How Much Further Can MySQL Grow?

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-11-06 Print this article Print

Putting all the estimates aside, how much further can MySQL grow?

"I think it can go very far because the Web growing on its own, and it is penetrating the enterprise," Mickos said. "Web usage is growing, the enterprise is growing, and we have the mobile Internet growing. All three of those massive, massive movements feed into open source in general and MySQL in particular."

Mickos said that new Web 2.0-type companies continue to start up-most with little or no funding-and that this comprises a great opportunity for MySQL and open source in general.

"The installed base today is huge. A lot of them are startup companies by people with very little money and very little business around them. But most of that will grow and turn into significant business, and that's why there's a great business for MySQL as such, and for the open-source stack in general," Mickos said.

Does Mickos agree with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison that MySQL has carved out its own place in the market and doesn't compete directly with Oracle's proprietary databases?

"MySQL most certainly competes with Oracle," Mickos said. "And successfully so. But what must be remembered in terms of dollars in that competition, it is not significant enough to warrant an antitrust consideration. Secondly, this competition happens partly outside of the business-in the free, installed base.

"So no matter who owns MySQL, the competition will continue to exist."

Even if Oracle does ultimately own the MySQL code base and act as the enterprise headquarters for the database, "MySQL will still apply price pressure on Oracle," Mickos said. "That won't change. This is why there's no reason to stop the acquisition."

Mickos also said he believes Oracle has very strong motivations to continue to develop MySQL.

"It's a new victory for them-a new market to go into that they would otherwise have difficulties addressing," Mickos said. "Facebook would never consider running Oracle as a database-Facebook runs completely on MySQL. It's a huge new market."

Even if Oracle would have some other intentions or would somehow not live up to its own stated intentions to continue to develop the database, Mickos said, "the competitive pressure that MySQL exerts on the market is there, no matter who owns the product.

"No matter who owns the trademark, the copyright, has access to the best employee talent-even if those are controlled by one entity-the market forces are outside of it in the free installed base," Mickos said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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