Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PostgreSQL delivers alternative for MySQL users wary of Oracle's Sun acquisition

Potential MySQL customers who are wary of the database's future under Oracle stewardship have a possible alternative in Postgres Plus, an open source alternative from EnterpriseDB, says that company’s CEO, Ed Boyajian.

He sees reality biting the MySQL community as a feeding frenzy in the software acquisition food chain from both Sun Microsystems' gobbling up of MySQL last year, and now Oracle's likely snapping up of Sun. “When MySQL got acquired by Sun, a lot of that community got fractured,” Boyajian told BriefingsDirect. “That fracturing started with Sun and continues with Oracle so I think that will have an impact on adoption patterns.”

He says potential MySQL customers, wary of getting “sucked into Oracle’s sales machine,” are looking at EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus®Advanced Server, the company’s relational database management system (RDBMS) product, which is based on the PostgreSQL open source database.

Competing with Oracle is nothing new for EnterpriseDB, which has been playing David to Oracle’s Goliath in the database market for years. Although this David has its own Goliath watching its back as IBM is an investor in and has a partnership with the Westford, Mass. company, which was founded in 2004

The latest version of Postgres Plus, being released today is touted by EnterpriseDB as “the fifth-generation of Oracle compatibility technology,” which allows Oracle customers to move applications to the EnterpriseDB database.

This version of Postgres Plus is designed to require “minimal migration effort” for Oracle customers looking for a low-cost, open source-based RDBMS as an alternative to giant vendor’s proprietary database products.

Oracle buying Sun and acquiring MySQL does have a positive side, Boyajian says.

One of the selling points for Postgres Plus is that it runs on commodity hardware and now it is being deployed in virtual and cloud environments.

“When Oracle acquires Sun and gets a great asset like MySQL it’s a great endorsement for open source software,” he said.

His company maintains a close relationship with the Postgres community, Boyajian said. Several EnterpriseDB employees are "key core members" of Postgres, he said.

One of the selling points for Postgres Plus is that it runs on commodity hardware and now it is being deployed in virtual and cloud environments.

“There are some customers that are using blade servers,” Jim Mlodgenski, EnterpriseDB's chief architect told BriefingsDirect. “For the cache servers [used heavily in social networking apps] you don’t need much horsepower as far as the CPU goes,”

Social networking sites have greater requirements for maintaining a data cache in memory rather than for CPU power, he explained. Postgres Plus offers a feature called “Infinite Cache” to support those requirements.

Some customers take advantage of the commodity prices for “one CPU and a lot of RAM,” Mlodgenski said. “Using commodity hardware at the caching layer you’re able to leverage low cost commodity hardware to cache everything, get the performance benefits of running everything in memory without investing a lot in a high-end SAN [storage area network] boxes,” the architect explained.

The cloud is also on the horizon for Postgres Plus users. “We have other people who are deploying in more virtualized environments, cloud environments,” Mlodgenski said.

He said when the product was designed several years ago it wasn’t focused on the cloud but because of its flexible architecture Postgres Plus users were able to move into cloud environments such as Amazon EC2.

BriefingsDirect contributor Rich Seeley provided research and editorial assistance on this post. He can be reached at RichSeeley@aol.com.

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