Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oracle eating up the Open Source World?

After buying PeopleSoft for $11.1 billion and Siebel Systems for $5.85 billion dollars, Oracle has finally bought Sleepycat, the makers of Berkeley DB (or BDB) for an undisclosed amount.

According to the media reports, Oracle has spent nearly $20 billion in acquisitions in the last 2 years. That's 10 billion dollars a year and close to a billion dollars per month.

The troubling thing is the fact that "stopping" is not in Oracle's dictionary. The company is also after Zend and JBoss.

From what I see Oracle felt very threatened by MySQL and Open Source, and as a result is trying to drive MySQL out of the market.

Is this Game over?
As my fellow blogger, Markus has been pointing out for some time now, MySQL needs to take matters in its own hands. MySQL DBAs worldwide feel threatened by Oracle's acquisitions. I completely agree with Markus that MySQL needs to see "an own and independent full featured storage engines as one of the very highest priorities for MySQL's future"

I hope Zak is right in betting that the 18.5 million dollars recently secured by MySQL will go "towards building a transactional database engine that they hold complete copyright on".

My other blogosphere friend Ronald Bradford is also calling for MySQL to have it's own transactional engine. He, like many of us is "personally concerned" and says:

In my opinion [there] should be a bold announcement from MySQL now. In stating the development and release of a new Transactional Storage Engine this year, and then not even mentioning InnoDB and BDB, they are downplaying the Oracle buy in, and emphasising a true Open Source Company option. In no means say they are no longer supporting InnoDB and BDB, but if the media exposure from MySQL continues to mention them, then it’s going to bleed into some reference back to Oracle.

Jeremy says that Oracle is following Yahoo!'s style in a different industry.

This leads to the obvious question: What is Oracle up to? Are they trying to do to Open Source Databases what Yahoo appears to be doing to Web 2.0 companies?

While I get very happy when Yahoo! buys a company, Oracle's acquisitions mostly make me sad especially because I see them targeting MySQL.

And don't you guys think 18.5 million dollars is a really low amount for financing? MySQL needs to pitch for more investment so it can compete with giants like Oracle and Microsoft. May be by introducing a new licensing model based on the amount of revenues that a user's company generates. So company's like Google who are generating billions from the MySQL platform, would at least pay a couple hundred million every year. Thoughts about why and why not?

As a MySQL DBA, I have never been so unsure of its future, unless MySQL AB really gets aggressive in its business.

As soon as my upcoming projects pick up or I get a job, I plan to devote a lot of time in MySQL development. Like Ronald says, it's a call to arms!

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