Four Advantages of Using PostgreSQL in the Cloud

Ed Boyajian
Ed Boyajian
Ed Boyajian is president and CEO of EnterpriseDB.

The buzz surrounding the cloud is ringing louder and louder throughout the enterprise, from the boardroom to business line decision-makers to IT. The question here is, "What is a developer to do when selecting a cloud database?" For most database vendors, the cloud has only meant a new delivery channel for the standard "data center version" of their products. That poses significant challenges and risks for end users trying to take advantage of cloud computing - many are unable to utilize the real utility of the cloud because of limitations of the underlying database.

End users must maneuver a crowded marketplace to find the solutions that are truly optimized for a cloud environment and to be able to take advantage of its benefits. When optimized for the cloud, database-as-a-service promises data portability and mobility, scalability and elasticity, lower costs and ease of use. Whether these promises can truly be realized will depend on the underlying database.

Welcome PostgreSQL, the enterprise-class open source database used by some of the largest companies in the world to handle exceptionally large workloads. PostgreSQL (or just Postgres) has had years of hardening and development by a talented and committed community and fast-growing vendor ecosystem. Consider these four significant advantages of using Postgres in the cloud to deliver on the promise of database as a service.

  1. Portability. With open source software, end users achieve the flexibility and control they have come to value - and the freedom to move data to any platform and utilize all of the existing tools and applications they've invested in developing. Having Postgres run on Amazon, CloudBees, HP Compute Cloud, OpenStack and other platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service providers means end users are not locked in to any one cloud provider, but are free to move their database as their needs change.
  2. Scalability and Elasticity. Some platforms provide the database running on a single instance, which cannot scale because it's limited to that instance. This negates the whole point of being in the cloud. Key Postgres vendors have developed enhanced versions of community Postgres that are optimized for the cloud to realize the full resources of the environment. This includes automatically adding compute power and physical storage as demand grows and to create or release additional database instances as needed.
  3. Low Cost. Open source software provides a compelling alternative to costly, traditional enterprise solutions. Postgres in the cloud now enables pay-as-you-go pricing for the database.
  4. Ease of Use. The cloud is supposed to make things easier, and help more individuals in the enterprise take control of their applications. Tasks like starting up a new database cluster and configuring it for load balancing and high availability used to be the domain of the DBA. Now, with cloud versions of Postgres, developers can manage the same tasks with ease.

We're seeing a wide-scale migration to cloud computing across the enterprise. With that growth has come greater clarity in what developers need in a cloudified database. The solutions are expected to deliver lower costs and management ease with even greater functionality because they are taking advantage of the cloud. Finally, vendors are offering a truly cloudified database with Postgres at its core. The flexibility, portability and control that an open source database like Postgres gives to IT and developers are making it the right play for business.

Ed Boyajian is president and CEO of EnterpriseDB, which provides enterprise-class PostgreSQL products and services to help IT organizations succeed with the world's most advanced open source database.

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