EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.22.07

Gaining Advantage Through Acquisitions, Deals, Defections

Posted in Database, Deals, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Xen at 8:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How to defeat one’s rival by slurping in its foundations

At the moment, the news contains a very timely case study. From this news we can learn about Microsoft’s intent to devour its competition by conquering essential parts of it.

It’s MySQL which is currently under fire (or “under siege”, as one source puts it). Potential attackers include Oracle and IBM (separately, not jointly by any means). The news is about IBM buying Solid Information, which MySQL depends on.

“IBM’s acquisition of Solid Information Technology supports the company’s growth strategy and capital allocation model, and it is expected to contribute to the achievement of the company’s objective for earnings-per-share growth through 2010,” IBM said in a statement.

Solid was already a replacement for another piece which MySQL once depended on. Oracle snatched it during its extravagant open source ‘shopping spree’ a year or two ago. Oracle nicked InnoDB from its disruptive competitor, whose growth rate was alarming.

The latest news is about SolidDB as MySQL’s engine and disruption is courtesy of Big Blue. It’s actually interesting to find out that MySQL’s CEO used to work at Solid Information. So what exactly is going on there? Let’s explore by looking at the past couple of years.

”Oracle is essentially doing to MySQL what Microsoft intends to do to Linux.“Oracle loves GNU/Linux mainly because it enables Oracle to make money without relying on competitors, primarily IBM (e.g. for UNIX), Sun (for Solaris), and Microsoft (for Windows). Oracle denies that is has ulterior motives with Linux, but when it comes to open source acquisitions, there is clearly a plan there to steal software from MySQL, as well as other free open source software that poses risk to Oracle’s bread and butter — databases.

Oracle is essentially doing to MySQL what Microsoft intends to do to Linux. Microsoft wants everything that is FOSS to run on top of Windows. Compatibility and optimisation can lead to this, not to mention exclusionary contracts (money). Various deals with companies like Zend are paving the way. Then, come to consider acquisition-by-proxy strategies and look companies like XenSource.

As one person in Sun Microsystems said last week, the days of proprietary databases may be numbered, unless serious change is expected.

While Packer does not believe that proprietary databases are doomed, he does see the writing on the wall in emerging markets and that the increased use of open source will eventually surround proprietary databases in established markets. Unless the proprietary suppliers respond they risk losing business in the long-term.

It was mentioned on several occasions in the past that it’s often cheaper to pay a rival to quit competing, before that candidate competitor grows too big. It’s a ‘knife the baby’ attitude (a phrase used by Microsoft executives). That’s what we’ve been seeing a lot of recently. This includes Novell. Sometimes, intruding one pertinent part of a bigger (eco)system is enough to wreak havoc from the inside. All of this is possible as long as the FTC is paralyzed or when proxies (typically business partners) get used.

Getting back to the databases, companies like MySQL make them a commodity. As a matter of fact, more professionals have begun to acknowledge that it’s only a matter of time before Free software evolves and matures sufficiently in this area. Open source database are said to be highly suitable in many cases already.

Yes, more and more, depending on the application.

Oracle became the leading database in the 1990s because it ran better on high-end SMP Unix servers. But in those days most applications were still just dumb terminals talking to the big Unix box. So the database software had to be very sophisticated to perform well.

If you watch software like Mozilla’s Firefox or even Google’s search engine, it’s evident that open source foundations have a certain edge to offer. Attempts to derail these companies and projects are clearly something to watch out for. There are always strategy-driven disruptions similar to Yahoo’s acquisition of Zimbra and its effect, or even Microsoft (Citrix) and XenSource, as cited above. Oracle’s strategy was possibly mentioned here before. Oracle’s hijack of project is akin to Microsoft wanting to ‘steal’ FOSS projects from Linux and move them over to Windows, essentially leaving Linux ‘naked’ (application-less).

MySQL and [IBM|Oracle] != MySQL and Google

Let’s face it. IBM has proprietary software products that compete against MySQL. Which ones are going to bring more revenue to IBM? That remains an open question because competition broadens/lessens one’s customer base. As such, not only acquisition and support costs need be considered.

What are IBM’s motives then? First it was Oracle stealing pieces of MySQL and now this? Was this deliberate? Did IBM have MySQL in mind at all? Asay argue that MySQL suffers although it wasn’t IBM’s intention, but a side effect. The two companies are not foes. IBM has been close to MySQL, Consider this major news from several months ago:

IBM, MySQL team up on database software

Executives at IBM, the world’s No. 2 software maker, and MySQL told Reuters they will announce a technology and marketing partnership on Wednesday at a MySQL users’ conference in Santa Clara, California.

IBM should not be seen as an enemy or a great threat owing to its long dedication to Linux, among other Free software projects that it invests it (Eclipse springs to mind). DB2 and other products aside as a consideration, IBM needn’t fear MySQL.

Oracle is a different case altogether. Do remember that Oracle competes against MySQL at all costs. It once even threatened to ‘pull an Unbreakable’ on MySQL, essentially cloning MySQL or even forking it. Fortunately, that never materialized.

On the contrary, we have companies that are indifferent towards such conflicting interests. Google does not make databases. It uses SQLite in places, but that software is open source as well. I was once even told that they use PostgreSQL for certain tasks (that’s BSD-licensed). Google offered a lumps of patched to MySQL not so long ago.

