France Takes the Lead on New Open Source Front

July 29, 2015

France has been an early and aggressive adopter of open source technology since the beginning of the movement. In 2007, French authorities handed out 175,000 open source equipped memory sticks to high school students. By 2008, 24% of French organizations in a Forrester Research survey said they were already using open source software across the enterprise. So it is no surprise that the open source database Postgres is so popular in France.

Now many companies and organizations, across Europe but also in France, are seeking to expand the use of open source software to the database layer. In 2012, the French Prime Minister sent a letter to all the government agencies asking them to use free software. In his letter, he promoted the migration from proprietary databases to free databases, such as PostgreSQL (also called Postgres), demonstrating a new approach as head of the state. The plan would allow saving 10% of IT budgets used on proprietary software licenses that will be reinvested in improving free software.                                                   

Renewed interest in PostgreSQL

Today’s enterprise data infrastructure model calls for open source-based and proprietary solutions co-existing and database administrators targeting problems with their most cost-effective solutions. Best practices now call for data center managers to:

  • Leverage the low cost of open source based databases for new, refactored and easily migrated applications.
  • Reserve licenses for more costly traditional databases to accommodate growth in other areas due to hardware upgrades and enterprise resource planning (ERP) expansions.

Two key factors are driving this adoption in relational OSDBMS: Lower total-cost-of-ownership and growth in product maturity.

“By 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS, and 50% of existing commercial RDBMS instances will have been converted or will be in process,” predicts Gartner in an April 2015 research paper. Soaring interest in open source relational databases and rising revenue prompted Gartner to re-examine the state of relational open source databases, according to this report.

Postgres open source database has grown considerably with performance and security tools adapted to business needs. Postgres is compatible with all proprietary database market. In France, the Ministry of Sustainable Development has migrated from Oracle to PostgreSQL and using it for 10 years with over 250 applications that run this software.

France wants to be a champion of Open Source in Europe, by the will of the government to consider it as an alternative to traditional solutions. This new trend has an immediate impact on the entire sector and with the SILL, France shows the example to the rest of Europe. The revolution is underway, evidenced by the report of SILL issuing recommandations on the use of Open Source software in ministries. Governmental agencies fully embrace the Open Source movement, a proof that the state not only adopts free software but also contributes to their development. 

For more information about deploying open source based Postgres in your data center, contact us

Mathieu Le Faucheur is Sales Director, Southern France. 

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