Saturday, February 16, 2008

Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership for Databases

Vendors often talk about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A MySQL environment offers significantly reduced overall costs and greatly reducing the total cost of ownership. When purchasing a database companies look at the license numbers of the database but often underestimate the surrounding costs of running a particular database. Overall TCO also includes the following costs:
  • Hardware
  • Application Servers
  • GUI development tools
  • Monitoring tools
  • Administration costs
  • 3rd party software
  • Technical skills
  • Scalability
MySQL offers a TCO that is a fraction of other database vendors. The following are some examples of how the costs of running a MySQL environment are significantly reduced:
  • Hardware: MySQL database servers take significantly less hardware resources compared to Oracle DB2 or SQL Server. There is also more flexibility in choosing Windows, Linux, Unix or Mac OS platforms.
  • Application Servers: MySQL environments usually use Apache or JBoss run at a fraction of the costs of running application servers from IBM, Oracle, BEA and Microsoft.
  • Monitoring Tools: MySQL environments use tools like Nagios, Mon, Zenoss, Cacti are free or a fraction of the costs compared to vendor or 3rd party tools that often have licenses in the 6 and 7 figure range.
  • GUI Development Tools: MySQL environments often run SQLYog, Navicat, MySQL Query Browser that are free or run at a fraction of the cost of 3rd party tools for the larger database vendors.
  • GUI Admin Tools: MySQL Administrator, phpMyAdmin and Enterprise Monitor are free or run at a fraction of the cost of 3rd party tools for the larger database vendors.
  • BI and Reporting: BI Open Source tools from companies like Pentaho run at a fraction of the costs of BI solutions from the major vendors.
  • Scalability: Features like partitioning and replication are free in MySQL. So as your environment grows there are no additional license costs. MySQL Cluster is a licensable feature but it also is a fraction of the clustering solutions from the larger database vendors. Database servers are going to grow, so its great to know that a MySQL environment allows you to use free features or features that do not have large incremental increases the larger your databases grow.
When looking at a database vendor make sure and consider the overall Total Cost of Ownership and not just the costs of running a database server.

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