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Oracle Jacks Up MySQL Pricing

Replacing "Precious Metal" Tiers with Simpler, Higher Pricing

Oracle warned users in an intercepted e-mail that it was tinkering with the price of MySQL support and on the first of the month the changes came into effect.

The new master of MySQL has dropped the entry-level $599 Basic and $1,999 Silver support levels, as it said it would.

It has also done away with the other two "precious metal" support levels, Gold and Platinum, substituting instead a simplified rounded-up pricing structure by product. Customers will pay more for features only available in the commercial editions of the database like Enterprise Monitor and Enterprise Backup.

Annual per-server support and maintenance for MySQL Standard Edition is $2,000, Enterprise Edition $5,000 and Cluster Carrier Grade Edition $10,000.

No mention is made on the site where the new pricing is memorialized of the old SLAs. In other words how fast MySQL would get back to you if you had a problem.

Oracle defines a server as having one-to-four sockets. Customers with more than five sockets have to call Oracle for a price. Oracle's not counting cores, just sockets. There are no subscriptions for embedded MySQL. Arrangements will have to be made with Oracle.

The bulk of MySQL's support contracts, maybe as many as 70%, were believed to have been for the Basic and Silver levels. Oracle reportedly guaranteed customers ahead of the price hike that they could continue with Basic or Silver support for three years if they signed a multi-year agreement.

They was also talk of 30% discounts for three-year pre-paid commitments.

For users that slipped through the cracks or found that situation distasteful there is always recourse to third-party support such as from the just launched SkySQL, which is filled with ex-MySQL people like CEO Ulf Sandberg, the former VP of professional services at MySQL and EVP of products Kai Arnö, the former VP of community at MySQL.

Arnö expects that when SkySQL formalizes its pricing in mid-November it will closely resemble the old pricing schedule and be 30%-40% cheaper than Oracle's. Those that sign up then will get free support until the end of the year.

In the wake of the price hike Sandberg released a statement saying, "After Oracle gained control of MySQL via the Sun acquisition, it is no surprise that MySQL database prices are on the rise. This move strikes at the hearts of all businesses - in particular, the SMBs, Web 2.0 companies and organizations with limited budgets that have come to rely on MySQL because of its ease of use, reliability, and cost-performance. Fortunately, MySQL database customers are no longer constrained by the pricing whims of big business because more reasonably priced alternatives for MySQL software, services and support exist."

The new Oracle pricing is at www.mysql.com/products/.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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