BOSTON, 3 NOVEMBER 2010 - Oracle has apparently raised the price of an entry-level MySQL subscription significantly.
Sun Microsystems, which Oracle bought this year, had offered subscription pricing for the open-source database starting at US$599 per server per year.
But an Oracle price list released Monday does not include that pricing option. It lists a MySQL Standard Edition subscription that costs $2,000 for each server with between one and four sockets. The price jumps to $4,000 for each server with five or greater sockets.
Enterprise Edition pricing is $5,000 per server with up to four sockets and $10,000 for those with five or more, according to the list.
A Cluster Carrier Grade Edition subscription costs $10,000 and $20,000, respectively, for those configurations.
The price list defines a socket as "a slot that houses a chip (or a multi-chip module), which contains a collection of one or more cores. Regardless of the number of cores, each chip (or multi-chip module) counts as a single socket."
Customers will receive varying amounts of MySQL-related software depending on the subscription pricing level they choose, along with support services.
An Oracle spokeswoman could not immediately comment Wednesday on the pricing models, and whether an option lower than $2,000 per server still exists.
The MySQL website also lists a Classic Edition of the database that is not available by subscription. It can be licensed by vendors and resellers for use in embedded form, according to the site.
Oracle's apparent pricing changes may irritate some MySQL customers. But companies like SkySQL and Monty Program, which are offering alternative support services for MySQL, potentially stand to benefit.
Moreover, Oracle is on record saying that it will not stand in the way of MySQL users seeking alternative support options. "Customers will not be required to purchase support services from Oracle as a condition to obtaining a commercial license to MySQL," reads one entry in a list of "public commitments" Oracle made last year in response to concerns about MySQL's future under its ownership.
In any event, the pricing changes should come as no surprise, according to analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research.
"Oracle has obviously been committed from the get-go to achieving MySQL product quality. Given that attitude, it's no surprise if they milk the MySQL market for all the revenue it can be made to produce," Monash said via e-mail.
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