Now that Oracle and Sun are one, the combined company is taking it to the streets. Throughout the month of March, Oracle will host 15 informational events in cities across America. And while the strategies discussed with customers during the tour will undoubtedly utilize Sun technologies, those strategies will not include former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Sun cofounder Scott McNealy.
While the exit of Sun’s two top executives was no surprise, their methods of exit were somewhat unusual. Schwartz resigned via a haiku he posted on Twitter. McNealy, on the other hand, issued a statement to Sun’s employees wherein he expressed hope that America would return to capitalism.
Capitalism did seem to be alive and well in their respective severance packages, however. Schwartz left Oracle with US$12 million, while McNealy left with just under $10 million from the deal. In their wake, Oracle has said it will lay off around 1,000 Sun employees while simultaneously hiring around 2,000 new salespeople.
Meanwhile, the Oracle merger continues to push developers away from MySQL. Kevin Burton, founder of Web-crawling firm Spinn3r, said that Oracle’s handling of InnoDB, which it acquired in 2005, caused him to move away from that MySQL transaction engine. Spinn3r uses MySQL as a database for its primary product, but Burton said he already was planning a move to Drizzle, a slimmed-down, nimbler version of MySQL currently being written by MySQL’s Brian Aker, before Oracle bought MySQL.
InnoDB, when it was acquired by Oracle, was the most popular and fastest transaction engine for MySQL. Since that time, said Burton, Oracle slowed development of InnoDB to a crawl, and caused Burton to move his systems to competing transaction engine Percona. He said that Percona has become a compelling alternative as developers and users have focused their attention on the project, and they managed to turn it into a speedy and reliable replacement for InnoDB.
Rod Johnson, creator of the Spring framework and founder of SpringSource, said that Oracle has a vested interest in removing features from MySQL. “I think that it’s certainly not in Oracle’s interest for there to be meaningful competition between MySQL and the Oracle database,” he said. “One of the things that could have been in the interest of MySQL community was to have MySQL compete more with Oracle.”
He added that this is the reason MySQL had been accruing enterprise-relevant features over its past few updates. He also said that he would not be surprised if Oracle removed or hampered these features to make its own database more appealing.
One final sticking point for the MySQL community has been the fear that Oracle will disallow developers from embedding MySQL in appliances. MySQL as an independent company offered commercial licenses for MySQL, allowing developers to embed the database in their appliances.
With Oracle now in control of those commercial licenses, they could choose not to grant them to companies they were trying to compete with in the combined database/hardware market.
Thus far, however, Oracle has insisted that it will not prevent users from gaining commercial licenses for MySQL.
Oracle’s city schedule
With so many products, services and ideas swimming around the newly minted Oracle, the company has decided to go city to city to discuss its future plans with customers. The tour consists of 15 cities over the course of March. Here’s the full list of destinations.
• New York, March 2
• Toronto, March 3
• Boston, March 4
• Montreal, March 4
• Tampa, March 9
• Atlanta, March 10
• Reston, Va., March 11
• Chicago, March 16
• Detroit, March 17
• Minneapolis, March 18
• Austin, March 23
• Denver, March 23
• Dallas, March 24
• Houston, March 25
• Seattle, March 30
• Phoenix, March 30
• Los Angeles, March 31
• San Francisco, April 1