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Open source software has been recognized as an alternative to proprietary, commercial databases for some time.

Open source alternatives to enterprise relational database management systems (RDBMS) can save costs and increase functionality.

Chances are that you have several open source databases currently in your data center.

In Gartner’s 2015 report, State of Open Source, the research group estimated that by 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on open source database management systems (OSDBMS).

Gartner believes that as many as 50% of existing commercial RDBMS instances will be converted to open source in that same timeframe. OSDBMS represent a real threat to industry leaders including Oracle and Microsoft.


PostgreSQL is the alternative to commercial RDBMS

PostgreSQL is an enterprise-class open source database that has features very similar to the major proprietary RDBMS. The primary goal of PostgreSQL, or Postgres, is to provide an open source database management system that is based on industry standards while also being fully extensible.

Postgres also adds functionality that many RDBMS do not. The database supports JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). With JSON’s growth in web and mobile applications, it makes sense to use a database that supports that functionality.

While many think that you need to go to a NoSQL database, that is no longer the case. You can store JSON files in a Postgres database.

Affordable enterprise-class database management

Free licensing for open source software allows you to simplify deployment by avoiding budget approvals for your project. You can build out your application the way that you want. Once your application becomes business-critical, however, it will be time to make sure that you have enterprise-class support and management.

For Postgres users, that means EnterpriseDB (EDB). Their Postgres Plus Advanced Server is a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader. They deliver advanced functionality for managing and scaling your Postgres implementation. Here are some of the advantages that EDB provides:

  • Performance: Resource Manager gives you the ability to prioritize CPU and I/O usage. There are also partitioning improvements and optimized locking techniques that can accommodate the largest OLTP workloads
  • Compatibility: Postgres Plus gives you Oracle compatibility. You can save as much as 80% by moving licenses from Oracle to EDB without losing your investment in Oracle DBA skills.
  • Enterprise NoSQL: Many organizations are implementing key-value and document store NoSQL databases because of their flexible data schemas. EDB adds these features within Advanced Server to give you NoSQL functionality within an enterprise database.
  • Support: EDB gives you access to health checks, high-availability setup, migration assessments, and advanced deployment services. This can augment your DBA staff and let your team focus on your business.

If you are looking for a cloud solution, EDB offers Postgres Plus Cloud Database. This can give you a fully functional development and test environment. You can develop your Postgres applications without the need to deploy or provision on-premises hardware. Your team can be more agile to respond to the needs of your organization.

Your database can then move directly into production without leaving the cloud. You can scale automatically to meet application demands while it is housed in a high performance, highly reliable environment.

Infrastructure can boost performance

Some applications belong on-premises. They have performance and security requirements that are difficult to match in the cloud. Even on-site commodity x86 hardware may not be enough for your application. That is why IBM partnered with EDB to provide workload optimized Power Systems.

IBM Power Systems can offer 4x the CPU performance, 4x the I/O bandwidth, and 1.6x the amount of RAM to comparable Intel Xeon processors. CPU and I/O intensive applications will simply perform much better on IBM Power Systems.

IBM is also dedicated to the open source community. In 2013, IBM invested $1 billion in the Linux community. They also founded the OpenPOWER Foundation to allow other innovative companies to take advantage of their Power line of processors. This is why IBM is the lone Diamond sponsor of Postgres Vision 2016.

PostgreSQL, EnterpriseDB, and IBM together

If you are looking for open source alternatives to your commercial RDBMS, then it makes sense to look into PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB. As your EDB Postgres database and application performance requirements grow, you should look into IBM Power Systems, which was purposefully designed for data-intensive applications.


We created a resource to show you how you can benefit by adopting open source. Get your eBook, Are You the Next Obsolete CIO? How Rapid Open Source Adoption Will Help You Save Your Job.

Written by Steve Erickson