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MySQL appliance for Linux arrives

Pogo Linux and MySQL have partnered on the first MySQL appliance optimized for Linux. Analysts are high on MySQL, but are hesitant on the uptake of appliances in most enterprises.

MySQL AB is a rising star among relational database management systems vendors, having settled into a niche as a provider of premier databases for accessing and processing data, while keeping a hopeful eye on the enterprise stratosphere currently owned by Oracle, IBM and Microsoft.

Forrester Research Inc. group director Ted Schadler labels open-source MySQL an "inexpensive data store" and said "the [commodity database] market is not being addressed by the big enterprise vendors."

As MySQL begins to gnaw away at the low end of the database market, supporting Web servers and the like, it continues to build a solid reputation among small and medium-sized enterprises.

This week, MySQL combined with Redmond, Wash.-based Pogo Linux Inc. on the first MySQL database appliance for Linux. The appliance will be launched in early August at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Pogo Linux, a Linux-based storage and server vendor that targets small and medium-sized enterprises, will support the hardware and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, while MySQL supports the database. Pogo becomes MySQL's first certified hardware partner.

"[The] optimized appliance would reduce or eliminate the challenges smaller enterprises face in deploying products like MySQL. Pogo preloads their devices with Linux and MySQL, which provides a more out-of-the-box solution, and allows administrators to focus on management tasks, rather than spending their time learning how to properly deploy each product," said Chad Robinson, senior analyst with Westport, Conn.-based Robert Frances Group. "Also, since Pogo's appliances can be configured with as much local storage as the customer requires, Pogo has created a database appliance that should be as easy to use as a traditional networking appliance."

Pogo Linux chief technology officer Erik Logan said the appliance works out of the box and reduces the implementation time enterprises would normally face in setting up MySQL.

"It takes a long time to get the optimization done -- things like how the disks are set up and asset compliance," Logan said. "This appliance takes the guesswork out and provided a complete solution at much less than the cost of Oracle [9i]."

Forrester's Schadler said that the turnkey nature of appliances is potentially an attractive option for smaller enterprises. Schadler added, however, that similar appliances have failed to gain traction in the past.

"I don't see a huge interest or uptake [in appliances]," Schadler said. "No one picked up on the Oracle database appliance [a Solaris-9i combination]. An appliance might be attractive if an enterprise has a closed system like point-of-sale or manufacturing."

MySQL's star quality continues to gain attention, in particular from independent software vendors (ISVs) like SAP AG. MySQL announced in late May it would take over development of SAP's database SAP DB, a move that will accelerate development of high-end features in MySQL by two years, the company said. Eventually, the revamped MySQL will replace SAP DB in SAP installations.

"The product is highly reliable, very fast, and straightforward to use," Robert Frances Group's Robinson said. "The company is engaging in a number of partnerships (Pogo and SAP) both to enhance its own product and to increase its level of commercial support. Commercial support is critical to increasing the number of enterprise deployments of MySQL, and the company and its partners have done an admirable job of addressing this issue."

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