While I was going through the backlog of unread stuff in my feedreader, I came across two interesting items that I see as quasi-related. The first is a blog post from Allan Packer entitled “Are Proprietary Databased Doomed?”. In the post, Allan talks about a number of reasons why the big proprietary databases from vendors like Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are doomed, which basically boils down to (IMHO) to 2 big things:
- Proprietary databases are more expensive
- Open source databases have gotten “good enough” to be feature equivalent to the more expensive databases for 80-90% of uses.
The second item that caught my eye was an article about the NYSE’s decision to replace it’s proprietary Unix server with commodity X86 servers running Linux.
What’s interesting to me about these two articles juxtaposed together is that, although they’re talking about two different product categories, databases in one case, operating systems in the other, the arguments in each case are virtually interchangeable. And in both cases, they paint a pretty bleak picture for the future of big, expensive, proprietary systems.