MySQL Adds Automation to Enterprise Subscription Service

The open-source database developer says the new version of its commercial subscription service will offer customers a more easily managed and cost-effective solution than its competitors.

Open-source database developer MySQL announced a new version of its commercial subscription service, which will feature automated technology designed to help users monitor their databases more effectively.

MySQL Enterprise is available as an annual subscription in four different service tiers. The highest level, Platinum, contains components such as enterprise server software, network monitoring and advisory services, and enterprise-class production support.

All tiers will be able to take advantage of new automated functions that help users perform database tuning, troubleshooting, security planning, upgrade and patch installation, scripting, coding, and migration.

"Customers have been saying, Give us any database you like; our problem is in managing them," MySQL Chief Executive Marten Mickos said. "So we decided to address it."

Mickos said other vendors have been blinded by feature discussions, and that has led to feature-rich database applications that lack extensive, automated management functionality.

"We need features, and theyre important, but at the end of the day, the real issue is how you manage and monitor databases," he said.

The company cites a recent report from Forrester Research, based in Cambridge, Mass., noting that automation of database administration functions can help reduce complexity, improve productivity, lower costs and minimize human errors. Forrester estimated that enterprises can save at least 15 percent in costs with a reduced administration option, and up to 20 percent with an open-source database.

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In the updated subscription service, a function called MySQL Network continually monitors users database servers, and alerts them to potential problems before theres an impact on critical applications. The tool focuses on major areas such as schema design, DBA best practices and performance optimization.

Users can also create their own set of rules for more customized monitoring, and MySQL, based in Uppsala, Sweden, has said it will be introducing more rules in the future.

MySQL Enterprise is available on 11 platforms, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris, Macintosh OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and HP-UX. Its priced on an annual subscription model, ranging from $595 to $4,995 per database server.

Customers can subscribe now for software and technical support, with the network and advisory services to be added later this quarter of 2006.

Mickos said he believes the inclusion of automation not only offers administrators greater cost-effectiveness, but also differentiates MySQL from its competitors.

"No other database vendor is offering this, even though it addresses the real cost of database management," he said. "At this point, we need to look in new directions like this."

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