Sometimes a Variety of Databases is THE Database You Need

Posted by Alex Slotnick on Mar 2, 2016 2:06:45 PM

We were just leafing through the 2015 edition of The DZone Guide to Database and Persistence Management, and we noticed some interesting stats in the guide's included survey, about which we'd like to share some observations. The survey is one of the ebook's central features, and it includes feedback from over 800 IT Professionals, with 63% of those respondents coming from companies with over 100 employees and 69% with over 10 years of experience -- they represent a significant and important cross-section of our industry.

These kinds of reports can be enlightening, as they offer the opportunity to take some of our principles and pin them to the hard facts and numbers of actual database activity, in the field. 

dzone_guide_db_variety.png

In a section titled "One Type of Database is Usually Not Enough," the report reveals that it's stadard practice for respondents to use more than one kind of database product, with 81% relying on two or more. "Another interesting statistic," the report continues, "is the number of different versions that respondents’ organizations maintain for a given database. Most maintain one (36%), but a fair number also maintain two (32%), revealing that tech companies aren’t afraid to use multiple products, but they do dislike the difficulty of maintaining several versions" (emphasis added).

And on top of that, "a significant number of respondents expect to add a new database product to their stacks in the next year (37%)."

This confirms something we've known for a long time at VividCortex: there's a need for a variety of databases in many on-the-ground scenarios. And this fact illustrates one major reason why we're building our product. Many people find themselves using an array of different kinds databases and, as a result, often can't figure out what's really going on. Yet taken together, such a variety of databases becomes THE database that a given application needs; these databases become more powerful when used together, and they shouldn't be considered in isolation. It's a messy situation, with great potential but also great demands. A tool likes ours cuts down on the dangers of such complexity and, in providing visibility, lets users manage and monitor multiple database systems as if they were more similar to a single, unified whole.

In January of 2015, Baron Schwartz, our founder and CEO, wrote a blog post about exactly this question. In that post, he pointed out that in the past, you were able to choose a single database and stick to it: "We use Oracle." As DZone's report clearly supports, that's no longer the case.

As Baron explains, things have changed, have become much less simple, much less straightforward. "Each tier is a distributed system," he writes. "Everything is distributed these days. This is a big deal... The phrase 'choose the right tool for the job' is another way of saying 'introduce diversity and complexity into the persistence tier.'" And while diverse, distributed data offers great power and flexibility, it also includes greater demands and occasionally greater dangers; now, we need better tools.

That's where VividCortex comes in. When Baron wrote that post at the start of last year, we'd just announced our support for PostgreSQL performance management, in addition to the MySQL support we'd launched with. Now, we also include support for Redis and MongoDB, as well as Amazon Aurora. Sometimes it's not entirely obvious where real demands exist and where the greatest potential for growth and improvement lies. But with hard evidence and numbers like what DZone provides here, it's clear to us that IT Professionals in the field need better tools than ever to keep their systems healthy and reaching peak potential -- we're thrilled to be providing that service.

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