Our 2013 Database survey is now live

451 Research’s 2013 Database survey is now live at http://bit.ly/451db13 investigating the current use of database technologies, including MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL, as well as traditional relation and non-relational databases.

The aim of this survey is to identify trends in database usage, as well as changing attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle, and the competitive dynamic between MySQL and other databases, including NoSQL and NewSQL technologies.

There are just 15 questions to answer, spread over five pages, and the entire survey should take less than ten minutes to complete.

All individual responses are of course confidential. The results will be published as part of a major research report due during Q2.

The full report will be available to 451 Research clients, while the results of the survey will also be made freely available via a
presentation at the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo in April.

Last year’s results have been viewed nearly 55,000 times on SlideShare so we are hoping for a good response to this year’s survey.

One of the most interesting aspects of a 2012 survey results was the extent to which MySQL users were testing and adopting PostgreSQL. Will that trend continue or accelerate in 2013? And what of the adoption of cloud-based database services such as Amazon RDS and Google Cloud SQL?

Are the new breed of NewSQL vendors having any impact on the relational database incumbents such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM? And how is SAP HANA adoption driving interest in other in-memory databases such as VoltDB and MemSQL?

We will also be interested to see how well NoSQL databases fair in this year’s survey results. Last year MongoDB was the most popular, followed by Apache Cassandra/DataStax and Redis. Are these now making a bigger impact on the wider market, and what of Basho’s Riak, CouchDB, Neo4j, Couchbase et al?

Additionally, we have been tracking attitudes to Oracle’s ownership of MySQL since the deal to acquire Sun was announced. Have MySQL users’ attitudes towards Oracle improved or declined in the last 12 months, and what impact will the formation of the MariaDB Foundation have on MariaDB adoption?

We’re looking forward to analyzing the results and providing answers to these and other questions. Please help us to get the most representative result set by taking part in the survey at http://bit.ly/451db13

451 CAOS Links 2010.07.23

The post-OSCON lull. In alphabetical order.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Canonical launched a virtual appliance of IBM’s DB2 Express-C software running on the Ubuntu cloud platform.

# Carlo Daffara discussed the relationship between open core, dual licensing and contributions.

# ForgeRock released OpenAM 9.5, the first community-sourced release of the OpenAM access management software.

# Ignacio M. Llorente provided an overview of the OpenNebula project, in the context of OpenStack.

# Kaltura launched version 2.0 of Its on-prem Community Edition open source video platform.

# Nuxeo announced Nuxeo Correspondence Management, a new application built with Nuxeo Case Management Framework.

# Open Source for America has grown its membership from 70 to 1,700 in its first year.

# Outerthought released a proof of concept for Lily, a content repository that combines Apache Hbase and Solr.

# Sauce Labs announced Sauce OnDemand, enabling cross-browser testing of Adobe Flex and Flash in the cloud.

# Savio Rodrigues explained why OpenStack will not kill open core.

# SugarCRM announced it will release open source functional and performance testing tools for web-enabled apps.

# Terracotta announced Ehcache 2.2, offering over a terabyte of data in a single cache.

# The Apache Software Foundation announced Apache FOP Version 1.0.

# The open core issue (part two) How the open core strategy works, and how it doesn’t.

Are closed-source MySQL storage engines compatible with MariaDB?

Following the launch of the Open Database Alliance some people have assumed that it is only a matter of time before MariaDB becomes the de facto replacement for MySQL.

That assumes that Oracle will allow the development of MySQL to stagnate, either deliberately or through neglect – something that we have expressed our doubts about, but even if that were the case it appears that the GPL (or more to the point MySQL’s dual licensing strategy) may restrict the potential for MariaDB.

Curt Monash recently raised the question of whether closed-source storage engines can be used with MySQL (and, by extension, MariaDB) without a commercial relationship between the vendor and MySQL/Sun/Oracle.

The issue is particularly relevant because if the answer is “no” it would limit the ability of MySQL storage engine providers (such as Kickfire, Infobright, ScaleDB, Tokutek, Calpont) to switch their allegiance to MariaDB.

Mike Hogan, CEO of ScaleDB, has suggested (in the comments to a previous Curt post) that it is hypothetically possible to link a proprietary storage engine to a GPL database without the storage engine having to also be released under the GPL by using a database-independent “OSS glue layer that makes calls to storage engines”. He referenced the arrangement that enable IBM’s DB2 to act as an engine for MySQL on the the System i as a precedent.

