The cloud has brought about many positive changes. It has also brought about unexpected changes, some of which are taking place with Database Management Systems (DBMS) where revenue is shifting dramatically between cloud and on-premises hosting. Cloud revenue has climbed from 15% of the total DBMS revenue in 2017 to 49% in 2021, according to Gartner. Experts predict the cloud will become the biggest deployment platform for DBMS in 2022.

These are important trends for a large and growing market. The DBMS market approached $80 billion in 2021, with an increase of $14,5 billion (22% growth) over 2020.

Peter Zaitsev, CEO & founder of OIN member Percona — which distributes Percona Server (an open source database offering) and is a leader in providing support, consulting, managed services, training, and software for MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, PostgreSQL and other open source databases in on-premises and cloud environments — says this may be the “biggest factor impacting Open Source” today. The Enterprise Times covers the topic. In response to cloud companies allegedly “strip mining’ – or profiting from Open Source database technology without sharing revenue appropriately in the eyes of the database vendors, sometimes without contributing much to the Open Source database projects – there has been a shift in the license terms for certain DBMS offerings. As cloud deployments have grown rapidly since 2017, many open source database companies (such as Grafana, Elastic, Redis Labs, MongoDB, Timescale, and Cockroach Labs) have evolved their license terms. Some, such as Grafana, shifted to AGPL (GNU Affero General Public License) from Apache and as such has remained Open Source licensed. Percona has maintained its own database offering under the GPL and remained Open Source licensed. Others have shifted to proprietary license terms. In 2018, MongoDB moved to the SSPL (Server Side Public License), which is considered proprietary. In 2021, Elastic moved to a proprietary license offering made up of a combination of its Elastic license and the SSPL.

It is not just changes to license terms that are the problem. Adding proprietary features to Open Source also acts to lock-in a user to a vendor. But there are ways to solve this dilemma. For the cloud, the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is playing its part. The CNCF hosts critical open source and vendor-neutral components of the global technology infrastructure, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. In fact, it has over 120 projects included in its technology hub currently. It is supported by more than 500 members, including the world’s largest cloud computing and software companies,
and over 200 innovative startups.

There is also a shift in how databases are being deployed. By using Open Source containers, Kubernetes and Docker, databases can be moved across cloud vendor platforms. The portability gained from this deployment model delivers great benefits to users and developers of database technology. Clearly, DBMS is a dynamic technological area that has been significantly impacted by the emergence of the cloud. Fortunately, there are powerful and truly Open Source solutions that are available to power database deployments in the cloud as delivery and database technologies continue to evolve, which will help to ensure continued innovation in the space.