Data Management

A letter of regret to Google Cloud (My)SQL?

Ian Hardenburgh shares his thoughts on Google's decision to choose MySQL as its new cloud computing relational database of choice.

Back in early October, when I heard that Google was releasing their first hosted relational database, I was overjoyed. Then, I thought-provokingly scratched my Edgar F. Codd worshiping head, as I came to learn that the chosen database management system was none other than MySQL, Sun Microsystem's orphan child. At the outset of my acquiescence, I wondered what year I was in, as I always thought this kind of release would have made the most logical sense around the same time GAE (Google App Engine) was introduced, back in 2008. Then, I thought, isn't Google having a love affair with that Occupy-esque flash in a pan type movement called NoSQL, as demonstrated through that multi-threaded monstrosity, LevelDB?  Lastly, I angrily lambasted whoever's in charge of product development over at Google, because didn't you hear the news (I'm looking your way Larry Page) -- MySQL (Google's new cloud computing relational database of choice) is now owned by Oracle, a chief competitor.

So Google, why a relational database service now? Have you seen the error in your NoSQL ways, or are you just trying to foster as much community-driven App Engine development as possible, perhaps by recruiting your more traditional database-driven application type programmer? I understand the need to expedite big data with indexless storage (see my "Where are all the cloud-based Hadoop services?" post), even though I'm a habitual stickler for the relational model, and the dependability that could be seen from its use. On the other hand, with the perpetual limbo that MySQL is in, considering the idea that Oracle has recently taken title, Google might as well have stuck with its relational-less strategy.

I hope Google understands that its users can certainly empathize with the relational database aspect to Google's App Engine Cloud SQL add-on. However, couldn't Google have just gone out and purchased a product like PostgreSQL, or adopted and furthered use of something genuinely open source, like Apache Derby? I'm sure developers are just waiting to pounce upon a comprehensive PaaS solution from Google and the dynamism seen with a relational database backend for application development, but nobody wants to see a Google/Oracle partnership. Consequently, Google is making this difficult by presenting its developer community with this ineffectual contrivance, hampered by Oracle's shadowy agenda with the product. In closing, MySQL as Google's incongruously elected relational database is a serious misjudgment in sustainability, and I regret to decline.

If you're pondering use of Google Cloud SQL for a project, first consider:

  • The service is free of charge, at the moment, but will almost certainly carry a price in 2012.
  • Supports JDBC for Java and (DB-API) Python only.
  • Accessible through Google App Engine, alone.

About

Ian is a manager of business intelligence/analytics for a small cap NYSE traded energy company. He also freelance writes about business and technology, as well as consults SMBs upon Internet marketing strategy.

9 comments
Ian Hardenburgh
Ian Hardenburgh

Whoever first said no news is bad news was right on, as is exemplified by the # of posts my audacious title has created. Let me try to refine my argument. 1) MySQL is by no means a bad product on its own (wasn???t focus of my post). However, since Oracle has a financial responsibility to its share holders to make money, they???ll eventually need to devise ways to monetize MySQL, as MySQL AB first tried to do with its MySQL Enterprise Edition. And since this blog concerns the Enterprise Cloud, that???s the audience I???m trying to address. Most enterprise???s need to realize TCO before entering into any tech venture, which at the moment, Oracle can???t offer w/ MySQL. 2) Re: PostgreSQL, I just used that as an example. I wouldn???t presume Google will buy Postgre, but just because something is open source, doesn???t mean it can???t become propriety (e.g., Oracle???s purchase of Sun???s Solaris/MySQL). With tightened compliance regulations for publicly traded companies, I think you???ll see this mixed open source type of thing happening more and more. 3) In regards to Google???s appropriation of MySQL as a database backend for App Engine development, I feel it???s a bad idea (again, for enterprises) to get involved in, because 1) it???s a regression of sorts from its planned strategy w/ NoSQL, and 2) MySQL is a product owned by of one of Google???s competitors, which serves as a conflict of interest. ???I think everyone makes valid points in their comments (except fdecicco, because he hurt my feelings; just kidding). We???re really just talking about two distinct perspectives here.

bwallan
bwallan

Title says it all! Hooray for Google! Great move!

fdecicco
fdecicco

Sounds like this Ian gentleman has little knowledge of the real world and of what it takes to earn a buck or two and even less about technology. MySql works and works great and so does Google. Do your homework. I have never replied to any posts anywhere but this one got me fired up, its too misleading.

Stuart
Stuart

How can you write that up as bad news? Its not like Google is forcing anyone to use it as they're still just as committed to the "nosql" BigTable scalable database which shares core concepts with Hadoop, which most people would agree is the hot topic in the database world at the moment. This article is so wrong it can only be pure link bait which I fell for by writing this. I can only hope no-one who reads it gives it any credence.

bscmn
bscmn

While I'm not as quick to say "I love Google", I do love MySQL, and as one of the previous posters stated, I have made a good deal of money utilizing it. While it may be in limbo as you say, MySQL isn't going away any time soon because it works, it's EASILY installed and managed, and it has a HUGE base of programmers who support it. I would have to say Google made a wise decision by going with MySQL.

evan.summers
evan.summers

PostgreSQL is "genuinely" opensource - as is any project under a recognised opensource license and that includes a host of RDBM'es MySQL happens to the most popular one, and that one Google uses internally, so... while Oracle owns it there are forks which may or may not supercede "MySQL" - similar to the OpenOffice vs LibreOffice - altho i don't suggest Oracle will donate MySQL to Apache like they did with OpenOffice You mention Derby and there are a couple of other pure Java RDBMS namely Hypersonic SQL and H2 which is my personal pick e.g. for test database during development I would hope that Google will later add support for PostgreSQL most of the cloud offerings seem to start with MySQL (being the most popular) and then introduce PostgreSQL later

danbi
danbi

It will be hard for Google to purchase PostgreSQL, because that project is open sourced from the start. They are of course free to start offering PostgreSQL hosting, as other companies do already.

techrepublic
techrepublic

I love Google. I love MySQL. And, I have made a GREAT deal of money by utilizing both. Not sure what has got your virtual sexy-pants in such a wad, but my goodness - if for nothing else, such an offering by Google just might offer enough database-type exposure to folks that they might get interested enough to set up their own server once they are ready to do so. Regardless, your negativity was enough to leverage this reply out of me - for what little it might actually be worth. However, do take care and please have a happy life. Sincerely and without hesitation, _________________________ Max Laing, D. MP CEO / Project Development Allowing Success & ActionCore, Inc. "Where We Plug In BOTH Ends Of The Cable!" 985-201-0505 : Cell Supporting... - http://AllowingSuccess.Com - http://CyberSeams.Com - http://MaxLaing.Com - http://HamburgerUniverse.Com - http://GetPreQualified.Com - http://HealthTechResource.Com Google Profiles... - http://profiles.google.com/maxlaing LinkedIn... - http://www.linkedin.com/in/maxlaing Interviews with Max... - http://BeyondTheOrdinary.net/maxlaing.shtml Copyright 2012 Max Laing, D. MP & the ActionCore Distribution Network

canweriotnow
canweriotnow

Yeah, that's what threw me in the article: "couldn???t Google have just gone out and purchased a product like PostgreSQL" No, they couldn't. It's not for sale. They could have used it to their hearts' content and never paid anyone a dime. I believe there are commercial support options, but Postgres is distributed under an MIT/BSD style license.