutions running on a number of platforms with a number of environments," Mickos said. "It strengthens our ability to serve our existing customers and very importantly serve the new customers coming over as enterprises move over to Web-based architectures in their enterprise infrastructure."

The acquisition complements Sun technology, said Ian Murdock, chief OS strategist at Sun in a separate interview. "If you think about the two companies together in terms of technology offerings and technology basis, it's very complementary," he said. Sun is in the enterprise and has a substantial Web presence, while MySQL has a substantial Web presence and is entering the enterprise, Murdock said.

The MySQL database runs on several platforms, including Linux and Sun's Solaris. MySQL does not see the database market, though, as saturated. "One of the things that's always been exciting about MySQL is we're really going after a new market of database users," with success in the Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and SaaS spaces, said Zack Urlocker, MySQL executive vice president of products. Sun and MySQL also have joint customers such as eBay, he said.

"I think putting the two companies together, both in terms of what Sun can do to accelerate MySQL adoption and what MySQL can do to accelerate Sun's position in the Web space is going to be very interesting to watch," Murdock said. "This allows us to reach into new markets and have conversations with enormous numbers of developers and startups and other companies that are using MySQL in droves," he said, also pointing out that Sun could sell its workstations and servers to these users.

Although Sun has been involved in the development of the rival open-ource database, PostgreSQL, Schwartz said Sun was reaffirming its commitment to PostgreSQL. "We are firmly committed to figuring out the ways we can optimize and integrate innovations across the two communities. Between MySQL and PostgreSQL, we probably have a large portion of the market covered," said Schwartz.

Sun's Josh Berkus is the lead on the PostgreSQL project. Berkus said Sun would continue to accommodate multiple databases.

The idea of Sun buying MySQL was born out of a dinner between Schwartz and Mickos a few months ago, Urlocker said. Although MySQL had been on a track to deliver an IPO, the chance to become part of Sun "became just too exciting for us," he said. "This enables us to accelerate our growth onto a much larger kind of platform in the industry."

MySQL will become part of Sun as part of the deal, which is expected to be completed in about two months. MySQL products likely will continue to be offered via the same open-source subscription strategy.

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