Related link: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=2587
Given all the news about Oracle’s purchases of Innobase and more recently Sleepycat, it wasn’t surprising to hear that Oracle had tried to buy MySQL. What was surprising is that it took so long.
There’s a tension between transactional databases, which have hefty overhead in order to preserve the relational integrity of every record, and decision support systems, where massive search and aggregation is the point and relational integrity is something managed elsewhere.
For all its power as a transactional database, Oracle is an extremely poor value for a decision support system, precisely because you are paying for those transactional features that only get in the way of the job you’re trying to do. That architectural mismatch hasn’t stopped Oracle from selling its system for decision support, nor has it stopped customers from buying it–heck, it hasn’t stopped customers from asking for it–but it has kept several of Oracle’s competitors in the market, especially in the very large database world.
If Oracle were to acquire MySQL, what would it have? It would have a relational database which, unlike Oracle, is quite well designed for decision support, and which performs especially well in this role after its transactional features were ripped out. This would disappoint smaller shops, which like to have one database system to maintain, the relative ease of supporting one system outweighing the performance gains–not so significant at this scale–of using different systems for different purposes, but would please larger customers who would love having one vendor supplying and supporting both its operational data store and its decision support system.
Too bad MySQL wasn’t for sale. Perhaps they’ll find a nice transactional database to acquire and sell in a complete service offering of their own.
I’ve used both Oracle and Informix for ODS with Teradata for DSS in very large systems, and it’s not a bad combination. What are you using? What aren’t you using?
Related link: http://www.mashupcamp.com/index.cgi?action=edit;page_name=APIDocumentationProjec…
Said today at Mash-Up Camp by Ryan King, grad student at the University of San Francisco:
“We already have standardized terminology–we just don’t agree on what it means.”
Can’t we just all get along? And exactly what do we mean by “get along”?
Serious business services really can’t go down, whether due to hardware or software failures. If your necessary services rely on MySQL, clustering and high availability can prevent failures. Kris Buytaert’s article Building a High-Availability MySQL Cluster shows how his group recently used MySQL Cluster and Heartbeat to provide redundant, failure-proof replication and availability of their data.
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I am not sure that the soothing discourse of vendors about “easy administration” goes the right way. When I read in Oracle’s “2 Day DBA” guide
Prior knowledge or experience with managing databases is not required. The only requirement is a basic knowledge of computers.
I can just wonder. Everything would no doubt be perfect if we were living in a world where things just keep rolling the way they are, where volumes increase just slowly, where no one does any mistake and where DBMS products have no bug. Unfortunately, in a world where databases are often the nexus of information systems and where Murphy’s law rules, database administration often requires a bit more knowledge than being able to locate Ctrl, Alt and Del on the keyboard.
Good skills are as required as ever - and possibly more than ever. Automation only affects the boring, routine part of the job. But IT departments will suffer if the DBA (or, for that matter, any IT staff) image is destroyed.
Working as a DBA used to be an enviable career, for University graduates as much as for self-taught IT professionals. Welcome to the days where basic computer skills will decide of a career as a DBA or as a hamburger-flipper.
Related link: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2006/tc20060209_810527.htm
In addition to their acquisition of InnoBase Oy, Oracle is now looking to follow-up by adding JBoss, Zend, and Sleepycat to their bag-o-tricks.
What do you think the outcome of this will be?
Please add your opinions, ideas, and comments!