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I'm setting up a network for a new small business and we need a MySQL server. The business has a very limited budget. As I understand it, small businesses are still allowed to use the free edition of MySQL.

Other than official support (which I really don't foresee needing), what advantages are there? Is there anything worth justifying $600/year to a company that can barely afford that?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Is there anything worth justifying $600/year to a company that can barely afford that?

The question is, what will be the cost to your company of the mysql server fails in some obscure way. Will you be able to afford some down-time to restore a copy of your database if it was corrupt for some reason?

If you are running a shopping site, and if the mysql server goes down, the outage will cost you in lost sales. If those lost sales are more then the cost of the enterprise license then not buying the license would be a bad decision.

If this is for a site small blog or something and mysql goes down, you may just annoy a few of your visitors.

You need to decide what your level of risk is, and if you need to pay for professional support to help you minimize that risk.

Keep in mind that when/if you have a critical failure you probably can find someone who will help you, it will just cost you more then if you had gotten a support contract ahead of time.

You may want to at least make sure you a phone number written down of someone you can call in a emergency. There are probably mysql experts that you can hire in a pinch.

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I'm honestly not sure why anyone would vote this down. It's a "correct" answer on a professional level, phrasing the problem in terms of impact to the business of not having the benefits of the enterprise software vs the cost of the licence rather than just the technology. –  RobM Jun 5 '09 at 7:55

MySQL recently announced that Community and Enterprise will be the same version. They realized that customers weren't entirely happy about paying money to use untested code.

If you don't need the commercial support (and I don't think most people do) I wouldn't bother with it.

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For a small company, I can safely say use the community version.

If they are worried about backup, there are many many ways to backup mysql, including paid tools which are quite reasonably priced.

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Basically enterprise binaries have the same source code base as community, but:

  • You get free 'Problem Resolution Support'
  • You get free 'Consultative Support' (4 hours per server per year)
  • Enterprise binaries are released more often, including 'Monthly Rapid Updates' and 'Quarterly Service Packs'
  • You get 'MySQL Enterprise Monitor' for free

All features described here: http://www.mysql.com/products/enterprise/features.html

So it worth to pay money if you need benefits above, otherwise: use community binaries.

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