EnterpriseDB Creates Database as a Service for Cloud Hosting Platforms

News Analysis: EnterpriseDB is hoping entice more enterprises into cloud computing with a database-as-a-service offering geared to challenge Oracle in the database market.

EnterpriseDB has announced a new database-as-a-service offering, which will bring EnterpriseDB's PostgreSQL and PostgreSQL Plus database products to the cloud.

The company has already forged agreements with leading cloud services hosts to immediately offer EnterpriseDB's PostgreSQL Plus Cloud Service. Service providers, such as CloudBees and Engine Yard, will use PostgreSQL Plus Cloud Service for their core offerings while Amazon EC2 and HP Cloud Compute will offer PostgreSQL Plus Cloud Service directly to customers.

Offering the service as an alternative to entrenched Oracle users means that EnterpriseDB must include some specific features to support enterprise customers. One critical feature that EnterpriseDB's PostgreSQL Plus Cloud Service includes is support for fully ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliant relational database service.

That brings compatibility and ease of conversion to the service, lightening the load associated with migrating to another database. Further improving simplicity is another element that is of critical importance and EnterpriseDB offers that in the form of point-and-click simple setup and management using a Web-based interface.

The core software offering, PostgreSQL recently had some other updates as well, which are included in the hosted service. Version 9.1 of the database software was released in September last year, introducing a number of improvements such as synchronized replication and various command tweaks.

Prior to the September updates, EnterpriseDB announced the Postgres Enterprise Manager, which is a monitoring app that is optimized for the DB. That capability is also included in the hosted service offering. Postgres Enterprise Manager provides more server-side visibility and an analytics functionality, which tracks historic activity to identify usage trends in a deployment. There are also several additional features bundled together with Enterprise Manager.

Other critical features for enterprises include automatic scaling, load balancing and failover support as well as automated online backup and point-in-time recovery. Database Cloning capabilities and Oracle database compatibility are other critical capabilities offered by EnterpriseDB's PostgreSQL Plus Cloud Service.

"Postgres Plus Cloud Database is the only solution on the market today that makes deploying new instances of PostgreSQL or Postgres Plus Advanced Server easy in any environment," said Ed Boyajian, president and CEO of EnterpriseDB in a conference call. "And, through our partnerships with industry leaders CloudBees, Engine Yard, HP and OpenStack, customers will have numerous ways to take advantage of PostgreSQL -elastically' on multiple cloud platforms," Boyajian said.

Postgres Plus Cloud Database is available now with two versions of its cloud database: PostgreSQL 9.1, and Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.0. Pricing for Postgres Plus Cloud Database on Amazon Web Services is the same as Amazon RDS (MySQL), whether you choose the PostgreSQL or Postgres Plus Advanced Server database engine.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the company is getting Oracle stalwarts to notice their existence. After all, in the realm of databases, PostgreSQL is not all that well known, and fewer have even heard of EnterpriseDB. The company will need to get recognition to help convince potential customers to seriously consider them as an alternative to the Oracle database.

Perhaps the trick to that will come from publishing cost comparisons as well as performance metrics to garner interest. In essence, EnterpriseDB will need to accomplish what many other Oracle challengers have tried to do in the past-get potential buyers to notice that they exist. Luckily for EnterpriseDB, the database-as-a-service ideology may have some traction, especially as interest in the cloud continues to grow across enterprises.