A Brief Introduction – What is PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL (or Postgres, as it is often referred to as) is an open-source, object-relational database system which is one of the most popular choices for medium to enterprise-sized businesses. It began life as the Ingres project at the University of California in 1981 and since then it has become a highly used and tested solution.
The project was later named Postgres because it became “post-Ingres”, then in 1996 the site PostgreSQL.org was re-launched while the project was also renamed to PostgreSQL. This was in order to show its compatibility with SQL.
PostgreSQL is highly scalable in the number of users it can handle and the amount of data it can store. There are active PostgreSQL systems that hold in excess of 4 Terabytes of information. PostgreSQL also has the ability to be enhanced by software such as EDB Postgres, which adds speed and efficiency improvements for users.
With this in mind, it’s not hard to understand why so many Fortune 500 companies are still using Postgres as their database of choice.
So without further ado, here are 5 global giants you never knew use PostgreSQL:
Instagram reports having over 1 billion users as of last year, which accounts for an astonishing one-seventh of the planet! The activity on the platform each day from these 1 billion users generates a mind-boggling 50 million photos per day. So you can see why Instagram need a database that can support the enormous amount of data that it accumulates each day.
PostgreSQL and Cassandra were chosen by Instagram to handle the main database tasks, with a few other RDBMSs supporting these two platforms for smaller tasks.
Spotify needed a database system that can handle the 50 million songs that they supply plus podcasts and radio programs for its 271 million monthly users.
How do they handle all that data? With databases. Their infrastructure uses PostgreSQL and Cassandra as their two databases of choice.
3. The International Space Station (Pretty cool, right?)
PostgreSQL is quite literally out of this world – NASA has often used open-source database solutions for other projects on Earth, so it makes sense that they also make use of them in Space.
NASA needed to implement Nagios on the Space Station and so opted for PostgreSQL. They were able to store data on the Space station in orbit and then reproduce that database back down on Earth.
More popular now than ever (due to COVID), Skype is one of the biggest video call and messaging services in the world right now. With well over 40 million users each day, Skype needed a serious database system that can handle all of their customers’ information.
Again, Skype opted for PostgreSQL. This was due to its ability to store an unimaginable amount of data, whilst also being highly flexible, efficient and optimised.
Last but not least we have Apple, a 2 Trillion Dollar company which shows no signs of slowing any time soon. What led this tech giant opt for PostgreSQL…? It turns out that until 2010, they were using Oracle & MySQL as their database system of choice.
In 2010, Apple migrated from MySQL in 2010 for fears of licencing changes with Oracle’s MySQL. Now, Apple systems fully support PostgreSQL and it’s the default database on the macOS server.
So there you have it, 5 global giants that use PostgreSQL as their open-source database solution. There are many other options available on the market such as SQLite, MySQL & MongoDB. However, if it’s good enough for these 5 behemoths then you’ve got to ask yourself, why have they all opted for the same solution? It’s surely not by chance.