The database industry has changed. No longer is it dominated by proprietary databases that require licensing and a vast amount of engineering resources to maintain. PostgreSQL has evolved to a point where it has become the database to compare others with.
It was back in the year 1919 when we first heard the phrase “clear and present danger”, in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that added limits to freedom of speech. When one thinks about the word danger, there typically is a threat of some type within that thought.
Today, we are faced with “clear and present Postgres”, an open-source alternative to proprietary databases that is wreaking havoc on the database industry.
What is this havoc, why is this happening, and where is the PostgreSQL proof?
What is this havoc?
Freedom of speech gives you the ability to speak up and voice your opinion, and freedom of choice gives you the ability to select among various alternatives the one that best suits your needs. In our case, I am talking about the ability to select an open-source database solution that meets your requirements, which were once only met by closed-source options.
So where is the havoc in that?
In our case, havoc has a positive connotation, and comes in the form of a diverse community with a mindshare filled with knowledge, unlike a single company of handpicked development minds with limited resources, often defined by corporate budget limitations.
The current new PostgreSQL release presents a great example of this by delivering over 200 combined fixes and features.
The diverse minds of contributors (such as Fujitsu's own Ajin Cherian, Amit Kapila, Peter Smith, and Vigneshwaran C) bring development and technology experiences that span the globe, allowing their industry knowledge to be shared as code, to which they can collaborate without budget restrictions looming over their heads. Yet the havoc comes as the chase to the future.
PostgreSQL is clearly a leader as we are faced with vendors using compatible forms to join the chase, in the likes of Aurora and AlloyDB, where the key features of PostgreSQL around concurrency control are being adopted.
The havoc doesn’t relate to the meaning of disorder, but one of calm and orderliness as a guide of where the industry needs to go.
Why is this happening?
The days of PostgreSQL as a bleeding edge technology are gone. It’s now considered a true and proven solution that brings minimal risk to those that require even the highest standards of security and performance.
The development of PostgreSQL has advanced and brought it to cutting edge status, running some of the largest mission-critical systems. Everything from ridesharing, credit card payments, high-volume transactions of retail giants, and storage of transportation data can be found within the realm of PostgreSQL.
Among the benefits of digital transformation, cost saving is one of the main driving factors encouraging companies to take the leap to the cutting edge. This is ever more relevant as the new year sets in and budgets are in flight with news of a possible recession brewing, causing intense boardroom discussions to take place.
The signs are clear and present, with a Kelvin-Helmholtz cloud in the sky. The time is now, as companies are taking the leap off the cutting edge now that the risks have been reduced and the fear of being left behind on stagnant technology is on the horizon. PostgreSQL delivers flexibility that allows you to fly into the future.
Where is the PostgreSQL proof?
A consistent ride of the increasing technology wave and staying in the top 5 amongst the rankings on DB-Engines may be proof enough for most. Yet, remaining doubters can explore the industry giants and watch their adoption trends.
Google, AWS and Microsoft - the top 3 hyperscalers - have expanded their support for PostgreSQL within the past two years. All of them have a future capacity of land under development to grow the need for data centers. The trends show us the hyperscalers growing to accommodate a need, but possibly losing revenue.
Cost cutting is the trending scale to follow. Having PostgreSQL or an overall open source initiative at the peak of the digital transformation shows the top three giants are preparing for what’s to come. This is further seen by their internal push to release and support more current versions and features of the PostgreSQL world.
It’s clear that there is no present danger of PostgreSQL going away or being acquired by a powerful industry investor. In fact, with no danger in sight, it appears that Postgres could be a threat to several other challenging databases.
The mindshare of the community is increasing, as well as the scale of features along with it. These features no longer raise the question "Will our app run on PostgreSQL?". The new question is "What can’t we run on PostgreSQL?". After that, the follow up will be deciding where to run it.
Part of the proof is that you can run PostgreSQL anywhere. This capability also means that a hyperscaler doesn’t have to be your choice. The choice of a data center can be your own - you can use your own existing infrastructure to save on cloud costs and build out a PostgreSQL DBaaS. After all, disk is cheap, but only if you already own it. The possibility of repurposing hardware and running Postgres may be a unique thought, and the proof one needs to lower costs and get started.
Surely, there are many other factors to consider, but I can assure you that the answer will be PostgreSQL, even if you need an enterprise version to complement the requirements of your use case.
The tables have turned
In today’s conversations, the comparison has been reversed - instead of comparing PostgreSQL to other databases, we now compare other databases to PostgreSQL. One of the reasons is its growing adoption and popularity among developers, as noted by a StackOverflow survey that names PostgreSQL as the most popular database.
The proof is in the simple economics of supply and demand. The PostgreSQL footprint of major hyperscalers and the adoption amongst developers are the proof that people and businesses have provided.
In conclusion, PostgreSQL has emerged as the clear and present alternative to proprietary databases, backed by a diverse community of developers and proven success stories in running critical systems of various industries.
With growing adoption among developers and the support of major hyperscalers, the time has come for organizations to make a choice and experience the benefits of PostgreSQL. Whether it's for cost-cutting or future-proofing strategies, Postgres delivers the flexibility and reliability needed to stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape. The proof is in the numbers and the community, and PostgreSQL has earned its place as the leading open-source database solution.