For those who wonder if Sun Microsystems overpaid for MySQL, consider the recent findings by Gartner, and encapsulated in its report "The Growing Maturity of Open-Source Database Management Systems":
- Open-source database use grew 50 percent in 2008. Gartner found that 73 percent of enterprises it surveyed are using open-source databases, up from 49 percent the previous year;
- Open-source database revenue grew 42.4 percent in 2008; and
- The open-source database market will top $1 billion by 2013.
As Zack Urlocker points out on his blog, and as Gartner also finds, "express" editions from Oracle and others have had minimal impact on the torrid growth rates of open-source database usage. Open source really is about more than a price tag.
We know from previous surveys that a significant percentage of open-source MySQL adoption is coming from Oracle's user base. Is Oracle in trouble? Not necessarily, and particularly because Oracle has successfully expanded its core value beyond just the database, such that a decision to rip out Oracle is much bigger than a database question.
Even so, the Gartner research suggests that the open-source database market is doing well, and on track to do very well.