Why we started pgEdge (and why now)
Even though we are just coming out of stealth, Denis and I are already being asked why we started pgEdge, and why now.
Basically we started pgEdge for two reasons. First off, application architectures are evolving to place more components at or near the edge of the network. It began with static content at the presentation layer, and more recently companies like Cloudflare, Akamai and Fastly have opened their platforms to allow compute to happen at the edge in a serverless way. The next logical step is for the database to be closer to the edge. We think the best database to put at or near the edge is Postgres, the world’s most popular open source database. And until now there has been no company doing distributed Postgres on top of the standard Postgres engine while also making their source code available.
Second, large enterprises are moving away from heavy and expensive proprietary databases like Oracle to open source databases, especially Postgres which has been proven in the enterprise space over the past 15 or more years. However they need the same distributed capabilities Oracle provides, particularly for high availability architectures. And having been trapped previously by a proprietary vendor they don’t want to invest again in proprietary solutions. That is a need we wanted to meet with pgEdge Distributed PostgreSQL, and why we are keeping it open and based on standard Postgres.
Part of the pgEdge backstory is that all the way back in 2004 Denis and I met for breakfast at a Northern Virginia hotel, after having worked together earlier in our careers. Denis wanted to discuss a terrific new startup business idea that involved bringing two sets of missing enterprise capabilities to open source Postgres: Oracle compatibility and fully distributed databases. Keeping in mind what my mentors had drilled into me at webMethods, I said startups need to focus on one thing at a time, and maybe it was too early for fully distributed. And so we chose Oracle compatibility and, together with another friend (yo Astro!) we went “Long” on Postgres and co-founded EnterpriseDB, now one of the more successful independent companies in the Postgres community.
Fast forward to early summer 2022 and Denis and I got together again, this time at a wine bar on a pier over the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. We decided that with industry developments like the emergence of full-fledged edge computing platforms such as Cloudflare Workers, Fastly Compute@Edge and similar it was time to revisit “door #2”: fully distributed Postgres. As luck (or providence) would have it, Denis and his team had been working on multi-active (multi-master) distributed Postgres – the Postgres extension we now call Spock – between Postgres consulting assignments for large financial institutions. And so pgEdge was born!
We are super excited about the technology we are bringing to market with pgEdge Distributed PostgreSQL, the first edge database based on standard Postgres. But we are equally excited about the wonderfully awesome team we get to work with – we’ve all worked together before in a variety of companies Denis and I have previously founded and/or run.
And most importantly we are so looking forward to making both our team and technology available to solve customers’ most pressing database challenges – reducing data latency and application page load times, reducing spend on proprietary database vendors, implementing high availability architectures and solving data residency challenges.
We’d love to discuss what we can do for your business, so please get in touch!