Given that ScaleDB offers its proprietary storage engine for both MySQL Enterprise and MySQL Community without a commercial arrangement with Sun, the company will be hoping that its analysis is correct. However their remains a suspicion that the arrangement with IBM was enabled/complemented by a commercial arrangement.

Certainly, as this FAQ explains, the DB2 as a storage engine for MySQL is not necessarily the same as other MySQL storage engines, stating that “The source code for the IBMDB2I Storage Engine is available under a IBM ‘GPL compatible’ license. However, this storage engine acts as an ‘adapter’ that enables MySQL to talk to the DB2 for i DB2. It is not the source code for DB2 itself.”

Either way, the founders of the Open Database Alliance are not so sure that closed-source storage engines can be used with MariaDB. I asked Monty Widenius and Peter Zaitsev, CEO of Percona via email whether there was a chance that closed source MySQL storage engines could become part of the Open Database Alliance. Their responses:

Peter Zaitsev

    “I think there is significant uncertainty about this one. It is unclear if MariaDB will be able to exist in close source version (via licensing fees to Sun/MySQL) or not. It is also not quite clear how GPL will work in this case – In theory with an open interface and plugin infrastructure it may be possible to distribute commercial storage engines (separately from MariaDB) and let users use them with GPL servers same as commercial drivers are used with a Linux Kernel.”

Monty Widenius

    “This can only be done by buying MySQL licenses from Sun for each copy of MariaDB that is distributed.”

Which sounds pretty conclusive. With all respect to the expertise of all those mentioned above, it would appear that this issue is not going to be resolved without getting the lawyers involved. I’d be interested to know what the likes of Mark Radcliffe, Lawrence Rosen, and Eben Moglen make of it.

451 CAOS Links 2009.04.24

Oracle buys Sun. Sun previews MySQL update, makes GlassFish Portfolio, OpenSSO and OpenDS available on EC2. Numerous partner announcements from the MySQL conference. Red Hat maps open source adoption. And more.

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Oracle to acquire Sun
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or like me you decided to take a few inappropriately-timed days off) you probably noticed that Oracle announced an agreement to acquire Sun this week. Jay delivered our assessment on Oracle’s open source credentials, while I followed up with some thoughts on the impact on MySQL, and its partners.

See also:
# The internal memo to Sun employees from Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s chief executive.

# Marten Mickos explained to Forbes why Oracle won’t kill MySQL.

# Monty Widenius provided his assessment of the deal drivers and his ongoing attempts to “ensure that there always exists a free branch of MySQL that is actively develop[ed] in an open manner and has that trust and support of the MySQL customers, developers and users.”

# Kaj Arno detailed what has not changed with MySQL as a result of the planned acquisition.

# Brian Gentile explained why the deal is all about “the hearts and minds of the software development community.”

# Larry Augustin calculated that Oracle could sell off Sun’s storage, server and SPARC assets and effectively get MySQL and Java for free.

# Savio Rodrigues wondered what steps Oracle could take to meet its $1.5bn profit target for Sun.

# Matt Asay questioned whether Oracle will let MySQL retain its recently-added enterprise capabilities.

# Ars Technica: Oracle buys Sun: understanding the impact on open source.

# Matt Mullenweg explained why the deal need not necessarily have a significant impact on MySQL users.

# Rich Sands provided a round-up of some of the better analysis on the potential impact for Java.

# Jim Zemlin on what the acquisition means for Linux.

# Tim Bray provided a handy overview of the companies’ business strategies, products and cultures.

# InfoWorld: Ten ways Oracle could make money from Sun.

# Glyn Moody: Who Owns Commercial Open Source – and Can Forks Work?

# The 451 Group’s Steve Coplan on the identity angle.

# Oh, and the deal has prompted a proposed class-action lawsuit.

Business as usual
In other news, Sun made a series of MySQL-related announcements, including the preview release of version 5.4, the launch of MySQL Cluster 7.0, a new MySQL ‘Remote DBA’ partner program for consulting companies and service providers, a new new reference architecture for Glassfish and MySQL, and expanded interoperability between the Sun Identity Management Suite and MySQL.

Additionally:
# Kaj Arno detailed the changes taking place within Sun designed to improve the commitment to MySQL Community users.

# James Dixon noted that for the first time at the annual MySQL conference he “encountered people who understood databases and business intelligence, but did not understand anything about open source”. A sure sign of MySQL’s maturity.

