Oracle vs. open source: What’s behind door #3? - TmaxSoft
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Oracle vs. open source: What’s behind door #3?

In 1960, Charles W. Bachman designed what is considered the “first” database management system (DBMS), the Integrated Database System. Six years later, IBM released IMS, a joint hierarchical database and information management system that supported transaction processing. At the end of the 1960s, the database market took off. However, experts were already thinking of ways to improve them. In 1976, the first relational DBMS (RDBMS) was sold by Honeywell. Just three years later, the Oracle RDBMS was born.

Despite challenges over the years from IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and others, Oracle now eclipses  all databases and RDBMSs in popularity. Second is MySQL, which is open source (yet is also owned by Oracle). A free version, called MySQL Community Edition, is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Oracle is the bellwether RDBMS for a reason—namely stability and security—but more companies are turning to open-source to avoid high licensing costs. So, with just two main choices, should you give up Oracle and go open source? Or do you stick with Oracle for security and features? Let’s look at why you don’t necessarily have to do either.

Oracle: Do you get what you pay for?

Oracle is the market leader for a reason. It offers high performance and good functions and features that include security, tuning, and other optional packs. Scale-out technology with RAC provides active-active (share-nothing) clusters. Because it is a commercial vendor, its developers are part of the organization and are a known quantity. Oracle is especially popular with large enterprises, and it has a large community of developers and managers.

Oracle is recommended for very large-scale deployments. Stored procedures, which are embedded in the database, can be executed independently or triggered by certain events. It supports data partitioning and requires a username, password, and profile validation for logging in.

Its drawbacks include no support for virtual CPUs, hidden costs for “optional” security and partition models, and high CapEX (the licensing) and OpEX (the maintenance agreement). Oracle has an RDBMS licensing model whereby, in a soft-partitioned virtualization environment, its customers are required to pay for 100% of the available physical cores—even if they’re not used. With these kinds of restrictions on how to use Oracle, many enterprises, perhaps even yours, feel locked-in to an inflexible monolith.

Open source: Are the best things in life really free?

MySQL is fast, scalable, easy-to-use, and flexible. It allows commit, crash recovery, and transaction rollback. It is commonly used with PHP scripts for creating server-side or web-based enterprise applications, and it supports Windows, Linux, MacOS, and others with C, C++, and Java. Although large companies use MySQL, it is more popular with smaller companies because there are no licensing fees.

Another popular open source RDBMS is PostgreSQL, which is similar to MySQL. The efficiency of its central algorithm enables it to outperform many commercial databases if you are working with large datasets, for which I/O processes can otherwise become a bottleneck.

The disadvantages of open-source offerings are also similar. They have fewer features and functions than Oracle, and do not offer RAC or data partitioning. Because they are not compatible with Oracle, more resources and more time are needed for migration, which increases cost. Because their source code is open to a community, this can create a security risk, and core documentation is not always up to date. Service and support are not as easily available because these are not commercial products.

TmaxSoft Tibero: The best-kept RDBMS secret?

If database adoption were part of the Let’s Make a Deal game show, Oracle would be behind door #1. An open-source RDBMS like MySQL or PostgreSQL would be behind door #2. You would be asking yourself if you want to sacrifice stability, security, and rich features and functionality for no licensing fees, web development, and compatibility with more languages. In the RDBMS game, just like in Let’s Make a Deal, there’s a door #3; however, TmaxSoft Tibero, which is behind it, is more of a secret than a mystery.

Tibero is a high-performance, highly secure, highly scalable relational database management system (RDBMS). High availability is achieved with active-active (same as with RAC), performance is boosted with a multi-process and multi-threaded architecture, and for disaster recovery, there is active-standby. In terms of compatibility, Tibero supports standard SQL and interfaces such as JDBC, ODBC, and CLI, is compatible with Oracle PL/SQL, data types, and functions. You also get the added bonus of virtual CPU (not available with Oracle). You can even use your Oracle skillset on Tibero.

Unlike its open-source competitors, TmaxSoft owns Tibero and provides support through phone, email, web, and mobile chat, and support turnaround time is better than Oracle. We also provide onsite health checks and support. Although TmaxSoft is not free, enterprises, on average, can save 50% on licensing. In short, you get built-in enterprise features like encryption and data partitioning and all the benefits of Oracle for half the cost. You also get the flexibility and cloud features of open source without taking a major hit to your budget.

Horizontes Creativos: What happened after they chose door #3?

Horizontes Creativos was developing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to serve as a single repository for all the different interactions the company had with its customers. On a tight budget and schedule, the company needed find an RDBMS that would enable it to access all its data so it could analyze the results of previous campaigns and create new ones. After analyzing the database market and reviewing both enterprise solutions and open-source solutions, Horizontes Creativos selected Tibero as the central database for the new CRM platform.

Tibero enabled Horizontes Creativos to reduce the costs associated with application development by providing a robust, high-performance database solution with all the monitoring and management tools they needed. "Tibero’s compatibility allowed us to save time and development resources so we were able to meet the system startup dates. Tmaxsoft was key to meeting our goals,” says Jesús de Lorenzo. CEO of Horizontes Creativos.

Open the door to a new RDBMS

Want to learn more about why Tibero is the better alternative to Oracle and open source? Read the ultimate guide to taking back your database

Kelly McClure is the Vice President of Global Marketing for TmaxSoft. Her 20-year marketing career spans both Fortune 1000 companies and fast growth technology startups. Kelly is responsible for leading TmaxSoft’s marketing strategy. She is experienced in aligning marketing and sales, building relevant content and messaging and developing integrated lead generation campaigns. Before joining TmaxSoft, Kelly served as the Vice President of Marketing for 10th Magnitude and held senior marketing roles with DataStax, BMC Software and Micro Focus. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.