Novell this week has finally found a solution to one of its underlying problems. Despite the fact that it offers a raft of network management, policy management, security management and central repositories, most notably with its eDirectory, it's never had a database.
This was problematic in two respects, first it meant that Novell had the tiresome task of ensuring everything it made was compatible with a range of databases and second, it meant that it couldn't offer a complete solution.
This week, Novell has redressed this by turning to open source for the solution. MySQL is the solution that Novell is eyeing and, according to reports, the firm plans to bundle a copy of the hugely popular open source database with its Netware 6 product.
MySQL, the most popular of the open source databases, will be presented as a free bundle for all Netware 6 customers. It comes with a twist though. Instead of companies being tied to the MySQL General Public License the product will ship under a commercial license. This will mean that anyone who develops to the database under this license will not have to submit their developments to the open source community.
In this respect it's a lovely little addition. It's free, it shores up something of a hole in Novell's deliverables, albeit not a very significant one, and it will give NetWare 6 users a taste of what much of the web community already love: MySQL.
In recent years MySQL has soared in popularity as web developers in particular have turned to the database as a cost effective way to develop a fully functional site. Rather than spend millions on a larger system like Oracle, web developers have found that they can build and deploy database-driven sites at half the time and with considerably less cost. Better still, you don't have the transaction lag that you get from many of the larger systems - giving web sites blistering performance - for free.
This, we expect, is where Novell sees itself making some gains. Bundle NetWare with MySQL, advise on scripting languages like Perl and PHP, underpin the whole thing with Apache and suddenly a whole raft of new users will have access to a phenomenally powerful database system with the many benefits of a world-class network operating system, NetWare 6. Further to that of course it will take MySQL into new territories which won't do it any harm at all.
The new bundle will be available in December of this year. According to Novell, anyone that avails of the new offer will find that, "...MySQL is a proven solution that can substantially reduce the expenses associated with a large number of database installations. Novell customers and partners will discover excellent performance, stability and reliability." Indeed, it's proving a very popular route for these large scale system producers which the database element in their offerings.
Recently Sun had said it was planning to bundle MySQL with a number of its servers. Microsoft, in particular, had better watch out.