What version of MySQL do we want available? some possible choices are:

  • 4.0
  • 4.1
  • 5.0

dkg leans towards 4.1 as a balancing point between shiny new (poorly-tested) features and stable antiquity.

On a system-wide scale:

Do we want a shared database server (or two) for the whole lab, or do we want individual servers run on separate machines? a centralized server could be backed up and locked-down more easily, but also provides for a single-point-of-failure.

Also: is there a reason that MySQL is desired, as opposed to other database systems? PostgreSQL is arguably a more sophisticated tool, and it is at least as free as MySQL. Are there specific requirements for one db or another? If the decision is to have centralized databases, we could set up multiple DB engines, of course. i'm not sure we'd want multiple database engines running on every workstation...