EnterpriseDB: Feds Jumping On PostgreSQL Bandwagon

A mandate toward open source initiatives and a federal agency review that found using Postgres software (object-relational database management system) and support from EnterpriseDB for a proposed project would cost 92% less than Oracle is accelerating the interest of government agencies and defense contractors who are taking advantage of the price-performance leadership of Postgres, according to Ed Boyajian, CEO and President of EnterpriseDB. The provider of PostgreSQL products and Oracle database compatibility solutions has hired Loren Osborn as Director, Government. He comes over from Gartner, where he was head of the US Navy program that helped related clients with strategies, planning, execution and management of new technology projects.

The US government, which actually helped fund the initial development of Postgres, accounts for a significant portion of the company’s business, with more than 40 federal agencies with deployments of Postgres and EnterpriseDB products. The number of government agencies among the more than 2,000 organizations in EnterpriseDB’s customer base rose by 40% over the past year. Customers include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Labor and multiple agencies throughout the Department of Defense (DoD).

There are a number of drivers for the interest in PostgreSQL and alternative database technologies, said Boyajian in a recent interview with IT Trends & Analysis. “I think the first is pain, pain in the enterprise and pain around infrastructure software.”

There is a long history of price pressure, and for most enterprises that burden gets bigger, not smaller, he said. The second driver is data and new technology growth. The creation and use of data is growing dramatically, and not just Big Data, but traditional data is growing around 10% annually, said Boyajian. For a market currently valued at $25 billion, that’s another $2.5 billion being added annually, but a lot of the new technologies don’t have budgets allocated for them.

Other drivers include the ongoing improvements in PostgreSQL performance, scalability and manageability. “We play a part in that. The performance tradeoffs that people would have made even five years ago are vanishing, and the price point is extraordinarily low.”

Boyajian said the fourth driver is the commercial ecosystem around PostgreSQL that has grown substantially, while the fifth is the acceleration in PostgreSQL adoption. “Now you’ve got success stories, and you add those things together, it’s a perfect storm.”

Based in Bedford, MA, the company released a report in June that found that almost half the users of PostgreSQL had cut their database costs by 50% or more by migrating to the open source database. The survey of open source PostgreSQL users reported that users had increased their production deployments of PostgreSQL in 2012, with 40% supporting mission-critical applications and 40% driving reporting functions.

Looking ahead, 35% of respondents said within a year their number of PostgreSQL-driven production deployments would increase by half, with 15% planning to double deployments. Overall, 24% of users deployed PostgreSQL for the first in 2012, compared to 14% in 2011 and 15% in 2010.

Founded in 2004, EnterpriseDB shipped its first product in 2005 and now has more than 2,000 customers. It reported  62% YoY sales growth in 2012.

According to a May survey from 451 Research, NoSQL databases had a way to go before their adoption would begin to impact the incumbent database vendors: Oracle MySQL and Oracle Database were used by 80.5% and 28.3% of respondents, respectively, while Microsoft SQL Server was used by 33.2% and PostgreSQL by 29.3%. Both Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database usage are expected to decline by 2018, but will still account for a large chunk of the database market, with SQL Server shrinking from 26.1% of respondents in 2013 to 18.1% in 2018, with Oracle going from 18.8% today to 12.3%.

Boyajian is not worried about the emergence of alternative database technologies. If you look inside most enterprises, the absolute number of applications that are running relational databases are not going away anytime soon. “They’re the bread and butter that run businesses today.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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