Generalizations About Software
By: Savio Rodrigues | 2008-01-23
A reader commented that MySQL isn't "enterprise ready", to which another reader wrote:
"I hate it when snobby DBAs or managers scoff at MySQL as if it isn't ready to play with the big boys. Google called, they'd like to loan you a clue."
Valid point. But, I'm fairly certain that Google engineers could run a highly scalable computing system (whatever that is) using nothing more than OS/2, a paper clip, duct tape and maple syrup.
I am not bashing MySQL in any way (I'm a happy user).
I am however suggesting that the skills level inside an average IT shop are different than skills you'll find at Google.
And yet, we all use things that Google, Amazon, etc. are doing as ‘proof' that other customers should follow suit.
In many cases it's valid advice that ignores two things: the skills and legacy code/apps/infrastructure at the company.
Many developers have deep skills with alternative products, and for better or worse, are more productive with said products than a new OSS product. (Somewhat related…I'm always surprised that EnterpriseDB hasn't been more successful vs. Oracle, considering EnterpriseDB's goal to ensure compatibility with Oracle.)
The Google's of the world didn't have ‘legacy' to deal with in their Greenfield environments.
The overwhelmingly majority of customers aren't as fortunate. So, maybe the legacy 'stuff' running ends up being more important (from a CYA standpoint) than taking a risk by deploying 'something new'?
And hey, let's not kid ourselves into thinking that customers, in their ever ending bid to cut costs, are happily paying enterprise software license fees without receiving value from these products.
About the Author: Savio Rodrigues is a product manager with IBM's WebSphere Software division. He envisions a day when open source and traditional software live in harmony. This site contains Savio's personal views. IBM does not necessarily agree with the views expressed here.