The average lifecycle for a database, from selection to obsolescence, is somewhere between six and 10 years. When the time comes to get a new database, a few common factors must be considered, including cost, scale, functionality and performance. These days, most of these companies also will face a decision in terms of what kind of entity provides their database: proprietary or open source.
Each has its advantages and drawbacks — in fact, a benefit for one organization might be a shortcoming for another. For instance, proprietary databases usually include a bundle of support services and training provided by the vendor. Open-source databases are generally perceived as being more flexible in terms of both customization and service providers, which might sound great to certain kinds of companies and challenging to others. “(Open source) is more flexible, but the counter to that flexibility is that it sometimes requires more work on the user’s part,” said Bruce Momjian, one of the core developers for the PostgreSQL open-source database. “It becomes a more complex decision-making process for the vendor.
“For example, with something as simple as getting tech support for your database, all of a sudden you have multiple vendors that you can choose for that support, as well as multiple vendors for training,” he added. “You have to be a little more educated when you choose a vendor to do that ‘last mile’ support for their database.”
Other apparent problems frequently include the maturity of open-source databases (and other…
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