IBM and the LAMP Stack

One of the announcements during the MySQL Conference last week was IBM's new partnership with MySQL on using DB2 as a backend. In some of the initial accounts, they seemed to gloss over some of the aspects and implications, so I thought I'd cover them here.

First of all, the entire IBM iSeries – previously called AS400 – has been a popular stack to deploy. I happen to know of a number of companies around DC that have invested $M's into their stacks and applications and no matter what other tools become available, they're not going to switch. As a result, there are a huge number of DB2 instances out there that won't disappear for five or even ten years if not longer.

Second, since these systems are the main repositories of data in most enterprises, they normally have the latest, greatest and most complete information of anywhere in the organization. Unfortunately, getting data out of them has been a pain at minimum. Not only due you have the standard data security/integrity concerns, but you also have the fact that iSeries/AS400 management and MySQL management skills have always been distinct and unlikely to exist in a single person. This collaboration means that each type of administrator can look at and interact with the data in the ways that they need.

Finally, combine this with IBM's announcement from ZendCon 2006: Zend and System i and it appears that they're moving (or have moved?) full speed into the LAMP stack. At ZendCon the past two years, I had the opportunity to see their work on QEDWiki and I have to say that it's amazing.

Most of this isn't new news as some of their efforts with PHP are 2+ years old, but it shows an interesting pattern. Every six months or so, IBM announces something that could have a huge impact on the LAMP community. One reason for this (obviously) is to stay relevant to organizations/developers and to stay connected to some of the sharpest minds out there who have fled from heavier solutions like Java, but I think there's something else…

Conjecture: I think a number of things are coming together and we're on the verge of something even bigger. Zend and IBM have been publicly collaborating on a number of things and tend to announce things once they're approaching a ship date. So far, the two have been relatively quiet recently, but I wouldn't be surprised if ZendCon got very interesting this year…