Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun, said that MySQL controls about 50 percent of the open source data base market, and counts as customers such companies as FaceBook, Palo Alto, Calif.; YouTube, LLC, San Bruno, Calif.; and Finland-based Nokia.
"This is the most important acquisition in Sun history, and the most important acquisition in the modern software industry," Schwartz said.
Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun software, estimated that MySQL has over 11 million users worldwide.
The acquisition makes possible a new round of growth for both Sun and MySQL, Schwartz said. In particular, MySQL's growth has been hampered by its inability to provide customers the peace of mind they need when dealing with open source software. "That barrier is now done," he said.
The acquisition, first unveiled in mid-January, also opens new opportunities for Sun's channel partners, who will have access to the entire lineup of services offerings and technology related to MySQL, Schwartz said.
"[Channel partners] will also have an opportunity to call on MySQL customers whether or not they are paying customers," he said. "It's a wonderful calling card for customers who are getting Sun support, and a better calling card for those who are not."
It certainly is, said Jim Quasius, president of GCA, a Tampa, Fla.-based Sun solution provider.
GCA's primary business is in professional services and training, both of which should see a positive impact from the acquisition, Quasius said.
"Between the two, it's a huge opportunity for us," he said. "Huge. MySQL is in so many accounts. We also have a lot of big customers who use MySQL."
Quasius said GCA plans to invest a lot of money around MySQL now that it is a part of Sun. "MySQL was more of a closed community in terms of making money," he said. "But that changed with Sun. Sun is a partnering company."
Sun's new MySQL could also lead to more sales of Sun hardware, especially its x86-based server line, Quasius said.
"It's because this provides an entry into companies that we couldn't see before," he said. "So I'd be surprised if it didn't result in more Sun hardware sales. This gives us a new chance to open doors with customers who didn't think of Sun before. It won't necessarily expand the entire marketplace. But it will opportunities for Sun's x86 servers. They really are sweet little machines."
With the close of the acquisition, MySQL forms the base of the new Database group at Sun, headed by Martin Mikos, senior vice president of that group and the founder of MySQL. The Database group is a part of Sun's software business unit under Green.
Schwartz said that Sun can be expected to continue making acquisitions in the open source community, and pointed to last week's acquisition of open source desktop PC virtualization software developer innotek as an example of those types of acquisitions.
However, he said, he doesn't expect future open source acquisitions to be able to match the scope of MySQL. "MySQL is the crown jewel of the open source marketplace," he said. "There's no higher-value company. Future acquisitions will be smaller, like innotek. Open source is in the DNA of Sun."