LAMP Stack May Be
Too Solid to Fight"> The IT execs were also concerned about ActiveGrids ability to survive in an already commoditized area. "Youre adding yourself into a new platform, as an application server," Fannie Maes Carey said."We went through that already. I would see if youre around in another two years. Its a weird position to be in, in a contracting market. Are you going to be bought out? Ive already lived through the PeopleSoft/Oracle [fiasco]. Do I want to do that again?"ActiveGrid CEO and founder Peter Yared responded to the lock-in question by saying that the company has made an active effort to stay as standard as possible, with the result being a set of "very, very standard XML files" that encapsulates any added code into WYSDL. "We have [made] a strong effort to make it as standard as possible," he said. EnterpriseDB co-founder and CEO Andy Astor pleased the panel not only with the databases ability to easily drop in and work with Oracle databases, but the flip side of that: the ability to drop out again "if the thing doesnt work," Brenner said. The problem, Brenner said, is that the open-source MySQL database already has a strong communityit is, after all, the M in the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl) stack, so what hope does EnterpriseDB have of pushing it aside? "We all know about LAMP," he said. "You cant pronounce LAEP. At least I dont know how to do it. The LAMP stack has an awful lot of presence out there, and thats a [serious] thing to overcome." Astor replied that LAMP was originally supposed to be just a suggestion of an open-source stack, as opposed to a law set in stone, but yes, it has become very accepted, which EnterpriseDB has to deal with. A tougher thing for EnterpriseDB to overcome is the fact that enterprises already have plenty of databases. "Weve got too many databases in our portfolio as it is," Carey said. "The business case to add another database to our portfolio would need to be pretty sound." Carey also expressed worries about third-party certifications, which serve to justify paying more for expensive proprietary databases such as Oracle, making the justification for another database all the more dubious. "We buy a lot of software, and what we get for the extra bucks is theyve done due diligence and gotten third-party certifications," he said. "For major [database] players, all the [applications] wed want running certify against one or two." Astor countered by agreeing that if EnterpriseDB only saves enterprises some 20 percent when compared to Oracle licenses, its "frankly not that interesting on database costs." But once you look at licensing costs on a curve, things get much more compelling, he said, with savings on eight-way boxes shooting up to 90 percent over Oracle. Training was another sticking point with which EnterpriseDB had to grapple. Timothy Vaverchak, director of open-source development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Information Technology Division, said his division would need assurance of a training mechanism to bring up database administrators who might be "more skeptical than some of the more progressive of DBAs," he said. "It is a serious concern. Too many times weve heard from organizations Sure, just drop it in, and itll replace everything we have," he said. "But theres always something else going on there." Such issues are "absolutely critical," Astor said. "As a new company, its absolutely critical. We consider our product GA, and customers are using it in the marketplace. Our next challenge is having an ecosystem that lets people like you say Gee, this company supports them, and we have a training class, and that gives people the confidence." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.