Thanks to Jim Starkey, the Father of Falcon

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Jim Starkey joined MySQL about 2 1/2 years ago when MySQL acquired his startup company, Netfrastructure.  Jim has a long history in the database industry having created several major databases over the years and we wanted him to take the core engine of Netfrastructure and integrate it into MySQL.  This became the Falcon project, which is now in Beta as part of MySQL 6.0 and is targeted at web applications and designed to exploit modern multi-core multi-processor systems.  I expect we'll see more updates to Falcon in the coming months as part of the 6.0 release process.  The next release will be 6.0.5 (in the next week or so) which will include many Falcon bug fixes, performance improvements as well as new backup capabilities. 

Jim has always been a classic entrepreneur at heart.  He's been a great technologist and architect for Falcon but I think he prefers coding something new to dealing with meetings.  So, while it's a disappointment that Jim has decided to leave MySQL, it's not a complete surprise.  Over the past year two years, we've built an entire team around Falcon and Jim's been able to step back from some of the day to day grind and let others shine.  Ann Harrison, who was also part of Netfrastructure is continuing in her role and we've got quite a bit of home grown talent as well as new engineers from Sun helping out on Falcon.  I'm sure Jim will continue to be active in the MySQL community and provide his insight and guidance when we need it.  And maybe we can save some really hard bugs for Jim to fix.

If Jim's past is any predictor of his future efforts, I'm sure he'll have some exciting new technology coming out at some point.  It's been great to work with him and we wish Jim all the best in his new project.

In the meantime, I remain excited about Falcon as well as the many storage engines that keep popping up, ranging from our oldest and most mature storage engine InnoDB that keeps innovating, to the latest version of PBXT as well as specialized engines for data warehousing like Infobright and Kickfire


InfoWorld Digest

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Since I've been doing most of my blogging lately over at InfoWorld, I thought I'd provide a short digest of some of the top posts in recent months. I share the blog with Savio Rodrigues from IBM, but other than some overlap at the occasional conference, we blog independently.  (Yes, it's an old photo.)  Enjoy!

Typically I try to write 3-4 posts per week over at InfoWorld and then post things that are more MySQL-related here on this blog. But I admit, it's getting harder and harder to maintain two three different blogs.


Marten Mickos in SJ Merc

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Marten Mickos was profiled in this past weekend's San Jose Mercury News, the prominent Silicon Valley newspaper.  (In fact, they have the domain name www.SiliconValley.com among others.)

Integrating with Sun's products is an attractive thing, but it's not the main idea. The main idea of the acquisition and of our business generally is to be the platform for the Web economy. Now, with the help of Sun, we will be able to accelerate this.

We had in our field organization 200 people; Sun has 17,000. We have a lot of usage in the big corporations, but we haven't been able to sell to them and become key vendors for them yet. With Sun, we get instant access to the big Fortune 500 and Fortune 2000 customers.

And to those who do want more than the database, we'll be able to say, "If you need the operating system, the middleware, the hardware, the development environment, you can get that from us, too."

The interview covers MySQL's growth, integration with Sun, corporate culture, open source business models and more.  Also, you can learn 5 things about Marten...


MySQL World Tour

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We had a little champaign toast in our exec staff meeting when the news came across that Sun's acquisition of MySQL was complete.  Congratulations to all the MySQL and Sun employees who went the extra mile to make this happen in record time.  I especially appreciate the efforts that Sun's legal staff has gone to in order to accomodate the open source philosophy of MySQL.  While there are still a few details to work out, I am very pleased with all of our integration work.  It will be an exciting time and there's great opportunity for MySQL to continue to grow inside of Sun.  We also had a toast to Marten Mickos our CEO who is unfailingly humble and deserves everyone's thanks for building MySQL into such a successful company. 

Note that Sun is very clear that we will continue to support all major platforms and languages, so if you're using MySQL on Linux, Windows, Solaris or with Java, PHP, Perl, VB, C, Java or Ruby on Rails or any of our existing platforms and languages, you're in good hands.  No only that, we get additional technical resources from Sun to help out in key areas.  As Jonathan Schwartz, top dog at Sun said in his letter to the MySQL community:

"For our worldwide developers, Sun working with the MySQL community will more quickly take the MySQL database to the next level of scalability and performance by tapping into Sun's $14 billion in expertise, technologies and global support. Bottom line, Sun is putting a billion dollars behind the "M" in LAMP, increasing our already-strong commitment to open source communities, to deliver a more powerful Web application development platform. And we assure you, MySQL will remain just as open, fast, free, easy-to-use and innovative as you've always seen. And much more.

"Additionally, this arrangement does not change Sun's long-standing relationship with Oracle and Sybase in the marketplace. Just as Sun supports customer choice of platform through AMD, Intel and SPARC, customers will have a choice of database systems for use with Sun's platform offerings."

After our meeting it was back to business, we've started planning an upcoming world tour where we'll also toast all our users and customers around the world.  We'll be visiting lots of cities in the US and hosting a worldwide mashup tour

There will also be more announcements at the MySQL Conference & Expo April 14-17 in Santa Clara.  (BTW, you can use the Sun discount code mys08sun to save 10% off the registration fee.  I recommend registering soon before the tutorials sell out.)


MySQL Conference Registration Open

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The MySQL Conference & Expo web site for next year is now live.  Although the program is not completely finalized, we've got some of the basic information up and you can now register.  The preliminary schedule of sessions and tutorials have been posted.  In the coming weeks expect more info on keynotes, as well as the final list of sessions and exhibitors.

BTW, if you want to see some of the keynotes from last year's conference, they are available on www.blip.tv.


IOUG Open Source Survey

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Recently MySQL sponsored an open source survey conducted by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG).  The study's findings have now been published and are available from IOUG and also from the MySQL site.  Most of the open source users are attracted by the cost-savings of open source (67%), with the freedom from vendor lock-in also noted as the second most significant factor (28%).  52% of those surveyed plan to increase their use of open source in the next year.  Not surprisingly, many run MySQL side-by-side their Oracle database servers --a pattern we have noticed for quite some time.  The survey also highlights some of the concerns organizations have with open source, with Enterprise support (54%)and security (35%) being key factors.

Here are a couple of interesting charts from the survey.  Sorry for the small size --you can click on the chart to get it in a larger window.

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More info available in the full report available below.


Big in Japan

We had our first ever MySQL User Conference in Japan this week, put on by our very own Larry Stefonic (Larry-san as we call him) and our all-star Japanese sales & marketing team.  We had several hundred people at this multi-day event and it was standing room only.  There were keynotes by Marten Mickos as well as Yukihiro Matsumoto (Matz) the author of Ruby, the director of HP Japan and the General Manager of Sumisho, one of our top partners.  Many MySQLers were there from around the world to lend a hand including Jimmy Guerrero from Product Management, Carsten Pedersen from Certification, Stewart Smith, Brian and Monty from Engineering, and Kaj and Colin from the community team among others.   

We also launched our MySQL Enterprise fall update with some enhancements to MySQL Enterprise Monitor.  (Thanks to community dude Colin Charles for the photos. I have posted them on Picasaweb to create the embedded slide show above. You can also find more on Flickr.)

Note that there are also some upcoming one day conferences in London, Munich and Paris October 16, 18 and 23. 

  • MySQL:  UC Japan, European Conferences, MySQL Enterprise, Certification