RDX this week launched a set of tools designed to make it easier to convert applications running on an Oracle database to Amazon Aurora, an instance of an open source PostgreSQL database running on the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud that is compatible with Oracle databases.
Announced at the AWS Summit event in Washington D.C., the clckwrk Refactoring Service for Oracle promises to reduce the amount of manual effort associated with refactoring applications for the Amazon Aurora platform by automating as much as 60% of the database schema conversion process.
James Ball, chief strategy officer for RDX, said in addition to reducing costs, many organizations want to shift applications to open source databases in the cloud to further their DevOps ambitions. Each time an application needs to scale, an organization will incur additional Oracle licensing fees. In contrast, an open source database enables DevOps teams to scale database instances as required automatically, he said.
AWS has been making a concerted effort to convince customers to give up proprietary databases in favor of open source databases running on its cloud platform. That competitive pressure is a driving force behind new alliances that previously would have been considered unimaginable. Oracle, for example, recently partnered with Microsoft to promote the integration of the Oracle Cloud platform with the Microsoft Azure cloud. Oracle would prefer its database run on its cloud, but through the alliance is signaling its willingness to work with Microsoft to deploy Oracle database on Azure, a cloud platform that is the leading industry alternative to AWS. Microsoft, of course, has its proprietary database to adopt in the form of Microsoft SQL Server.
Ball said RDX not only provides tools to accelerate the conversion to Amazon Aurora, but it also provides managed services for customers that want to outsource the management of Amazon Aurora to RDX.
It takes most organizations several months to migrate a legacy application on to a public cloud. AWS has a vested interested in helping accelerate that process whenever possible. But many organizations that have embraced best DevOps practices find their efforts are hampered by reliance on proprietary databases. In fact, one of the reasons so many developers tend to favor open source databases is to avoid all the headaches associated with getting approvals for new database licenses.
It’s unclear to what degree the rise of DevOps in the enterprise will ultimately shift database allegiances. Oracle is trying to maintain as much control as possible by making its databases available as a managed service that eliminates some of the purchasing overhead associated with spinning up new instances. However, the cost of an Oracle database license is still buried in the cost of the managed service.
Not every organization is looking to transition away from a proprietary database, but there is now enough momentum around the “open source first” movement to make it worthwhile to build tools that automate the refactoring of legacy databases not just to reduce costs, but also to make IT a lot more agile.