Defence keeps MySQL bunkered down

Open source database steps up to mission-critical workloads

Open source databases may not be seen as up to the task when it comes to core enterprise systems, but Australia's Department of Defence is happy to bet on MySQL over commercial offerings.

Sources familiar with Defence's operations, who requested anonymity, told Computerworld the department is using the MySQL relational database system for a "large-scale application".

Exact details of the MySQL implementation at Defence remain scant, but the source did say the amount of data managed could be as high as "many terabytes".

Often seen as the last bastion of commercial software, open source databases have slowly progressed from running Web-tier and other edge applications to central business and transaction processing systems.

In August, Computerworld reported that Sydney-based financial services firm MoneySwitch developed a transaction processing system with MySQL as the database, making it a critical part of its infrastructure.

Local MySQL users also include Service Central, Soul, WIN Television, De Bortoli Wines, SBS Television, Aviva Group, and Auspost.

Defence may be enjoying the benefits of using an open source database as part of its infrastructure but it certainly isn't keen to publicize it.

When contacted by Computerworld, A spokesperson for Defence issued a vague response.

"Defence, like most large government or non-government enterprises, uses a wide range of software applications that are available either commercially or through open source," the spokesperson said.

These applications serve "various purposes throughout the department", according to the spokesperson.

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