Azures collection of open source data tools includes the popular PostgreSQL database. Postgres began its life in the mid-1980s as a follow-up to the University of California at Berkeley’s Ingres system. Now developed by an international consortium, it’s grown a lot over the decades, moving from its own query language to one based on SQL. That change led to its renaming as PostgreSQL in 1996. It has maintained a large academic following, with a lot of support in the machine learning community, as well as powering many popular consumer-facing services.
Its enduring popularity has meant that it’s become one of the standard on-premises databases for large applications, with integration with most common development platforms and with web content management tools like WordPress and Drupal. A wide set of use cases and a massive user base makes PostgreSQL an essential component of any public cloud service, enabling quick lift-and-shift of existing applications and content.
Managed PostgreSQL on Azure
Given that history, it’s not surprising that there’s a managed PostgreSQL among Azure’s many services. Like Azure’s MariaDB, it’s a way to use a familiar database without needing to worry about provisioning and managing your database servers; all you need to do is set up an instance, load up your data, and start writing code. If you’re using WordPress or a similar content management tool, you can install it from the Azure Marketplace, upload your data, and go.
There’s a lot of focus on lift-and-shift with tools like this, as organizations migrate from on-premises data centers to the cloud. While that’s still an important market for Microsoft, it’s one that’s going to decline as more and more applications either migrate to the cloud or are left running on-premises for regulatory and compliance reasons. By adding high-availability tools and scaling, Microsoft is looking to support new and existing born-in-the-cloud applications. PostgreSQL’s history as a tool for software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers lets Azure support them as well, either as additional capacity where necessary or as a complete replacement for existing data centers.