Select Page

Improving Performance, Costs, and Scaling of Commercial Databases Through Open-source and Cloud-Native Solutions

Author: Michael Agarwal | | October 6, 2022


What’s driving organizations forward with their cloud modernization efforts? The benefits of moving beyond a lift and shift migration for commercial database workloads include:

  • Finding the right purpose-built database, which uses a specialized non-relational data model that can be matched to your workload requirements, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach with only relational data models.
  • Optimizing performance through solutions that have cloud-native databases.
  • Gaining horizontal scaling for distributed processing, high availability, and lower latency, leading to improved customer experiences.
  • Harnessing innovative capabilities through microservices architecture, containerization, and serverless cloud technologies.

Considering Open-Source and Cloud-Native, Purpose-Built Database Technology for Cloud Modernization

Open-source and cloud-native, purpose-built databases play a key role in cloud modernization strategies. By breaking free from legacy databases with these solutions, you can position your organization to maximize the value you get from your cloud investments.

Modernizing Commercial Databases with Open-Source Solutions

Open-source technology’s biggest advantage is that you move away from expensive and complex software licensing costs. This benefit also makes it easy to experiment with new database systems, as you don’t have to account for licensing fees during your evaluation process.

You also gain access to a variety of deployment options for open-source databases; for example, MySQL could be deployed to AWS EC2, AWS RDS, or AWS Aurora. With open-source databases, you avoid vendor lock-in and can explore the best solution for your organization.

Highly engaged development communities can contribute to greater innovation and support for a wider variety of data types and schemas, as new features can get added at a faster rate.

Open-source databases also keep your developers happy, as the Stack Overflow Developer Survey found that 70% love PostgreSQL, 60% love MongoDB, and 51% love MySQL.

Modernizing Commercial Databases with Cloud-Native and Purpose-Built Solutions

While commercial databases have added features over time, the core design was not built with the cloud in mind. The typical legacy database has a vertically scalable configuration to support monolithic applications, but modern applications use microservices architecture that benefits from horizontal scaling for improved performance, scale, and availability.

Cloud-native databases focus on making the most out of cloud capabilities, scaling database capacity up and down is easier, and you can deploy highly available databases that avoid single points of failure.

Some databases, such as AWS Aurora Serverless, are also available as serverless technology, which means that the instances are automatically provisioned and scaled based on requests and are commonly used for unpredictable or variable workloads.

Purpose-built databases focus on a workload-specific database engine, so rather than trying to make relational database technology do everything, you can choose the right database for your workload. Microservices architecture even makes it possible to use multiple data models within the same application, so you can evaluate your database needs on a microservices-by-microservices basis.

Strategic Approaches for Cloud Modernization

Many legacy application workloads use the same relational database technology, as that was all that was available at the time. Today, you have access to many different types of databases, allowing your organization to strategically evaluate your application needs to maximize the value of the cloud. Here are several use cases that illustrate how to use cloud modernization strategically and the AWS services you would use to achieve these goals.

Exploring License Cost Savings with Open-Source Databases

Commercial databases such as Oracle and SQL Server have costly licenses that can drastically increase the total cost of ownership. By moving from commercially licensed database management systems to open-source solutions, you achieve license cost savings.

On AWS, your modernization pathways for this use case include:

  • Refactoring your Oracle or SQL Server databases to an open-source database technology on EC2. You can choose from a wide range of open-source databases, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB, and maintain full control over the database engine, guest operating system, and other system functionality.
  • Refactoring your Oracle or SQL Server databases to Amazon RDS (MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MariaDB) or Amazon Aurora (MySQL or PostgreSQL) This approach moves your workloads to an open-source engine on a managed database platform. You spend less time on administrative overhead and more time on database schema and application code.

Achieving Better Performance Through Cloud-Native Databases

Cloud-native DBaaS solutions are built with the cloud in mind, with horizontal scaling, parallel processing, support for high transaction rates, high availability and durability, and other modern database features. Your modernization path on AWS for this use case includes:

  • Replatforming PostgreSQL / MySQL to Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL/ MySQL to take better advantage of cloud-native, enterprise-grade functionality.
  • Refactoring SQL Server to Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL/MySQL moves you from a commercial database to a cloud-native open-source database managed platform. SQL Server to Aurora PostgreSQL modernizations could be made easier by using Babelfish for Aurora PostgreSQL, a tool that translates T-SQL into a language PostgreSQL understands, reducing the amount of development effort required to update applications for the new database deployment.
  • Refactoring Oracle to Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL/MySQL: PostgreSQL/MySQL is a common cloud modernization target for Oracle, as several migration tools help with database migration. Your organization moves away from Oracle’s restrictive licensing onto an open-source database engine built on fully managed, cloud-native infrastructure.

Interested in exploring more cloud modernization pathways? Download our white paper “Open-Source? Purpose-Built? NoSQL? Making the Right Strategic Cloud Modernization Decisions for Your Commercial Databases” to equip yourself with the right information to make cloud optimization decisions.


Amazon RDS vs Amazon EC2 | Amazon Web Services EC2 vs RDS

Ready to migrate your MySQL database to Amazon Web Services (AWS)? Which is better, Amazon RDS or Amazon EC2? Learn the pros and cons of each option.

Charleste King | September 7, 2017
Oracle cloud analytics

Art of BI: What is Oracle Analytics Cloud and Why Should You Care?

Read on to learn about the release of Oracle Analytics Cloud, a service that includes Essbase Cloud, Business Intelligence Cloud, and more.

Christian Screen | June 8, 2017

MongoDB and AWS- A Perfect Match

Amazon now supports MongoDB migration onto its AWS platform. Find out why MongoDB and Amazon S3 combination is a perfect match for the database infrastructure.

Esayas Aloto | October 3, 2017

Subscribe to Our Blog

Never miss a post! Stay up to date with the latest database, application and analytics tips and news. Delivered in a handy bi-weekly update straight to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Work with Us

Let’s have a conversation about what you need to succeed and how we can help get you there.


Work for Us

Where do you want to take your career? Explore exciting opportunities to join our team.