Four days after commenting on Oracle’s purchasing rumors of three companies, one of them has been confirmed. Sleepycat was purchased by Oracle today. The official announcement has virtually no details other than to confirm the transaction.
One can’t help but think that Oracle is giving MySQL every reason to just give up and be purchased by Oracle. As an outsider it sure looks like MySQL is the main target to either be bought or crushed by Oracle. One of the comments on Jeremy’s post about the Sleepycat purchase even suggests that MySQL was able to secure an additional $18.5 million in funding because of the potential return when/if Oracle buys MySQL.
We’ll have to wait and see if the rumors about JBoss and Zend turn out to true.
BusinessWeek is reporting that Oracle is looking to buy more open source companies. Specifically they mention JBoss, Zend and Sleepycat. Nothing official has been announced yet, but keep in mind that it was only a few months ago when Oracle bought the company behind InnoDB (Innobase).
All of these moves prompt one question, will Oracle start to play hard ball with these companies other database clients? Zend for instance has been pushing for more DB2 (IBM‘s database server), if Oracle were to own Zend would this trend stop? Would Oracle direct these three companies to focus resources on making their products work best with the Oracle database and let the community worry about supporting everyone else?
Although not as popular as InnoDB, the Berkeley DB from Sleepycat is also a supported storage back end for MySQL. On top of that, PHP (which is what Zend works on) is probably the most commonly used language to access MySQL databases. If I were the MySQL folks I’d really have to wonder if Oracle is trying to knock you out by buying up everything around you.
Makes me glad that there is no one specific company behind the Apache web server, other wise that would be a likely purchase target as well. Perhaps the closest thing to an Apache company would be Covalent. Going down the stack leads us to Red Hat as the next likely target. Not only would this get them an operating system (OS) of their own, they would get all of the other companies and technologies that Red Hat has acquired over the years.
I don’t know if either of these companies (Covalent and Red Hat) would be willing to sell to Oracle, but if Oracle could pull that off they’d have everything (assuming they also pick up JBoss, Zend and Sleepycat) to offer a real physical database server. I’m imagining something along the lines of the Google Search Appliance (GSA). Perhaps 2007 will be the year of the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA)?
An ODA would of course have Oracle database software running on it, but on top of that would have a web based admin served via the Apache web server and written in PHP or Java. All sorts of PHP and Java hooks would already be in place and available on the ODA. And in true Oracle form it would cost an arm and a leg, based on the number of CPUs and RAM you wanted to have in the system Entry level ODA for say $25,000 per year?
Jeremy talks about Oracle buying Innobase, the folks behind InnoDB for MySQL. I don’t really have too much to add, I suspect most people are at least a little bit nervous at what Oracle might do to InnoDB development. Even if Oracle doesn’t do anything (one way or the other), this will certainly make people wonder about the future of InnoDB.
What attraction does Innobase have for Oracle? I doubt that it is their technology, even with everything that InnoDB has brought to MySQL, Oracle’s database does much more. I can’t image that share holders would like the idea of Oracle funding a competitor out of kindness. It is possible that they are mostly interested in the people/talent at Innobase, but if those folks start working on Oracle projects where does that leave InnoDB development?