How Much Would You Save?

Licensing Fees are Eating your Budget!

It’s no surprise you’re spending a lot of money on licensing fees. If you’re using Oracle Enterprise, you’re very familiar with that fact. It’s not unheard of to spend 3.5 million per year, just for the privilege of using Oracle! Smaller organizations with fewer or smaller servers can get away with less, but is this fair? You already know this doesn’t really cover anything in terms of support or training.

The high cost comes with a perceived value,  you feel like you’re paying for something of great value. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

It hasn’t been for some time.

For 15 years PostgreSQL has been quietly tucked away, out of the public view. It’s always been able to run databases as large as Oracle could support, and do it faster than MySQL (long considered one of the fastest) handles lightweight databases. And while there were use cases where Oracle did things PostgreSQL could not, or did them better, this gap no longer exists. PostgreSQL not only does everything Oracle does, but it does so competitively.

So you have two databases, one that will charge you yearly just to use it and one that does not. Both perform competitively, both are secure, reliable and scalable.

Except PostgreSQL is more secure. "By default, PostgreSQL is probably the most security-aware database available" -Database Hacker's Handbook.

It’s faster. “We process over 18,000 queries per second on over 300GB of user data on our PostgreSQL servers, and those numbers go up every month.” -Gavin Roy, CTO,

Overall, PostgreSQL has been faster than the commercial product from which we converted.” -Kevin Grittner, Wisconsin Court System

Companies and organizations like FlightAware, Genentech, Intuit, Safeway, IMDB, Cisco, NASA and Skype use postgreSQL because the cost and performance it offers to them is unparalleled. So why use anything else?

Some believe that converting isn’t worth the effort. Ignoring any sunk cost fallacy arguments, let’s take a look at an estimated minimum total cost of ownership for a year.

We assume that you have one dual socket quad core server and that you have one DBA who needs a week of training to be certified on the database. We added in some 40 hours worth of contract fees for diagnostics and tuning, things a brand new DBA might struggle to do on their own. Looking at the basic versions, postgreSQL is half the cost of MySQL in a year and 7 times cheaper than Oracle. And as we increase the number of servers, cores or users this gap will exponentially widen.

And it’s also true if we check pricing for the enterprise versions. This graph is for one year.

We are assuming an increase in the number of people needing to be trained (one person per year, probably due to turnover) as well as tuning and diagnostics being a yearly cost (due to the needs of a growing and changing business). PostgreSQL isn’t significantly cheaper there, as consultants charge about the same across all platforms. But that red bar says it all. If you’re running 10 servers with Oracle, you’ll be spending nearly 1 million per year on licensing fees alone. What could your company do with an extra million per year?

Data on licensing pricing pulled from:

Quotes and users pulled from:

Data on training costs pulled from: