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Competitors battle Oracle for MySQL support dollars

By Chris Kanaracus
February 10, 2011 04:04 PM ET

IDG News Service - Oracle is facing a series of challenges for MySQL support revenues from third-party providers who say they can provide equal or better service for the open-source database.

Startup SkySQL, which was founded last year by former MySQL employees and investors, recently made its pricing details public. The German firm charges $500 per server for Basic, $1,800 per server for Silver and $4,000 for Platinum. There is also an unlimited option that starts at $38,000. Included features vary depending on the level.

In contrast, Oracle now charges $2,000 per server for MySQL Standard Edition support, which doubles to $4,000 for servers with five or more sockets; and $5,000 per server for Enterprise Edition, which also doubles to $10,000 for five-plus sockets.

Oracle has also introduced a Cluster Carrier Grade edition that is priced at $10,000 per server for one- to four-socket servers and $20,000 per server for those with five or more.

SkySQL's pricing does not place limits on server sockets, according to a spokesman.

However, customers don't get 24-7 coverage and options like performance tuning until they upgrade to Platinum support. Oracle includes around-the-clock coverage as well as "consultative support," which gives advice on setup and tuning, starting at $2,000 per server with Standard Edition.

Meanwhile, SkySQL's low-end offering serves as a potential replacement for a $599 entry-level support option Oracle recently dropped. The company responded to criticisms of its move by saying the low-end offering was never popular and offered limited benefits. Standard Edition support offers much more value, Oracle said.

SkySQL, which claims to have signed up about 40 customers since October, is banking on the fact that its staff is stocked with MySQL veterans who know the technology and how to support it. "We don't have any rookies on board," said CEO Ulf Sandberg, who himself ran global services at MySQL.

The company is also partnering with Monty Program, another MySQL support provider, which was founded by MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius. Monty Program provides Level 3 support for the most serious issues. SkySQL is also supporting Monty Program's MariaDB, an offshoot or "fork" of MySQL.

Other companies, such as OpenLogic, are providing MySQL support as well.

OpenLogic offers a number of support levels, each providing for unlimited servers and incidents. "Overall this may mean that other vendors are less expensive for a couple servers, but OpenLogic's pricing will be much more cost effective as implementation grows," the company said via e-mail. "All support is done on the pure open source version of MySQL -- there are no proprietary licensed components."

An OpenLogic business hour support plan costs $6,000, and a 24-7 Production Support tier is $17,500. Pricing for Monty Program's services wasn't available.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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