India Inc Voice Concern Over Sun s Open Source

by Manu Sharma    Apr 29, 2009

With Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems, one thing that comes into the limelight is the future of open source. A year after spending $1 billion to purchase MySQL, the open-source database software company, India Inc are concerned about the future of its open source that now lies in Oracle s hands.

Oracle might be more interested in the database than it is interested in Java. Any way, Oracle now got Java, MySQL and the hardware. While the Java and hardware do not pose any problem, Oracle owning MySQL does pose a lot of problems.

Amit Maheshwari, CEO & MD, Softlink Logistic Systems said, The future of MySQL - an open source database which was bought by Sun last year, was seen as a long-term threat to Oracle’s own core database software has become the most immediate source of concern. It will also be interesting to watch how Oracle deals with Sun’s open source software like Solaris, Open Office, MySQL etc.

Krishnan Thyagarajan, managing director (India) of Quest Software said, a company like Oracle needs to look at both commercial as well free open source applications. While commercial applications will continue, open source is simple and very good for the low-end applications and so a viable alternative. I feel MySQL may not remain the flagship software of Oracle and so ultimately likely to played down.

Since the database is free, open source and ubiquitous. It is so wide spread that many don t know what they use the database of 11 million installations so far. Many blogs which run WordPress and other platforms run on MySql, said Sudhindra Mokhasi, chief executive officer of BPO Sutra. IBM’s would have a been a consolidatory acquisition, because there are significant overlaps in offerings, whereas with Oracle it based on a strategic extentionalism.

Prasanto K Roy, president at CyberMedia said, Oracle sees the future in open source, and the sense in retaining and growing MySQL even if only to upsell to OracleDB.

Actually, the competitor wanting to kill off a brand may be still lurking in this buyer. In all its public messaging, there is little mention of MySQL, which was becoming a thorn in Oracle’s side, and which was likely a factor in Oracle deciding to slightly nudge up on IBM’s offer. But like Coca Cola discovered with Thums Up, it’s not always easy to kill by acquisition, when a popular brand is involved. MySQL’s popularity is growing rapidly with newer Internet sites, which simply do not buy Oracle, said Roy.

My Twitter network points out as I write this that MySQL is open source and under the GPL, so it can’t really be killed; it’s already been spun off in a slimmer form into the open source community, as Drizzle. Still, I’m concerned about Sun’s open source projects, including the software in which I’m writing this piece, Open Office. Oracle isn’t overly enthused by either open source, or charity, Roy wrote in his Twitter blog.

Chandramouli C.S, director of Zinnov Management Consulting said, Oracle is a traditional software player in the infrastructure software area and is foraying into hardware business with this acquisition.  As Oracle is a new entrant into the hardware market it will be able to gain access to Sun’s installed base of customers across hardware and software and will help position as an end to end infrastructure solution provider.

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