Oracle loses some MySQL mojo

Ever since Oracle closed on its acquisition of MySQL, the open-source world has been wondering where the code has gone. Many people searched, fruitlessly, for the formerly available MySQL source code.

They might have done better to search for Oracle's point person on MySQL, Ken Jacobs.

On Friday, Jacobs announced his resignation from Oracle to key members of the MySQL team via e-mail. Jacobs, a 28-year Oracle veteran and one of its first 20 hires, has been Oracle's liaison with the MySQL community for the past several years, ever since Oracle acquired the popular MySQL storage engine, InnoDB. … Read more

Oracle lays out plans for Sun

After announcing earlier Wednesday that it closed its $7 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle followed up with a previously scheduled Webcast during which executives laid out the rationale for the acquisition and detailed plans for much of Sun's product portfolio.

When the acquisition was first announced, it seemed an odd match to many. Oracle was a software company, and Sun was widely thought of as a hardware company--though it was really more than that. But there was always another aspect to this, if you thought more broadly about where the computer industry was headed.

The big boys were all aligning through either acquisition or partnership into the sort of vertically integrated computer companies that were once familiar but were largely displaced by processor, operating system, server, storage, and networking specialists.

At the time of Oracle's announcement that it was acquiring Sun, we had already seen moves like Hewlett-Packard's purchase of EDS and the ramp-up of its ProCurve networking business. The subsequent months have only highlighted this trend, with the increasingly close partnership between Cisco Systems, EMC, and EMC's VMware subsidiary. And HP's acquisition of 3Com and partnership announcement with Microsoft. IBM never abandoned a considerable vertical bent.

With Sun and Oracle's announcement of a database appliance last fall, there could no longer be any doubt that delivering factory-integrated stacks from server to storage to software was a big part of this acquisition. The only surprise today was the strength of the all-Oracle stack message.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, among others, made it clear that the IBM of the 1960s was the company's integration model. There were a few references to selling "best-of-breed components" to customers who wanted to purchase that way. But promoting the benefits of buying a complete hardware and software stack designed to work together was one of the other overriding themes of the day. I'm not sure that I heard "heterogeneous"--one of the terms that computer companies like to use, even when they don't really mean it--uttered once during the five-hour broadcast.

The other big theme could be summed up as something along the lines of: Sun had great innovation but executed really poorly. For example, Oracle President Charles Phillips said "Sun had created a very complex supply chain" and that Oracle was going to "implement a more attractive systems support plan. Some [support was] done by Sun, some by others, some by no one." Ellison was, if anything, more blunt: "We just need to do a better job of taking engineering output and delivering to customers."

There was much throughout the day on that theme, and it's hard to argue with the basic contention.… Read more

Oracle-Sun deal gets EU approval, finally

The European Commission has officially approved the Oracle-Sun merger, paving the way for Oracle to take over Sun Microsystems in a deal valued at more than $7 billion.

"I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned. Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products," said Neelie Kroes, the European antitrust commissioner, in a statement Thursday.

The approval by the EC, which faced a late-January deadline, comes after months of limbo during which the Commission expressed skepticism about the antitrust aspects … Read more

HP swooping in on Sun customers

Hewlett-Packard has certainly benefited from the uncertainty over Sun Microsystems' future, and now it's lined up a few partners to help win over more Sun customers.

In light of Oracle's failure thus far to seal its takeover of Sun, HP announced on Tuesday that it has teamed up with Microsoft, Novell, and Red Hat to offer further incentives to Sun customers.

HP reported that during the 12 months ending October 31, it scooped up more than 350 customers from Sun with offers of specialized services and support, and financial incentives through its HP Complete Care program. Now, the … Read more

Oracle pledges to play well with MySQL

The chill between Oracle and the European Commission may finally be thawing.

European antitrust regulators have been playing a wary bouncer to Oracle's planned takeover of Sun Microsystems, and they've been especially attentive to the software maker's intentions regarding Sun's MySQL operations. In November, their concerns about the future of the open-source MySQL database software led to a formal thumbs-down to the acquisition.

But recent discussions between Oracle and the EC have apparently been fruitful, as Oracle on Monday pledged 10 "commitments to customers, developers and users of MySQL."

Among other things, the company … Read more

MySQL and a tale of two biases

Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun-MySQL has turned into a political circus, with both sides digging in their heels in preparation for a fight. However, the most interesting commentary on the deal may actually be coming from two highly interested parties with two very different perspectives on the takeover: MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius and IBM.

What's interesting in their positions is that only one of the parties pretends to be neutral. Surprisingly, the overtly biased party, IBM, comes to a very different conclusion than Widenius.

It has everything to do with money.

As Pamela Jones at Groklaw acutely analyzes, … Read more

Microsoft's embrace of MySQL could kill it

For those who have fret about Microsoft fighting against open source, I have news for you: Microsoft's impact on open source may be worse as a friend than as an enemy.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has steadily warmed to open source, to the point that it now hosts its own open-source code repository and has seen its Microsoft Public License used more often than venerable licenses like the Mozilla Public License or the Eclipse Public License, according to new data released by Black Duck Software.

The open-source world should be worried.

After all, as IBM's Savio Rodrigues points out, … Read more

EC formally objects to Oracle buying Sun

The European Commission on Monday formally dug in its heels over Oracle's planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but Oracle accused the regulatory body of "profound misunderstanding" in a rebuttal that declared its intention to fight the opinion.

The regulatory body issued a statement of objections about the merger, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Sun Microsystems. The open-source MySQL database software is the sole issue of concern in the matter, Sun said in the filing.

"The Statement of Objections sets out the Commission's preliminary assessment regarding, and is limited to, the combination … Read more

Amazon's move mocks EU's fear of Oracle

The European Commission must be feeling a bit silly right about now. Despite insisting that Oracle has not responded to its requests for comment and concessions in its planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems (and the open-source database MySQL), recently offered the EC all the proof it needs that MySQL competition remains alive and well.

For those who missed it, Amazon announced last week a fork of the popular MySQL database, called RDS (Relational Database Service). RDS is essentially a hosted version of MySQL, one that developers can write to at the minuscule cost of pennies per hour.

Oracle … Read more

Report: Oracle not yielding to EU with Sun buy

Oracle is taking a hard line in dealing with European Union objections to its planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems, according to a Financial Times report Tuesday.

EU antitrust regulators are concerned that Oracle, which has a large business in proprietary software, won't be a good home for Sun's open-source MySQL database business. According to the report, Oracle is unyielding, offering no concessions to deal with the EU's concerns.

That stance could lead the regulators to issue a formal complaint objecting to the deal, and that move could occur within days, according unnamed sources in the story. Neither … Read more