MySQL pioneered a way to offer both open-source and commercial versions of its wares, in what some say is proof that the open-source model and profitability need not be mutually exclusive. JBoss offers its software via an open-source license but charges for maintenance and support.
HP's move, which includes certifying the use of MySQL's open-source database and the JBoss open-source application server on its servers, is seen as a countermeasure to IBM's 3-year-old noisy Linux push. IBM has pledged allegiance--and big marketing dollars--to open source as a way to thwart the spread of Microsoft's software stack in customer accounts.
IBM is positioning Linux as a viable competitor to Windows--and Unix--in business accounts. But it has been loath to offer a similarly public endorsement of Linux or open-source software that competes with its own DB2- and WebSphere-branded database and application server, observers say.
HP can use its new allies to wrest big- and small-business deals away from IBM with two software offerings that have huge buzz in the market. Even solution providers offering Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and Oracle databases say MySQL is gaining credibility in critical applications. That despite the fact that the commercial database costs just $400 or so per server.