Open-source company MySQL confirmed recent reports that it will offer a database monitoring and advisory service as part of its MySQL Enterprise commercial subscription service later this year.Last month, a source close to MySQL revealed that the vendor\u2019s developers had been working on a project code-named "Merlin" for nearly two years to create a server-based database monitoring and advisory service. The service constantly scans a user\u2019s MySQL database network to identify any potential systems crashes, bottlenecks or security vulnerabilities.MySQL Tuesday unveiled MySQL Enterprise, a new version of the company\u2019s commercial subscription service that will include the Merlin technology. The vendor made the announcement at its second annual Northern European customer conference, which is taking place in London.The move forms part of MySQL\u2019s plans over the coming year to provide tools and services to make life easier for users who have to administer the company\u2019s database.MySQL customers at small to midsize businesses often can\u2019t afford to employ database administrators (DBAs), while enterprises have trouble finding DBAs with MySQL skills, according to the company.Driven by user demand, MySQL is positioning the Merlin service as able to function as a "virtual DBA" to automatically handle many traditional database administration tasks including performance tuning, troubleshooting, security planning and upgrade or security patch installations. The service includes more than 65 rules\u00a0that it can check systems against to provide advice in areas including database security, performance optimization, schema design and replication. MySQL intends to provide additional rules over time, and users can also create and customize their own rules.Merlin is set to become part of the MySQL Network segment of the company\u2019s MySQL Enterprise commercial subscription when it\u2019s rolled into the offering later this quarter.MySQL offers MySQL Enterprise in four different tiers\u2014basic, silver, gold and platinum\u2014for an annual subscription from US$595 up to $4,995 per database server. The MySQL Enterprise Server database and technical support pieces of the commercial subscription are available now.-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.