PostgreSQL and the Enterprise: 6 Reasons to Put the Open-Source Database to Work

Here are the top reasons why open-source Postgres should be top-of-mind for many enterprise teams considering a database migration or expansion.


PostgreSQL has become increasingly compelling for organizations that need a proven, enterprise-grade SQL database with just about every advanced capability out there—and, critically, one that delivers in its 100% open-source version.

Let’s cut right to it and get into some of the top reasons why open-source Postgres should be top-of-mind for many enterprise teams considering a database migration or expansion:

1Prototyping is simple and powerful.

PostgreSQL’s lightweight installation and operational simplicity means you can stand up databases in minutes, making it simple to support new service and application prototypes. That’s especially important within scenarios where developers aren’t yet sure of the functionality their data store requires, but are sure they want basic data analysis capabilities. Open-source Postgres offers extensive query and schema options necessary to satisfy myriad use cases and accurately make those determinations. Developers can also leverage as many testing deployments as they’d like since database implementations are no longer an obstacle.

“Just use Postgres” has become a common suggestion for developers starting on new applications when it comes to addressing a range of specific needs. One clear example is full-text search capabilities, an area where Postgres shines as one of the most powerful RDBMS options available. Once developers have made those early-stage determinations to know whether full-text searching is one of their critical services, they can then adopt the Open Distro of Elasticsearch and Kibana as an optimal long-term solution.

2Postgres is highly extensible.

Unlike many relational databases available on the market, Postgres is tremendously extensible. In fact, it’s the most extensible option out there, with over 1000 extensions now available. Postgres’s rich extension ecosystem enables users to readily find what they need, or build and integrate new capabilities into Postgres far more rapidly than they could with less extensible database solutions. The flexibility of this broad and mature solution set makes extensibility one of the key differentiating factors that sets Postgres apart from other relational database management systems.

3Postgres pairs well with Apache Cassandra and Apache Kafka.

Postgres, Apache Cassandra, and Apache Kafka make up an increasingly popular trio of technologies utilized together in open-source data-layer strategies. Postgres serves as a feature-rich relational database with advanced capabilities for structured data. Cassandra lends its celebrated capabilities as an enterprise-grade NoSQL database that has only become more popular with enterprises after its 4.0 release. Kafka adds to this team with its unmatched capabilities for open-source data stream processing. Together these highly complementary (and fully open source) solutions ensure enterprise teams have powerful and versatile tools at hand, but with none of the license limitations or high costs of working with alternative proprietary options.

4Postgres is (more than) ready for primetime.

With data-intensive organizations from banks to the world’s biggest retailers to NASA to the U.S. Department of Defense choosing PostgreSQL for mission-critical workloads, the question of whether the technology is dependable enough has been definitively settled. Postgres is used and relied upon by leading players across industries. Many major organizations, including Alibaba and others, have built extremely highly available Postgres databases to support their mission-critical applications.

5Postgres meets enterprise security and compliance mandates.

Postgres is built to comply with the strictest regulatory compliance frameworks (even if that security acumen isn’t as promoted as proprietary solutions). Thousands of enterprises run Postgres workloads compliant with regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, and others, with many businesses working with third parties to ensure that compliance at scale. So, while the community will never publicly market PostgreSQL’s status as a compliance-ready solution—as would happen if it were a commercial product—it absolutely checks those boxes.

6Postgres is true open-source software.

Licensing changes have recently hit some open-source projects that have, unfortunately, led to the more restrictive use of some technologies. Open core vendors that lure customers with the promise of open source flexibility while concealing vendor and technical lock-in continue to muddy the landscape. Amid these challenges for organizations simply seeking proven and scalable open-source solutions to build applications, Postgres stands out as a mature technology backed by a strong community and diverse project leadership dedicated to true open-source principles. It’s been 26 years since the first Postgres release; the database is stronger than ever and not going anywhere. Additionally, several companies have built their commercial products on top of Postgres, including Tanzu, Greenplum, TimescaleDB, and more. In its fully open-source version, Postgres delivers powerful features and data portability to accelerate application roadmaps and handle data at scale, making investments in alternative proprietary or open-core solutions increasingly difficult to justify.


Sharath Punreddy is a Principal Solutions Architect at Instaclustr, part of Spot by NetApp, which provides a managed platform around open source data technologies. Sharath has spent most of his career working with data technologies, including at MongoDB, VMware, Hortonworks, and other organizations. He lives in Texas.