More on MySQL & Sun
Laura Thomson has an interesting post about the MySQL acquisition. And I think it really highlights a fundamental disconnect that some companies built on providing open source applications for enterprises face:
Their means of getting revenue are at odds with their customers’ needs.
I’m a paying MySQL Enterprise Platinum customer, and I’m seriously considering not renewing for another year if Laura’s thoughts are on target. In a nutshell, here’s why:
In fact, as I mentioned already, I probably wouldn’t pay for MySQL as it stands today. I paid for it in the hopes that, as a paying customer, my feedback that these patches (and others like them) are vital would be listened to. Thus far, it hasn’t.
I could care less about MySQL’s desire to keep their released, supported software dual-licensed (commercial and GPL). I don’t consider our Enterprise subscription to be for the software – mentally, I’m paying for service and support. And the support (fixing InnoDB’s concurrency problems) is increasingly at odds with the business (releasing a commerical binary-only Enterprise release). But they’re on a collision course – I’m not the only one who will stop paying for it, resulting in damage to MySQL’s business.
I believe the right (and admittedly scary) thing to do is provide paid support for the GPL’d version and move the ball forward – accept community patches that fix major problems.
You can bet that I’ll be telling Sun this, over and over again. Since they have a history of listening, I’m optimistic.
(BTW, this problem isn’t unique to MySQL. Red Hat has the same dilemma – and they won’t take my money, no matter how hard I try to throw it their way)