The rapidly increasing adoption of open source software has radically altered enterprise IT. In particular, expectations about the total cost of ownership (TCO), the quality, and the flexibility of enterprise software have been completely reset. The open source software development paradigm has also fundamentally changed the relationship between enterprise software vendors and their customers, enabling them to productively collaborate with each other and with communities of talented volunteer software developers in ways that yesterday's proprietary commercial models simply did not permit.
The comprehensive partnership between NTT (Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, NYSE: NTT), the largest telecommunications company in Japan, and EnterpriseDB® (EDB™), the enterprise Postgres database company, illustrates the wide-ranging potential of these next-generation collaborations. Together with the PostgreSQL open source developer community, the companies are pushing the envelope of PostgreSQL's technical superiority, creating strategic business advantage for NTT and EDB, and accelerating the worldwide adoption of PostgreSQL.
NTT and PostgreSQL
NTT recognized several years ago the many benefits that open source software can provide, including cost savings, increased code quality, and deployment and maintenance flexibility. As a mega-carrier with extraordinarily large-scale operations, NTT has particularly demanding software requirements. To address these requirements in the context of open source software, NTT founded the Open Source Software Center (OSSC) in April 2006. Today, OSSC continues to provide support services and technical information about open source software to the NTT family of companies and to contribute to open source communities.
One open source software community of particular interest to OSSC is PostgreSQL, which is widely regarded as the world's most advanced open source database. PostgreSQL has been in continuous development for more than 20 years, and has a well-deserved reputation for excellent architecture and world-class reliability, data integrity, and correctness. Database experts at OSSC consider PostgreSQL's features and performance to be comparable to commercial database products. Since its inception, OSSC has been promoting the deployment of PostgreSQL in the NTT family of companies and has contributed advanced features and bug reports to the PostgreSQL community.
As one of the largest companies involved with PostgreSQL, NTT provides the PostgreSQL community with a unique perspective. In return, NTT benefits greatly from the availability of open source database software with the scalability, reliability, and other carrier-grade characteristics that NTT requires.
The NTT Group has deployed hundreds of database-driven operation and business support systems. OSSC estimates that over the past two years, NTT reduced its database TCO by several hundred million Yen (millions of U.S. dollars) by using PostgreSQL in many of these systems. NTT expects to increase its savings by up to a couple billion Yen during the next five years by doubling the size of its PostgreSQL deployment.
For mission-critical, highly transactional systems, NTT chooses PostgreSQL on the basis of its superior performance, scalability, and reliability. NTT also believes that, compared with the controlled communities of other open source databases, PostgreSQL's open community provides the company with better opportunities to influence the database's evolution. For example, NTT can request and contribute features and functionality of particular value in its large-scale distributed database environment.
NTT and EDB: A Strategic, PostgreSQL-Based Partnership
In October 2008, NTT and EDB announced a comprehensive partnership that included an equity investment in EDB by NTT Investment Partners. The principal goal of the partnership is to add new features to PostgreSQL through collaborative contributions to the PostgreSQL community. Other goals of the partnership include accelerating PostgreSQL deployment in the NTT operating companies and enabling the NTT companies to deliver PostgreSQL- and EDB Postgres™ solutions to other companies.
Initially, the two partners will finalize and submit to the PostgreSQL community code for synchronous replication, a key technology for highly available database applications. This technology was originally developed for PostgreSQL by OSSC. Synchronous replication has several advantages over other high-availability solutions available today. For example, it eliminates the possibility of data loss, no dedicated shared disks are required, it achieves very-high-speed failover, and performance degradation is minimized. Importantly, synchronous replication is a critical high-availability alternative for cost-sensitive applications, because it can be deployed using commodity hardware.
Extending the Partners' Success
The close collaboration between EDB, NTT, and the PostgreSQL open source community has already yielded impressive benefits. Soon, every PostgreSQL user will benefit from the advanced features and functionality the partners are contributing to the community, strengthening PostgreSQL's position as the world's most advanced open source database. In particular, the enhanced PostgreSQL database will be better able to meet NTT's demanding performance and high-availability requirements. And, EDB has found a valuable long-term collaborator in NTT and its OSSC.