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Percona Poll Results: What Database Technologies Are You Using?

 | December 21, 2016 |  Posted In: Database Poll, MongoDB, MySQL

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Database TechnologiesThis blog shows the results from Percona’s poll on what database technologies our readers use in their environment.

We design different databases for different scenarios. Using one database technology for every situation doesn’t make sense, and can lead to non-optimal solutions for common issues. Big data and IoT applications, high availability, secure backups, security, cloud vs. on-premises deployment: each have a set of requirements that might need a special technology. Relational, document-based, key-value, graphical, column family – there are many options for many problems. More and more, database environments combine more than one solution to address the various needs of an enterprise or application (known as polyglot persistence).

The following are the results of our poll on database technologies:

Which of the following open source database technologies do you use?

  • MySQL (MariaDB, Percona Server, etc.) (36%, 1,412 Votes)
  • Redis (12%, 486 Votes)
  • MongoDB (11%, 444 Votes)
  • PostgreSQL (11%, 432 Votes)
  • ElasticSearch (9%, 356 Votes)
  • Memcache (8%, 308 Votes)
  • Cassandra (4%, 141 Votes)
  • Spark/Hadoop (3%, 118 Votes)
  • Kafka (3%, 109 Votes)
  • CouchBase (1%, 41 Votes)
  • Neo4j (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Riak (0%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,619

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We’ve concluded our database technology poll that looks at the technologies our readers are running in 2016. Thank you to the more than 1500 people who responded! Let’s look at what the poll results tell us, and how they compare to the similar poll we did in 2013.

Since the wording of the two poll questions is slightly different, the results won’t be directly comparable.  

First, let’s set the record straight: this poll does not try to be an unbiased, open source database technology poll. We understand our audience likely has many more MySQL and MongoDB users than other technologies. So we should look at the poll results as “how MySQL and MongoDB users look at open source database technology.”

It’s interesting to examine which technologies we chose to include in our 2016 poll, compared to the 2013 poll. The most drastic change can be seen in the full-text search technologies. This time, we decided not to include Lucene and Sphinx this time. ElasticSearch, which wasn’t included back in 2013, is now the leading full-text search technology. This corresponds to what we see among our customers.

The change between Redis versus Memcached is also interesting. Back in 2013, Memcached was the clear supporting technology winner. In 2016, Redis is well ahead.

We didn’t ask about PostgreSQL back in 2013 (few people probably ran PostgreSQL alongside MySQL then). Today our poll demonstrates its very strong showing.

We are also excited to see MongoDB’s strong ranking in the poll, which we interpret both as a result of the huge popularity of this technology and as recognition of our success as MongoDB support and services provider. We’ve been in the MongoDB solutions business for less than two years, and already seem to have a significant audience among MongoDB users.

In looking at other technologies mentioned, it is interesting to see that Couchbase and Riak were mentioned by fewer people than in 2013, while Cassandra came in about the same. I don’t necessarily see it as diminishing popularity for these technologies, but as potentially separate communities forming that don’t extensively cross-pollinate.

Kafka also deserves special recognition: with the initial release in January 2011, it gets a mention back in our 2013 poll. Our current poll shows it at 7%. This is a much larger number than might be expected, as Kafka is typically used in complicated, large-scale applications.

Thank you for participating!

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Peter Zaitsev

Peter managed the High Performance Group within MySQL until 2006, when he founded Percona. Peter has a Master's Degree in Computer Science and is an expert in database kernels, computer hardware, and application scaling.

2 Comments

  • I find it very strange to see Kafka being described as a database, since unlike all the other choices, it is designed to be primarily a PubSub/Streaming system, with data being constantly purged after a delay. Plus, it mostly uses simple files for storage. Could you share a scenario where it makes sense as an actual DB ?

    • FGM,

      Good question. The poll does not especially talk about what is your primary data store… which would be different topic. Not all of these technologies are used for it… For example Memcache and Redis are often used for Caching, Elastic Search is often used for Full Text Search application – Kafka is used as data store of the data in transit as it moves between different systems.

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