MySQL adoption: Deep and wide

Ever wonder just how much open source you're already running? Just ask your developers. You may be surprised by what you hear.

I love this anecdote from Jonathan Schwartz's blog. As is demonstrated again and again, enterprises have no idea just how awash in open-source software they are...until they ask.

The CIO responded categorically with "we don't run MySQL, we run [name withheld to protect the proprietary]." The CISO said, "We can't just let developers download software off the net, you know, we've got regulation and security to worry about." The CTO smiled. Everyone else appeared to be sitting on their hands. I was going to leave it at that. Thanks for the business.

Until a (diplomatically) assertive Sun sales rep piped up, "Um... no, I connected with a buddy of mine over at MySQL, and had him check - you've downloaded MySQL more than 1,300 times in the last twelve months."

After a profoundly awkward silence, one of the individuals from their internal development team piped up, "Actually, everybody uses it. Why bother hassling with license agreements when MySQL's got you covered."

Indeed. Now the only thing missing in that conversation is the enterprise stepping up to pay for some or all of its free-loading adoption of MySQL. This is what is prompting MySQL to consider new licensing models. It would be very easily resolved by enterprises for owning up to and paying for the value they derive from open source, very little of which comes down to a lower price tag.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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