Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Dolphin in the Net, a Great Catch!

The Dolphin in the Net, a Great Catch!
Only time will tell, but Sun Microsystems (who said "the NETwork is the computer") was able to capture the dolphin. Sakila the dolphin is the MySQL mascot. Sakila represents power, speed, grace, precision, friendliness and good nature. I believe the open source community would want Sun to help maximize these characteristics and not turn it into a whale. This may turn out to be one of Sun's best acquisitions in a long time. It's interesting that most people think dolphins all look the same and that replication is one of MySQL's most popular features.

Any good relationship is based on both sides bringing something positive to the table and hopefully each side has positive assets that can counter possible weaknesses in the other. The MySQL acquistion by Sun brings together some strong benefits and assets. Some of the top potential benefits that stand out to me include the capability of making the whole greater than the sum of the parts:
  • MySQL engineers working with Sun engineers is sure to bring new new innovation and strength to the MySQL database server.
  • Sun support, logistics, distribution channels, financial backing definitely will open a lot of doors to big customers for MySQL.
  • The one million plus active instances in the world have the potential of bringing a lot of new customers to Sun.
  • MySQL's disruptive perspective that creates create innovation and ideas in the open source world has a chance to change Sun's culture.
MySQL's popular open source database could have been purchased by Oracle, Red Hat, HP, IBM or a number of other big companies but Sun may have the most synergy with MySQL. One of MySQL's great assets is its relationship with the open source community. It will be very interesting from an IT industry perspective to see how this new relationship evolves. From a strategic perspective, Sun's capture of the dolphin may be one of the great catches of the year.

I would highly recommend reading Jonathan Schwartz's blog at

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