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Managed open source technologies provider Instaclustr earlier this month announced the general availability of PostgreSQL on the Instaclustr platform. The launch of Instaclustr for Postgre enables customers to use PostgreSQL to monitor, optimize, and scale their data infrastructure, with support from Instaclustr’s specialist remote team.
Instaclustr will provide customers with managed support to help monitor, secure, optimize, and scale PostgreSQL so that on-site teams can leverage the technology effectively and avoid being locked into a single vendor ecosystem.
Instaclustr is one of many providers in the open source services market, a market worth $21.7 billion in 2021. Other providers include names such as Datastax and Aivan, which offer customers managed support to help them configure open source technologies like PostgreSQL and Apache Cassandra, so they can benefit from optimal infrastructure performance — even if they don’t have the expertise needed to configure these onsite.
Managed access to PostgreSQL
Instaclustr CEO Peter Lilley told VentureBeat that “Instaclustr for PostgreSQL now gives all customers a fully managed path forward for migrating to Postgres, deploying Postgres, scaling Postgres, etc. They can get expertly managed Postgres in its pure open source form while keeping their teams focused on application development, not database management.”
In other words, customers can access the open source data infrastructure of PostgreSQL without taking on the hassle of continuously managing and optimizing it in-house.
“By bringing Postgres into our platform, we further enable customers to deploy for best fit, integrate data infrastructure when they need to, or migrate between data infrastructure technology where use case and scale demand such a change,” he said.
Offering customers remote support eliminates the need for them to self-manage and optimize database infrastructure, so they can focus on building and scaling high-performance applications faster, even if they don’t have the internal talent and resources necessary to do so.
Building an open source data infrastructure ecosystem
Instaclustr’s announcement of PostgreSQL’s general availability marks the next step in the organization’s plan to build an open-source data infrastructure ecosystem. Prior to the announcement, that ecosystem already included tools like Apache Cassandra, Redis, Apache Kafka, and Open Search.
Since Instaclustr’s launch in 2012, the organization’s “no vendor lock-in” approach has enabled the organization to reach annual recurring revenue of $20 million and attract the business of some top Fortune 500 companies.
Yet, the organization is competing against some very established competitors, including DataStax with Apache Cassandra, Aiven on Apache Kafka, and Elastic on Elasticsearch.
DataStax, one of Instaclustr’s main competitors, boasts an annual recurring revenue of $150 million, offering a proprietary version of Apache Cassandra, while another, Aivan, a provider that offers an Apache Kafka-as-a-service platform earlier this year, achieved a $2 billion valuation and expanded its open source service to Apache Flink.
Open core vs. open source
However, while many providers like DataStax, Aivan, and Instaclustr offer managed access to open source technologies, Instaclustr aims to differentiate itself from the competition by avoiding the “open core” style approach taken by other providers that sell paid versions of open source technologies.
Instead, Instaclustr wants to take a pure, non-proprietary approach to its managed open source service to avoid locking customers into a single vendor ecosystem.
“Open core vendors (which sell paid versions of open source technologies) face a bleak future. Their business model is based on enticing enterprises with proprietary features added to open source software, and then leveraging lock-in to keep them as customers,” Lilley said.
“However, open source communities regularly introduce promising new features as to demand warrants. Where open core solutions do offer interesting features, the pure open source version will offer the same soon enough, for free. Thus, open core solutions are naturally ceding ground, and risk being pressed off the map in coming years.”
While it remains to be seen whether Instaclustr wins the open core vs open source race, the release of Instaclustr for PostgreSQL will help to flesh out the provider’s open source ecosystem and give enterprises the flexibility they need to ensure their infrastructure is available and provisioned optimally.
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