8 Reasons to Consider Open-Source Databases for Your Business

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8 Reasons to Consider Open-Source Databases for Your Business

Historically, costly commercial database systems dominated the data management landscape. But the adoption of open-source database systems is growing rapidly.

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Cost Savings

When it comes to cost, proprietary systems don't hold a candle to open-source systems. In the last decade, organizations have paid $4 million to $6 million, on average, for a three-year user license agreement from a commercial database vendor. When the IT department migrates its apps to an open-source solution, which doesn't require the same costly licensing fees, they can then divert funds to more strategic imperatives, such as mobile and cloud policies and analytics.

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Freedom and Flexibility

The all-inclusive, subscription-based pricing models that some open-source vendors use have given greater flexibility to organizations. This combined with standards-based databases that run on commodity hardware have given enterprises new levels of freedom from vendor lock-in.

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Database Maturity

According to Gartner's April report, The State of Open-Source RDBMSs, "By 2018 more than 70 percent of new in-house applications will be developed on an open-source database management system." Open-source solutions, such as Postgres, have undergone tremendous change and improvement since 2009, and open-source databases have caught up to commercial capabilities in their ability to support business-critical enterprise workloads. When it comes to cost, however, open-source solutions have far surpassed proprietary systems.

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Community Support

Open-source solutions have become more popular and realized increased adoption. In fact, according to a May 2015 survey of PostgreSQL users, 77 percent of users are dedicating all new application deployments to PostgreSQL. This rise in use can be attributed to the robust global community of developers backing it who employ the main tenets of open source: transparency, accountability, the ability to independently verify facts, and collaboration. The combination of these tenets in a strong community leads to a more secure enterprise solution that can keep up with the fast pace of today's business needs.

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Data Integration

According to Gartner, open-source solutions have reached parity with proprietary solutions when it comes to performance and functionality. The Postgres database also provides users with enhanced data integration capabilities beyond that of proprietary solutions with a feature called a Foreign Data Wrapper that allows database administrators to access and manipulate data being managed by other systems as if it were within a native Postgres table. This feature has become increasingly necessary in an environment with diverse data sets.

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On Budget

CIOs are under increasing pressure to do more with less as budgets remain constant, but data and the drive for innovation grows. On top of this pressure, ABI Research is estimating there may be as much as 44 zettabytes of data by 2020. Buying more hardware and software, or creating clusters to manage and store the data, can result in costly investment requirements at the backend of an IoT infrastructure. Seemingly affordable proprietary infrastructure can quickly become expensive; open-source alternatives can help users stay on budget.

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Innovative

Open-source plays a role in every industry, from consumer products such as automotive or mobile apps, all the way down to infrastructure. It is quickly becoming an enabler to building inexpensive yet mission-critical applications that differentiate businesses from their competitors. The Postgres community is a robust one that has been innovating to create a better product over the last two decades. As of 2015, Gartner declared it on par with traditional proprietary database solutions.

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Growing in Support

Open-source database solutions, like Postgres, are increasingly becoming the primary choice among developers, due to their efficiency (developers turn to solutions in cloud and open source for rapid deployment), rich functionality and low cost (open-source saves up to 80 percent over proprietary solutions). For example, with Postgres, it's unnecessary for companies to learn new query languages or alternative ways to structure data, and even companies as large and financially secure as Goldman Sachs are deploying open-source software solutions to reduce costs.

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A Day in the Life of a Datum

Big data and the Internet of things (IoT) are disrupting entire markets and merging our virtual worlds with our physical worlds. Within the last two years, more than 90 percent of the world's data has been created. IDC predicts that the data we create and copy annually will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, by 2020. Salesforce projects the number of connected devices available will reach 75 billion by 2020. Data surrounds us. Whether it's on our mobile phones, wearables, or home and/or office devices, we create and consume massive amounts of it each day. Have you ever stopped to think about where and how that data started its day? Who it touched before you? Or what happens to it afterward? In the following slide show, Calvin Hsu, a Citrix vice president, illustrates the journey one datum goes through from inception to reality, highlighting the phases of data—at rest, in use and...
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