Sun in Deal To Acquire MySQL

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Sun Microsystems is making a play to boost its standing in the $15 billion database market. The company announced Wednesday a definitive agreement to acquire MySQL AB, whose technologies are behind some of the highest-volume sites on the Web, including Google and Facebook. The deal will cost Sun about $1 billion, but the company said it expects the move to "[reaffirm] Sun's position as the leading provider of platforms for the Web economy and its role as the largest commercial open source contributor."

According to information released by Sun, more than 100 million copies of MySQL software have been downloaded to date, with the current pace reaching about 50,000 downloads per day. Sun said that the reach of MySQL will help "bring new markets for Sun's systems, virtualization, middleware and storage platforms." In a conference call today, Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and president of Sun, called the acquisition the most important one in the history of the company.

"Today's acquisition reaffirms Sun's position at the center of the global Web economy. Supporting our overall growth plan, acquiring MySQL amplifies our investments in the technologies demanded by those driving extreme growth and efficiency, from Internet media titans to the world's largest traditional enterprises," said Sun's Schwartz in a statement released by the company today. "MySQL's employees and culture, along with its near ubiquity across the Web, make it an ideal fit with Sun's open approach to network innovation. And most importantly, this announcement boosts our investments into the communities at the heart of innovation on the Internet and of enterprises that rely on technology as a competitive weapon."

So how does this deal impact MySQL?

According to Sun, MySQL will be integrated into Sun's Software, Sales and Service organizations. By bringing MySQL into the Sun fold, the company said it will provide the credibility the MySQL needs to gain acceptance for mission-critical deployments.

"The single biggest impediment to the growth of MySQL ... is their ability to give peace of mind to a global company that wants to put MySQL into mission-critical deployments," Schwartz said in today's conference call. "That is what our customers have come to expect from Sun, and we can deliver exactly that peace of mind."

As for plans for the database itself, said Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL: "We started with very frugal beginnings in the '90s, and we have been been upgrading it and developing the database all these years. I think it will be sped up by the fact that now that we have better resources, more resources, and [the] ability to work closely with Sun on building more performance, more scale, and more integration with what is needed in the enterprise."

The acquisition includes $800 million in cash and $200 million in options. The deal is expected to close in Sun's third or fourth fiscal quarter (between now and June 30, 2008), pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions. Following the close of the deal, MySQL's Mickos join Sun's senior executive team.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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