Novell is joining a growing list of resellers that sell subscription-based services for MySQL's open source database

Novell is set to resell the MySQL Network directly to its customers, said Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing for MySQL.

MySQL introduced the network in February as a subscription offering that includes certified software updates, technical support and indemnification for enterprise customers using the MySQL database. There are three levels of service - silver, gold and platinum - and the cost ranges from US$595 per year to $5,000 per year.

Novell already has a partnership with MySQL, and the reselling agreement is an expansion of that, Urlocker said. MySQL currently provides certified software for Novell operating systems SuSE Linux and NetWare, and Novell bundles MySQL in NetWare for developers.

The new agreement gives MySQL a higher profile among enterprise customers that already use Novell software, Urlocker said. "This makes it very easy for Novell customers to get access to MySQL Network," he said. "We're still a small company. This gives us more feet on the street."

Earlier this week, Dell also said it would sell MySQL Network direct to customers as part of its version of a so-called LAMP open-source software stack. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and either the PHP, Perl or Python scripting language.

Many companies have seen IT budgets tighten in the past several years, making a stack of proprietary software that is comparable to LAMP cost-prohibitive for many companies, said Noel Yuhanna, a senior analyst with Forrester Research Inc. This trend has made the open source stack an attractive alternative to more expensive options, he said.

LAMP also is winning the support of some of the industry's most influential companies, backing that should continue to drive open-source software into mainstream customer accounts, Yuhanna said.

"The bigger vendors are now jumping in and supporting LAMP, and this is changing the paradigm for open source," he said.