Grid-Savvy MySQL Aims for the Enterprise

Clustering, scaling features give a boost to MySQL DBMS. This week at its users conference in Orlando, the company will launch MySQL Cluster.

MySQL AB looks to guide its open-source database deeper into the enterprise with new clustering capabilities and features to boost operational performance and scale.

But some database administrators say that while feature enhancements will make MySQLs namesake DBMS appealing to more enterprises, the Uppsala, Sweden, company also has to straighten out its licensing structure.

This week at its MySQL Users Conference in Orlando, Fla., MySQL will launch MySQL Cluster. The main-memory database technology supports high-volume distributed enterprise applications, and it provides automatic failover and data replication across multiple nodes, according to MySQL officials.

Enterprises interested in MySQL also will get a hand from Quest Software Inc., which at the show will release the preview version of its Quest Toad for MySQL data management tool set. Quests software will bolster MySQL development efforts by allowing administrators to create and execute queries and automate database object management, said company officials in Irvine, Calif.

Cost has become a prickly subject for MySQL due to the open-source vendors dual-licensing scheme. Essentially, customers can receive the MySQL code for free, but once its deployed into a commercial offering, a licensing fee kicks in. Some MySQL users say this method of licensing needs to be clarified.

"The licensing [model] MySQL has, they cant even explain it. We called them up and said, Do we need to pay for this? One guy said yes; one said no," said Rick Gabriel, director of technology development for CoreSense Inc., of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "If youre going to charge a license, charge a license. They have all these stipulations that no one understands."

/zimages/5/28571.gifMySQL CEO Mickos addressed concerns about performance and pricing at the turn of the year. Click here to read the interview.

MySQL hopes to solve some pricing woes this week when it announces a new VAR program enabling ISVs to license MySQLs server in an easier fashion, pushing compliance into customers hands, officials said.

MySQL has large customers stepping forward to trumpet the feasibility and cost savings of the platform. Alan Walker, vice president of Sabre Labs, part of Sabre Holdings Corp., has been running MySQL for about nine months to power his companys Travelocity and Site59 Web sites. He said the software is well-suited to Sabre Labs C++ code in terms of providing tremendous speed, as well as standards options that some open-source and commercial database options dont provide.

In terms of cost, Walker said his purchase of MySQL licenses for 45 Linux servers is an "order of magnitude cheaper" than commercial database options. "We may scale up to 100 machines later this year; thats 400 CPUs," said Walker, in Southlake, Texas. "Had we chosen an Oracle [Corp.] or [IBM] DB2 database or any of those vendors, the cost would have been prohibitive."

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