Monday, April 21, 2008

Closed source hurts your bottomline twice

Oracle is decent database. It has good performance, rich features and is reasonably fast. However this doesn't mean, if you have spent $100K on licensing it and $20K on the machine it runs on, it will never fail. In fact I happen to be in a situation where I have seen Oracle crash and burn very regularly.
Being closed source and a paid application oracle hurts your bottomline more than once. Not only do you spend money buying the expensive license+machine but you end up paying more for maintenance and administration.

Lets compare the cost of a MySQL/Postgres database to an Oracle.
DBA costHigh ($30K/year)Medium ($20K/year)
Machine/resource costHighMedium
License costHigh ($600K + $100K/year ~ approx)Nil ($0k)
Downtime costHigh (Revenue)High Revenue)

And after all this money spent when it crashes it hurts much more as the cost of the downtime is the same i.e. loss of revenue. It you much more as it has already eaten into your revenue. Speed wise there is hardly anything that can match MySQL. However it is not as reliable as Oracle/Postgres. But then if I maintain say a 3 node cluster of MySQL it is much more reliable and cost effective than Oracle.

Oracle has always been touted as the most feature rich database. However I don't think most of the websites out there use any of those advanced features.

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