Oracle: Burying OpenSolaris, Boosting MySQL?
In a detailed memo that came to our attention by way of developer Steven Stallion’s blog, Oracle has revealed that it’s closing the Sun-founded OpenSolaris open source enterprise operating system project in favor of focusing on the upcoming release of the commercial Solaris 11. Oracle says the move will protect its own revenue streams and intellectual property, but some open source advocates see it as what Stallion described as a “perversion of the open source spirit.” Meanwhile, there are signs that Oracle will continue to promote MySQL to channel partners. Here are some insights.
First, some background: The six-year-old OpenSolaris project was based on Sun’s well-known Solaris OS, itself a version of UNIX System V Release 4. While most of OpenSolaris’ code was released openly to the community, some system code was available only as pre-compiled binaries.
Fast forward to the present. As everyone knows, Oracle acquired Sun, and the new boss is looking to bolster the traditional closed-source Solaris in the enterprise server space. To that end, Stallion’s leaked memo indicates that the company will no longer be distributing nightly builds of the Solaris source code and new innovations will be first integrated into the upcoming Solaris 11.
“We want the adoption of our technology and intellectual property to accelerate [Oracle’s] overall goals, yet not permit competitors to derive business advantage (or FUD) from our innovations before we do,” says the memo.
Oracle indicates that there will be a Solaris 11 Express binary distribution with a free developer RTU license and an optional support plan, but it’s cold comfort to developers counting on staying up to date with the code to work on their own extensions.
On the one hand, it makes perfect sense business-wise: Oracle is still releasing in-development code to its Oracle Technology Network (OTN) partners for their own perusal and development, but those on the outside will be left wondering what Solaris has up its sleeve as it pushes into expansion mode. But on the other hand, does it reflect a betrayal of open source principles?
MySQL: September Moves Coming?
Meanwhile, there are signs that Oracle remains committed to MySQL, the open source database acquired as part of the Sun buyout. During Oracle OpenWorld (San Francisco, Sept. 19-24), the software giant is expected to host MySQL Sunday — a half-day conference for the open source database.
Also, sources say Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff is taking a close look at how Oracle partners can potentially sell and promote MySQL vs. Microsoft’s SQL Server. Near term, Althoff’s top priority remains getting Oracle partners to promote Sun servers and Sun storage. But sources say Althoff is mulling a MySQL specialization within the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized partner program.
The VAR Guy’s team will dig for more details at Oracle Openworld.