Reluctance to alter database strategies

Pandemic recovery and economic headwinds considered major influences on maintaining status quo for the foreseeable future with database operations strategies.

  • Wednesday, 24th May 2023 Posted 1 year ago in by Phil Alsop

Percona has published the initial findings of its State of Open Source Database Survey report for 2023 during its annual Percona Live conference. According to the survey of nearly 300 database professionals working in companies ranging in size from small-to-medium-sized business to large enterprise, the database market is currently in a period of stasis around database deployments and changes, most likely due to economic uncertainty and post-COVID-19 recovery. The research indicates that most organizations are not planning to make significant alterations to their database strategies over the course of the next three years.

Alongside this broader revelation, the study sheds light on a number of database operations concerns for organizations, including challenges around developer agility, and significant factors driving the choice between deploying open source or proprietary databases. 

Findings in the 2023 State of Open Source Database Survey include:

More respondents indicate their organizations are doing well with a host of database operations metrics than they are with meeting developer needs:

More than 70 percent of respondents say they are doing somewhat or extremely well with database reliability, performance, security, privacy, scalability and backup reliability and integrity.

Conversely, meeting the needs of developers placed last on the list of 14 operational metrics collected, with only 55 percent of respondents saying they are doing well in developer agility. 

Comparing large enterprises and small-to-medium businesses, the research shows that bigger companies tend to have more tools and automation deployed to help their teams:

Large enterprises are much more likely to use database monitoring and management solutions, with 93 percent of organizations having such tools in place. Conversely, only 57 percent of small businesses have database monitoring and management solutions deployed.

Small companies are much more likely to use on-premises and cloud services to host their databases (49 percent) compared to 26 percent of large enterprises. Large enterprises are also much more likely to use DBaaS offerings (32 percent of deployments).

“Our report indicates that database deployment strategies are expected to remain static for the next few years, with levels of usage remaining consistent across all categories of relational and non-relational databases,”  said Joe Brockmeier, Head of Community at Percona. “We’re seeing caution around making significant changes to deployments following the large-scale digital transformation undertaken during the pandemic and the uncertain economic climate the world is facing in 2023. Teams want to improve how they manage, monitor and run those deployments rather than implementing more changes.”

Further findings include:

When asked about what drove their choice to use open source databases, respondents most often cited cost reductions (83 percent rated as somewhat or extremely significant) and developer choice (81 percent), followed by faster deployment (75 percent) and then security and more control (73 percent each). 

For respondents that implemented proprietary databases, the findings are very different – the biggest factors are greater stability (68 percent), more security (63 percent) and regulatory compliance (61). 

Developer choice was not in the top ten reasons to deploy proprietary databases, pointing to a much larger preference for open source solutions for the developer community. 

The majority of respondents say their organizations rely on both relational and non-relational databases – 99 percent of respondents run at least one relational database, and 86 percent run at least one non-relational database.

MySQL is the most popular relational database, followed by PostgreSQL and Oracle Server at 57, 48 and 47 percent respectively.

MongoDB is the most commonly deployed non-relational database, followed by Couchbase and Redis.

“Developers prefer open source software where they have choice and autonomy over how they can architect and build their applications. The flexibility and performance benefits aside, open source also helps companies save on costs compared to running proprietary databases, which can’t be ignored in today’s economy. However, companies can still improve how they run and manage those installations, and that is where Percona can really help,” said Ann Schlemmer, CEO at Percona.

Speakers at this year’s Percona Live will discuss these and other findings from the 2023 survey. Percona Live is sponsored by a range of companies in the data and database markets, including Microsoft, AWS, Oracle, PlanetScale, FerretDB, Datavail, OtterTune, benchAnt, Victoria Metrics, Civo, and DBeaver.