The recession has been painful for a lot of people. Budgets have been cut to the bone. The great thing about an open source subscription is you can kill it without a lot of guilt. Beats firing people.
Enterprise open source advocates note that it is, indeed, firing people. Without corporate support to run forges and organize direction, they say, the underlying projects will fail to provide what they promised, and the corporate datacenters they're serving risk withering away.
When times are really toughed this can sound nuanced, no matter how basic it is.
The big test case is Red Hat,. which today announced a partnership with Ingres, and some new customers.
Ingres is more like a canary in this coal mine. Its fate during the downturn is less certain.
In associating with Red Hat, Ingres grabs a lifeline into the larger enterprise customer space. The release makes this explicit in the headline, noting that the enterprise customers "bet their business on open source."
Personally I do believe there is a shakeout underway and I do believe Red Hat will survive it. But it's important to Red Hat's credibility that as many of those firms who have associated with it also survive.
So this deal is a big win for Ingres, even if it appears as agate in tomorrow's news.