In addition, the MySQL subscription fee used -- US$5,000 annually -- is for servers with one to four sockets. That cost doubles for servers with five or more sockets, according to Oracle's official MySQL price list.
As Oracle places SQL Server in its sights, it is also facing growing competition for MySQL revenue from startups like SkySQL, which independently offer support services for the database.
Overall, Oracle's marketing and development efforts behind MySQL come as no surprise, one observer said.
"Given how hard Oracle fought against the antitrust authorities to keep MySQL around the time of the [Sun] acquisition, we always knew they were serious about the business," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research.
Oracle will show it is even more serious if it buys technologies that enhance MySQL, such as the open-source analytic data warehouse Infobright, Monash said. Sun was an investor in Infobright, which has already been integrated with MySQL.
Still, no matter what Oracle does, expectations should be tempered for MySQL's success against the SQL Server installed base, according to Monash.
"Oracle-quality MySQL's most obvious target is SQL Server," he said. "But if you have bought into the Windows stack, why not stay bought-in? The competition is mainly about new applications. Few users will actually switch."
However, "a lot of SaaS vendors use Oracle Standard Edition, and have some MySQL somewhere as well. They don't want to pay up for [Oracle] Enterprise Edition or Exadata. Good MySQL could suit them," Monash added.
But even with the improvements to MySQL Enterprise, there are still large gaps between its feature set and that of Oracle's flagship database. The latter remains superior in areas like security, datatype support and analytics, Monash said.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com