Percona details ‘state’ of open source data management

Open source database management and monitoring services company Percona has laid down its state of open source data management software survey for 2019.

Surveys are surveys and are generally custom-constructed to be self-serving in one sense or another and so convey a message set in their ‘findings’ that the commissioning body (or in this case company) has wanted to table to media, customers, partners and other related bodies.

This central truth being so, should we give any credence to Percona’s latest market assessment?

Percona is an open source database software and services specialist that now offers the latest version of its Percona Monitoring and Management 2 product (aka PMM2) – this tool provides ‘query analytics’ for database administrators and sysadmins to identify and solve performance bottlenecks, thus preventing scaling issues and potential outages.

Given its position of ‘overseeing database’ operations and provision of database monitoring and management services, it is perhaps permissible to allow Percona to survey the open source data management market.

The company reminds us that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in terms of database needs… but why is this so?

There is no one size for all (says Percona) because although software vendors have worked hard to add features, users gravitate towards the best database (and best tool) for the job, using the right database for the right application in database environments that can exist either on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two.

So therefore, we end up with multi-database environments running on multi-cloud backbones.

Our survey (respondents) said

So who responded?

The US represented the biggest base of respondents that were happy to share their views on database management challenges with 26%. However, the remaining 74% are spread widely across the globe, giving us an arguably quite broad mix of global replies.

We might also argue that this breadth demonstrates the diversity and reach of the open source community.

In total 836 techies responded from 85 countries. The larger the company size, the more likely they are to have multiple databases. Larger company adoption of a multi-database environment jumps 10-15% over small companies.

As a quirk in part of the results, Percona notes that it was somewhat surprising how many people use both MySQL and PostgreSQL. The overlap of these two databases in a single environment is much higher than that of MySQL and MongoDB.

According to Percona, “Most survey respondents are well-informed about using open source technology in the cloud and do so. Interestingly, however, these passionate open source evangelists championing cost-effectiveness, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock-in often find themselves tied to cloud vendors with a single solution and large monthly costs.”

As company size grows, it is much more likely that companies are hosting databases in multiple clouds. The larger the organisation, the more complex the hosting environment. Larger organisations have a 10-15% swing in hybrid cloud, private cloud and on-premises.

Big company, complex hosting

Also, we see that the larger the organisation, the more complex the hosting environment… which one might argue is good news for Percona as it will more an opening to attempt to sell its management services.

Percona also notes that AWS continues to dominate the public cloud provider market, with over 50% of respondents using its cloud platform. Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure show similar numbers of respondents using their technologies and obviously offer alternatives to companies resistant to using Amazon, or won’t use Amazon due to a competitive clash.

According to Percona, “The multi-cloud usage for databases is about a third of our respondents, with 41% of larger companies using multi-cloud deployments (close to 10% over smaller companies). Smaller companies are more likely to use Google than Microsoft, but larger companies prefer Microsoft to Google (which could have something to do with startup businesses need for cost-effectiveness and agility).”

Over 25% of respondents are using containers, but not necessarily to run databases. This could be due to some early bias against running databases in containers. Many respondents aren’t aware if they use containers for their databases or not.

Adoption of open source

The top two responses to this question are the same ones that continue to dominate discussion on the benefits of open source: cost savings (79.4%) and avoiding vendor lock-in (62%). The benefit of having a community also scored highly (over 50%).

There are some interesting differences between management and non-management answers to these questions.

There is an 8% uptick in responses from management on avoiding vendor lock-in. It looks like larger enterprise management and non-management are on the same page about vendor lock-in. In small to medium companies, however, there seems to be a disconnect.

There is a 6% uptick in those looking for additional security.

Those who list vendor lock-in as a critical reason to adopt OSS are on average 10% less likely to buy support from a vendor (potentially viewing support as another form of lock-in). Note that in medium-sized companies, the number jumps up 19% for management being more likely to pay for support versus non-management. In large companies, management “support” for ‘support’ drops 16% and is 4% below non-management.

Overall… there is an industry-wide shift happening in open source. Well, OF COURSE there is… now that Microsoft loves Linux, IBM buys Red Hat and all the other major developments we’ve seen with GitHub, the .Net framework and more besides. What happens next is a bigger shift in terms of the way the open source world is moving and the how commercial open source stands up against its hobbyist programmer roots.

Readers can find the rest of the survey results here.


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