A couple of weeks ago Sphinx Technologies, a company behind Sphinx Full Text Search Engine launched Sphinx Support Packages which I think is a great value for everyone using Sphinx in Production. This is also a great way to support the project and get something in return – even if you’re not actively using support it looks better than donation for accounting people.
The Support approach was closely modeled from MySQL Support of the early days – simple service lever differentiation with no per server pricing or different editions. This is exactly how I think Support for Open Source project should be structured. Of course such service offering may be lacking the “leverage” but how much leverage do you really need if you do not have sales and marketing teams or venture capitalists to feed? If money you pay go directly to people providing you the service you can get a very good value for fair price.
You may note at Percona we also have Sphinx Support so how are these different ?
Support from Sphinx Technologies is based on traditional support model with limit (or no limits) on number of incidents submitted. If you have Full or Premium support you also get priority bug fixes for any repeatable bug fixes.
Support from Percona uses our standard “you pay for the time” billing approach. We have great Sphinx experts internally including people involved in some of the earliest and largest Sphinx installations and we will escalate the the Sphinx Development team on partnership basics if it is required. This escalation to Sphinx Developers is also a way we handle bug fixes and custom Sphinx development which are all covered by standard Percona agreements and paid on “actual work required” basis.