EnterpriseDB Corp, the open source database company that is pursuing the Oracle market, has announced that its first reference customer is also investing in the company.
The customer, Sony Online Entertainment Inc, one of the largest multi-player gaming sites on the Internet, chose the Postgres-based open source database to lower its operating costs as the site enters a critical period of growth in membership.
Specifically, the database not only processes business transactions, but also handles data that supports gaming, which as it turns out is a highly data-intensive operation. That includes handling, not just subscriber information, but game-specific data pertaining to the characteristics of each player, and their status in each of the games they are playing.
Their data needs are exploding, as the complexity of games, the number of games and the number of subscribers grow, said EnterpriseDB CEO Andy Astor.
While neither EnterpriseDB nor Sony Online would disclose the size of the database, Astor said that pre-sales testing of the database approached multiple gigabytes of data.
This underlines EnterpriseDB’s message that open source databases are not for small web applications only. It claims that the 20-year old Postgres engine is sufficiently proven to handle mission-critical applications. Unlike better-known MySQL, which has targeted web apps, EnterpriseDB is aiming its sights at the sweet spot of the Oracle installed base.
Sony Online’s investment is a small part of the $7.5 million Series A funding that EnterpriseDB has received from Charles River Ventures and Valhalla Partners. Astor said that gaining equity from a customer was not part of EnterpriseDB’s original business plan.
It was an unplanned bluebird of a relatively small amount, he said, adding that Sony Online was committing to several rounds of installs of multiple instances.