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PostgreSQL in the Cloud

There are two interesting takeaways from this week’s – and last, if we include EnterpriseDB’s news – flurry of PostgreSQL news. Most obviously, it’s a win for the Postgres community. Whether you believe that Salesforce or VMware are in this for the long haul as strategic database suppliers, each of the new guys is a large, publicly traded enterprise software provider visibly committing to Postgres. Which is big.

The tortoise to MySQL’s hare, Postgres has built its reputation slowly, incrementally over the years. Well regarded by those in the market for relational databases, the project’s biggest limitation historically has been its more limited visibility.

With Heroku and VMware bringing Postgres to the cloud the same week – no coincidence there – the problem of visibility should presumably be lessened. Confidence in the future of the platform coupled with improved accessibility should have a positive material effect on overall traction for the project.

The second impact of this news, however, is perhaps less obvious. With two more market entrants, the importance of the wider cloud database market, and therefore the need to have a credible cloud story, increases.

Cloud database offerings are generally greenfield; it’s often difficult to justify the costs of even internal database migration, let alone transitioning to an offsite platform. But as enterprises consider their big picture database investments and strategy, the ability to consume their platform of choice from the cloud as necessary will become more strategic and less tactical.

Which means that existing database vendors lacking a cloud story for their database strategy – i.e. most of them – should accelerate their efforts in this regard, whether that’s through development or partnership.

Update: Missed the EnterpriseDB news while I was out on vacation, so that’s been updated.

Disclosure: Both Salesforce.com and VMware are RedMonk customers.

Categories: Cloud, Databases.

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