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MySQL conference and Expo 2009

This is the third year the Drupal project has had a booth at the MySQL conference. This year we are the only web content management project represented and it is our biggest presence at the conference yet. This year we have four booth volunteers including Joshua Lawrence from Chapter Three, John Faber from AF83, Avi Harsh from Halosys, and myself.

The big news is the acquisition of Sun, including MySQL by Oracle. The punditry on the web seems to cover most of the perspectives. But it helps to get a few beers into the long time MySQL employees and then ask them what they think. The feedback is generally positive with lots of growth opportunities seen to have Oracle's sales force push MySQL into small projects through out the enterprise. There are potential strategies based on licensing that could be good for both the MySQL project and Oracle.

There are many interesting updates, and I'll briefly cover them:

  • Ronald Bradford has begun the Drupal port to Drizzle the new MySQL engine built for the cloud
  • Attendance at MySQL is good and the quality of interest at the Drupal booth seems higher this year. Part of that is due to our ability to have more conversations with more web site owners.
  • We had a great conversation with Microsoft SQLServer evangelists about getting support for Drupal 7.
  • We had great conversations with many people from Sun about getting Drupal to ship in their products.
  • The Amazon Web Services and Rightscale folks see a lot of people deploying Drupal in the cloud. The Rightscale folks demo the deployment of Drupal as a showcase.
  • Two engineers from codemasters demonstrated Multi-master synchronous replication system for MySQL on AWS with Drupal as a proof of concept

Some observations about attendees

  • Many people we talk to are still building their websites with HTML, or custom PHP.
  • Many people are understanding the need for social publishing features on their website.
  • In some cases we demoed Drupal and floored web masters who had spent years building a fraction of the functionality for big brand websites.
  • There's a strong education presence and were well represented at the Drupal BoF.
  • Most of the attendees fall into two categories, database administrators and decision makers.
  • We've had good conversations about Drupal and performance. A couple people claimed Drupal couldn't scale but when we walked them through architecture options they conceeded Drupal could go a lot further than they understood. There may be some articles or books that come out of this.
  • We talked directly with well over 100 people who have websites or are in using Drupal. In many cases they are going to pass along more of information to their web masters about using Drupal.

The BoF was at 8:30PM after most of the parties started so it was lightly attended. We spent about an hour talking about Drupal database performance tuning and database security recommendations for Drupal sites.

It's great to be building out the Silicon Valley marketing team. We have at least 5-6 more big technical conferences in 2009. Having a vibrant and diverse marketing team who can help cover all these events really helps promote Drupal.