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Sun Plans Open Source Buying Spree, Completes MySQL Deal

Sun Microsystems today said it has completed its $1 billion acquisition of open source database vendor MySQL and will move aggressively to acquire other open source vendors.

While no specific targets were cited, Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz said the MySQL acquisition will be a key component in Sun's effort to transform itself into a key provider of open source software.

"Open source is really in the DNA of Sun," Schwartz said. "As such, when we look across the marketplace, those companies that have built good, high-integrity communities and have broad distribution and some measure of commercial success are the ones we are going to be most interested in."

Just last week, Sun announced the completion of another open source vendor, Innotek, whose VirtualBox desktop virtualization platform works cross-client operating systems.

"There's a growing number of highly interesting and highly innovative open source companies out there and we believe we are a natural home for a lot of them and we are certainly going to be putting our balance sheet to work to go make that the case," Schwartz said.

Despite Sun's moves to position itself as a key open source provider via OpenSolaris, Java, NetBeans and its GlassFish application server properties, company officials said gaining MySQL will let Sun tap into MySQL's reported 11 million subscribers while giving credence to MySQL as an alternative database platform to enterprise customers.

"MySQL is one of the most valuable brands in the free and open source soft world," said Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun's software business. "This combination strengthens Sun's position as the largest contributor to the open source community and offers Sun a dramatically greater reach."

Sun first announced its intent to acquire MySQL in mid-January and said both companies moved quickly to close the deal. MySQL CEO Marten Mickos will stay on with Sun as senior vice president of the company's new database group.

Sun also moved quickly to transition the MySQL product line. The company said users can download the database free of charge here. Enterprise customers can now subscribe to MySQL's complete product line. Sun said it is offering trial subscriptions free of charge.

The company also launched MySQL Enterprise Unlimited, a subscription-based service for the deployment and management of any number of MySQL Enterprise Servers.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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