Open-source database provider MySQL said it is injecting features into its paid subscription support service, aimed at simplifying management for large companies.
They include replication monitoring and advisory tools for database administrators that help them manage multi-server "scaled-out" architectures, where a database runs on multiple servers at a time. That is a popular architecture for Web 2.0 companies and other firms using MySQL and other open-source software in so-called LAMP stacks on generic PC servers, as it is considered cheaper than rolling out a few, expensive servers with many processorss in the same box.
One new tool, for instance, automatically detects a company's replication architecture and advises clients of best practices, according to Zack Urlocker.
The new tools build upon MySQL's Network Monitoring and Advisory Service, which the company launched last autumn.
MySQL is also offering 30-day free trial subscriptions to MySQL Enterprise, its paid commercial service.
MySQL has acknowledged it is actively seeking a public offering of its stock. Urlocker declined to comment on the timing of its IPO.
But the company, which admits that only one out of a thousand users ever pays for use of the software, has been rolling out several programmes to help it make more money in advance of the IPO.
In April, it announced a deal with IBM, in which Big Blue will bundle MySQL with its System i (formerly AS/400) servers, and let the version of DB2 integrated into the System i operating system serve as a MySQL storage engine.
In August, MySQL made changes that make it harder for developers to use the enterprise edition of its database for free, a move which sparked protests from its users.
MySQL also said today that it plans to make a "release candidate" version of MySQL 5.1 available later this month.
In addition, a beta of the forthcoming Falcon transactional storage engine will be available.
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