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OCI Database: Oracle Embraces PostgreSQL

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Oracle has recently announced the general availability of OCI Database with PostgreSQL version 14.9. With the first managed PostgreSQL service available on Oracle Cloud, all cloud providers now offer a PostgreSQL-compatible managed option.

Released in beta in September, OCI Database with PostgreSQL is a highly available managed database that provides automated backups and scales read workloads horizontally. Similarly to other managed relational databases, the new option scales storage dynamically as database tables are created and dropped, and decouples the storage layer from compute resources.

According to Oracle, the new service uses a purpose-built shared-storage architecture in which all the database nodes share the same underlying storage layer that automatically replicates data across a region. Deepak Agarwal, VP and distinguished engineer at Oracle, and Pradeep Vincent, chief technical architect at Oracle, explain how Oracle adapted PostgreSQL into their cloud database service and write:

The OCI Database with PostgreSQL service provides significant advantages in the form of cost, performance, scale, availability, and durability as discussed in detail before. The key to achieving most of these benefits is based on the Database Optimized Storage (DbOS) layer and a custom user-mode DbOS filesystem (DbFS) that are purpose-built for optimizing PostgreSQL to work more effectively at cloud scale.

The new service adds to the existing OCI options based on open-source software: OCI Cache with Redis, OCI Search with OpenSearch, and MySQL HeatWave. Leo Leung, VP at Oracle, comments:

Our special sauce is our Database Optimized Storage, which decouples the SQL transaction processing engine from the storage layer. In addition, encryption is always-on, we provide a 99.99% SLA, and it's based on the upstream opensource PostgreSQL v14.9 for maximum portability.

Source: OCI blog

As the company behind MySQL adds support for the PostgreSQL engine, developers see the new service as the confirmation of PostgreSQL as the de facto standard for cloud databases. In the recent article "When Did Postgres Become Cool?", Craig Kerstiens, chief product officer at Crunchy Data, summarizes the history of PostgreSQL and writes:

Postgres wasn't always the cool kid. It didn't emerge from millions of dollars of VC funding, it didn't have a team of DevRel evangelists championing it, it simply started and evolved. Postgres just passed the 25-year milestone as an open-source project.

With the new option, Oracle targets mainly PostgreSQL deployments running on AWS, with Julien Lehmann, product marketing director at Oracle, and George Csaba, principal product manager at Oracle, writing:

When you run PostgreSQL on OCI, you benefit from the simple pricing and low rates for compute and storage, only paying for the resources you use and consistent pricing across all regions, whether in Phoenix, Sao Paulo, or Tokyo. The equivalent service on AWS, Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, is 2.5x more expensive than on OCI.

A Terraform module is available to deploy PostgreSQL on Oracle Cloud.

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