On 16 January 2008, Sun announced that it has agreed to acquire MySQL, the open-source database management system (DBMS), for approximately $1 billion in cash and options. Sun plans to integrate MySQL into its software, sales and service organizations. MySQL CEO Marten Mikos will join Sun's executive leadership team and report to Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president of software. The deal is expected to close in April or May 2008.
Sun's longtime partnerships with IBM DB2, Greenplum, Oracle and Sybase offer evidence of its strong history in the DBMS market. For a number of years, Sun has also been an open-source software (OSS) advocate, moving the Solaris operating system, Java and other software into the OSS space. MySQL will be enhanced and aided by other Sun products, such as HPC (Lustre), high-performance file systems (ZFS), Suncluster, Java, Xen virtualization (xVM), identity management and DTrace's diagnostics. In turn, MySQL will add management capabilities to Sun's DBMS environment.
MySQL's largest user base resides on Linux, with the next largest user base residing on Windows. This will enable Sun to:
Sun will deliver a Java and MySQL software stack through open-source subscription support licenses, though some advocates of "pure" OSS may now object to defining MySQL as an OSS product. Sun now will be able to deliver both a commercially licensed and a freely downloadable OSS stack.
Sun faces the challenge of integrating MySQL. If it succeeds, it will have created a solid OSS DBMS stack offering. This would increase pricing pressures on proprietary stack vendors (such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle) as well as on the leading Linux vendor, Red Hat, by offering an alternative for users' current hardware. Sun has had mixed success with its previous acquisitions, but we believe that if it retains the MySQL management team, developers and support organization, it is likely to benefit greatly from this acquisition. The similarity between the two companies' cultures and the licensing models for MySQL and Open Solaris will make this task easier.
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