Oracle defends MySQL support pricing changes

Customers are getting far more for their money than under Sun, Oracle says

Oracle may have raised the price of an entry-level support contract for its MySQL database, but customers are going to get a lot more than they did from former owner Sun Microsystems, according to an official blog post Wednesday.

News emerged last week that the lowest-price MySQL support contract from Oracle is now $US2,000 per server per year. Before Oracle acquired Sun, a basic support offering for $599 per server per year was available.

While the $599 option has been dropped, "it included just access to patches and updates and [the] ability to call only within business hours and get resolution for only two incidents per year -- very, very limited support. This was not a popular option anyway," states the post by Oracle senior director of product marketing Monica Kumar.

The $2,000 per server price point for Standard Edition grants customers unlimited, around-the-clock support as well as a Workbench tool, in all a "much higher level of support and more functionality," Kumar wrote.

Oracle is also offering an Enterprise Edition support option at $5,000 per server per year.

A separate product, MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition, is now available via subscription for the first time at $10,000 per server per year, Kumar wrote.

In all cases, customers are receiving "better support and more features than in the past," she said.

However, Kumar did not mention that those pricing levels are for servers with between one and four sockets. For ones with five or more, the subscription fee is doubled, according to an Oracle price list posted Nov. 1.

Oracle defines a socket as "a slot that houses a chip (or a multi-chip module), which contains a collection of one or more cores," according to the price list. "Regardless of the number of cores, each chip (or multi-chip module) counts as a single socket."

Kumar also sought to dispel any confusion over whether the InnoDB storage engine is still included in MySQL's freely available Community Edition.

It most certainly is, she wrote, although MySQL Classic Edition, a version meant for embedded use by ISVs, swaps in the MyISAM engine.

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Chris Kanaracus

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