Open Source Invading Oracle Data Centers

By Brian Prince and Renee Boucher Ferguson

Open-source tools are finding their way into the stack, but few support mission-critical functions.


Database administrators increasingly find open-source technologies in Oracle data centers.

A recent poll of the Independent Oracle User Group found 13 percent of user organizations are running a majority of applications on open source, up 30 percent from 2007, according to the survey, entitled "Open Source in the Enterprise: New Software Disrupts the Technology Stack."

Forty-six percent of large companies—5,000 plus seats—surveyed said they will increase adoption moderately over the coming year and 4 percent will increase significantly, while only 3 percent will decrease.

While the report speaks to the growing presence of open source, which can be found throughout the stack, most open-source technologies are still being used to support peripheral functions, as opposed to mission-critical applications, the report concluded.

Though many organizations are planning to increase their use of open source during the next year, about half the respondents reported fewer than 10 percent of their enterprise application portfolios are supported by or interact with open-source systems. In addition, only 14 percent of respondents employ open-source applications in their production environments—46 percent of which are custom-built, the study found.

PointerAre open-source databases ready for production applications? Click here to read more.

Oracle has taken steps recently to address the perceived lack of support from the open-source community with its Unbreakable Linux program, said Ari Kaplan, IOUG president.

"I believe the issues that were roadblocks in the past are being eroded. There are more IT professionals with skill sets around open source, the impression that security is being compromised is lessening, and companies such as Oracle are providing support themselves," he said. "There are still concerns about security—justified or not—and many packaged applications are not certified on many open-source technologies." Special Report: Opening the Database to Open Source

Thirty-five percent of the respondents use open-source databases, but mostly for dedicated systems, testing environments or homegrown applications, the survey found. Of those that use open-source databases, 74 percent use MySQL. The survey noted, however, that the open-source databases are not typically serving as large data stores, and 55 percent of those that use them report a data growth of less than 10 percent a year in those environments.

Moves by major relational database vendors Microsoft, Oracle and IBM to release free, lightweight versions of their database software hasn't had much of an effect on the adoption of open-source databases. Fifty-six percent of those running the "Express Edition" databases are also running MySQL, and 22 percent are using PostgreSQL, according to the survey.

PointerCheck out's Linux & Open Source Center for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Back to Ari Kaplan's Home Page