The "one-size-fits-all" pricing model issues a stark challenge to conventional database vendors such as Oracle, SAP, Sybase and others.
Open-source database maker MySQL simplified its enterprise pricing structure in a big way on Jan. 30, offering a new one-price-fits-all licensing model of $40,000 per year for any number of installations of its flagship offering, MySQL Enterprise.
The $40,000 figure equals the cost of a single CPU license for Oracle Enterprise, a MySQL spokesperson said. An Oracle spokesperson did not immediately return a call from eWEEK for a response.
MySQL, based in Sweden and Cupertino, Calif., is the worlds most popular open-source database software, with more than 10 million active installations, executive vice-president Zack Urlocker told eWEEK.
MySQL Enterprise is a comprehensive set of production-tested software, proactive monitoring tools and premium support services.
MySQL Enterprise Unlimited is designed for companies with existing site licenses for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase and IBM DB2. Last year, a survey of the International Oracle User Group showed that a full one-third of its membership also used MySQL.
"MySQL Enterprise has made it significantly easier to purchase database software and technical support for our entire organization," said Glenn Bergeron, systems manager for Instaclick, one of the first companies to take advantage of MySQL Enterprise Unlimited.
"This new offering is ideal for corporate IT organizations with a growing number of projects but a tightly-fixed budget."
With a MySQL Enterprise Unlimited subscription, an organization can develop, manage and fully support any number of MySQL database applicationssignificantly reducing IT time, cost and risk, Urlocker said.
"Due in large part to advantages in distribution and volume, open source has the ability to disrupt traditional enterprise software pricing," said Stephen OGrady, principal analyst for RedMonk, in Denver, Colo.
"MySQL is attempting to prove as much with its latest site wide agreements, which offer customers the ability to support every database across their enterprise at a fraction of the traditional cost."
In the past year, MySQL AB has experienced record growth in its enterprise subscription business, Urlocker said. The company recorded more than 12 million downloads of the MySQL Server in 2006, making it one of the most downloaded software applications on the Internet.
"Weve added about 2,500 new customers, including companies like Disney and NBC. Were really starting to get onto the agendas of CIOs," Urlocker told eWEEK.
The success of creative pricing really depends on a combination of competitive overhead and product quality, analyst Charles King of Pund-IT in Hayward, Calif., told eWEEK.
MySQL is not abandoning Debian. Click here to read more.
"The typical arguments against this would hinge on the potential danger/damage to existing DB investmentsi.e. can MySQL really deliver the goods that they promise, and that youre used to? However, for companies under increasing financial pressures, I believe the companys new pricing model could be extremely tempting," King said.
A MySQL Enterprise subscription includes:
MySQL Enterprise Server Software: The most up-to-date version of the open-source database. MySQL Enterprise subscribers receive monthly software updates, quarterly service packs and emergency hot fix builds, as well as a customizable MySQL Install and Configuration Wizard for a wide range of popular platforms.
MySQL Network Monitoring & Advisory Services: A new dynamically delivered subscription offering for MySQL customers. MySQL Network continuously monitors a users database servers, alerting them toand helping them solvepotential problems before they can impact critical applications.
Premier Enterprise-class Production Support: Addressing the concerns of many IT organizations using open-source technology, MySQL AB provides 24x7 telephone, Knowledge Base and Web support directly from the developers of MySQL software.
Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.