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Enterprise-class open source database management systems (OSDBMS) have been extending their footprint in the data center in recent years and show no signs of slowing down.

In fact, Gartner states, “By 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS, and 50% of existing relational DBMS instances will have been converted or will be in process.”

One of the fastest growing OSDBMS is EnterpriseDB’s (EDB) Postgre Advanced Server.


As of last year, 20% of the Fortune 500 lean on EDB to meet their digital business objectives.

EDB was founded in 2004 and is based on open source PostgreSQL, which has been a solid platform for over 20 years.

Q&A with EDB's Max Robbins and Robert Batesmrobbins.jpg

To learn more about the growth of open source databases in the enterprise and EDB’s role in that growth, we sat down with members of the EDB team.rbates.jpg

We met with Max Robbins, Alliance and Channels Director, and Robert Bates, Sales Engineering Manager. 

Gartner has given some large growth numbers for OSDBMS. Are you seeing the same thing?

What EnterpriseDB is seeing for OSDBMS mirrors what Gartner said closely. There are several areas that new customers come to EDB looking for.

They are not initially looking at migrating their ERP or systems of record. They generally start with new applications.

Those clients generally start with non-mission-critical applications. They could be rolling out a new eCommerce initiative or a data-intensive supply chain application.

The cost of traditional relational database management systems (RDBMS) presents a challenge, so they look to open source alternatives.

Another driver for growth is modernization initiatives.

Clients might be retooling legacy applications to capitalize on current trends like big data analytics and mobile. Consequentially, they need a database that is more flexible and scalable than what they current have, and EDB fits perfectly.

After new clients become more comfortable with EDB Postgres Advanced Server, they see other uses for the database in their data center.

So clients will have multiple different projects built on EDB before migrating some of their applications to the platform.

Cost is obviously a factor. What else are you seeing as driving forces behind the transition to OSDBMS?

Cost is definitely a huge business driver for open source. Organizations are looking for cost reallocation.

How can they do more with IT and enable IT to be a business driver

The lines of business are pushing for more resources because they are tasked with strategically utilizing technology.

Those managers don’t just want to do more with less, but they are being forced to.

When they are planning their application projects, they are looking for the most capable solution that is also the most cost-effective.

There are some other compelling reasons that clients look to EDB as an alternative.

One is to prevent vendor lock-in. They don’t want their entire organization to be tied to a particular vendor, such as Oracle. With EDB, they can bypass the ongoing licensing costs, fees, and audits.

The application and database developers that these clients employ are also looking to expand their skill set.

The knowledge and experience that developers have gained working with a traditional RDBMS transfers very well to EDB. They also gain exposure to a new tool.

How does EDB fit in with organizations that rely on a traditional RDBMS, such as Oracle?

Many of EDB’s clients are also historically Oracle shops. The flagship product, Postgres Advanced Server, was built to be compatible with Oracle.

If an organization has Oracle expertise in-house, they do not want to lose that. That expertise transfers perfectly to EDB.

Clients moving applications from Oracle to EDB will not have to retrain their development team.

They also do not have to rewrite their applications or alter business processes just because they are changing their database engine.

EDB Postgres Advanced Server was built to be highly available and easily scalable, with exceptional performance. And it can coexist with Oracle or another traditional database because they run very similarly.

Is there a challenge to get clients to embrace open source?

While there may have been some hang-ups with open source in the enterprise 6 to 10 years ago, they are now long gone. Just about every organization now runs some form open source.

They have become comfortable running their data centers on enterprise-class distributions of Linux, for example.

What EDB does is educate these clients on where open source databases are in their maturity life cycle.

EDB Postgres Advanced Server is built on PostgreSQL, which has been around for over 20 years.

The tools are absolutely enterprise class. Now, our clients have the ability to implement open source across their entire stack.

Clients want to know that EnterpriseDB is capable of supporting them. They want to know what EDB is capable and how it works.

EDB has one of the largest populations of support, service, and engineering staff in the OSDBMS market.

The support structure might look a little different than their current vendor. It might be called something a little different, but it is definitely there.

As you know, we are IBM. How do you go to market with your partners?

EDB prefers to work with a client alongside our infrastructure partners. Typically, a new client will come to EDB stating that EDB is a path they want to go down. They will have some initial questions:

  • How do I install it?

  • How do I get educated on it?

  • What can I do to get my project moving?

Once they have completed development, their next question is, “How do I operationalize this?” That is when EDB should be engaged with the client’s infrastructure partner.

EDB works closely with IBM. EDB Postgres Advanced Server is available on IBM Power Systems. It is optimized to take advantage of the POWER8 processor so customers can see substantial performance boost. 

It is increasingly an open source world.

The numbers are clear. Organizations of all sizes are embracing enterprise-class open source technologies.

They are more cost-effective and flexible, which is critical in today’s constantly changing business environment.

IT needs to be agile so the business can be agile. And OSDBMS are one tool to help you get there.

If you are ready to get started with EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server, you can download the software here.

Or, for more information, check out the whitepaper on running EnterpriseDB on IBM Power Systems.

Written by Steve Erickson