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October 3, 2019updated 04 Oct 2019 9:34am

Database Diversity: The Dirt, the Data

A shrinking gap between Database-as-a-Service and "pure" opensource

By CBR Staff Writer

Companies are using an increasingly eclectic mix of databases, a survey of 836 enterprise database users from around the world conducted by Percona reveals — with the vast majority of respondents using more than one type of open-source database. 

The survey comes as the overall database market – worth some $46 billion at the end of 2018 – continues to fragment: there are now over 40 companies with revenues of $100 million-plus in the commercial open-source ecosystem.

Respondents reported using 30 databases. This is how they ranked.

Some highlights in the report:

  • Over 90% of respondents have more than one database technology in their work environment (despite the survey being dominated by small company respondents*)
  • 85% of respondents use more than one open source database technology
  • 73% are using both relational and NoSQL  databases.

See also: Should I Support Postgres In-House?

North Carolina-based Percona, a database services specialist, says it sees the gap closing between “pure” open source database offerings (many companies like MongoDB, for example, provide a bare bones free iteration of their product, and a more richly featured enterprise version) and paid-for Database-as-a-Service. 

“We believe that the leading and smart companies will continue using multiple databases in multi-cloud hybrid environments,” said CEO Peter Zaitsev.

“They will continue to embrace open source to avoid vendor lock-in.

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He added: “We also expect to see enhancement in convenience and simplicity to reduce the gap between the offerings from open source technologies alone and what you can obtain from Database as a Service (DBaaS).”

Open-Source Database Types

Despite the many alternatives available, relational DBMS continue to dominate: 96.7 percent of companies responding to the survey use them, and there is a significant gap between relational DBMS and multi-model databases.

(Most people rely on the out-of-the-box MySQL Community installs. The combined installs of Percona Server for MySQL and Percona XtraDB Cluster are in second place. MariaDB is in third. Over half use more than one provider for MySQL).

MongoDB came back as the most popular NoSQL database. MongoDB Community (the free, open source iteration) is the clear winner, Percona notes, (much more so than MongoDB Enterprise), with 34 percent of respondents to the survey using
it at their companies. It is unusual to have more than one different MongoDB and MongoDBcompatible vendor installs as a single company.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, large companies are more likely to use the feature-rich MongoDB Enterprise over MongoDB Community.

See also: MongoDB’s CEO on Open Source, Taking on Oracle, and Scaling Up

The full report and the raw data can be downloaded here.

* 573 small company respondents (1-500); 103 medium company respondents (500-5,000); 81 large company respondents (5,000+)


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