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Friday, February 04, 2005

Open Source Databases for Enterprise – Not Yet There….

We have in the past covered about LAMP the open source solution stack for the enteprise, wherein we covered, the version of the open source proponents saying- open source ready for the enterprise, it's also proven there. Many of the world's largest organizations, including Sabre Holdings, Cox Communications, The Associated Press, Google, and NASA, are realizing significant cost savings by using open source products to power web sites, business-critical enterprise applications and packaged software.
Sean McCown writes in Infoworld, a well written article you cannot run an enterprise on open source databases. He lists a number of well thought reasons . Excerpts with edits:
- Open source DBs can't handle XML, nor can they do any kind of real BI whatsoever. Quite often, as is the case with MySQL, they don't even have a complete coding set.
- Ingres is the only one so far that that could compete with closed source, but that's only because they used to be closed, and now CA has opened it up.
- Open source simply doesn't have the development effort that closed source does. Companies like Oracle, IBM, and MS put millions into their products every year, and that kind of funding will always be richer in features, and stability.
- With this new MySQL worm that's going around, doubts exist about ability to keep up with security patches once they get popular enough for the hackers to care about them? Keeping up with attacks is a fulltime job. For the record the details for the cure of the worm is available at "Its a bot and not a worm".
-While the closed source vendors a may appear greedy and soaking us for everything they can, but in the end, you get what you pay for.
-While examples of DBA statements swearing by open source DBs, is fine, but you'll never run an enterprise solely on open source. Its almost impossibel to make SAP up and running on MySQL, or ADP, or BAAN, or any of the other enterprise-level packages. - Monitoring solution won't work with any of the open source DBs. That means that HP Openview, or Quest Foglight, Tivoli, BMC, or Concord won't run on open source DBs. That's just the tip of the iceberg in the discussion on open source DBs.
- Problems with encryption support, auditing, and other issues surrounding compliance. management interfaces aren't rich enough to support enterprise-level implementations,
- Whatever you save in DB licensing from the big vendors, you will make up for in salary costs for more DBAs to manage it.- Opensource has its place in smaller home-grown apps that require less robust implementation, and less security. These DBs can be quite large though. Yahoo! is running portions of their website on MySQL, and Suzuki is running MySQL as well. There are several high-profile companies running open source to lend credibility to the project. But opensource does not have the features it takes to put into a high-level enterprise application.
- DBA's say -one can't make a career out of open source.
- While the big database payers may be greedy,we need open source to help even the playing field. The new mantra of DBAs should be open source for your everyday needs, Big 4 for the enterprise. Neat reasoning and quite realistic indeed.
Update: Barley I finished publishing this - News.com reported Few bugs in MySQL database - a source code analysis of the MySQL database, a popular open-source program at the heart of many Web sites, revealed few bugs compared with the number found in commercial code, as per testing company Coverity.Commercial code typically has anywhere from one to seven bugs per 1,000 lines of code, according to an April report from the National Cybersecurity Partnership's Working Group on the Software Lifecycle,which cited an analysis of development methods by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Coverity's analysis of MySQL found an average of one bug in every 4,000 lines of code--results that are at least four times better than is typical with commercial software. While this looks interesting, we still beleive that Opensource databse has a longway to go before being considered seriously for the enteprise.

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