MySQL Open Source Essentials

April 8, 2003

[From META Group]

As noted in last year's METAspectrum(SM) on database vendors for Unix and Windows (see SIS Deltas 1039 and 1040), the market for enterprise database management is very mature. MySQL is a relative newcomer that is hoping to break into a market believed to have room for only three dominant players (i.e., Oracle Microsoft, and IBM). Unlike the larger competitors both past and present, MySQL is not competing specifically on a feature/function basis. Indeed, the central focus of MySQL AB's message is on its corporate core values embodied within the open source licensing model. However, our research indicates that a great deal of confusion remains surrounding the open source model of selling. This uncertainty has given (specifically) large IT organizations (ITOs) pause when considering the inclusion of open source software within an overall infrastructure software plan.

Through 2006, we expect the open source model to grow exponentially as ITOs become more comfortable with the risk/reward aspects of the model relative to support, security, and total cost of ownership. Lower-level software components (e.g., operating system, Web servers) are paving the way for wider acceptance of higher-level software components (e.g., database management, application servers) by 2008. Switching costs will be the predominant obstacle to adoption of higher-level components (see SIS Delta 921). The recent growth in Linux acceptance (see SIS Delta 1055) has forced us to revisit our earlier assessment of the impact of open source database. Although previously perceived as a non-factor through the end of this decade, we now believe open source databases will begin to show significant usage (i.e., 3%-5%) within corporate data centers by 2006.

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