Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Accelerating the Redshift

Last year, Greg Papadopoulos used the word “Redshift” to describe a new model for how Sun looks at the world of computing. Since that time, this word has helped to crystallize how we view view our products, customers and market opportunities.

When Greg refers to the Redshift (a term that refers to the frequency of light waves in an expanding universe), he is describing a way of segregating customer applications into two broad categories. The first is the group of applications for which desired efficiency gains and decreases in cost are satisfied by standard increases in CPU processing power. The second are those applications that require compute resources that are expanding at a rate greater than Moore's Law. This latter set of applications is what we refer to as the Redshift. Many newly formed and rapidly growing companies have business models based entirely on a single application of this type (think of YouTube or Facebook). For these customers power and scale are the primary areas of focus – not CPU speed. As result, the IT industry is increasing its focus on multi-threading, utility computing, virtualization and distributed storage.

Not surprisingly, given the velocity of their growth and the fact that many of them are true “start-ups”, a large percentage of Redshift customers rely heavily (if not exclusively) on open source applications. One of most broadly deployed is the MySQL database. Founded in 2001, MySQL has become an icon in the open source world - it's the "M" in " LAMP". It's also the database of choice for some of the world's best known Redshift customers – and traditional companies as well.

And, this morning, we announced that we are acquiring MySQL.

Jonathan provides more insight into why we are so excited about this acquisition here. Reflective of this excitement is the speed and ease with which we arrived at today's announcement. For those of you who do the M&A thing for a living, this one has gone amazingly well. It seemed as if every due diligence meeting ended with an excited discussion of the potential resulting from this combination as well as opportunities we hadn't previously known existed. This positive theme also came through in the negotiations. It also helped that each company was represented by experienced counsel who understand our respective businesses and not just the technical ins and outs of reps and warranties. So to Marty and Richard – thanks.

Our appreciation (and empathy) as well to MySQL's GC, Clint Smith, and his team. Earlier in my career, I had the experience of having my company acquired by a much larger public company. Trying to respond to the diligence requests, negotiate the definitive agreement, and support normal business operations with limited resources and in an environment of great uncertainty... well, it was a challenge. So again to you and the rest of the MySQL team – “thanks”. We are really looking forward to having you join us.

And, finally, a big thank you to all of the Sun team who worked the late nights, weekends and holidays to get us to this point. I am constantly in awe of what you are able to accomplish.

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