What’s Your Uptime? What’s Your Uptime Worth?

My company has 9 production MySQL servers.

Our company does:

over 4 billion queries a week — an average of over 450,000 per machine, though in reality 2 servers do near 1 billion themselves, 5 do about the average, and 2 do much less (about 65k and 100k queries).

receive over 1380 GB (almost 1.35 TB!!) of data per week, an average of over 153 GB per server.

send out over 1400 GB of data per week, an average of 157 GB per server.

Our hardware is only somewhat beefy — 64-bit architecture, 3.20 GHz Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU, 6GB of RAM in 4 of the 5 most-used servers (4GB in the others).

We make over USD $220,000 per week ($10 billion per year) in sales for our web application.

If we bought the highest level of service, Platinum, for all 9 production machines, the cost would be 0.40% of our sales. The cost would be less than the cost of a new IT person (even a junior IT person!), and the benefits that come with that include 72 hours of free consulting (8 hours per server).

What’s 0.40% of your company’s income? Would you be willing to spend that on buying MySQL Network, which not only includes the binary but *support*? How about willing to spend that on a great open source product and company?

What about 0.05% of your company’s income? Because that’s what the Basic Service Level would cost my company. What would it cost your company?

I’m not an employee of MySQL, so I can say things like “I am confident that the Community Edition is stable and reliable in enterprise-level production systems.” This is my personal experience, and I stick by that statement. I’ve been using it for years in heavy-use systems. Yes, there have been times where we’ve had severe bugs with MySQL, but those were all solved with an upgrade — minor version upgrade (ie, 4.1.14 to 4.1.19 solved our worst problem). (I’m not kidding — all of our issues we’ve ever asked on a forum about were resolved with an upgrade).

Let me be clear:
MySQL is not making the promise that the Community Edition is reliable in enterprise-level systems.

However, the fact is that the Community Edition IS reliable in an enterprise-level system.

Regardless of any guarantees MySQL makes or does not make, the Community Edition is robust and reliable, and I do not see that going away. I have worked for organizations that buy support contracts for open source products on principle, regardless of requirement or need, because they felt they should pay something for a good product, and wanted to give back to a community.

Ask yourself this question: If your company is not willing to pay $600/year for a certified enterprise-level product for your core, why are you using the product for your core at all? Remember, that price includes support, so that $600 price tag is even more meager.

This is not Oracle vs. Oracle Express. The Community Edition is not an afterthought. It’s the foundation.

My company has been running on MySQL for 6 years. Even if my company buys the Enterprise Edition, I will continue to use the Community Edition for not-for-profits, consulting gigs and my personal projects.

Folks who felt that MySQL was not robust enough for them stopped using it years ago, so what’s the issue with having the same excellent Community Edition that’s always been available to us?

I have yet to hear a valid complaint about this move. All I hear is “I don’t wanna pay!” This is, in my opinion, a very ethical and legal move for MySQL to take. Go ahead, whinge about “there’s a better version if you pay”. But you are forgetting — there’s a completely excellent version for free. The free version works very well on enterprise-level systems, even though MySQL will not say that formally.

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