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EnterpriseDB rides on PostgreSQL momentum in APAC

The open-source database supplier has seen more enterprises in the region replacing their Oracle databases with Postgres to support their digital transformation initiatives

Postgres database supplier EnterpriseDB has grown its business in the Asia-Pacific region by 100% over the past two years, as more organisations look to replace their existing databases with open-source alternatives. 

Speaking to Computer Weekly in an interview, Graham Pullen, vice-president for EnterpriseDB in Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the company has seen more organisations in the region undertake database replacement projects to support their digitisation initiatives.

“We’re starting to see very large projects driven by the acceptance that open source has now become a very solid technology for them to consider in digital transformation,” he said, adding that banks, for example, are using Postgres in critical areas such as digital banking. 

“We’ve also seen telcos scrambling to change their technology stacks in their infrastructure because of the need to scale for 5G, as well as the largest government agencies looking more at cost savings and opportunity to reinvest those savings back into projects that are needed today.”

Pullen said the majority of projects centre around replacing Oracle databases, which continues to contribute to EnterpriseDB’s growth in the region. These projects, he added, could involve replatforming, and not necessarily database migration. 

“A large part of it is relooking at applications that used to run on legacy databases, and rethinking how they now fit into transformation initiatives,” he said.

Another major contributor to EnterpriseDB’s growing traction in the region has been its acquisition of 2ndQuadrant, a PostgreSQL supplier known for its database replication capabilities. 

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Pullen said that with 2ndQuadrant now part of a much larger distributed Postgres database offering, enterprises no longer have to use “typical hardware and software and very expensive kinds of solutions to achieve high availability”. 

Marc Linster, chief technology officer of EnterpriseDB, said such high availability capabilities used to be only available through offerings such as Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle GoldenGate, adding that “now there is an open-source-based solution that can do the same things at a fraction of the cost”. 

Beyond cost savings, Linster said Postgres adopters have started to view the open-source database as a strategic investment, mostly for systems of record, and increasingly, systems of engagement such as analytics, graph and geospatial applications. 

“In the past, a lot of our reputation was built on reducing costs by allowing you to take an existing Oracle application and move into Postgres,” he said. “But innovation, digital transformation, open source and cloud are much more important, and that’s where EnterpriseDB really plays.” 

According to Gartner, the global market for database management systems grew 22.3% to reach $80bn in 2021, with revenue for managed cloud database services rising to $39.2bn. While cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud have been climbing up the ranks in the market with cloud-based Postgres services, Linster considers them “commodity offerings”. 

“The hyperscalers are really infrastructure providers – they run Postgres and they probably do a pretty good job at it, but their life is not Postgres,” he said. “For us, Postgres is the only thing we do, so there’s a big difference when you call our support organisation to ask for help when the database is down, but if you call one of the hyperscalers, they’ll tell you the database is running and you can connect to it.” 

That said, EnterpriseDB offers a managed service for its Postgres database on AWS, Microsoft Azure, and soon Google Cloud. It has also built new capabilities into Postgres, such as an Oracle feature that merges results from different database queries, said Linster. “In Postgres 14, we changed 30% of the lines of code, and we can do that because we have over 300 technologists working on Postgres. We contribute that back to the Postgres community, and that’s what our customers value.” 

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