Sometimes I get questions as to whether Pythian is one of the competitors battling with Oracle for MySQL support. The answer lies in the distinction of product support and operational support.
At Pythian, we are laser focused on supporting applications and data infrastructure using Oracle, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server products. A vast majority of our Oracle customers (there are few customers who have very old 7.x and 8.x products running without vendor support) have Oracle maintenance subscriptions that include product updates and product support. Product support entitles the customer to open support requests when the product doesn’t perform according to the specifications (bug reports) as well as fill in enhancement requests. It also covers deployment blue-prints and deployment guidelines in the official vendor documentation and support database.
What you can’t expect from product support are answers to questions like these:
Of course you cannot expect product support to login to your systems and help monitor them, recover a corrupted database or resolve performance issues etc.
Oracle customers usually have clear understanding of the differences between product support and operations support and consulting that Pythian provides. Even then, every now and again we hear rare statements like “I’m not renewing our Oracle product support because we now have you, Pythian, supporting our databases.” Hearing that, we’re catching our breath for few seconds and then patiently explain that this is inadvisable and the product support is totally different from what Pythian does.
Because of its open-source nature, MySQL database customers have somewhat less incentive to sign up for product support relying on public community releases and the ability to patch the product themselves but even then there is a clear distinction between product support and operational support.
All that was a long prelude to answering the question — “Is Pythian Competing with Oracle and other vendors for MySQL product support”? The answer is NO — Pythian provides plan, deploy, manage services — we analyze, design, implement and maintain the infrastructure. We are working with the vendor providing product support (or as part of the community at large when it comes to the open-source community MySQL releases).
Last week brought great news to Pythian — one of our DBAs in Pakistan, Fahd Mirza, has become an Oracle ACE. Fahd joined Pythian in September 2010 as the very first Pythian employee in Pakistan and thanks to his skills and ambitions ended up on the team supporting Exadata environments. Fahd is a long standing active community member, frequent blogger and passionate Oracle technologist evangelizing for Oracle technology in Pakistan. No wonder he got nominated as an Oracle ACE and was accepted.
I should also mention that another Oracle ACE DBA joined us recently – Jared Still. Jared is a well respected member of Oracle community, member of the OakTable Network and a veteran of the Oracle-L mailing list. Jared is a top notch Oracle DBA and huge fan of the most popular programming language at Pythian — Perl — and event wrote a book “Perl for Oracle DBAs“.
With all this, we have 5 Oracle ACEs & ACE Directors at Pythian now including Gwen Shapira, Christo Kutrovsky and myself. But that’s not all, Pythian is known as an incubator for Oracle ACEs (I think we were called the Oracle ACE Factory in one of the Oracle ACE newsletters) and it’s been a pleasure to have worked side by side with other Oracle ACEs and ACE Directors — Riyaj Shamsudeen, Doug Burns, Sheeri Cabral and Dmitri Volkov. Some of them became Oracle ACEs at Pythian, some before or after that and even though they are not working at Pythian now, they are still our good friends and help us out on many occasions with training or collaborating on exciting projects.
It’s a great initiative by Oracle through the Oracle ACE program to recognize active community contributors and passionate Oracle professionals around the globe! Well done Oracle!
2) For the best, most creative blog post about the meetup itself, Pythian is giving away an Apple TV. But, there are a few small rules:
Can you tell we’re trying to encourage a little more mingling? :)
And last but not least — all this couldn’t be happening without Vanessa Simmons who’s been orchestrating all of the fun this year. Thanks Vanessa!