The best of the rest
# Sun also announced the availability of GlassFish Portfolio, OpenSSO and OpenDS on Amazon EC2 Cloud, and a new Sun OpenSSO Express release, providing federated single sign-on for Google Apps Premier Edition.

# Sun and Kickfire announced a joint marketing agreement for Kickfire’s MySQL data warehousing appliance (PDF).

# Zmanda added a visual log analyzer to its Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL backup and recovery software.

# Virident announced its two new GreenCloud Servers, for MySQL and Memcached.

# Calpont repositioned as an open source MPP data warehousing engine for MySQL.

# Infobright and Jaspersoft partnered on an open source project to feature end-to-end BI, extract-transform-load (ETL), and data warehousing capabilities.

# EnterpriseDB licensed its Oracle compatibility functionality (which isn’t actually open source, for the record) to IBM.

# Zenoss added former BMC, IBM and Accenture executives to its board of directors.

# Pentaho delivered Pentaho Data Integration 3.2 for the cloud.

# Carlo Dafarra on the procurement advantage test for the “purity” of commercial open source.

# Red Hat revealed its Open Source World Map.

# While Glyn Moody wondered what on Earth it could be used for.

# Matt Asay examined the strength of Red Hat’s business.

# Aaron Fulkerson explained the process for adding new features under the Open-Core Licensing strategy.

# Christopher Keene highlighted WaveMaker’s ongoing successes.

# The Defense Department’s open source software development tool, Forge.mil, may now be used for unclassified work in DOD, FederalComputerWeek reported.

# Microsoft is sponsoring research at the University of Michigan’s Center for Information Technology Integration (CITI) to develop an open source Network File System client for Windows.

# Is the Microsoft-TomTom settlement a wake-up call for GPLv3 migration?

# James Dixon provided his interpretation of Microsoft’s strategy towards open source.

# While ComputerWorld wondered whether Microsoft has lost its war on open source.

# Linux Magazine: Linus on Linux: The Linus Torvalds Interview Part 1.

# Ulteo released the first version of its Open Virtual Desktop.

# Continuent delivered Tungsten Enterprise for database clusters supporting MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle.

# ONStor announced that it has integrated the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) and other open source technology into its Pantera LS series systems.

# PrismTech announced the availability of OpenSplice DDS Open Source on OpenSplice.org.

# CodeFutures delivered dbShards, a true shared-nothing scalability offering for open source databases.

Open source DB2? I don’t think so.

ZDNet and its sister sites ran an interesting story yesterday indicating that IBM might be preparing to release its DB2 database under an open source license. If true, it would be a fascinating turn of events that would have a significant impact on the database industry. Unfortunately, it’s not.

I was immediately suspicious when reading the initial story. For a start it quotes a UK IBM executive: IBM’s UK director of information management software, Chris Livesey. With all due respect to him, if IBM was even hinting at open sourcing DB2, it would surely be rolling out the big guns.

Additionally, I’ve had briefings in the last couple of weeks with both IBM’s data management and open source executives, neither of whom thought to mention open sourcing DB2. That didn’t rule it out entirely of course.

Then there was what Livesey was actually quoted as saying:

“We have a light version of the product offered for free, which is a step towards exposing our core [DB2] technology. Looking at IBM’s heritage in contributing to the open-source market, we’ve been particularly keen to lead that market. Open source is an interesting space as a whole. As the future unfolds and the economics become clearer, there’s going to be more commitment to open source by everybody. We’ve made good steps towards that.”

To me it just smacked of theorizing, while ZDNet’s opening gambit “IBM is positive about the possibility of bringing out its DB2 database-management software under an open-source licence” is similarly speculative.

Then of course there is the issue of why IBM would open source DB2. Where is the business driver? Despite solid competition from Oracle and Microsoft, the company is doing pretty well with DB2 as it stands, thanks very much, and open source databases have had minimal impact on the established vendors.

Also, while the company has open sourced some proprietary products in the past, the company is not open sourcing everything it has a la Sun, and prefers where possible to sponsor, or build on top of, existing projects.

The interesting thing about IBM when it comes to speculation is that it genuinely doesn’t comment on it. Unlike some companies that drip-feed a response or hide their real response behind a platitude, you generally know where you are with IBM and “IBM does not comment on speculation”.

It takes a pretty special bit of speculation to get IBM to diverge from this mantra. In this context, IBM’s statement is about as unequivocal as it gets: “IBM has no plans to open source DB2”.