Former mySQL architect Brian Aker keynoted the mySQL Con in Santa Clara this week and pushed Drizzle, a mySQL fork he hopes to build a company around by the time of June's OSCON in Portland.
Described as "an open source microkernel DBMS for high performance scale-out applications," Drizzle will be seeking enterprise customers who depend on scaled mySQL but share Aker's distrust of Oracle.
Think of it as a software version of the Tea Party. In this case, Aker has to turn anti-Oracle anger into the help needed to support things like 64-bit systems and solid state drives, built on C++, and with enough enterprise support contracts to move forward.
It won't be easy.
Like any fork Drizzle starts from nothing. No money, no infrastructure, no paid staff, and no sales talent. Just code and raw anger.
This fork was actually launched two years ago, while Aker was at mySQL, and was then described as "an optimized and trimmed down" version of the database. Later in 2008 it was described as a complete re-think of mySQL aimed at clouds running MapReduce.
Between now and OSCON Aker has to figure out exactly who his target customers are, based not on what his developers want to do but on what companies willing to run the risk of dumping mySQL demand. It's the difference between a fun sideline and something you need to make a living from.
I wonder how many current mySQL customers are willing to depend upon an unproven database, no matter its political bonafides. Before anyone writes support checks Aker needs to prove he can make good on some promises.
Having just a vision's no solution, everything depends on execution.