Another Tech Merger: Oracle To Buy Sun

Image representing Sun Microsystems as depicte...
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It was announced on Monday, April 20th that Oracle has offered 7.4 billion dollars to buy Sun Microsystems.  The first thing you may be wondering is ‘why would you care about Oracle’s plans to buy Sun?’

If you have a self-hosted instance of WordPress like I do or run an open-source CMS like Joomla, most likely it is powered by MySQL.  Near the beginning of 2008, Sun entered into agreements to purchase MySQL.  So Sun now owns the popular open-source database MySQL which powers thousands of websites.

I first came across the news about Oracle’s plans to buy Sun in a blog post by Chris Brogan.  Immediately the red flags went up for me.  I am an avid user of MySQL and supporter of open-source software and I’m concerned about the future of MySQL.  That being said, I wouldn’t consider Oracle’s database platform to be a primary competitor with MySQL.  I would consider Oracle to be an enterprise solution whereas MySQL for the hobbyist or small/medium sized business.  I just hope that Oracle would have these some opinions.

In an article in PC World there is a they provide some insight into the future of MySQL as the Oracle/Sun deal looms.

But no matter what happens to Sun, MySQL will survive due to its success as an open-source project, said Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of the MySQL and software infrastructure group at Sun, in an interview last week.

“When there’s so many people involved in developing and producing the code, it transcends the company,” Padir said.

Indeed, the MySQL codebase has already been forked and branched off for a number of projects, such as Drizzle and MariaDB, which is backed by MySQL creator Michael “Monty” Widenius.

I know that many in the marketing may not be too concerned with tech mergers, but this particular deal could have significant implications if you run any website powered by MySQL.

Personally, I was never happy with the Sun acquisition of MySQL and I’m even less pleased with the Oracle purchase of Sun.  I understand the need for Sun to get a cash infusion, but I only wish it didn’t include Oracle getting MySQL.

Will MySQL still thrive?  Is the future of MySQL bleak?  Please post your comments and share your thoughts.

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