Google long has been known to be a user of the open-source MySQL database software, but the search powerhouse this week published its own changes to the project.

As far as Google goes, it will be interesting to see what relationship they maintain with MySQL and others. It seems to be quite reciprocal.

It’s time to confess that databases are not something I’m intimately familiar with (personally, I just use and administer them, but haven’t programmed SQL in while). The same goes for the market ‘politics’ of databases, which is fast-changing. I’ll leave it for to the reader to decide whose motives are served and why. I’m also appending some references that I’ve accumulated in the past year or so. They are sorted quite logically or chronologically below and they contain selective quotes that tell a certain story.

MySQL Meets Solid

Solid: Boosting MySQL for Mission-Critical Users

MySQL is poised to attract keen attention from F1000s running mission-critical apps. A meaner, faster version of MySQL, dubbed solidDB for MySQL, is now in general availability (GA). Co-built by MySQL AB and Solid Information Technology, it cuts response times, boosts scalability, and processed 2x more transactions than Oracle InnoDB, say benchmarks.

Solid Unveils 2007 Roadmap of solidDB for MySQL

For the first time, MySQL users will be able to take advantage of these advanced capabilities that are required to preserve business continuity and provide high level of service to end-users.

Performance Benchmarks

Oracle still raves about benchmarks where Oracle’s product wins (on top of Linux, of course). Just a week ago:

oracle® database delivers record performance and price/performance for a two-processor x86-based system with tpc-c benchmark

“With this benchmark result, Oracle demonstrates that the combination of the Oracle Database and Oracle Enterprise Linux deliver both the best performance and the best price on the most popular low end ‘sweet spot’ — an x86 two socket Quad Core system,” said Juan Loaiza, senior vice president Systems Technology, Oracle.

It is worth adding that some analyst firms which are behind studies and benchmarks are in fact funded — at least in part — by Larry Ellison. Here are the reasons for Ellison to be worried.

PostgreSQL publishes first real benchmark

This publication shows that a properly tuned PostgreSQL is not only as fast or faster than MySQL, but almost as fast as Oracle (since the hardware platforms are different, it’s hard to compare directly). This is something we’ve been saying for the last 2 years, and now we can prove it.

[...]

I’ll continue this later this week with a discussion of what SpecJAppserver is, what it measures, and how the Spec organization is warming up to open source.

Regardless, this is a good day for PostgreSQL and open source.

MySQL runs fastest

InnoDB vs MyISAM vs Falcon benchmarks – part 1

Several days ago MySQL AB made new storage engine Falcon available for wide auditory. We cannot miss this event and executed several benchmarks to see how Falcon performs in comparison to InnoDB and MyISAM.

[...]

Method of benchmark:

1. Prepare table with 1,000,000 records (about 350Mb of data on disk)
2. Run each query for 1, 4, 16, 64, 128, 256 concurrent threads.
3. For each thread perform a warm-up run (duration 180 sec), and then run three effective runs (duration of each is 60 sec). As the final result we get a maximal result of three runs

MySQL AB Success Stories

MySQL prepares for IPO and reveals Oracle endorsement

“We are planning to go public,” Mickos told Computer Business Review in an exclusive interview, adding that the Uppsala, Sweden-based database management vendor is in no hurry to go public after raising $18.5m in Series C funding this time last year and $39m in total.

The Worth of Open Source? Open Question

MySQL, a fast-growing maker of database software used by some of the Internet’s most recognized brands, is preparing to file for an initial public offering, perhaps as soon as late 2007. The offering could value the company at between $600 million and $1 billion, according to sources, and inject some pep into a tech IPO market that’s seen only a handful of successful offerings in the past year. Credit Suisse (CS) is a top contender to lead the underwriting of the transaction, BusinessWeek has learned.

MySQL, Linux powers Web 2.0′ – O’Reilly

Without Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP many Web 2.0 companies would not exist today. This is according to Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media and the person most often credited for coining the term Web 2.0.

MySQL is the company’s SQL now…

Let’s face it; MySQL is a fabulous database engine. Not only is it free, it’s small, powerful and easy to drive. It also runs happily on free operating systems and so it can be used to create incredibly cost-effective database servers.

Real-time Linux vendor picks telecom database partner

The companies will work together to expand their telecom-specific consulting services around MySQL-powered software running on FSMLabs’s hard real-time enabled Carrier Grade Linux and BSD distributions, FSMLabs says.

More Related Resources

As if you could kill a dolphin by swallowing the ocean…

–Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/2/2019: digiKam 6.0.0, Cockpit 188, Mesa 19.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  2. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  3. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  4. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  5. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  6. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  7. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  8. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  9. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  10. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  11. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  12. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  13. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  14. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  15. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  16. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  17. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  18. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  19. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  20. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  21. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  22. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  23. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  24. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  26. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  27. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago



  28. Links 13/2/2019: Tails 3.12.1, MongoDB Being Dumped

    Links for the day



  29. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part IV: Suspected Offenses of Forgery and Possible Falsification

    In a very underworld fashion, Benalla continues to break the law and create yet more scandals



  30. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part III: Mars, France Close Protection (Benalla's Family), and Russian Oligarchy

    An article which examines the business background of Benalla, the outrageous salaries, the severance indemnity pay, and contract with a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts