Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sun loves Oracle, Sun loves PostgreSQL

Sun and Oracle have announced they will work together for another ten years. Not only that, but there's a new bundle in town that includes Oracle Enterprise with Sun servers. I haven't exactly figured out what it means to have software included for free that will require a support contract; Is that still free? But there were words indicating that processor count may not be relevant and that's probably where the savings lie. Maybe it's just saving you download time?

I don't really care about the pricing because big companies don't seem to hesitate to throw down dollars for Oracle licensing. What made this interesting to me was that Solaris, as of the 6/06 update now includes PostgreSQL natively - and there's no catches there. If you perform a "full distribution" install you already have an RDBMS. What's more, if you want to take that database into the critical waters of the production pool Sun will offer their world-class software support which means the company that knows their own operating system better than onyone else will also know the RDBMS sitting on top of it. Tres chique, n'est pas?

I'd imagine with Oracle's market share Sun has to play nice in the short term, but I give them a lot of credit for including PostgreSQL and picking a side. Right or wrong, in the age of mediocrity they made a decision. PostgreSQL is a phenominal database that competes aggressively with Oracle in many venues.

I'm fascinated with what the future will hold for relational databases on Solaris now that Sun has picked a side. This isn't just another open source database running on Linux farms - this battle will take place in the big data centers that Linux is just starting to scratch the surface of. I love Linux as much as the next guy, but how many sites do you know of running systems as large as an Enterprise 25K with Linux under the hood? Not too many - it's not in the heritage of Linux kernel - at least not yet.

So, where will this take Postgres? Methinks Oracle had better keep close tabs on Postgres over the next five years or so.

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