Feeds

Will Oracle kill MySQL? Who cares?

MySQL's already killing itself

Intelligent flash storage arrays

MySQL Suicide

It looks like they will continue to develop and support MySQL and use it to push their proprietary databases on larger customers. Oracle isn't going to flat-out kill MySQL, because MySQL is doing a good enough job killing itself. Case in point: the recent release of MySQL 5.4, which finally integrates significant performance enhancements from Google and others. It took so long for MySQL to accept the community's work that the OurDelta project sprung up to aggregate all of the third-party patches considered to be stable and necessary. As an open source project, MySQL is already a dinosaur.

In fact, it is in Oracle's best interest to keep MySQL moving at a glacial pace. MySQL's biggest technical weakness is scalability. Web engineers use MySQL because it's free, and when they hit a scalability wall, they need to engineer around it by building in database parallelism and sharding. MySQL's performance on a multi-core machine is embarrassing, whereas a database like Oracle really shines on big iron.

What software managers recognize - and often need to beat into their engineers - is that it is far easier and cheaper to throw money at a scalability problem than it is to throw engineering resources at it. In the case of web service providers using MySQL, when they hit a scalability wall, Oracle can now step in and sell them a database and Sun hardware that will fix the problem, no re-architecting required.

So, don't expect MySQL to die. Expect it to stagnate. Of course, the free market of open source will eventually develop something else. The Drizzle project, run by MySQL's director of architecture, is a fork of MySQL that aims to support better scalability. It's not complete yet, but it shows that some users and developers are unhappy enough with MySQL's main line to do something about it. If Drizzle gets stable or something else comes along, many web developers will move on to the New Hotness. With the attention span of a fruit fly, your average web programmer is quick to latch on to new technologies. After all, as a web developer, you can't appear publicly to be older than thirty.

However, even with bleeding-edge development, MySQL will continue to be the open source database leader. The Web 2.0, Ruby on Rails hipster crowd may move on to the next flavor of the week, but other business will still want to pay for help with the database they know and love. Larry Ellison understands that a small, vocal minority thinks they control the future of databases, but real-world business pragmatism is slow to change paths.

"I think every generation thinks that their set of innovations will quickly replace everything that came before," he said in a recent interview is Israel. "I think we constantly come up with new technologies. But those new technologies take a very long time to fully displace technologies that came before." Those sound like the words of a man who wants to sell you a high-performance database so you don't get caught up in open source trendyness.

Even so, Oracle has been relatively tight-lipped over the future of MySQL. While they have stated that the project is not going to die, the reassurances have been less than assuring, like a used car salesman telling you that he's going to give you a great deal.

If anything, this uncertainty is a test of the open source community. Years ago, it taught Larry Ellison hate. Now, Ellison is teaching it fear. ®

Ted Dziuba is a co-founder at Milo.com You can read his regular Reg column, Fail and You, every other Monday.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.