John Sequeira


Tuesday, May 16, 2006
license-free databases compared

I haven't seen a chart like this anywhere, so I decided to put one together.

MSSQL Oracle DB2 Sybase EnterpriseDB Ingres

GPL Only
CPU 1 1 2 1 1
RAM (gb) 1 1 4 2 1
Storage (per DB) 4
No limit
Storage (per Server)
5 Q

Platforms Win Win, Lin Win, Lin Lin Win, Lin *nix/win/vmx/mainframe/etc
ISV Redistribution Allowed? Y Y Y $$$ $$$ $$$

A few points:

  • DB2 is way more generous than MS or Oracle, as befits their 3rd place status in the commercial non-mainframe world.
  • Ingres needs to do better than 'Call me' for alternative-to-GPL ISV pricing. It's not that hard -- just do what everyone else is doing.
  • Despite having a big headstart with their 5+ yr old free-on-linux promotion, Sybase's current offering is really weak compared with the competition. Are they even trying anymore?

    Also, this chart was hard to put together because of how certain things are defined ( 1 instance, multiple db vs multiple instance, single db), the differences between ISV/bundled licensing and end-user licensing, no mention for or against stacking instances with virtualization, and generally weak web pages describing the offerings. I'm sure the vendors won't be killing themselves to inform you how to undercut their for-profit versions, or supporting you when you've made that choice, so keep that in mind when picking one of the above. There's always Postgres or Firebird if you don't like (or can't understand) your no-cost commercial options.

    But despite their limitations, I think it's really important for a db consultant to understand the free/commercial offerings. It can lower the bill you send to a client forced to pick one of the above by $10-20K. Well, at least until they outgrow them.
    5:03:51 PM      comment []  trackback []

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