Monday, January 21, 2008

Some wrap-up on the MySQL deal

Now that the dust has settled on the MySQL deal a little, I thought I would add a bit of my perspective.

First off, what is Sun going to do with MySQL now that they have it?  Do you think the $40,000 all-you-can-drink pricing will go away?  You better believe it. (Note to MySQL users, expect a price increase.) With that top-line price, MySQL had capped their own market.  Assume for a second that every Fortune 2500 company bought the enterprise-wide license.  That would mean 2500 companies to support and the annual revenue would have been $100,000,000.  That is not a lot of money when you consider that the database market is $15 billion and Oracle owns $8 billion and Sun paid $1 billion for MySQL. 

I don't think you spend $1 billion to make $100 million.  But, that has been Sun's way. 

Sun does not have a very good track record with acquisitions.  Here is a laundry list.  How many of those have been successful?  So, will Sun be able to make this happen?  I doubt it. 

And, what are they going to do about the storage engine nightmare that MySQL has found themselves in? 

  • MyISAM is read-only. 
  • InnoDB is owned by Oracle.
  • SolidDB was just purchased by IBM.
  • Falcon is still in alpha and YEARS away from being mature.

Even with an influx of cash and developers, the Falcon storage engine will need time to mature.  Cash and code can't change that.

Maybe these are the reasons that Marten went looking for a suitor.  The business model does not support a long term IPO success and the underlying technology is not owned by MySQL.  Compound that with the fact that for the millions and millions of downloads that MySQL flaunts, their ratio to paying customers is a number far lower than .1%.  And yes, the decimal place is in the right spot.  If it isn't, it probably should be .01%,  1 one-hundredth of a percent.

Seems to me that Marten made a great deal and Jonathon had his blinders on.  What could Sun have done if they invested half of that money in Postgres?  Not to worry though, EnterpriseDB is here to save the day...  ;)

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