"Sun DB" The Open Database

Our President & COO recently talked to the press about our plans regarding Sun's Open Source SQL database (see the link and excerpt below).

I believe "Sun DB" (a generic term for the concept) will provide huge value to our industry. Many will continue to choose to deploy their largest, most active, and most mission critical data stores on technology from traditional database vendors. However, Sun DB will provide a supported open standard and open source SQL data store at an extremely attractive price point (free?). IT Shops, Government Programs, Research Facilities, etc, will find this offering to be technically and financially irresistible for many types of deployments. And, I'm guessing that traditional database vendors will find intensified market pressure to readdress license models increasingly irresistible. It's a win-win for everyone... Well, almost everyone.


Sun president talks databases, Sparc, and HP

Jonathan Schwartz talks about Sun's open source plans and offers Fiorina's successor some advice

IDG: Does Sun have a concrete plan to offer an open source database, or was Scott McNealy just being provocative when he suggested that recently?

Schwartz: To be a complete application platform you have to have some form of persistent storage. You can achieve that through a file system, a directory engine, a messaging store, the persistence engine in our application server -- those are all forms of databases. What we haven't done is address the SQL access database, which has been served well in the open source community by MySQL and PostgreSQL. We're committed to filling the hole -- all of the hole, not just the file system. We have to address the requirements of the SQL database, so I think we're quite serious about it.

IDG: Would you use the same model as you did with Linux on the Java Desktop System, i.e. take an existing open source product, tweak it for your needs and put a Sun label on it?

Schwartz: That's to be determined. Customers have said, 'We'd like an alternative to the existing choices we have.' And they are consistently asking Sun to go work on that issue.

IDG: So it's a matter of when and not if?

Schwartz: Absolutely.


Certainly, that guy with the pony-tail is entitled to his opinions. However I find it important to point out how the market reacts to what he says vs what happens @ HP. JS may claim that he knows all, and offer his 'expert advice' (as if anyone would ask for it) but the real test would be stock price. Tell you buddy to go look up what the market thinks about both companies.

Posted by guest on March 07, 2005 at 04:53 AM EST #

Really... my blog was only about the potential disruption of Sun supporting an Open DB. I hadn't even read JS's comments about HP, until you pointed them out. But based on your suggestion, I checked Yahoo's stock comparison charts for both 5-days and 2-years for SUNW and HPQ. Pretty much a wash.

Then I did a search for HP's most recent quarterly results. I looked at two reports, which included:

HP's Technology Solutions Group, which sells the company's enterprise hardware, software and services offerings, continued to be a drag on profitability.

Server and storage profit fell 54 percent to $71 million. Margins in that unit were 1.8 percent, compared with 4.1 percent in the first quarter last year. Software continued to operate at a loss.

Competitive pressures and disruptive innovation is shaking up our industry. We all have an oppty to come out stronger (no pain, no gain) given solid leadership, targeted investments, and a passion to win.

Posted by Dave Brillhart on March 07, 2005 at 01:31 PM EST #

This is the first I've heard mention of a Sun branded SQL engine, but I would hope that rather than reinventing the wheel, we would pick up one of the good Open Source db's, such as MySQL. It seems pointless investing major engineering effort into creating something from the ground up when we could simply leverage and (help) improve an existing technology for the benefit of all. Or am I living in a dream world ?

Posted by Trevor Watson on March 07, 2005 at 08:33 PM EST #

Hi Trevor... Yep - that's certainly a compelling option. It takes a decade or more to develop a database with the features, functions, performance, and reliability needed to run workloads and manage data that you really care about. We aren't about to start that process from scratch, IMHO.

Posted by Dave Brillhart on March 07, 2005 at 10:10 PM EST #

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