Product Support vs Operational Support
Feb 14, 2011 / By Alex Gorbachev
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:
- How do I architect my infrastructure?
- How much CPU do I need to run this database
- How do I setup my backups?
- How do I tune that SQL statement?
- What I need to monitor in my environment to keep it healthy and avoid service outages?
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).