What Gartner’s ‘State of the Market’ Report Says About the Importance of Flexibility in Data Management
Technology managers are rapidly modernizing their data infrastructures to achieve greater flexibility in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace. They need flexibility over their licensing portfolio, ability to configure modern applications, and choice of deployment environments to keep pace with digital transformation.
The State of the Operational DBMS Market, 2017 report from Gartner offers guidance for technology leaders, and, if you know what to look for, these aspects of flexibility stand out.
Some key points and recommendations presented in the report can help you select technologies that are easy for teams to adopt and manage, integrate with legacy systems, and support today’s modern applications. Let’s explore the recommendations Gartner shares in this informative report as they pertain to your licensing considerations, technology for modern applications, and diversity of your deployment environments.
Consider this Gartner recommendation and its impact on vendor licensing:
“Add an open-source DBMS to your organization's DBMS standards for new uses and to replace a commercial RDBMS. The functionality of the OSDBMS may be sufficient for existing applications.”
The foundation of a more flexible data infrastructure is an open source operational database management system (OSDBMS) for a number of reasons. First, OSDBMS vendors offer subscriptions with support, upgrades, and maintenance that cost much less than traditional vendors, as much as 80 percent less, freeing budget for more strategic initiatives. Some OSDBMS subscriptions have no hardware restrictions or limits on deployment environments, with freedom to choose whether to deploy on-premises or in the cloud. As such, doing business with OSDBMS vendors gives organizations a much greater degree of flexibility to configure infrastructures to support more agile environments.
EnterpriseDB (EDB) offers universal subscriptions that are free of restrictions on hardware or deployment environments. EDB Postgres also has database compatibility with Oracle so you can use your existing applications with minimal change and leverage your current team’s development and DBA skills.
Applications today are more complex, frequently requiring structured, unstructured and semistructured data for more rapid processing and real-time analytics. Managing this diverse data in separate database management systems can slow performance and add complexity. Multimodel DBMSs play an important role in supporting these types of workloads.
As Gartner stated in the report, “Multimodel DBMSs can reduce the complexity of existing portfolios of production systems. They can often more consistently apply auditing, concurrency controls, versioning, distributed data complexity management, points of governance and security.” 
Gartner’s recommendation is as follows:
“Choose vendors whose stability and track record are demonstrable and whose roadmaps are consistent with your planned use cases. Also, consider the traditional DBMS vendors, as they have been adding multi-model capabilities.”
EDB Postgres is a great example of this. It achieves this first with multimodel capabilities to combine unstructured data types like GIS information or JSON documents with traditional relational data, and second with Foreign Data Wrappers (FDWs) to integrate seamlessly with disparate external data sources. EDB uses FDWs, a feature of Postgres, to build EDB Postgres Data Adapters that connect to external databases, such as MongoDB, Hadoop, and MySQL, to do bidirectional data transfer and joins amongst the data as if all were part of a single database, with ACID compliance. For example, the EDB Postgres Data Adapter for Hadoop can be used with Apache Spark for in-memory processing for hybrid transactional/analytical processing (HTAP) to achieve speeds exponentially faster for some analytics. This combined with EDB Postgres’ Oracle compatibility and ability to replicate with Microsoft SQL Server enables an enormous range of data processing configurations.
IT needs the flexibility to choose deployment options based on business use cases. While traditional on-premises deployments still dominate, the cloud has become a destination for not just development but increasingly for production deployments of mission-critical applications. In these cloud environments, solutions for self-service provisioning and automated management are the norm. Gartner refers to these cloud database solutions as “database platform as a Service (dbPaaS)” and predicts revenue to triple over the next five years.
Gartner makes two recommendations for organizations with respect to deployment environments:
1) “Establish a policy for the mixed adoption of traditional DBMS on-premises and public dbPaaS. Each may have a role to play in your organization over the next three to five years.”
2) “Analyze a range of dbPaaS offerings from providers — not just those from major vendors and your standard vendor. There are many specialty dbPaaS offerings that bring unique functionality and flexibility.”
EDB created a dbPaaS framework in EDB Postgres Ark to give organizations a combination of point and click simplicity for their developers along with centralized control and monitoring for their operations teams. The EDB Postgres Ark console and APIs allow for quick and easy creation of Postgres clusters; each cluster is immediately set up with high availability, automatic backup and recovery, load balancing, and basic monitoring and management, whether in public, private or hybrid cloud configurations. In addition, the database software being deployed in this environment is the same EDB Postgres Advanced Server that they are using in their on-premises deployments.
Enterprises using open source-based EDB Postgres have the freedom to create architectures to support innovative new applications, combine analytics with unstructured data, and flexible cloud deployments, all while working within a familiar relational environment using existing skill sets. EDB also offers DBaaS and container products to give enterprises greater efficiency and control when deploying EDB Postgres into public, private and hybrid cloud environments.
The top line observations of State of the Operational DBMS Market, 2017 report provide a roadmap for enterprises to achieve greater flexibility in their database usage through the adoption of multimodel and open source DBMS alternatives deployed in the cloud and other environments. EDB Postgres provides a comprehensive solution addressing all of these aspects of flexibility.
Kenneth Rugg is Chief Product and Strategy Officer at EnterpriseDB.
 The State of Open-source RDBMs, 2015, by Don Feinberg and Merv Adrian, published April 2015
 State of Operational DBMS Market, 2017, by Donald Feinberg, Merv Adrian, and Nick Heudecker, published July 2017
All statements in this report attributable to Gartner represent EnterpriseDB's interpretation of data, research opinion or viewpoints published as part of a syndicated subscription service by Gartner, Inc., and have not been reviewed by Gartner. Each Gartner publication speaks as of its original publication date (and not as of the blog). The opinions expressed in Gartner publications are not representations of fact, and are subject to change without notice.