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RE: Oracle alternatives

From: Marquez, Chris <>
Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 17:27:35 -0400
Message-ID: <B30C2483766F9342B6AEF108833CC84E0450BB19@ecogenemld50.Org.Collegeboard.local>

The article is misguided and misinformed when referring to and describing the nature of pricing in the software market over the past 3 years. I'm all for writing about and using open source software, but bashing a commercial product with bad Total Cost of Ownership information to make that point is a weak foundation and does not further help the cause of Open Source software.

I always tell friends, clients, and newbies that Linux is NOT free. Sure I can install it for free, but "free" stops there at the install. The semi-commercial Open Source community does NOT benefit from the "its Free" argument...they know it is not and their competitors (Oracle, Microsoft) know its not free (to install, run, admin, upgrade, patch, debug, software).

The reality is/becoming that software is (basically) free and you pay for support. Spend a few minutes each week reading InformationWeek, and every week you will read about another (big) vendor giving away a product in hopes of gaining the service and support contract...that is where all Software Co's (except Microsoft) see the future.

Articles and discussions about the "Sticker Price" of a software products (particularly Database or OS) are completely irrelevant to what it cost and takes to run, maintain, and support that software...besides that, many don't pay "Sticker Price".

As one who has purchased Oracle software I know first hand that one could spend as little as $1,800.00 for a 10 user perpetual license *AND* include one year of maintenance and support In fact in another example Oracle "low end" price was so advantageous that we dumped our 4-way servers for new more powerful 2-way servers and saved a ton on the Oracle licensing cost!

And lets be honest...there are many organizations that don't want "Free", because the term Free is often associated with unsupported, problematic products. This makes perfect sense....humans are risk adverse, look at the billion dollar Insurance industry.

It is misguided to think that something for Free and no support is better than something that cost $$$ *AND* has the option to pay more $$$ for true maintenance and support.

Give me a few minutes and I will find an article that said one company had used MySQL for "Free" but later bought $20k - $40 worth of 1st level support!...far from Free!

The "cheaper than them" trick is not only used by some in the Open Source world, but by Microsoft also. They love to say the SQL Sever is $5k, but that is limited users and no support. I have seen in a Microsoft comparison document of a million dollar SQL Server Supported Enterprise purchase compared to and Oracle Supported Enterprise purchase...How many MCSE's think one could spend a million dollars on SQL Server! The point is "you get what you pay for"...and the ability to pay for more is not negative option...and an option that many Open Source vendors support and need.

Below is my actual "Sticker Price" order confirmation from last year. If all things are equal this client will only need to pay about $300.00 to continue to use Oracle for 10 users fully supported each year!...for their CPU license they paid $6k per CPU full support, and about 1k per CPU yearly for maintenance and support.

Product                                 # of    To Be           Amount 
                                        Units   Shipped (Y/N)*          
Oracle Standard Edition One -           10      N              $1,415.50 
Named User Plus Perpetual          
                                                             Tax: $63.70 

Software Updates                        10      N                $212.30 
                                                              Tax: $9.55 

Product Support                         10      N                 $99.10 
                                                              Tax: $4.46 

Chris Marquez
Oracle DBA

-----Original Message-----

From: on behalf of Goulet, Dick Sent: Wed 5/4/2005 2:43 PM
To: Oracle-L Freelists
Subject: RE: Oracle alternatives  

 For the benefit of those who may not be able to see the SearchOracle site, sorry I was restricted to 600 words or less. Could have gone 10 times that without really trying.

There are a lot of us who consider working with Oracle as a higher calling. I for one have spent the last 20 years of my life with Oracle. But have we been too dedicated? How many of us have taken a tour of the Grey Side? No I'm not talking about the Dark Side of DB2 or Sql*Server, but the Grey Side of Open Source. Certainly Oracle is the Cadillac of database management systems, but at a Platinum price. I'm sure you've heard Oracle's mantra of running 10g on "commodity" priced Linux servers. Well, that's a good idea. A good Intel based server can be had for $3,000 to $5,000. Add in a copy of Red Hat Linux for $1,000 and you've got a server. Now you want to add in a copy of Oracle? Well keep your wallet out cause that's going to set you back $15,000 to $40,000 depending on which edition you get Standard or Enterprise. Of course there's more to licensing Oracle than that and I could go on and on about that, but didn't you load Red Hat Linux on that severs? Did you know that there's a free Open Source database system included? It's called PostGreSql. Want to store normalized data, create stored functions, store Java or C code inside the database even use a Pl/Sql equivalent? It's all there already without you asking the boss for a dime. You might even find a copy of another database engine on those cd's called MySql. . MySql, while the advertised preference of many web sites (I seriously wonder about that) has a significant number of holes, which I'll admit they are working to plug. Of most importance is their native lack of ACID compliance. Sure you can add in Innodb support(also open source), but then you have to remember to specify that when creating a table. ACID compliance is a core functionality of all other databases. Its what guarantees that a transaction is complete. Take the old case of transferring funds between bank accounts. We assume that the add to the target account happens in conjunction with the debit on the source & that the source has sufficient funds available. With out ACID compliance each is a separate transaction. If one succeeds and the other fails, that's OK with MySql!! MySql also has no roll forward recovery. Your last cold backup is as far as it goes. Now lets do give credit where credit is due, MySql is FAST on data retrieval and the company supporting MySql is committed to retaining that, at all costs. But in my mind, of what use is a fast query engine if I can't guarantee data integrity? A right answer is always better than a questionable answer given in half the time. Also there's the question of cost. MySql runs under a dual license. Use it for non-commercial purposes for free. Use it for a commercial purpose and MySql AB wants their half pound of flesh. And what is/ is not a commercial purpose is subject to interpretation. .PostGreSql though can be had for free no matter the application. Add in PHP and Apache, also on that same cd, and you've got the makings of a free, open source web site. Try to do that as cost effectively with Oracle & 9IAS! True, Oracle has a lot more to it, but open source is catching up. PostGreSql 8 has tablespaces, roll forward recovery, inheritance, international character support, and even time zone support. Now I'm not saying that PostGreSql is a replacement for Oracle, but it's gotten to the point where one really needs to take a careful look. So come on in, the waters fine!

-----Original Message-----

From: Mohan, Ross []=20 Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 12:17 PM
To: Goulet, Dick
Subject: RE: Oracle alternatives

Dick, can't read this. Did you write it? I have just started working w/PG and would appreciate a copy if you did author it.. the crappy SearchOracle site is registration, which I can't stand...

-----Original Message-----

[] On Behalf Of Goulet, Dick

Your Welcome!=3D20

-----Original Message-----

[] On Behalf Of Jared Still

Here's a guest editorial by one of Oracle-L's more outspoken open source

Particularly when it comes to PostgreSQL. :),289483,sid41_gci1074646,00.html ?track=3D3DNL-338&ad=3D3D513047


Jared Still
Certifiable Oracle DBA and Part Time Perl Evangelist


-- Received on Wed May 04 2005 - 17:36:26 CDT

Original text of this message