Ed Boyajian, President and Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseDB, spent a few moments discussing the company's Postgres Plus® Advanced Server version 9.2. Although I believe that a product discussion was the primary reason for the call, we hardly touched on the new features the product offers. Instead, our time was spent examining what reasons could be behind enterprise's continued use of Oracle, Database even though a highly compatible, extensible, scalable database product is available.
Each and every time Oracle makes a move, it increases the price of its database, changes the terms and conditions under which its products can be used or announces that a platform, such as Intel's Itanium, will no longer be supported, EnterpriseDB steps up to explain that PostgreSQL combined with EnterpriseDB's enhancements is up to the task of supporting enterprise-level workloads at a much lower overall cost.
As would be expected, other database suppliers, such as IBM, have also taken up the anti-Oracle song. IBM would make the case that the combination of its DB2, its wealth of system platforms and its extensive consulting services would also make a better choice for enterprises.
Even though the court has forced Oracle to continue to support Oracle Database on HP's Itanium-based systems for a time, EnterpriseDB would point out that it is hard to believe that this support will be enthusiastic, timely or comprehensive.
Boyajian pointed out that organizations have only a few options when a database supplier, such as Oracle, tries to change the rules of the game. The available options are:
- Stay the course — continue using installed systems and software until they no longer can be made to function. The decision on where to go next can be delayed while market dynamics play out.
- Swap out the database and keep the same systems and software — suppliers such as EnterpriseDB and IBM both claim highly compatible products. Both companies also are offering both services and tools to help enterprises replace Oracle Database with their products.
- Swap out the hardware and keep the same database — Boyajian pointed out that Oracle's moves were designed to move HP Itanium users over to Oracle's Sun servers. He commented that if an enterprise was considering a platform change, considering servers from Dell, IBM or other servers from HP might be a better choice.
What's holding enterprises back?
Boyajian pointed out that a number of factors are holding organizations back and EnterpriseDB has been working hard to address all of these issues.
- Moving from one database to another or from one platform to another can be a time-consuming, complex and costly endeavor — highly compatible products can reduce both the time and the costs of a move. Boyajian pointed out that Postgres Plus is highly compatible and is available on Windows 32, Windows 64, Linux 32, Linux 64, Sun Solaris, and HP HP-UX on Itanium-based systems.
- Concerns about performance, security, or scalability can make a move seem unattractive — EnterpriseDB has done a quite a bit of work to address each of those issues and the company believes that its Postgres Plus is equipped to handle nearly every enterprise workload.
Although my conversation with EnterpriseDB's Boyajian was very interesting, it is still clear that every company's environment is a bit different than all others. So, as I've commented before, there is no single cut and dried solution.
EnterpriseDB has chipped away at all of the potential objections to their product and now offer products that can handle nearly every enterprise workload. Boyajian would point to the increasing number of Global 1000 customers and a string of successes to prove the point.
Oracle customers who are feeling unsure of the company's intentions or strategy would be wise to speak with other suppliers, such as EnterpriseDB, to learn what option would be best for them.