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With the preview of the MySQL 5.4 database coming out this week at the MySQL Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, you would have expected Sun Microsystems to be talking up the integration of its systems, storage, operating system, and database even if Oracle hadn't come along to buy the company on Monday.

This week, Sun announced expanded server-MySQL bundles - which were ramped up in November 2008 after being piloted nine months earlier. And while announcing, Sun's MySQL representatives didn't even mention Oracle (well, not on the record, anyway) or the idea of tightly integrated database and application appliances, which Sun's and Oracle's top brass spent most of their time talking about in the short acquisition announcement on Monday morning.

What Sun wanted to focus on was a new reference architecture, which puts Sun Blade 6000 blade servers (using Intel's Nehalem EP or Sun's Niagara Sparc T2 processors), the 10 Gigabit Network Express Module, and "Amber Road" Storage 7000 disk arrays (complete with solid state storage on the blade servers to boost database response time) together with Solaris 10 or Linux, MySQL Enterprise Server, and the Glassfish Web application server as a single.

This reference architecture includes blueprints for creating massively scalable infrastructure for MySQL workloads. It even includes a blueprint for consolidating multiple MySQL workloads from x64 servers onto Sparc T iron blades using a mix of logical domain (LDom) partitions and Solaris containers (which are virtual private server partitions).

To show off what it can do with this combination of hardware, Sun put 20 of the new X6275 blades (each with 16 GB of main memory and sporting two Nehalem EP processors) into a box with all the appropriate software, storage (7410 Amber Road array), and virtualized networking. It was able to support a simulated 1 million end users hammering on a portal application backed up by the Glassfish application server and the MySQL database.

(This integration work was done under a project known as Web Synergy, which you can read more about here. It is interesting to note that Oracle databases will eventually be supported, as will Windows and Linux operating systems in the reference architectures).

That Sun hardware setup costs about $20,000, according to Cari Yuen, senior director of technical marketing at Sun's Systems Group. She says that a comparable configuration from Dell based on 16 of its Nehalem EP blades (the M710), plus two Cisco Systems 3130x switches and a NetApp FAS3140 array would cost around $40,000.

A big difference in the price of Sun's MySQL reference architecture as it expands is the use of the virtual networking in the NEMs, which can drop switching costs by 55 per cent compared to using external switches, as this Dell setup does. (Of course, Dell might have plugged in an Xsigo virtual Ethernet and storage switch, which it started selling back in February).

As part of the MySQL festivities this week, Sun also rolled out updated bundles of servers and storage configured with Solaris and MySQL that are tuned to specific workloads.

The MySQL performance bundle includes the new Nehalem-based X2270 or X4275 rack servers or the older X2250, X4150, or X4250 racks or the X6250 blade. Sun adds a J4200 array, a MySQL Enterprise license with gold-level support, and a slew of Sun support for the iron and Solaris operating system, for $6,442. (That price is for an X2270 rack box).

The MySQL rich media bundle now has the X4275 Nehalem-based server added in to the mix. This bundle puts an X4540 "Thumper" storage server together with J4200, J4400, and J4500 disk arrays plus Solaris and the Zettabyte File System. It is aimed at shops using MySQL for streaming audio and video media storage. With the X4275 server and an Amber Road 7110 storage array, it costs $14,640.

The MySQL backup bundle - which put MySQL Enterprise with all the support goodies on an X4540 Thumper server and adds Zmanda's ZRM for MySQL backup and recovery software - can also use Sun's 7110 arrays instead. Using that 7110 array, it costs $10,995.

The MySQL virtualization bundle - which is aimed at customers who want to partition their machines with Sun's logical domains instead of using Solaris containers - puts the MySQL Enterprise database with the support on a "Niagara" T5220 rack server or a T6320 blade server and the J4200 array. It costs $44,449 using the T5220 server. This bundle is the same as the one that shipped in November.

And finally, the MySQL multi-tier deployment bundle puts clustered MySQL instances on X2250 Xeon servers and J4200 disk arrays. Pricing was not available at press time. ®

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