Saving money on applying Database S/W Patches

I’ve just seen a presentation that says you can save money by running PostgreSQL in the cloud, because you won’t need to apply database software patches yourself. Hmmm.

So what is the cost of installing a fix? Not much really. Surely there must be some benefit in installing a fix?

This premise described offered us this economic argument:

  • -ve cost: mantime to apply patch
  • +ve benefit: zero

Wow! Zero Benefit?? In my experience people apply patches because they solve urgent, pressing problems. I’ve never, ever heard from someone saying “Thanks for sending me this urgent and critical fix, but Oh man! now I have to install it!”.

Applying bug fixes is an important aspect of running production systems. Being able to apply a fix at the time of your choosing is important. Being allowed to apply any fix you choose is also important. Specifically, being able to have your own staff or anybody you hire write enhancements or bug fixes is exactly the reason that people have used open source because it avoids lock-in to particular vendors.

If your vendor doesn’t provide fixes AND stops you from applying your own fixes then you have a accident waiting to happen. Or maybe not – CTRL-ALT-DEL fixes everything, right?

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