Some of you may have seen that Sun recently disclosed billing data by category, including a category named “MySQL / Infrastructure”.  I suspect that the “Infrastructure” includes products like NetBeans or Sun Java Application Server?  In any case, (estimates of MySQL revenue were much less than $75MM/yr) I’d imagine that MySQL is the majority of the category billings.  Let’s jump into the numbers:

First off, billings != revenue.  As Sun explains:

Billings represent the amount invoiced to customers for products and are subject to cancellation. Billings is not a GAAP financial measurement, and therefore is not an audited number. Billings differs from revenue in that billings are not adjusted for any reserves and are not subject to any of the conditions under GAAP that must be met before revenue is recognized . Accordingly, amounts billed may not lead to revenue and billings should not be viewed as equivalent to, or a substitute for, GAAP revenue.

I looked at the FY07, FY08 & Q109 ratio of billings to reported revenue.  The results were 109%, 115% and 109% respectively.  Based on these results, I’d take 10% off the billing data when trying to think about category specific revenue. In any case, here is the data from Sun by quarter:

Date $ Millions YTY Growth
Q107 30 100%
Q207 45 9%
Q307 50 79%
Q407 74 35%
FY07 198 43%
Q108 25 -17%
Q208 52 16%
Q308 40 -20%
Q408 91 24%
FY08 208 5%
Q109 37 50%

A couple of things jump out.

First, the 50% billing growth in Q109 for MySQL/Infrastructure is amazing.  Well done!  The figure is impacted by a -17% growth in Q108, which is the basis for the Q109 comparison.  Note, MySQL was an independent company during Q108.  The billings decline should not indicate anything about Sun’s performance.  Had the category grown at 10% in Q108, a reasonable estimate for the software market, Q108 billings would have been $33MM vs. $25MM.  Then, the Q109 billings would have only grown 12%.

Second, the -20% growth in Q308 is likely due to customers putting a hold on deals while the Sun acquisition went through?  Sun’s Q308 ended in March 30, 2008, and the MySQL acquisition was announced on January 16, 2008.

Third, a 5% year to year increase (from FY07 to FY08) in billings for the category seems weak. But remember that Q308 billings were likely impacted by the Sun acquisition announcement.  If the category billing had grown 10% in Q308, versus a 20% decline, then FY08 billing would have been $223MM, not $208MM.  Hence, the overall category billings increase would have been 13%, not 5%.  Much more respectable.

It’s great that Sun is making this level of data available.  Let’s see how the MySQL / Infrastructure category billings grow over the rest of the year!