One of many things I really enjoyed working as a Sales Engineer back at MySQL Ab and Sun was that I was paid full time to encourage companies to use open source for their database layer. While Linux has already become the norm for the operating system on servers, and open source alternatives exist for app servers, it wasn't until a few years ago we really started seeing major traction of that in the database layer. And I was happy to be a small part of it!
I'm not really a salesy person. I mean I'm good at evangelizing something I believe in, addressing customer business needs and such. But you couldn't get me to lift a finger just to meet a quota, if I didn't really believe in the product. Which is what good sales guys can do. (Also known as "selling what you have in the truck".)
But thinking back at my time selling MySQL, I felt it was a great privilege to be paid a salary to travel to companies around Europe and spend a day with them explaining how and why to migrate from a proprietary database they had standardized on, to MySQL. And btw, we always met our quota too.
Just in case it wasn't clear from Hakan's post, we are opening up the next Monty Program company meeting in October 7-12 to be a general MariaDB developers meeting. (In fact, we've had a few guests in all of the previous meetings too, but now it's formal and public.) Ever since Sun folded this annual MySQL AB tradition (to save money) there has been people asking when the next meeting would be, since for the developer community outside MySQL AB it was the main networking and information sharing event of the year. Last MySQL user conference we agreed that something needs to be done, and this is it. If you work on any of the MySQL variants, a storage engine, or are otherwise interested in deep architectural MySQL/MariaDB discussions, you are welcome to join and should contact Hakan or My for details.1 The invitation of course also is valid for Oracle employees, in case you were wondering.
And that's the other significant news hiding in Hakan's post: My Widenius, an experienced traveller herself, will be in charge of meeting logistics. This means even My herself now works for MariaDB, and can be reached with my at mariadb dot org :-)
- 1. If you are a Drizzle hacker, it is probably less interesting, but you are of course still welcome if you come! Anyway, we did also discuss having a similar developer meeting adjacent to an OpenSQL camp or something that could cover broader topics, and this is still an option. But as it is now, this is a MySQL/MariaDB focused meeting and there already was a separate Drizzle Developer day and we can just see what else is needed.
A lot has been written for and against open core now. Yet in the end, a couple tweets can catch all that is needed:
This is that blog post.
Inspired by Stephen, I also looked into a set of slides I recently created and will try that style for this post...
Aslett and Stephen make a great point:
the conversion of community users into paying customers has long been a concern for open source-related vendors. It has also long been a source of friction, with vendors that offer proprietary extensions being accused of “bait and switch” or otherwise undermining the value of the open source software in an attempt compel community users into becoming paying customers. In recent years the next generation of start-ups has learned that the best way to encourage a frictionless relationship between a vendor and its community is not to attempt to “convert” users at all.
Oh my. I was outside painting my house for a few days, and when I return back online I discover that now everyone is having an opinion on the open core business model. Since some participants are still trying to promote it as a valid open source business model, let's see what everyone is saying and highlight any pitfalls being offered...
Geert made us aware that MySQL Cluster now provides the possibility to disable arbitration in order to use an external arbitration mechanism. This is a really important feature, because... well, not really, but only because I was the one who designed it :-)
Coming up with the concept and the two parameters Arbitration=WaitExternal and ArbitrationTimeout=n took a few weeks of discussion. Once we agreed on how to do it, I think
JonasMagnus coded it in 20 minutes on the mezzanine floor of the Hyatt, Santa Clara. After that MySQL conference I soon resigned from Sun, so I had now idea what then happened to this feature.
In celebration of Midsummer today, I wanted to post the below monologue on likelihoods (of nuclear powerplant catastrophies), which is a translation of a famous Swedish monologue by Tage Danielsson.
When we at MySQL had joined Sun, one task for me and my Sales Engineer collagues was to travel to Sun offices and educated the huge Sun sales force about MySQL, so they could sell it too. (Basically to tell them about open source, scale-out, reference customers, and most importantly: Don't sell Cluster on your own, call me first.) Being a Telecom Sales Engineer, I was sent to tour the Ericsson account team meeting, the Nokia account team meeting, and for logistical reasons even the Siemens account team meeting that was at the same location as the Nokia team.
Each meeting had nicer and nicer dinners, but the Ericsson account team meeting in Stockholm was clearly the winner. The dinner was set in the City Hall restaurant (Stadshuskällaren), which is also were they serve the Nobel gala dinners. Our menu was a copy of the 1981 Nobel menu, served on the authentic Nobel porcelain.
Julie Bort of Networkworld.com has an interview with Mårten Mickos of Eucalyptus, formerly of MySQL. In MySQL times it seemed (to me at least) that most users never realized Mårten and his management team were taking MySQL increasingly into a closed source direction. (Maybe I'm just stupid myself, but at least personally I had not noticed this until after I started working for the company.) In this interview Mårten at least comes squarely out of the closet and is defending the model.
Julie makes a good journalistic effort of reporting on the topic from a neutral point of view. Alas, sometimes that approach just makes things fuzzier. So let me try to make one thing clear: Open core may be a good business model, but open core is not open source!