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Sun to buy MySQL - why?

Wow... I didn't see this coming! (Unfortunately the original announcement wasn't loading for me). From an Open Source POV, it makes sense as Sun has long been a supporter of & contributor to OSS. It's just strange to see what I picture as essentially a hardware company buying a database company... And besides, if they had IPO'd I'd have happily bought shares ;-).

So my question is: where are the competitive advantages for Sun in this move? MySQL AB is a profit making company, so there's one. It's also an Open Source product, so there's another. But both are tenuous IMO - not enough reason to buy. Being a hardware company, I'm wondering what their strategy is with this... Much like Apple and their software - it really exists to drive sales of their hardware. How do Sun plan to benefit from this?

I suppose they could fine-tune MySQL to run on their hardware & Solaris better than any other platform to try & drive sales... And maybe then they could create a solution to the industry's HA woes using a commonly used product that doesn't involve re-inventing the way data is stored. (Or maybe I'm just smoking crack ;-) ).

At any rate, it'll be interesting to see where this leads - more for Sun than MySQL, IMO.


Jan. 17th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC)
Interesting. You see Sun as a hardware company. I see them as those people who made Java.
Mar. 6th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yes, with Java very much a software company. But on the server space they are a *solutions* company. Hardware - OS - MySQL - J2EE. This purchase nicely enhances their offering doesn't it?

Mar. 7th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
good point
That makes sense. Maybe I've been mistaken in seeing Sun as solely a hardware company... Even still, being able to deliver & support an entire stack like that will only boost their hardware sales. It'd be interesting to look at their balance sheets to see where the money gets made ;-)

Mar. 12th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
Re: good point
I know one thing first hand - they charge a hell of a lot of money for Java licensing! (But claim Java isn't that profitable).

Yes, it'd be interesting to see their most profitable product line. I should imagine the support contracts are highly profitable. I know they did a lot of consultancy work for Ebay in the early days - creating heavy duty web servers and fixing it when the sheer load broke it. They also supplied high-end hardware and of course the OS Solaris. If I had to guess on the most profitable area (and it is a sheer guess) I'd say solutions consultancy was their most profitable niche, followed closely by support contracts. I would imagine their education services are very profitable too.

Oh well, mostly speculation on my part.... :)