Posted on

Business insight from the MySQL Conference 2010

At this year’s conference, I was pleasantly surprised with the high level of interest in Open Query’s proactive services for MySQL and MariaDB, and specifically our focus on preventing problems, while explicitly not offering emergency services.

I’ll describe what this is about first, and why I reckon it’s interesting. When you think about it, most IT related support that includes emergency (24×7) operates similar to this:

You have a house that has the front and back doors wide open with no locks, and you take out an insurance policy for the house contents. After a short time you call the insurance company “guess what, the most terrible thing happened, my TV got stolen.” Insurance company responds “that’s dreadful, you poor soul, let us fix it all up for you with getting a new TV and installing it. It’ll be our pleasure to serve you.” A few weeks later you call the insurance company again “guess what …” and they help you in the same fabulous way.

You get the idea, it’s rather silly because it’s very predictable. If you leave your doors open, you’re very close to actually being the cause of the problem yourself and insurance companies tend to not cover you under such circumstances – yet most IT support arrangements do. If IT support were actually run like insurance, premiums would be based on a risk assessment, and consequentially most companies would have to pay much higher premiums.

Much of this is actually about company processes as much as the technical setup. Depending on how you arrange things in your business, you can actually be very “emergency prone”. Since company processes are notoriously hard to change, many businesses operate in a way that is fundamentally not suitable for Open Query to do business with. That’s a fact and we’re fine with it, the market is big enough. We have clients all around the world, but so far very few from Silicon Valley. My presumption was that this was due to the way those businesses are often set up, making them simply incompatible for our services. But a significant number of companies we spoke with at and around the conference were very interested in our services exactly because of the way we work, and so that to me was interesting news. A good lesson, making attending the conference extra worthwhile. It’s also a good vote of confidence in the way we’ve set up our service offering.

Posted on

Open Query @ MySQL Conf & Expo 2010

Walter and I are giving a tutorial on Monday morning, MySQL (and MariaDB) Dual Master Setups with MMM, I believe there are still some seats available – tutorials are a bit extra when you register for the conference, so you do need to sign up if you want to be there! It’s a hands-on tutorial/workshop, we’ll be setting up multiple clusters with dual master and the whole rest of the MMM fun, using VMs on your laptops and a separate wired network. Nothing beats messing with something live, breaking it, and seeing what happens!

Then on Tuesday afternoon (5:15pm, Ballroom F), Antony and I will do a session on the OQGRAPH engine: hierarchies/graphs inside the database made easy. If you’ve been struggling with trees in SQL, would really like to effectively use social networking in your applications, need to work with RDF datasets, or have been exploring neo4j but otherwise have everything in MySQL or MariaDB, this session is for you.

We (and a few others from OQ) will be around for the entire conference, the community dinner (Monday evening) and other social events, and are happy to answer any questions you might have. You’ll be able to easily recognise us in the crowds by our distinct friendly Open Query olive green shirts (green stands out because most companies mainly use blue/grey and orange/red).

Naturally we would love to do business with you (proactive support services, OQGRAPH development), but we don’t push ourselves on to unsuitable scenarios. In fact, we’re known to refer and even actively introduce clients to competent other vendors where appropriate. In any case, it’s our pleasure and privilege to meet you!

See you all in Santa Clara in a few days.