Fighting “Database Sprawl” in the Cloud

A few months ago an interview was conducted with Jignesh Shah, a recognized expert on running databases, especially PostgreSQL, in virtualized environments, including VMware.

At that particular point in time Jignesh had just completed a number of closed door sessions at PgEast 2011 in New York.

While a number of points were discussed in the interview, he also offered some general comments on which hosting platforms a database developer should focus his attention on, especially in the context of virtualization and cloud computing technologies. Here is an audio excerpt of that interview:

He also hinted that there were some exciting new developments being discussed at VMware for virtualizing databases. And, in the last 72 hours VMware crystallized its public solution to improving and managing database performance in the cloud by announcing a new Database-as-a-Service (DaaS) called vFrabic Data Director.

The first database supported on Data Director is VMware vFabric Postgres, a new offering from VMware based on and fully compatible with PostgreSQL. Fully ACID and ANSI-SQL compliant, PostgreSQL is an enterprise class database, with a long history of mission-critical customer adoption and support from a vibrant open source community.

We have written about the ascendency of PostgreSQL in two recent blog posts, MIT paper says “Databases-in-Virtual Machines offer limited scaling” and Apple Drops MySQL in favor of PostgreSQL.

Jignesh called the VMware announcement “moving out of stealth mode” on his personal blog and confirmed that “vPostgres will be only available for download as part of vFabric Data Director. However there is a vPostgres Service available on for Cloud Applications. It is free for use by all applications that support the Cloud Application programming which includes Java, Ruby, node.js in”

The product is a direct assault on enterprise “database sprawl”, designed to to tackle the proliferation of under-managed, under-secured and even unknown databases across the IT organization.

Via a web-based portal, developers will be able to leverage vFabric Data Director for self-service access to a broad range of database services to serve their specific needs.

Built on VMware vSphere, vFabric Data Director integrates with resource management capabilities in vSphere, optimizing resource utilization and reducing overall operating costs.

According to VMware, vFabric Data Director will be available for download in Q3 2011 at a list price of $600 per virtual machine for databases managed by vFabric Data Director. vFabric Postgres is available in conjunction with vFabric Data Director free of charge for non-production use and $1700 per virtual machine for production use.

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