oracle-openworldOracle OpenWorld -- a major event for Oracle partners and customers -- kicks off October 11 in San Francisco. Sun Microsystems will be in the house. So will Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. And if you look hard enough, there will even be some MySQL content at the event. Here's the scoop.

Sure, Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems is still pending. The European Commission's extended anti-trust review of the deal is costing Oracle $100 million per month. Ouch. Some pundits have wondered if Oracle will spin off Sun's hardware business or open source MySQL database business. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says the company plans to retain MySQL as well as Sun's hardware operations.

As Oracle OpenWorld approaches on October 11, the software giant faces a tricky task: How do you show some Oracle-Sun synergy at the event... even if the actual takeover deal isn't official? Surely, Oracle Channel Chief Judson Altoff can't spend his time at OpenWorld talking about Sun if the deal hasn't been completed.

Still, there are some ways to show Oracle-Sun synergy before the deal closes. For instance, Sun plans to sponsor Oracle OpenWorld. And The VAR Guy hears a Sun executive will also speak at the event, though our resident blogger still needs to take a closer look at the conference agenda.

Hardware Friends -- And Foes

As Oracle potentially steps into the hardware business, The VAR Guy can't help but notice that Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM all are sponsoring OpenWorld. HP's Ann Livermore and Michael Dell both are scheduled to give keynotes. Translation: The Big 4 Server Vendors will be fighting for elbow room at the event. And Oracle may actually own one of those server vendors really soon.

The late Ray Noorda, of Novell fame, used to speak regularly about coopetition -- the need to both cooperate and compete with many high-tech vendors. Assuming the pending Oracle-Sun deal moves forward, coopetition could be the word of the week out at OpenWorld.

Oh, And About MySQL

Meanwhile, plenty of folks are wondering how Oracle will potentially manage Sun's MySQL open source database business.

No doubt, Sun's own management of MySQL has generated considerable criticism. During the recent Red Hat Summit in Chicago, multiple VARs told our resident blogger that they embraced EnterpriseDB (a rival open source database) because MySQL hasn't been responsive to partners in recent months.

Alas, The VAR Guy doesn't expect to hear much about MySQL at OpenWorld. This is, after all, an Oracle event. But some savvy speakers will surely inject MySQL into the OpenWorld conversation. One example involves Alex Gorbachev. He's scheduled to speak Oct. 12 about "Developing Plug-ins for Oracle Enterprise Manager by Example." Gorbachev's example involves a MySQL plug-in.

Long live coopetition.

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