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Scale Business: Move to Open Source Databases from Oracle or MS SQL

Apr 4, 2023 by Nandan Umarji

Open-source databases are gaining popularity and emerging as a strong contenders for businesses seeking reliable data management solutions. As reported by StackOverflow, MySQL, an open-source database, has secured the top position as the most widely used database management system. This trend towards open-source databases is unsurprising, considering their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and active development communities.  
If your business currently utilizes commercial databases such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL and seeks more reliable database management solutions, migrating to an open-source database management system may be the best option. However, before delving into why such a migration could benefit your business, let's look at open-source databases comprehensively.

What is an Open Source Database 

An open-source database utilizes an open-source software license, allowing the public to access, modify, and distribute the database software source code freely. Popular examples of such Database Management Systems (DBMSs) include MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and SQLite. They are commonly used in software projects and web applications, prioritizing flexibility, scalability, and affordability.

The inherent openness of these databases permits customization and adaptation to specific requirements, as well as seamless integration with other open-source software platforms and tools. The community of users and developers surrounding open-source databases typically offer assistance and resources to enhance users' software experience.

Using open-source databases provides certain benefits, such as fostering competition in the market. This can be observed in the numerous providers of PostgreSQL-based solutions available. Therefore, if one provider fails, finding an alternative with minimal migration expenses is easy.
Moreover, open-source licenses can safeguard your organization from unexpected provider licensing or policy alterations.

Why Migrate From Oracle or MS SQL to Open Source Databases?

Open Source databases can provide businesses a more cost-effective, secure, customizable, and scalable solution while avoiding vendor lock-in.

Cost savings

Imagine slashing your Total Cost of Ownership by a significant margin simply by switching to an open-source database system. Mactores, a leading data management solution, helped Blackhawk, a branded payment provider, achieve this feat by migrating from Microsoft SQL to PostgreSQL. They reduced operational costs to a mere 20% of their previous expenses and scaled up 3x more than before. 

Vendor Lock-in

Commercial databases like Oracle or MS SQL limit businesses to a single vendor, making switching to a different provider challenging. And for many businesses, data is often regarded as one of their most valuable assets; thus, they want to use more than one database provider. However, open-source databases offer businesses more freedom and flexibility as they are not bound to any specific provider.

Greater Flexibility and Customization

Open-source databases provide businesses with greater flexibility and customization options. This means that businesses can modify and tailor their databases to meet their specific requirements and needs, allowing them to create a more efficient and effective database system. In addition, businesses can collaborate with the open-source community to design and develop new features tailored to their business needs. This level of customization allows businesses to optimize their database systems and achieve better performance and results.


Open Source databases benefit from a community of developers continually enhancing and updating the software, leading to more secure systems. The community's scrutiny allows for swift identification and correction of security flaws, resulting in a secure database system constantly evolving to tackle new threats.

Challenges in migrating to Open-Source Databases

Migration Complexity

Migrating databases, whether open-source or commercial, requires careful planning and testing. Queries may need to be rewritten to avoid performance issues, even within the same type of database. Migration strategies depend on database size, outage constraints, and available infrastructure. Therefore you need experienced professionals to manage the system. Learn more about database migration

Integration Challenges

The lack of integrated solutions is a challenge in migrating to open-source databases. Unlike closed-source databases that provide additional tools and extensions for high availability, monitoring, alerting, and backup, open-source databases require selecting and testing multiple options to meet specific requirements. This requires expertise and time to maintain and manage effectively.

Performance and scalability

Businesses may not have the in-house expertise to manage the performance and scalability of open-source databases. Solutions like Amazon Aurora is a high-performance, scalable database engine that is designed to provide better performance than standard MySQL or PostgreSQL. It can automatically scale up or down based on your application's needs, and it is optimized for use with AWS services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.

Higher availability and durability

Managing database operations for high availability and durability can be a painstaking task. But Amazon Aurora is designed to provide high availability and durability, with automatic failover and replication across multiple availability zones for open-source databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. This can help ensure that your database is always available and your data is protected against hardware or network failures.

Administrative overhead

Managing database administration is a definitive overhead. Amazon Aurora handles your administrative tasks, such as software patching, backups, and scaling. This can reduce the time and resources you need to spend managing your database, allowing you to focus on your application.


Though open-source databases benefit from a community of developers continually enhancing and updating the software, managing security at scale can be challenging. Managed database solutions like Amazon Aurora include several security features unavailable in open-source MySQL or PostgreSQL, such as rest and transit encryption and integration with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for fine-grained access control.

Limited Support

Due to limited availability, businesses may face challenges in obtaining consistent technical support for open-source databases. To overcome this challenge, companies have two options for getting support: building an internal team of specialized professionals, which can be difficult, or seeking assistance from a company that offers database solutions.

Mactores is Ready to Assist with Migrating from Oracle or MS SQL to Open Source Databases

Migrating from Oracle or MS SQL to open-source databases can benefit businesses seeking flexible, cost-effective data management solutions. While some challenges may be associated with this process, such as the complexity of the migration process and limited availability of support, it can be overcome with the help of a
a company that offers database solutions. 

At Mactores, we understand the importance of seamless migration. We are fully equipped to assist businesses in migrating from a commercial database, like Oracle or MS SQL, to open-source databases, MySQL, or PostgreSQL. So if you want to migrate, don't hesitate to contact us and take the first step towards a more efficient data management system.
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