IBM and VCs Invest in EnterpriseDB
March 31, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseDB, the commercial enterprise that is providing support and services for the open source PostgreSQL relational database management system, announced this week that it has received its third round of venture capital funding, including some dough from IBM.
With Sun Microsystems having completed its $1 billion takeover of MySQL last month, it is a bit easier perhaps for the makers of PostgreSQL to get a little more love and attention from the other platform providers who want to support open source databases. Still, it may seem odd, with IBM having a full line of DB2 databases for mainframes (DB2), System i machines (DB2/400), and Windows, Linux and Unix boxes (DB2 Universal Data Base, a misnomer considering that DB2 is no more universal than healthcare in the United States), not to mention the DB2 Express-C (formerly Cloudscape) development database (I know, I just mentioned it), that Big Blue would kick in money to a rival database company. But, some customers only want to deploy open source databases with commercial support–and hence DB2 is not an option–and PostgreSQL and Ingres (which have a shared heritage) are the only two other games in town besides MySQL. (Ingres, which was spun out of CA in 2006, has its roots back at the University of California at Berkeley, much as BSD Unix and therefore Sun’s Solaris Unix do.) Sun itself anointed PostgreSQL as its embedded database for Solaris back in August 2006, but so many Web applications are written explicitly for MySQL and the customer base for MySQL is so large that Sun could not help but acquire MySQL this year to help it become a software player.
IBM has been working with EnterpriseDB to get its PostgreSQL database certified on System z logical partitions running Linux, and with the PosgreSQL Plus Advanced Server 8.2 release (which was launched last year), this has indeed happened. That 8.2 release also supports IBM’s AIX Unix for Power-based servers. IBM has not announced support for PostgreSQL Plus AS on its Power-based System i servers or for Linux partitions on Power boxes, but IBM can run PostgreSQL Plus AS in a PASE AIX runtime inside i5/OS if it wants to and then provide hooks between the i5/OS and the database running in PASE. (This is how MySQL is being supported “natively” on the System i platform.)
Anyway, IBM is one of the companies that kicked $10 million into EnterpriseDB’s coffers this week, as were venture capitalists Charles River Ventures, Fidelity Ventures, and Valhalla Partners. The funding brings EnterpriseDB’s total capital investments from outsiders to $37.5 million. The company says it will use the funds for further database development efforts.
Also this week, EnterpriseDB announced a new 8.3 release of its code and a new version, called PostgreSQL Plus, which is a freebie distribution of its code with some of the neat features of the PostgreSQL Plus AS–such as an Oracle database compatibility layer, dynamic performance tuning, and management and monitoring tools–removed. The Advanced Edition’s support contract costs $5,995 per server socket per year, which is an entirely reasonable price for enterprise-grade support. The Postgres Plus and Postgres Plus Advanced Server 8.3 code is available now, and is supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms. Enterprise DB Advanced Edition 8.2 was also supported on Sparc and X64 platforms running Solaris, on HP-UX machines (presumably both Itanium and PA-RISC), on AIX on Power servers, and on Linux partitions on mainframes. Presumably the new 8.3 releases will soon be getting Unix and mainframe/Linux support.