Sun's Best Buy Ever: MySQL

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2008-01-29 Print this article Print

title=Sun's Internal Conflict}

By themselves neither Solaris nor Java has been doing that well in the enterprise market lately. Even the belated open-sourcing of both proved to be a case of too little, too late. I believe though that OpenSolaris and Java have the potential to matter much more both for the open-source community and CIOs. When you team them up with MySQL, Sun has the potential to put together a very compelling alternative to LAMP or Microsoft's hodgepodge of servers, Live services and .NET developer stacks.

Now, Sun could blow it. Over the years, I've given Sun a lot of grief for going back and forth about whether they were really supporting Linux and open source and also for what was really the company's biggest acquisition flop, its complete waste of a billion on the Linux appliance company Cobalt Networks.

This time though I think Sun has it right. More to the point, as I look at Sun over the years, I see a company that's been at war with itself.

There was the fight between those who saw Sun as a hardware company and those that saw it as a software one. There was also the conflict between those who believed in Linux and/or open source and those who believed in proprietary software as the one true way. Over the last two years Sun appears to have settled these internal conflicts.

The winners were the software and open-source crew. Now, with one voice and the purchase of MySQL, they have the chance to show that they were right all along. I don't see these people, some of Sun's best and brightest, blowing their chance.

Sun's worst move? No way. This is Sun's best move, and certainly its best chance, to become once more a major IT power. And, at the same time, it will give corporate customers the kind of pricing and support they want and need and aren't likely to find from Microsoft or Oracle.

I'm editor-at-large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. That's a fancy title that means I write about whatever topic strikes my fancy or needs written about across the Ziff Davis Enterprise family of publications. You'll find most of my stories in Linux-Watch, DesktopLinux and eWEEK. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, I worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects.

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