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Re: Report from MYGOSSCON

From: Ned Lilly <ned(at)xtuple(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Report from MYGOSSCON
Date: 2011-11-30 16:02:03
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Lists: pgsql-advocacy
Fantastic summary and great detail, Kevin, thanks!

Somebody get this man a t-shirt!

On 11/30/2011 10:55 AM, Kevin Grittner wrote:
> Chris Travers<chris(dot)travers(at)gmail(dot)com>  wrote:
>> 3)  How does PG compare to Sybase?
> We converted to PostgreSQL from Sybase.  We found:
> (1)  PostgreSQL is more stable.  We had been having a lot of
> problems with Sybase crashing on us with unexplained segfaults.
> (2)  PostgreSQL has better support.  In spite of paying hundreds of
> thousands of dollars per year for a support contract with Sybase,
> they were very slow to fix bugs.  Our runtime environment is unusual
> enough that we shook out some corner case bugs in PostgreSQL during
> our first few months, but every time we reported a bug we got prompt
> attention and were always *running with a fix* within 24 hours!
> Getting a bug fix from Sybase usually was on a time-frame of weeks
> or months, depending on severity.
> (3)  PostgreSQL is faster.  We had duplicate machines with identical
> (replicated) databases, so we could compare side-by-side.  I have to
> be careful here, because the Sybase license prohibits posting any
> benchmarks of their product that they haven't approved by them in
> writing in advance.  (I wonder why they include that in their
> license agreement?)  I'll just say that PostgreSQL beat the pants
> off of Sybase in latency while load-balancing equally between the
> two with identical databases on identical hardware in production.
> PostgreSQL also performed better in all our saturation tests.  And
> that was on PostgreSQL version 8.0.  PostgreSQL performance has gone
> through dramatic improvements in several releases since then, and
> will again when 9.2 is released next year.  I haven't heard anything
> about similar improvements in Sybase performance since then.
> (4)  PostgreSQL is easier to manage.  Managing 100 production
> databases and 100 development databases under Sybase we had needed
> one full-time person just to manage and check backups, and had still
> had problems with Sybase backups.  Under PostgreSQL we were able to
> script our backups such that we are immediately alerted if
> incremental backups are failing to copy or failing to apply to the
> base backup.  The "redundancy specialist" we needed for Sybase has
> been reassigned to other duties.  So on the "total cost of
> ownership" equation, we found lower staff costs with PostgreSQL,
> besides the, um, significantly lower license and support costs.
> (5)  PostgreSQL is more standard-compliant.  We coded to the
> standard and had a thin portability layer in our framework, and
> found the lines of code needed to map the standard code to
> PostgreSQL was less than half that needed to map to Sybase.
> (6)  PostgreSQL has more features.  There are so many nice features
> available in PostgreSQL (for example, the text search features),
> that we have decided to move from focus on database independence to
> taking advantage of these features.
> (7)  PostgreSQL is extensible.  We have added features to PostgreSQL
> which required the addition of a separate layer with Sybase.  The
> flexibility is dramatic -- I'm reluctant to try to illustrate it
> with an example, because it wouldn't do it justice.
> The fact that there is a free community version (which is what we
> use in the Wisconsin Court System) is the icing on the cake.  In my
> view, PostgreSQL is just better than the alternatives.  I can speak
> to the comparison with Sybase more directly than most alternatives,
> but I've worked with and reviewed other products, too.  I just don't
> see why anyone would want to use any of the other products when
> PostgreSQL is so much better.
> -Kevin

Ned Lilly
President and CEO
119 West York Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
tel. 757.461.3022 x101
email: ned(at)xtuple(dot)com

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