HP Public Cloud Twist: Oracle MySQL vs Microsoft SQL Azure

HP Public Cloud Twist: Oracle MySQL vs Microsoft SQL Azure

How's this for ironic: The new HP Public Cloud will promote MySQL databases as a service, essentially leveraging Oracle's software to compete with the Microsoft SQL Azure cloud, among other public cloud database services.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) have been locked in a nasty feud ever since Oracle hired former HP CEO Mark Hurd as president. The HP vs. Oracle feud escalated when Oracle dropped software development for Itanium, the high-end processor from HP and Intel. On the flip side, HP is a long-time Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) partner, deploying Windows Server, SQL Server and Exchange Server across thousands of customer settings.

Cloud Computing Changes Everything


But in the world of cloud computing, technology companies are learning to compete fiercely on some fronts even as they cooperate on other fronts. A prime example: The new HP Public Cloud, announced today, will include a relational database service for MySQL, the open source database that Oracle acquired as part of the Sun Microsystems buyout.

Oracle has positioned MySQL as a lower-cost alternative to Microsoft SQL Server 2012, and now HP is indirectly helping Oracle to promote that message to cloud computing customers.

Numerous companies -- from Amazon to Rackspace -- offer MySQL as part of their cloud computing platforms. The latest example: Continuent and Oracle today announced Continuent Tungsten Enterprise 1.5. It allows customers to deploy MySQL database services in Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) or other clouds, managed hosting facilities or in a corporate data center.

But at least for today, most cloud computing eyes are focused on the HP Public Cloud and HP Cloud Services initiatives, which lean heavily on MySQL. By embracing and promoting MySQL, HP gains an open platform backed by thousands of eager developers.

Still, Talkin' Cloud couldn't overlook the irony. HP is essentially leveraging technology from Oracle, its bitter rival, to get into the cloud database market. And the move essentially positions HP to compete against long-time partner Microsoft and the fledgling SQL Azure cloud.

In the age of cloud computing, coopetition -- competing even as you cooperate -- is reaching new heights.

Oh, and one parting thought: Plenty of cloud companies offer both MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Talkin' Cloud will be watching to see if HP makes a SQL Server cloud move down the road.
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