A new offer from Sun - or: Oracle, Sun and the costs of middleware licenses

We´ve made an interesting annoucement yesterday: An all-you-can-install bundle consiting out of license and support payed on a annual basis for Mysql and Glassfish. A really interesting offer. You should look at the website of Sun for the details. But this isn´t the point i want to write about: I strongly believe, this move may hurt Oracle. Not because of the this offer, but because of this as a part of a more general movement in the market. We won´t lure a large amount of old installation to Mysql and Glasfish. It´s more an idea for new systems. Since the last increase of licensing costs (and this is only half the story, as the maintainance costs are based on a percentage of the license costs) i´ve read multiple comments, that customers can´t longer justify or even afford the costs for the stuff from Oracle. BTW: There is another infrastructure component that had a hefty increase in pricing. When BEA was an independent company, a processor license for Weblogic Enterprise Edition burned a $17,000 hole per processor in your pocket. Nowadays BEA is a LarryCorp and the same license costs you $25,000. Additionally Oracle is the last stronghold of the core based licensing models with somewhat strange core multipliers. Not that there is no logic behind this core multipliers, but the logic is purely in favour of LarryCorp. You can ask yourself, why a Victoria Falls Core is worth 0,75 cores but a Opteron/Intel core is worth 0.5 cores. And why a Power6 core is equivalent to a Niagara 1 core when used at 1.4 GHz? The logic is quite simple behind it: On a given IT budget less money for the hardware leaves more money for LarryCorp. Thus you give the the customer an incentive for cheap hardware, even when it would force you to Enterprise Edition much faster than a equivalent SPARC system (256 Cores VF in Batoka is still Standard Edition, an equivalent System for OLTP loads with x86 would need more than 4 sockets, thus lead you in the realm of the Enterprise Edition). Okay, at least this explains the strange factor for Intel. The favourable factor for IBM pseries is still a miracle to me. The next bluesuit after the pSeries salesperson entering your office is the salesperson for DB2, leaving nothing earn to Oracle … Of course large databases for your ERP will stay on the established databases like Oracle. But everything else? A well-supported database may drive all this auxillary databases in a company to other systems and every increase in licence princing make the concept of having two databases in you company more alluring. With the application server it´s something different. Glassfish plays in the same technical ballpark like BEA Weblogic AppServer, thus the effects of the new “all-you-can-install” licensing model may be much more adverse for Oracle. Okay, there are interesting times ahead of us. Shrinking IT-Budgets may lead to a more sensible position to multiple, but right sized software systems. We will see the effects in the middleware sector.