Open source database targets midmarket

Open source software is becoming increasingly attractive to businesses that can’t afford the cost and complexities of the licensing agreements for proprietary products.

With this mind, Pogo Linux Inc., a maker of Linux-based storage devices, last month announced it has partnered with MySQL AB, an open source database provider, to build a fully open -source database appliance dubbed the DataWare 2600.

Geared toward the medium-sized businesses, the product comes charged with two of Intel Corp.’s Xeon processors, a RAID-10 disk array, and pre-loaded with MySQL Pro database versions 4.0, and 4.1 running on RedHat’s Linux v.9.

While MySQL can be downloaded for free from the company’s Web site, Erik Logan said by investing in the DataWare 2600, appliance users would be able to leverage the benefits of the product’s preoptimization of the product. This means the product comes pre-tested for different types of configurations, making the DataWare 2600 easier to deploy, Logan said.

MySQL said this pre-configuration would allow users to start serving customer Web sites and databases in under an hour.

The DataWare 2600 costs US$9,000, and includes three years of hardware support by Pogo Linux, based in Redmond, Wash., and one year of software support from Uppsala, Sweden-based MySQL. It is targeted at business with between 100 and 1,000 users. Pogo Linux also plans to introduce more MySQL-based lower-end databases and some appliances that can be used to back-up other databases.

MySQL has started to gather more followers in recent years, one of them being OnlineTel Corp., a Kitchener, Ont.-based telecommunications service provider that supplies voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone service across Canada.

When the company was founded three years ago, it needed to invest in a data warehouse. Oracle quoted OnlineTel a $2 million price tag for a database and even though OnlineTel eventually haggled them down to $500,000, it was still too expensive for the company’s $3 million budget, said Jason G. Jakob, chief technology officer at OnlineTel.

“Lo and behold, MySQL met our needs,” Jakob said. “So we dropped Oracle.”

When OnlineTel first downloaded MySQL two and a half years ago, scalability was limited. Now, Jakob said, scalability is much improved and MySQL provides frequent – almost weekly – updates.

What is critical for OnlineTel is the ability for MySQL to access and process in real-time and to replicate data. He said the product is able to authenticate the 300,000 calls made per day on the company’s VoIP network, and if the load doubled, MySQL would be able to accommodate it.

Jakob says MySQL is fast, lightweight, and runs on multiple operating systems.

MySQL’s interoperability was an attractive feature to Pason Systems Corp., an industrial technology company in Calgary that provides design, manufacturing and rental of specialized drilling instrumentation systems for use on land-based drilling rigs, in Calgary.

Pason Systems Corp. also selected MySQL because of the expensive nature of proprietary databases.

“We really wanted to steer clear from stuff like Oracle because it’s so expensive. We couldn’t even figure out its licensing scheme because it’s so complicated and involved,” said Wing Gee, project manager with Pason Systems in Calgary. “We stayed away from Microsoft’s SQL server because we don’t think it is reliable.”

Gee said Pason looked at benchmark tests between MySQL, Oracle and Microsoft and said the company discovered MySQL was “way up there” on performance.

The company runs MySQL on RedHat’s Linux versions 7.3, 8 and 9 and stores and much of its mission critical data in MySQL.