Using open source and open-source-based databases to drive your Journey to AI

By | 4 minute read | April 1, 2020

As data proliferates, the need to efficiently undertand, process, and act quickly for competitive advantage continues to increase. Applications must be able to use data swiftly and adapt as needs change by the week or even the day. Developers also require places to store their data that can handle multiple formats and use cases. In order to manage these growing data needs, drive innovation and increase agility via modern application development, enterprises are turning to open-source-based solutions and technologies.

The State of Enterprise Open Source report by Red Hat states that about 69 percent of survey participants say enterprise open source is very important or extremely important. The report also enumerates some of the areas where enterprises are using open source software, highlighting databases as one of these key areas.

Using multiple databases

No one database meets all customer needs, so there is a growing trend of leveraging multiple databases, including those that are open source or open-source-based. This concept is called polyglot persistence: using different databases to handle different needs based on what each is best at to achieve an end goal within a single software application. This helps ensure applications are handling data correctly better than trying to satisfy all of organization’s requirements with a single database type.

One common example of this is using a relational database, which is good at handling structured data, in concert with a NoSQL or Non-relational database, which are best used for unstructured data. A DZOne report says that, on average, companies leverage 3.1 database types for their applications within a single organization. Just under 3/4 of organizations use two or more database types, with some reporting utilizing up to nine different database types.

Yet, polyglot persistence is not limited to relational and non-relational use cases. Varied use cases including OLTP, OLAP and a multitude related to AI can benefit from polyglot persistence. Indeed, collecting data in an optimal way is a key step in each company’s Journey to AI.

In recognition of these facts, IBM has been extending its Hybrid Data Management solution set by including a variety of open source-based, market-leading databases such as MongoDB and EDB Postgres. IBM also provides these databases with support and consulting services to enable these new and innovative technologies across the enterprise.

These offerings are not only popular but also well-suited for many different use cases and tackling different data types. IBM’s Open Source database strategy extends a customer’s reach to AI through microservice based access and management surfaced through the Cloud Pak for Data platform and Kubernetes and Operator driven technologies. Data virtualization, in turn, helps ensure that data in a wide variety of locations and formats can all be used to provide richer insight. Let’s take a moment to dig into what that looks like specifically for PostgreSQL.

Diving deeper into PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative database choice in enterprises. As a relational database management system (DBMS) that has been an active open source project since 1996, It is one of the oldest and most stable open source projects. This is due to the commitment of its members and its independence as a standalone community.

But if you’re an enterprise, additional tools and capabilities are needed to run your mission-critical applications at scale. So, in October of 2019 IBM partnered with EnterpriseDB and released IBM Data Management Platform for EDB Postgres Enterprise – a solution that includes EDB’s Postgres Advanced Server, which is based on PostgreSQL and enhances it with enterprise security, advanced performance, compatibility with major commercial databases, including Oracle and features that enhance the productivity of DBAs and developers.

Today IBM is following up on this solution by releasing V2.0 of both an enterprise and standard edition. While the enterprise edition includes EDB Postgres Enterprise V12, providing additional features along with PostgreSQL V12 enhancements, the standard edition includes PostgreSQL database itself and is a new offering for customers who are fully committed to running on Open Source PostgreSQL. Both offerings/editions include database management tools for for high availability, disaster recovery, and monitoring – as well as professional support. A full description of each is available in the table below.

If you are an Oracle user, the enterprise edition also provides several important Oracle-like features. This compatibility offers many advantages in meeting mission critical requirements:

  • The ability for developers and operations staff to continue to leverage many of their existing Oracle skills
  • Understanding and execution of Oracle’s PL/SQL commands natively without difficult- to-debug emulation, translation or layers that require other languages
  • Much less re-writing of core business logic
  • Support for code written for OCI and Proc*C
  • Integration into Oracle environments with heterogeneous replication or direct database links

Start building your modern data architecture with open source today

To make sure you have a well-integrated and enterprise-grade architecture that includes open source technology, start planning today. Learn more about IBM Data Management Platform for EDB Postgres Enterprise.

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