Many organizations today are constantly looking for new ways to give their offerings a competitive edge. Bringing new features to a saturated market means you have to stand up to your competition with an ever-increasing understanding of your customers' needs. The value is in the data; that's why data is now known as "the new oil."
So, what does this mean for your database infrastructure? This post explains how to face today's common business challenges with agile, extensible methods, using Oracle and Postgres Database in the same infrastructure.
Oracle Database Comes With Lock-In Vendor
A lot of companies have traditionally looked at Oracle to help meet many of these challenges. For nearly two decades, though, many of these companies also have been wondering what potential alternatives might exist for this technology.
As a traditionally built system, the Oracle database comes with many features, of which a number are really useful and interesting. On the flip side, though, it also comes with many restrictions, and with a solid lock-in with the software vendor. It is these things that frustrate the majority of the current Oracle database users. Today's challenges call for an agile and extensible system that fits seamlessly into modern IT infrastructures without dictating usage and consumption methods. For decades now, IT professionals have collectively stopped building applications that dictate what an IT infrastructure should look like; rather, they fit snugly into any existing environment. This is not always the case, but it's the ideal.
An Open Source Relational Database: PostgreSQL
As a result of this, and as a further expansion of the Open Source wave that is rolling over the IT world, PostgreSQL is rapidly becoming more and more popular. Following the adoption of open platforms in application development, management, and operations, relational databases are being evaluated. As a multi-purpose open source relational database, PostgreSQL's popularity soars.
The questions that emerge are questions of coexistence and replacement: can a PostgreSQL database replace an Oracle database? And, beyond the default answer to any question in IT: "It depends," there is a whole world to discover.
For many years, organizations have been using PostgreSQL in increasingly critical environments. Due to the nature of open source, PostgreSQL's innovation and development continue to be on a very high level. The free and extensible model allows for the much coveted seamless integration in existing projects and infrastructures. Through this, powerful solutions can be put together that can meet some of the most stringent demands that have always been the exclusive playground of systems like the Oracle database.
Even though PostgreSQL exclusively focuses on the development of the multi-purpose relational database engine, there are plenty of options available to tackle some of the engineered systems solutions that Oracle brings. Companies like EDB offer comprehensive key strategic partnerships with some of the major IT vendors. Through these joint approaches, replacing some of the "secret sauce" that solutions like ExaData and Real Application Clusters might offer, can often be easily accomplished. By closely looking at the business and IT requirements for solutions, an alternative solution, using PostgreSQL can very often be found. Moving away from a specific feature-play to a requirements based architecture brings options for increased flexibility at reduced cost.
Using Oracle and PostgreSQL Together
Oracle and PostgreSQL can perfectly co-exist in a database eco-system. There is no need for any one company to use an either / or strategy when it comes to these pieces of technology. When there are compelling reasons to run specific workloads on Oracle, it often still makes perfect sense to combine this in a heterogeneous environment, using PostgreSQL for a subset or for the majority of the workload. This adoption path also helps IT staff, most notably the database administrators, to experience PostgreSQL and get their possible prejudice resolved.
Managing Oracle Database Licensing
The final consideration on today's topic is of a somewhat more sobering nature. On the commercial side of this question, Oracle has done an excellent job of securing the client / vendor relationship. So called ULA's (Unlimited License Agreement) might, after all, not be so unlimited when it comes to reduction of spend. With a variety of services like LMS (License Management Service) the goal is to retain a maximum of customer spend regardless.
When considering hybrid approaches like the one we are discussing here, it makes sense to not just focus on the expansion of the database footprint in organizations, but also on shifting focus from one technology to another.
Managing your Oracle license estate is a challenging endeavor in itself, making profound changes to this could prove to be a bit too overwhelming. Also in this context, the folks at EnterpriseDB work closely together with leading teams of experts, specialized in restructuring Oracle ULA's and adjacent contracts.
Integrating Oracle and Postgres Database Infrastructure
With this, these new approaches to integrating Oracle and Postgres database infrastructure entail:
- An increasing platform agility
- Evaluation of Vendor lock-in challenges
- The adoption of a multi purpose relational database
- Organizations considering Oracle take-out
- A real world approach to Engineered Systems
- Ensure continuing support for Oracle professionals
- Oracle contract restructuring challenges are met
If you're looking to easily convert Oracle databases schemas to PostgreSQL, check out EDB's free migration portal!
Jan is Director of Sales Engineering at EnterpriseDB. In this role Jan supports the DACH-region in spreading the news of this Open Source Software (OSS) Enterprise ready database. Traveling from the North of Germany to the South of Austria, he helps both customers and partners adopting this technology stack.
In his scarce free time Jan enjoys traveling the country-side with his charming wife, preferably in a good size RV or ride his bright red Honda VF700C Super Magna into the sunset.