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The first thing to know about open source database management systems (OSDBMS) is that if your competitors are not already using one, they are almost certainly evaluating it.

OSDBMSs are open source alternatives to commercial DBMSs such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. 

Names you are likely to hear include EnterpriseDB on the relational DBMS side and MongoDB, Neo4J, and Redis Labs on the NoSQL side. 

Just how pervasive is OSDBMS becoming?

A recent Gartner paper forecast that "as much as 80% of the in-house developed application portfolio may be candidates to migrate, and 50% of existing commercial RDBMS instances will be converted by 2018 [to OSDBMS].”

This rapid growth reflects two key factors:

  • — The significant cost advantage OSDBMSs offer

  • — The emergence of enterprise-grade features and flexibility

Let’s take a closer look at how that impacts different parts of the enterprise.

Why Database/Application Developers Are Flocking to OSDBMSs

Developers are increasingly choosing open source for one simple reason: They are finding all the tools and features they need in order to do cutting-edge work.

EDB Postgres Advanced Server

(a leading open source RDBMS) provides functionality that allows DBAs to prioritize CPU and I/O selectively, providing granular resource consumption limits to ensure that no single process takes more than its fair share.

  • MongoDB

  • (an open source, document store DBMS) offers features such as built-in replication, auto-sharding, and support for mixed-workloads. It is well suited for use cases such as Internet of Things, mobile applications, and social applications.

  • Neo4j

  • (a highly scalable, open source graph DBMS) provides features such as expandable address space, a smart storage optimization algorithm, a recently introduced Bolt protocol, and a companion cloud service for anywhere, any-device access.

Of course, even the developer-friendly DBMSs would not flourish in the enterprise unless they were equally friendly to infrastructure managers.

Why Infrastructure Managers Are Welcoming OSDBMSs

Once developers start really stretching their wings with OSDBMSs and begin to expand both the size of their databases and their transaction volumes, infrastructure managers start to feel the pain.

This struggle comes in a variety of forms, including excessive disk I/O demands or protracted database backup windows. 

And that’s without even taking into account the usual pressures around, say, security and interoperability. 

OSDBMS makers know this. That is why they provide features that aim to maximize the speed, scale, and flexibility of their DBMSs and give infrastructure managers some breathing room—and the opportunity to shift funding into strategic, high-return areas, such as mobile and analytics.

Why OSDBMSs Are Especially Budget-friendly

With happy developers and relaxed infrastructure managers ready to embrace OSDBMSs, they can also make a compelling case to the CIO and CFO that open source is a particularly sound and budget-friendly investment when it comes to DBMSs.

Earlier, we mentioned the significant cost advantages of OSDBMSs and those advantages begin right up front. 

Deploying OSDBMSs allows you to sidestep the capital outlay that usually accompanies enterprise software.

Avoiding software license fees certainly makes the biggest contribution to savings. 

However, you can also expect to pay a fraction of the yearly support subscription price for commercial DBMSs when you subscribe to support for the open source alternatives. 

Gartner cites costs for open source support that are anywhere from 8% to just 22% the price of comparable commercial support for DBMSs over a 3-year period.

OSDBMS offer great features for database and application developers, are infrastructure-manager friendly, and offer a stunningly superior TCO compared to commercial DBMSs. 

And remember—the other guys are already making the move.

Written by IBM BP Network