Oracle (and InnoDB) Learn some Tricks from MySQL

Since the news that Oracle acquired InnoDB I was a bit worried that they would just swallow and crush the project or just end of line it to screw over MySQL (and have Heikki work on Oracle-proper).

Boy was I wrong:

At the 2008 MySQL User Conference, we announced the initial availability of the early adopter release of the InnoDB Plugin. Now, beginning with Version 5.1 of MySQL, it is possible for users to swap out one version of InnoDB and use another.

Oracle announced a new version of InnoDB yesterday with a number of new and exciting features.

Best of all – it’s all Open Source and distributed under the GPL license!

It looks like Oracle is learning from MySQL and the Open Source community!

Unfortunately, in an ironic twist of fate, it looks MySQL is learning from Oracle and RedHat and taking the proprietary route (at least with their Enterprise edition):

MySQL will start offering some features (specifically ones related to online backups) only in MySQL Enterprise. This represents a substantive change to their development model — previously they have been developing features in both MySQL Community and MySQL Enterprise. However, with a shift to offering some features only in MySQL Enterprise, this means a shift to development of those features occurring (and thus code being tested) only in MySQL Enterprise.

I think what’s happening here is that the Open Source community and MySQL are heading in different directions.

Most OSS developers that I talk to are using MySQL in web applications. However, web apps and MySQL were never a perfect fit (which is why you see web developers partitioning and sharding their data to get MySQL to scale).

Perhaps web 2.0 startups should skip InnoDB in favor of SimpleDB, S3, AppEngine, Hbase, or Hypertable?

This might be better for both parties. MySQL can focus on revenues from the enterprise (and justify their acquisition) and the Open Source community can stop feeling the pain of the impedance mismatch.

For example, I know of no large web companies excited by the new features of MySQL 5.1. It has some cool stuff but I’m more concerned about performance improvements to the core of InnoDB.

I wonder if this is a one-off or a future direction for Sun?

Give away the ZFS for free – charge for the fsck.



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